Skepticism Essays

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Skepticism

Skepticism is the Western philosophical tradition that maintains that human beings can never arrive at any kind of certain knowledge. Originating in Greece in the middle of the fourth century BC, skepticism and its derivatives are based on the following principles:
There is no such thing as certainty in human knowledge.
All human knowledge is only probably true, that is, true most of the time, or not true.
Several non-Western cultures have skeptical traditions, particularly Buddhist philosophy, but properly speaking, skepticism refers only to a Greek philosophical tradition and its Greek, Roman, and European derivatives.

The school of Skeptic philosophers were called the "Skeptikoi" in Greece. The word is
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While Socrates never claimed that knowledge is impossible, still, at his death, he never claimed to have discovered any piece of knowledge whatsoever.

After its introduction into Greek culture at the end of the fourth century BC, skepticism influenced nearly all other Greek philosophies. Both Hellenistic and Roman philosophies took it as a given that certain knowledge was impossible; the focus of Greek and Roman philosophy, then, turned to probable knowledge, that is, knowledge that is true most of the time.

Christianity, however, introduced a dilemma into Greek and Roman philosophies that were primarily based on skeptical principles. In many ways, the philosophy of Christianity, which insisted on an absolute knowledge of the divine and of ethics, did not fit the Greek and Roman skeptical emphasis on probable knowledge. Paul of Tarsus, one of the original founders of Christianity, answered this question simply: the knowledge of the Romans and Greeks, that is, human knowledge, is the knowledge of fools. Knowledge that rejects human reasoning, which, after all, leads to skepticism, is the knowledge of the wise. Christianity at its inception, then, had a strong anti-rational perspective. This did not, however, make the skeptical problem go away. Much of the history of early Christian philosophy is an attempt to paste Greek and Roman philosophical methods and questions onto
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