Skeptics employ the terms "doubt attitude" or "disinclination to disbelief" in general or in relation to a specific issue; the notion that genuine knowledge or any particular information is dubious; skeptics' practice of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or critique (Merriam-Webster).
Specific features of skepticism include: use of critical analysis and logic to test claims, assertions, and arguments; seeking out more evidence for or against a claim; changing one's mind if new evidence emerges or changes one's mind about the best explanation.
In philosophy, skepticism is the view that no knowledge can be had unless it is gained through perception or through some other means that is direct and unmediated by reason or belief. Thus, skepticism challenges the very basis of our knowledge, including but not limited to scientific knowledge. While many thinkers have been skeptical about certain aspects of knowledge, only Hume went so far as to deny all knowledge altogether. Modern skeptics typically focus on certain types of knowledge when they argue that we cannot have sure knowledge even of simple facts like that 2+2=4. They may also argue that we cannot have sure knowledge of the physical world or of human beings themselves. In order to be skeptical, a thinker must already believe that some type of knowledge is possible. Thus, skepticism is a form of anti-scepticism.
Skepticism has been influential in various disciplines.
Skepticism, usually written scepticism, is the attitude of disputing knowledge claims made in numerous fields in Western philosophy. Skeptics have questioned the sufficiency or dependability of these statements, questioning what principles they are founded on and what they truly establish. They have also asked how we know something is true or false, why things happen as they do, and so forth.
In philosophy, skepticism is the major critical approach that questions whether anything can be known with certainty. It involves examining evidence for and against the truth of some claim or assertion and always allowing for the possibility that it might be false. Skeptics therefore never simply accept what others say but always ask themselves whether there could be any other explanation for events. This means that skeptics cannot simply rely on others to tell them what to think or do not think; instead, they must examine evidence for themselves.
Some skeptics question whether all beliefs need be justified by evidence, but this is not typical of modern skeptical thinking. Most skeptics believe that some beliefs are just too important to risk believing a lie, such as when one believes that someone is innocent until proven guilty. For example, if I believe that Hitler did not kill himself, that would be an unjustified belief without skepticism. If I am skeptical about this claim, then I will look for evidence that it might be false before I admit that I believe it.
Skepticism (American and Canadian English) or scepticism (British, Irish, Australian, and New Zealand English) is a critical attitude or skepticism regarding one or more alleged examples of knowledge that are said to be simply belief or dogma. Skeptics examine accepted beliefs with an aim to demonstrate their lack of certainty or truthfulness.
Skepticism can also be defined as the activity of doubting; the state of being skeptical: "a critical spirit that questions everything"; or the ability to think critically. All these definitions share a common-sense understanding of skepticism as an approach to life, which some skeptics advocate. However, other skeptics believe that skepticism has a history of being used in an anti-scientific sense by those who want to deny established facts that do not fit their worldview.
In philosophy, skepticism refers to an overall attitude of questioning whether anything known by man can be truly believed without further evidence. This attitude is often described as "the skeptic's dilemma": if we assume that something known to be true cannot be doubted, then we are ending our inquiry before we have even begun it; but if we suspend judgment on such matters, then we have no way of establishing what reality is like and so cannot form any opinion at all.
In science, skepticism is the method used by scientists to determine whether a new theory or idea can be confirmed or rejected through observation and experimentation.
Skepticism in philosophy can refer to: a mode of inquiry that emphasizes critical scrutiny, caution, and intellectual rigor; a method of obtaining knowledge through systematic doubt and continuous testing; and a set of claims about the limitations of human knowledge and the proper response to such limitations.
In science, skepticism often refers to any attitude that questions whether something is true on the basis of lack of evidence for it. This may or may not include a willingness to abandon a belief if new evidence comes along. Science-based medicine is an example of a tradition that has adopted this approach toward traditional practices it disagrees with. In philosophy, skepticism often refers to a method of investigation that seeks to undermine beliefs by showing how easily they could be mistaken for truth and how readily they could be accepted as such.
The word "skeptic" was originally used to describe someone who doubts (has skepticism towards) the existence of God. The term now generally implies a person who uses reason and logic to challenge beliefs, especially religious beliefs. However, it is possible to be a skeptic without being critical of religion. Some scientists are skeptics about certain theories or methods they believe to be incorrect while still being religious people. They might simply have faith that reality is compatible with their theories or methods rather than believing that their theories or methods reveal reality itself.
People can be skeptical about other things too.