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IPFS News Link • Science

Known unknowables

• arclein
Ask any philosopher what scepticism is, and you will receive as many different answers as people you've asked. Some of them take it to be showing that we cannot have any knowledge ?" of, say, the external world ?" and some of them take it to be even more radical in showing that we cannot have any reasonable beliefs. In the interests of getting a handle on the varieties of scepticism, one can locate four different milestones of sceptical thought in the history of Western philosophy. These four milestones start with the least threatening of them, Pyrrhonian skepticism, and continue by Cartesian and Kantian scepticisms to the Wittgensteinian moment in which even our intention to act is put in question. To our modern minds, scepticism is normally associated with frustration and sceptical conclusions are usually taken to be disturbing because they seem to stand in the way of certainty about the world and our place in it. But famously, or rather infamously, those people in ancient Gre