Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Scepticism, or skepticism (if you are in the U.S.), derives from the Greek work skeptomai, which means to think or consider. It is generally used to denote doubt or incredulity about particular ideas, or a wider view about the impossibility of having certain knowledge. This uncertainty is a philosophical position, and philosophical scepticism refers to the systematic doubt and testing of ideas.

Recently, sceptics (or skeptics) have become synonymous with two particular groups of people: those who doubt the accepted scientific consensus (for instance "climate change sceptics") and those who question these questioners (James Randi, for example, refers to himself as a skeptic). It's interesting that two completely disparate sets of thinkers could give themselves the same label.

In this (rather long) podcast a group of academics discus the philosophical origins and importance of scepticism in developing knowledge and belief.

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