What exactly is skepticism, really?
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24-11-2013, 05:22 AM
What exactly is skepticism, really?
And I mean in the context of scientific skepticism (i.e Sagan, Novella, Shermer, Dawkins, Randi, etc).

There seems to be multiple different definitions and views of what exactly (scientific) skepticism is, what it entails, and its scope. Which may partially explain the more or less constant infighting.

For example, the term "scientific skepticism" was coined by Carl Sagan in Billions & Billions, but he doesn't really define the concept there. Michael Shermer has said multiple times that science and skepticism are synonymous (which would make one of the terms redundant, wouldn't it?), something that Massimo Pigliucci has criticized him for. Steven Novella defines skepticism as an approach to knowledge that emphasizes science and critical thinking, and think skepticism includes knowledge of science, critical thinking, self-deception and philosophy of science. Daniel Loxton seems to define skepticism as anti-paranormalism.

So what is correct? And how does one know?

"Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men's dreams." - David Hume
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What exactly is skepticism, really? - Loki - 24-11-2013 05:22 AM
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