Skeptics and Skepticism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Skeptics and Skepticism

SKEPTICS AND SKEPTICISM. The term skeptic comes from the Greek words skeptikos ("an inquirer, one who reflects") and skeptesthai ("to view, to consider"). Philosophical skepticism arose from some of the observations made by early Greek philosophers. Heraclitus said that the world is in such flux that "one cannot step twice in the same river." The only truth, he asserted, was that everything changes. Cratylus went further and said that, since everything changes, people change, and their language changes, so that knowledge and communication are not really possible. The Sophists Protagoras and Gorgias asserted additional skeptical views. Protagoras argued that humanity is the measure of all things; by implication, each person measures the world individually, so there are no general human truths. Gorgias is said to have argued that nothing exists, but even if it did one could not know it, and even if one...

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This section contains 2,032 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Skeptics and Skepticism Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Skeptics and Skepticism from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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