What Descartes' demon can do and his dream cannot

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The reason Descartes cites for invoking the demon argument in addition to the dream argument is that the demon argument is intended to broaden the scope of Descartes' scepticism, to subsume additional beliefs under it. I present an additional, unfamiliar reason. There is, I argue, an important difference between the two sceptical arguments. It pertains not to their scope, but to their "depth", to the kind of scepticism they are capable of inducing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-335
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006


  • Demon argument
  • Descartes
  • Dream argument
  • Scepticism


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