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13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 1. Scepticism

[general doubts about the possibility of knowledge]

33 ideas
If we succeed in speaking the truth, we cannot know we have done it [Xenophanes]
Protagoras was the first to claim that there are two contradictory arguments about everything [Protagoras, by Diog. Laertius]
Cratylus decided speech was hopeless, and his only expression was the movement of a finger [Cratylus, by Aristotle]
Democritus says there is either no truth, or it is concealed from us [Democritus, by Aristotle]
We in fact know nothing, but we each restructure our reality with beliefs [Democritus]
We actually know nothing, and opinions are mere flux [Democritus]
It is obviously impossible to understand the reality of each thing [Democritus]
We know nothing in reality; for truth lies in an abyss [Democritus]
There can't be any knowledge if things are constantly changing [Plato]
Anaxarchus said that he was not even sure that he knew nothing [Anaxarchus, by Diog. Laertius]
The Pyrrhonians attacked the dogmas of professors, not ordinary people [Pyrrho, by Fogelin]
The basis of scepticism is the claim that every proposition has an equal opposing proposition [Sext.Empiricus]
Scepticism has two dogmas: that nothing is definable, and every argument has an opposite argument [Diog. Laertius]
Sceptics say there is truth, but no means of making or testing lasting judgements [Montaigne]
Descartes can't begin again, because sceptics doubt cognitive processes as well as beliefs [Pollock/Cruz on Descartes]
Even if my body and objects are imaginary, there may be simpler things which are true [Descartes]
Light takes time to reach us, so objects we see may now not exist [Leibniz]
Reason can never show that experiences are connected to external objects [Hume]
Mitigated scepticism draws attention to the limitations of human reason, and encourages modesty [Hume]
Kant thought he had refuted scepticism, but his critics say he is a sceptic, for rejecting reality [O'Grady on Kant]
Our knowledge is illogical, because it rests on false identities between things [Nietzsche]
The most extreme scepticism is when you even give up logic [Nietzsche]
Epicurus denied knowledge in order to retain morality or hedonism as the highest values [Nietzsche]
Doubts can't exist if they are inexpressible or unanswerable [Wittgenstein]
Maybe billions of changeless years have elapsed since my last meal [Shoemaker]
Protagoras says arguments on both sides are always equal [Kim, by Seneca]
There are two contradictory arguments about everything [Kim]
No one knows anything, and no one is ever justified or reasonable [Unger]
Without confidence in our beliefs, how should we actually live? [Tuck]
Scepticism just reveals our limited ability to explain things [Williams,M]
Scepticism about reality is possible because existence isn't part of appearances [McGinn]
We assess error against background knowledge, but that is just what radical scepticism challenges [Pritchard,D]
A toper who spies in the distance... [Sommers,W]