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The History of Skepticism

In Search of Consistency


Renata Ziemińska

This book reconstructs the history of skepticism ranging from ancient to contemporary times, from Pyrrho to Kripke. The main skeptical stances and the historical reconstruction of the concept of skepticism are connected with an analysis of their recurrent inconsistency. The author reveals that this inconsistency is not a logical contradiction but a pragmatic one. She shows that it is a contradiction between the content of the skeptical position and the implicit presumption of the act of its assertion. The thesis of global skepticism cannot be accepted as true without falling into the pragmatic inconsistency. The author explains, how skepticism was important for exposing the limits of human knowledge and inspired its development.

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Table of Contents



Chapter I. The Notion and Types of Skepticism

1. Genealogy of the Term Skepticism

2. Evolution of the Idea of Skepticism

2.1. Ancient Skepticism: the Suspension of Judgements Aspiring to be the Truth

2.2. Medieval skepticism: the Weakness of Human Judgements Contrasted with God’s Omnipotence

2.3. Modern Skepticism: Doubting the Value of Judgements Aspiring to be Knowledge

2.4. Contemporary Skepticism: Paradoxical Thesis on the Non-existence of Knowledge and Meaning

3. Types of Skepticism and Related Terminology

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