more from Alexander Miller

Single Idea 7322

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 2. Types of Scepticism]

Full Idea

We should distinguish 'constitutive scepticism' (about the existence of certain sorts of facts) from the traditional 'epistemological scepticism' (which concedes that the sort of fact in question exists, but questions our right to claim knowledge of it).

Gist of Idea

Constitutive scepticism is about facts, and epistemological scepticism about our ability to know them


Alexander Miller (Philosophy of Language [1998], 4.7)

Book Reference

Miller,Alexander: 'Philosophy of Language' [UCL Press 1998], p.132

A Reaction

I would be inclined to call the first type 'ontological scepticism'. Miller is discussing Quine's scepticism about meaning. Atheists fall into the first group, and agnostics into the second. An important, and nicely simple, distinction.