Canadian Journal of Philosophy 15 (2):273 - 304 (1985)

IThere are various ways of being a sceptic. Most obviously, perhaps, versions of scepticism can differ with respect to scope. Scepticism can be universal; it can be directed against beliefs belonging to certain broad kinds, say beliefs having to do with the external world; or it can be quite focussed, as in the case of religious scepticism. But there is also the question of force. Some philosophers treat scepticism as a purely theoretical affair, defining it as the thesis that knowledge is impossible. This kind of scepticism, theoretical scepticism, has no essential connection with any particular sceptical practice. A theoretical sceptic does not necessarily entertain doubts or suspend judgment about any particular matter of fact or theory. He may think that the problem of induction is insoluble yet not be seriously concerned that the sun will not rise tomorrow. But in other versions, the force of scepticism is taken to be practical, in which case to be a sceptic is to entertain doubts or suspend judgment, and not just to take a certain theoretical position in epistemology.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1080/00455091.1985.10716419
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A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
Philosophical Reasoning.Edmund L. Gettier - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (2):266.
Hume: Precursor of Modern Empiricism.D. C. Yalden-Thomson - 1963 - Philosophical Quarterly 13 (50):81-82.
David Hume: The Newtonian Philosopher.James M. Humber - 1976 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 37 (3):424-425.
David Hume.John W. Yolton & A. H. Basson - 1959 - Journal of Philosophy 56 (12):545.

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