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Topic: Methodological Skepticism

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In the News (Mon 22 Apr 19)

  Philosophical skepticism Details, Meaning Philosophical skepticism Article and Explanation Guide
Philosophical skepticism (UK spelling, scepticism) is the philosophical school of thought in which one critically examines whether the knowledge and perceptions one has are true, and whether or not one can ever be said to have true knowledge.
This article does not deal with scientific skepticism, which is a practical position in which one does not accept the veracity of claims until solid evidence is produced in accordance with the scientific method.
Buddhism offerss a wellspring of skepticism that is little known in much of the West.
www.e-paranoids.com /p/ph/philosophical_skepticism.html   (3904 words)

  Peter Suber, "Classical Skepticism"
If we grant that the skeptic would judge if she had a reason or ground for judgment, i.e., that she sincerely seeks truth and is willing and even eager (sometimes desperate) to become a dogmatist, then is it, again, the only honest policy to suspend judgment in the face of a balance of reasons.
Skeptics neither affirm nor deny that they have understood the dogmatist's position (II.1ff), that the tropes have eroded the claim of his dogmas to truth, or even that the tropes themselves are to be trusted (I.35).
Skeptics allow themselves to be guided by (1) the forces of nature, and (2) the feelings of the affections, both of which are beyond their control, as well as by (3) the traditions of laws and customs in their locale, and by (4) the accumulated practical wisdom on how best to accomplish certain ends.
www.earlham.edu /~peters/writing/skept.htm   (15610 words)

 Philosophical skepticism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-26)
Philosophical skepticism (UK spelling, scepticism) is the philosophical school of thought in which one critically examines whether the knowledge and perceptions one has are true, and whether or not one can ever be said to have true knowledge.
This article does not deal with scientific skepticism, which is a practical position in which one does not accept the veracity of claims until solid evidence is produced in accordance with the scientific method.
Either the skeptic is right, in which case we can't trust our ability our reason and so can't trust the skeptic's conclusion; or the skeptic is wrong, in which case again we can't trust the skeptic's conclusion.
www.sciencedaily.com /encyclopedia/philosophical_skepticism   (3926 words)

 Philosophical skepticism biography .ms   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-26)
If a skeptic believes that knowledge of anything at all cannot be said to be absolutely 'true', then his or her view is global skepticism.
For some, arguments for global skepticism tend to have great difficulty in supporting this claim, and they therefore criticise skepticism on the basis that it implies that knowledge is philosophically impossible.
Skepticism is the view that either we have not yet found absolute knowledge, or that we cannot have any propositional knowledge, i.e.
methodological-skepticism.biography.ms   (3790 words)

 Immanuel Kant -- Metaphysics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Their epistemological and metaphysical theories could not adequately explain the sort of judgments or experience we have because they only considered the results of the mind's interaction with the world, not the nature of the mind's contribution.
Kant's methodological innovation was to employ what he calls a transcendental argument to prove synthetic a priori claims.
There are four antinomies, again corresponding to the four headings of the table of categories, that are generated by reason's attempts to achieve complete knowledge of the realm beyond the empirical.
www.iep.utm.edu /k/kantmeta.htm   (9445 words)

 Forms of Skepticism
Pyrrhonian skepticism was preserved in the writing of Sextus Empiricus and his writings influenced Montaigne and Descartes when skepticism rearose in the late Renaissance/early Modern period as a philosophical problem, after having been disregarded during the middle ages and early renaissance.
In part to defend against the corrosive nature of skepticism, and in part because of religious motivations, some thinkers such as Mersenne, Gassendi and Descartes used and elaborated on the ancient Academic and Pyrrhonian arguments in order to distinguish that which may be known from that which may not.
Methodological skepticism, then, is primarily an anti-skeptical position in which one adopts skeptical methods in order to form knowledge, unusually about some limited set of things (oneself, God, science, the external world).
www.lclark.edu /~rebeccac/forms.html   (757 words)

 Skepticism Examined
Skepticism is a useful tool if carefully guarded and examined, but many people seem to find this difficult or impossible.
The popular "skepticism" that is brought to bear disproportionately against one 'side' of an argument is false to skepticism.
Skepticism is indeed a useful tool if it is a philosophy of inquiry into which set of explanations works best.
www.caseagainstfaith.com /debates/janssen_debate_1.htm   (6463 words)

 The Historical-Critical Method
It is not always easy, in other words, for a biblical scholar to maintain a clear grasp of the methodological underpinnings of his or her work when bogged down in the details of a particular research project.
Religion rationalistically conceived ("natural religion") is not dependent for its existence on a set of documents, divinely inspired or otherwise; the possibility of recognizing the truth of its maxims is intrinsic to the one who assents to these insofar as he or she possesses the faculty of reason.
Methodological skepticism, the historian's usual point of departure, is thereby set aside by the "passional nature," to use James's terminology.
www.abu.nb.ca /Courses/NTIntro/LifeJ/HistCrit.htm   (7440 words)

 Hyland, Michael E. and Kirsch, Irving (1994) Methodological Complementarity and the Mind-Body Problem, Psycoloquy: ...   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-26)
Methodological complementarity was developed to deal with a particular problem, namely, the theoretical representation of psychosomatic phenomena.
Methodological complementarity was developed as a set of linguistic restrictions and prescriptions for theories explaining such phenomena without solving the mind-body problem (which may never be satisfactorily solved).
Methodological complementarity suggests that mind and body descriptions are complementary accounts of a process whose ontology is uncertain.
psycprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk /archive/00000375   (693 words)

 [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-26)
Skepticism is practiced worldwide (with varying amounts of rigor) by the minority of thinkers who have been influenced more by science than by tradition.
Skepticism involves zero faith because it holds not even a single belief that is based on revelation and exempt from doubt.
Skepticism holds that truth is not simply revealed but instead must always be subject to doubt, demonstration, and rederivation.
www.marketliberal.org /Thoughts/HumanKnowledge.txt   (17891 words)

 Round Earth theory and Methodological Skepticism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-26)
Accepting assumes an idea is true until it is proven otherwise; skeptical assumes an idea is false until it is proven true.
I am even skeptical of the evidence of my senses (which does not mean I reject that evidence).
The skeptic is the person who demands proof before acceptance.
www.free-market.info /main9908b/messages/290548241.html   (1543 words)

 Current Issues in Education: Volume 2 Number 5
Methodological reasoning refers to the rules of the scientific method that emphasize posing questions in terms of relationships between variables, formulating alternative hypotheses, testing these hypotheses, collecting data, drawing (causal) inferences, reaching warranted conclusions, and making informed decisions.
She reports that her past experiences with users of steroids are totally consistent with the three (anecdotal) case studies, the (cursory) statistics, and the findings of the (methodologically flawed) study reported in the article.
The principal goal of methodological analysis is to determine whether the observed effects are attributable to the antecedent or causal condition.
cie.ed.asu.edu /volume2/number5   (8008 words)

 Skeptical Inquirer: Absolute Skepticism Equals Dogmatism
The moderate skeptic regards doubt as a means to attain the truth, if not total and definitive at least approximate and until further notice.
Moderate skepticism is thus methodological, whereas radical skepticism is systematic.
By contrast, moderate skeptics hold that we should only propose plausible hypotheses, however counterintuitive, and be prepared to jettison the ones found to be false.
www.findarticles.com /cf_dls/m2843/4_24/63693005/p1/article.jhtml   (1466 words)

 Excerpt from my Masters Thesis
As we have seen, when philosophers talk about skepticism, they are usually referring to the kind of radical or methodological skepticism directed against epistemological claims such as the existence of the external world, other minds and standards of rationality.
But the life of the constructive skeptic is the life of reason; a rational person can examine means and ends and, hence, exercise some personal control regarding his future and the future of those to whom he is responsible.
The constructive skeptic is also critically aware of authority, in a world in which one is increasingly dependent on experts and specialists rather than direct personal experience and thinking for oneself (perhaps real personal experience is becoming obsolete).
www.skeptic.ca /Constructive_Skepticism.htm   (2746 words)

 Michael Tooley's Philosophy Home Page
(1) Both the methodological skepticism of Descartes, and the substantive skepticism of Keith Lehrer are directed (at least explicitly) at knowledge claims.
I want to consider skeptical challenges to claims, not that we can have knowledge, but that we can have justified beliefs, concerning (a) other minds, (b) physical objects, (c) past events, and (d) future events.
One's evidence consists, the skeptic will argue, of beliefs about one's own present, mental states, whereas beliefs about an external world, or about other minds, or about the past, of about the future, are not beliefs about one's own mental states - or at least, not about one's own present mental states.
spot.colorado.edu /~tooley/Chapter3.html   (1642 words)

 The Sayings of the Historical Jesus
Many still share Bornkamm's methodological skepticism and, in fact, several members of the Jesus Seminar consistently voted fl during the first phase as a way of expressing their judgment that all the sayings were transformed during the process of oral transmission.
As a result of this methodological debate, a gradual shift occurred during the first phase of the Seminar from stressing the criterion of dissimilarity to emphasizing the priority of multiple attestation.
In the world of the first century it is both possible and methodologically necessary to start with sayings and then move to deeds as a way of reconstructing the historical Jesus and accounting both for his message and his destiny.
westarinstitute.org /Periodicals/4R_Articles/Sayings/sayings.html   (4418 words)

 "Skepticism"   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-26)
In general, "skepticism" is a view that questions our ability to have knowledge of something.
A "skeptic" is a doubter who claims that we do not, and cannot, have knowledge.
Descartes was, in this terminology, a "methodological skeptic".
www.unc.edu /%7Etheis/uncg/skepticismdistinctions.html   (109 words)

 sci   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-26)
The skeptic admits that anything learned in the process is up to the opponent resulting from the skeptic's mastery.
This is the focus of the smug skeptic who imagines him/herself as launching against the very basis of civilization, relishing the writhing pained souls strewn behind, who are left with nothing but the smoldering remains of a shattered faith.
I would be the first to say that the skeptical view of the Bible, though mostly shallow, is an excellent adjunct for the study of the scriptures.
www.seanet.com /~realistic/deconstruction.html   (415 words)

 Philosophy 240: Lecture Two
Descartes' skepticism is "methodological skepticism"---he does not embrace it as a fact in the end.
  The skeptical work in the first Meditation is the analysis, and the synthesis is found in the remaining 5 meditations.
Descartes' brand of skepticism is also called "epistemological skepticism," which is a deep and thoroughgoing rejection of the possibility of knowledge.
www.class.uidaho.edu /morourke/240-phil/2004%20Spring/Lecture%20Notes/2-Med-1.htm   (654 words)

Given methodological considerations of simplicity, ontological parsimony, and theoretical conservatism, an alternative hypothesis is recommended, that subjective qualitative experience is identical to certain information-bearing, behavior-controlling functions, not something which emerges from them.
I am only arguing that it is methodologically more circumspect to start off with a simpler hypothesis, one which does not posit a special nature or essence of subjectivity to be explained.
But there is a difference, I suggest, between this sort of methodological conservatism (which in general I support) and the uncritical acceptance of the 'similarity to ourselves' criterion as a benchmark for assigning consciousness to a system.
www.naturalism.org /consciou.htm   (7747 words)

Most people are skeptical about flying saucers, not because the notion of visitors from other worlds is inherently unreasonable, but simply because no one has yet to produce unquestionable sensory evidence for their existence.
Rational skepticism: the conclusions of reason are contradictory and paradoxical.
Methodological skepticism: a systematic but tentative doubt is a prelude to genuine knowledge.
www.theology.edu /theology/epistem.htm   (3028 words)

 FQS 6(1) van den Berg: Reanalyzing Qualitative Interviews From Different Angles: The Risk of Decontextualization and ...
Methodological handbooks on qualitative research contain a variety of normative guidelines how to behave, but neither the functioning of these guidelines nor the actual behavior of interviewers is systematically studied.
So, on behalf of a "fair" comparison of different strands of discourse analysis, each strand should present research in which the type of data is constructed that fits in with the assumptions and procedures of that strand.
Notwithstanding the elegance of SCHEGLOFF's methodological rule to define empirically which elements should be considered as relevant context of textual data, it falls short in terms of its own ambitions.
www.qualitative-research.net /fqs-texte/1-05/05-1-30-e.htm   (5487 words)

Rene Descartes, who is often called the father of modern philosophy, proposed that philosophy should begin with a radical skepticism about the possibility of obtaining reliable knowledge.
Drawing on the metaphilosophical observation made by Wittgenstein in his second major work, Philosophical Investigations (1953), in which he notes that a good approach to philosophy must itself be based on a careful examination of the meaning of language, a new group of philosophers have adopted a methodological skepticism.
Seen most prominently in the work of W. Quine and Wilfrid Sellars (but with ideas going back to Auguste Comte and Whitehead), this group converges around the ideas of naturalism, holism (in opposition to most of what is considered analytic philosophy), instrumentalism, and the denial of Platonic universals.
www.brainyencyclopedia.com /encyclopedia/p/ph/philosophy.html   (3999 words)

 Toward a Buddhist Philosophy of Science: Methodological Skepticism
The blossoming of science in the 1600's was rooted in the reawakening of a skeptical outlook in the 1500's with Agrippa, Rabelais, and Montaigne, leading to Descartes.
This skeptical outlook was not new - Pyrrho, Aristotle's nephew, had promulgated similar views, inspired by his meetings with thinkers in India during his travels with Alexander's armies.
The heart of skepticism, which is also cental to Buddhist philosophy, is that things are not what they seem.
www.geocities.com /Athens/Atrium/8240/methods.html   (854 words)

 René Descartes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Often regarded as the first "modern" thinker for providing a philosophical framework for the natural sciences as these began to develop, Descartes in his Meditations on First Philosophy attempts to arrive at a fundamental set of principles that one can know as true without any doubt.
To achieve this, he employs a method called Methodological Skepticism: he doubts any idea that can be doubted.
He gives the example of dreaming: in a dream, one's senses perceive things that seem real, but do not actually exist.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Descartes   (1439 words)

 Logic: Theories of Knowledge
Sensory skepticism: sensations are relative and unreliable because they are modifications of the knower and no more a part of the world than is the pinprick a part of the pin.
Subjectivism argues that because knowledge is confined to ideas in the mind of the knower, it is impossible to get beyond these ideas to an objective or material reality separate from and independent of the knower.
In agreement with skepticism and subjectivism, phenomenalism denies the possibility of knowledge of objective reality Only objective phenomena are known.
www.theology.edu /logic/logic16.htm   (1019 words)

 Prolegomena Winter 2002/2003   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-26)
He applies methodological skepticism to the sources or principles of knowledge, and throws out anything of which he cannot be absolutely certain.
In his methodological skepticism Descartes fails to consider the possibility that someone (or something) is tinkering with his brain to make it seem as if he were thinking.
He does not, however, attempt to doubt that we are active thinkers in his methodological skepticism.
www.philosophy.ubc.ca /prolegom/papers/Neilson.htm   (4391 words)

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