more from Peter Unger

Single Idea 8723

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 4. Demon Scepticism]

Full Idea

The evil scientist might not only be deceiving you with his electrodes; maybe he has just created you with your ostensible memory beliefs and experiences, and for good measure he will immediately destroy you, so in the next moment you no longer exist.

Gist of Idea

An evil scientist may give you a momentary life, with totally false memories


Peter Unger (Ignorance: a Case for Scepticism [1975], 1.12)

Book Reference

Unger,Peter: 'Ignorance: a Case for Scepticism' [OUP 1975], p.42

A Reaction

This is based on Russell's scepticism about memory (Idea 2792). Even this very train of thought may not exist, if the first half of it was implanted, rather than being developed by you. I cannot see how to dispute this possibility.

Related Idea

Idea 2792 It is possible the world came into existence five minutes ago, complete with false memories [Russell]