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What is the "egocentric predicament?"

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lifeinlove | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM via web

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What is the "egocentric predicament?"

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 10, 2011 at 11:05 PM (Answer #1)

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The egocentric predicament is an idea in epistemology that claims that we are not able to truly perceive things as they are because we can only perceive them as our own mental representations.  We have no direct contact with any reality that is outside our own minds.  Therefore, we can never know for sure whether any reality actually exists.

According to this idea, there is simply no way to be certain of anything.  I may think that I am typing on a computer, answering this question, but I have no way to prove it.  My perceptions of what I am doing all occur in my mind and, therefore, they may only be occurring there.

The egocentric predicament, to some philosophers, is a problem for knowledge because it means that we can never actually know about anything.

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