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Thorpe, J. "Scepticism and Self-Scepticism." Forthcoming in Philosophical Studies.
A general trend in recent philosophical and empirical work aims to undermine vari- ous traditional claims regarding the distinctive nature of self-knowledge. So far, however, this work has not seriously threatened the Cartesian claim that (at least some) self-knowledge is immune to the sort of sceptical problem that seems to af- flict our knowledge of the external world. In this paper I carry this trend further by arguing that the Cartesian claim is false. This is done by showing that a familiar sceptical argument that targets my knowledge of the external world can be adapted to target my belief that I exist, along with any of my self-knowledge that I know entails my own existence. Thus, my self-knowledge and my knowledge of the ex- ternal world are subject to the same sort of sceptical problem.