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Single Idea 21578

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 6. Scepticism Critique]

Full Idea

Universal scepticism, though logically irrefutable, is practically barren; it can only, therefore, give a certain flavour of hesitancy to our beliefs, and cannot be used to substitute other beliefs for them.

Gist of Idea

Global scepticism is irrefutable, but can't replace our other beliefs, and just makes us hesitate


Bertrand Russell (Our Knowledge of the External World [1914], 3)

A Reaction

Spot on. There is no positive evidence for scepticism, so must just register it as the faintest of possibilities, like the existence of secretive fairies.

Book Reference

Russell,Bertrand: 'Our Knowledge of the External World' [Routledge 1993], p.74