skepticism

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n skepticism doubt about the truth of something
    • n skepticism the disbelief in any claims of ultimate knowledge
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: When potatoes were first introduced to Europe, people were skeptical and only ate the leaves, which made them sick. They would then throw away the rest, including the actual spud.
    • Skepticism (Theol) A doubting of the truth of revelation, or a denial of the divine origin of the Christian religion, or of the being, perfections, or truth of God. "Let no . . . secret skepticism lead any one to doubt whether this blessed prospect will be realized."
    • Skepticism An undecided, inquiring state of mind; doubt; uncertainty. "That momentary amazement, and irresolution, and confusion, which is the result of skepticism ."
    • Skepticism (Metaph) The doctrine that no fact or principle can be certainly known; the tenet that all knowledge is uncertain; Pyrrohonism; universal doubt; the position that no fact or truth, however worthy of confidence, can be established on philosophical grounds; critical investigation or inquiry, as opposed to the positive assumption or assertion of certain principles.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n skepticism The entertaining of mistrust, doubt, or disbelief; especially, the reasoning of one who doubts the possibility of knowledge of reality; the systematic doubt which characterizes a philosophical skeptic; specifically, doubt or disbelief of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion.
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Quotations

  • Morris Bender
    Morris Bender
    “A skeptic is a person who, when he sees the handwriting on the wall, claims it is a forgery.”
  • Edwin Hubbel Chapin
    Edwin%20Hubbel%20Chapin
    “Skepticism has never founded empires, established principles, or changed the world's heart. The great doers in history have always been people of faith.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Ralph%20Waldo%20Emerson
    “Skepticism is unbelief in cause and effect.”
  • Robert Frost
    Robert%20Frost
    “Skepticism, is that anything more than we used to mean when we said, Well, what have we here?”
  • George Jean Nathan
    George%20Jean%20Nathan
    “The path of sound credence is through the thick forest of skepticism.”
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    Friedrich%20Nietzsche
    “Great intellects are skeptical.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. scepticisme,

Usage

In literature:

For the most part, such skeptics lacked.
"The Covered Wagon" by Emerson Hough
They are daily more skeptical of promises.
"The White Morning" by Gertrude Atherton
The accents of her candor rebuked his skepticism.
"The Fortieth Door" by Mary Hastings Bradley
Philip looked a bit skeptical when I said it moves.
"The Library of Work and Play: Gardening and Farming." by Ellen Eddy Shaw
In fact, I have always been skeptical of them, and they rather bore me.
"Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 2 (of 6)" by Havelock Ellis
One can hardly blame him if he sometimes grow skeptic or acid about the profession of letters.
"Shandygaff" by Christopher Morley
For the educated minority, especially, the inevitable reaction is to complete skepticism, to apparent irreligion.
"Evolution Of The Japanese, Social And Psychic" by Sidney L. Gulick
She entangled herself in the acute skepticism of Bayle.
"Brave Men and Women" by O.E. Fuller
To convince a skeptic she displayed her leg to show how well it had succeeded in taking on flesh.
"The Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life, 1875-1912" by Lillie DeHegermann-Lindencrone
Oftentimes the public is skeptical and many honest and thorough experts are scandalized.
"Disputed Handwriting" by Jerome B. Lavay
He had rather stand charged with the imbecility of skepticism than with untruth.
"An English Grammar" by W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell
But neither am I a skeptic.
"The Necromancers" by Robert Hugh Benson
Chip was openly skeptical regarding Bert's offer to run.
"Bert Wilson in the Rockies" by J. W. Duffield
To be a skeptic, is to lack the motives necessary to establish a judgment.
"Superstition In All Ages (1732)" by Jean Meslier
Dick was quick to seize the olive branch, though rather skeptical with regard to what it could really mean.
"Dick the Bank Boy" by Frank V. Webster
King Skeptic hears it with a sneer, and digs up history to show that things of that sort never chanced, and never could, and never will.
"Rippling Rhymes" by Walt Mason
Such a skeptical after-attitude can seriously interfere with the success of the treatment.
"Psychotherapy" by Hugo Münsterberg
Later, I read with astonishment that Montaigne was an unbeliever, a skeptic, almost a cynic.
"Confessions of a Book-Lover" by Maurice Francis Egan
Educated reflection and skepticism can disturb this spontaneous relation.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner
A skeptic once said that the whole Bible turns upon Jesus.
"The Bible and Life" by Edwin Holt Hughes
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In poetry:

"And thou, in these wild, troubled days,
Misjudged alike in blame and praise,
Unsought and undeserved the same
The skeptic's praise, the bigot's blame;—
"The Chapel of the Hermits" by John Greenleaf Whittier
I smiled with skeptic mocking where they told me you were dead,
You of the airy laughter and lightly twinkling feet;
"They tell a dream that haunted a chill gray dawn," I said,
"Death could not touch or claim a thing so vivid and so sweet!"
"Realization" by Lucy Maud Montgomery

In news:

We were a little skeptical from the start.
Being a skeptic of California American Water's proposed desalination plant isn't a bad way to make a living.
Nothing has happened since to prove the skeptics wrong.
So when Nike asked me to review its new FuelBand, I was a little skeptical and a little nervous.
The falling unemployment numbers released on Friday has skeptics aflutter on Twitter.
Climate change skeptics cannot deny science.
But I'm skeptical about no-reservations places with.
Investors aren't the only ones skeptical that Facebook can capitalize on mobile users.
The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, a gathering in Times Square of skeptics on global warming.
Tonight, there will be a Skeptics of Tucson meeting and we'll be discussing the end of the world.
The studies remain controversial, with some scientists skeptical about the links that can be drawn.
This Montgomery County curfew skeptic says it's not too late to be a good parent.
When I first heard about Paducah Improv , I was skeptical.
For Iran, WikiLeaks cables validate its skepticism of Obama's sincerity .
How To Read a Medical Study ( Skeptically ).
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In science:

The directly skeptical approach seeks to obtain a notion of skeptically accepted path and conclusion, but without detouring through extensions.
Remarks on Inheritance Systems
One might be skeptical about the generation of the curvature perturbation at the end, if it is realized just by adding free scalar fields to the model.
Free light fields can change the predictions of hybrid inflation
While this is an important check of rooted simulations, it will not convince a skeptic, since one does not obtain a physical understanding of the observed behavior.
Rooted staggered fermions: good, bad or ugly?
Initially, there did not seem to be a need to bring in the Segal categories from this point of view, but further investigation led to skepticism that his functor had the necessary adjoint to give a Quillen equivalence.
A survey of (\infty, 1)-categories
The method used by Parisi to solve the SK model is far from mathematical rigor, to say the less, and it took time to convince the skeptics that it does give the correct result.
Some aspects of infinite range models of spin glasses: theory and numerical simulations
Despite scientific skepticism, these theories met every experimental and logical test their critics could devise.
The emergence of the physical world from information processing
In the last year, as observed by Geim , the initial skepticism with respect to graphene applications was gradually evaporating and graphene has rapidly changed its status from newcomer to star.
Graphene tests of Klein phenomena
While the interpretation of molecular emission in these conditions warrants skepticism (§2.4, Garc´ıa-Burillo et al. 2012), the highest inferred surface density also corresponds to the densest parts of cluster forming clumps and the theoretical threshold of 1 gm cm−2 for efficient formation of massive stars (§4.3).
Star Formation in the Milky Way and Nearby Galaxies
We have attempted to inject a dose of skepticism about some well-accepted truisms and to highlight important questions where even the observations do not present a completely consistent picture.
Star Formation in the Milky Way and Nearby Galaxies
So, by the end of this long review, I do remain skeptical about the innovation (for frequentist theory) brought by adopting the perspective of confidence distributions.
Comments on "Confidence distribution, the frequentist distribution estimator of a parameter --- a review" by Min-ge Xie and Kesar Singh
In practice, we are skeptical that our knowledge of population genetic history will be sufficiently accurate to make this feasible, but simulations may be useful in guiding the setting of approximate significance levels.
Robust identification of local adaptation from allele frequencies
In astrophysics however these ideas have been considered with skepticism and sometimes even with opposition.
FACTS AND IDEAS IN MODERN COSMOLOGY
Skeptics often ask why one is so interested in supersymmetry, and ask at one point one will give up on it. I hope these lectures have made clear that supersymmetry is of interest from many points of view: the hierarchy problem, dark matter, string theory, and more.
Supersymmetry Phenomenology With a Broad Brush
On the other hand, as compelling as this set of ideas may sometimes seem, we should all be skeptics.
Supersymmetry Phenomenology With a Broad Brush
Many approaches deserve to be tried, and skepticism about any and all of them must be kept in the forefront.
CP and B Physics: Progress and Prospects
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