Against this work and the Ethics of Spinoza the orthodox Cartesians (who were in the majority), no less than sceptical hangers-on like Bayle, raised an all but universal howl of reprobation, scarcely broken for about a century.
From 1760 owing to the gradual spread of the sceptical spirit and the teaching of Voltaire more tolerant views prevailed.
Kant swept away, so far as his influence extended, such " dogmatic metaphysics " and the old-fashioned theism which it constituted or included; but Kant himself introduced, in his own more sceptical yet also more moral type of theistic doctrine, a new trichotomy - God, Freedom, Immortality, the three " postulates " of the practical reason."
The fixed given points of intuitionalism furnish Hamilton with one of his arguments in his unexpected development towards a sceptical or " faith philosophy."
The great critic of scepticism has diverged from idealism toward scepticism again, or has given his idealism a sceptical colour, mitigated - but only mitigated - by faith in the moral consciousness.
But, having said this, Kant went on to repeat the sceptical suggestion.
Formally, Cicero adhered to the Academic 3 philosophy during its " middle " or almost sceptical period.
Even in that book Hume is able to play with sceptical solutions.
Or is it simply a reiteration of his sceptical contrast between phenomena and noumena, and of his confinement of (valid) knowledge to the former?
The main line in pure philosophy runs on from Kant's wavering and sceptical idealism to the all-including gnosis of Hegel.'
The Thomist compromise - or even the more sceptical view of "two truths " - has the merit of giving filling of a kind to the formula " supernatural revelation " - mysteries inaccessible to reason, beyond discovery and beyond comprehension.
Mansel tried (1858) to play Pascal's game on Kantian principles, developing the sceptical side of 'Kant's many-faceted mind.
As a philosopher, Favorinus belonged to the sceptical school; his most important work in this connexion appears to have been Hvppwvetot rpoiroc (the Pyrrhonean Tropes) in ten books, in which he endeavours to show that the methods of Pyrrho were useful to those who intended to practise in the law courts.
The key to Reid's philosophy is to be found in his revulsion from the sceptical conclusions of Hume.
Though an alchemist, Boyle, in his Sceptical Chemist (1661), cast doubts on the " experiments whereby vulgar Spagyrists are wont to endeavour to evince their salt, sulphur and mercury to be the true principles of things," and advanced towards the conception of chemical elements as those constituents of matter which cannot be further decomposed.
Comments upon it, one or two of them sceptical, are in the same journal 1898, pp. 579, 588, 387, 868; 1899, p. 4 2 5; 1 9 01, p. 39 8; 1905, p. 6 79; 1906, pp. 1 49 sqq.
At this time, in association with the keen humanists Conrad Mutian, Crotus Rubeanus and Eoban Hess, he was of sceptical tendency; moving to Wittenberg in 1519, he became evangelical under the teaching of Melanchthon and the preaching of Luther.
In his Sceptical Chemist (1662) he freely criticized the prevailing scientific views and methods, with the object of showing that true knowledge could only be gained by the logical application of the principles of experiment and deduction.
Sceptical views are expressed in Job, Prov.
His destructive criticism thus tended to reintroduce the dualism between faith and reason which Scholasticism had laboured through centuries to overcome, though Scotus himself, of course, had no such sceptical intention.
While this sceptical thesis was embraced by philosophers who had lost their interest in religion, the spiritually minded sought their satisfaction more and more in a mysticism which frequently cast itself loose from ecclesiastical trammels.
At the risk no doubt of some defects of culture, the newer education cleared the way for a more positive temper, awoke a new sense of accuracy and of verification, and created a sceptical attitude towards all conventions, whether of argument or of practice.
AENESIDEMUS, Greek philosopher, was born at Cnossus in Crete and taught at Alexandria, probably during the first century B.C. He was the leader of what is sometimes known as the third sceptical school and revived to a great extent the doctrine of Pyrrho and Timon.
He bided his time, and the transformation of sceptical Florence into an austerely Christian republic claiming the Saviour as its head only increased his resolve to crush the man who had wrought this marvel.
On one occasion a curious set of incidents were described, which happened to be vividly present to the mind of a sceptical stranger who chanced to be in the room during the experiment; events unknown to the inquirer in this instance.
In philosophy the term is applied to that practical doctrine which gives assistance in ordinary matters to one who is sceptical in respect of the possibility of real knowledge: it supposes that though knowledge is impossible a man may rely on strong beliefs in practical affairs.
It was strenuously contended that the case could not well be otherwise, inasmuch as the art of writing must have been quite unknown in Greece until after the alleged age of the traditional Homer, whose date had been variously estimated at from 1000 to Boo B.C. by less sceptical generations.
With the lessons of recent Oriental archaeology in mind, few will be sceptical enough to doubt that some such contest as that described in the Iliad actually occurred.
This seems to have been interpreted by its author and by the Sophists in general in a subjective sense, with the result that it became the motto of a sceptical and individualistic movement in contemporary philosophy and ethics.
In confirmation of this view, it may be noted that the authority of Herodotus for the circumstances of the great Persian war, and for all local and other details which come under his immediate notice, is accepted by even the most sceptical of modern historians, and forms the basis of their narratives.
Captain George Vancouver (1758-1798), in charge of a British exploring expedition then engaged in mapping the coast (1792-1794), was sceptical of the existence of the river, but Captain Gray, undiscouraged, persisted in the search and on the 11th of May 1792 anchored in the river which he named Columbia in honour of his ship. The later claim of the United States to all the territory drained by the river was based chiefly upon this discovery by Captain Gray, who had succeeded where Spanish and British had failed.
In this connexion it is usual to distinguish three types of atheism: - the dogmatic, which denies the existence of God positively; the sceptical, which distrusts the capacity of the human mind to discover the existence of God; and the critical, which doubts the validity of the theistic argument, the proofs for the existence of God.
But dogmatic atheism is rare compared with the sceptical type, which is identical with agnosticism in so far as it denies the capacity of the mind of man to form any conception of God, but is different from it in so far as the agnostic merely holds his judgment in suspense, though, in practice, agnosticism is apt to result in an attitude towards religion which is hardly distinguishable from a passive and unaggressive atheism.
The general tenor of the essays is in complete contrast with this sceptical attitude, at least in its more decided form, and it is worth notice that the motto "Que scai je?"
Accordingly, we find that sceptical thought did not make its appearance till a succession of mutually inconsistent theories as to the nature of the real had suggested the possibility that they might all alike be false.
Though scepticism as a definite school may be said to date only from the time of Pyrrho (q.v.) of Elis, the main currents of Sophistic thought were sceptical in the wider sense of that term.
Still more unequivocal was the sceptical nihilism expressed by Gorgias: - (I) nothing exists; (2) if anything existed, it would be unknowable; (3) if anything existed and were knowable, the knowledge of it could not be communicated.
The prominence given by most of the Sophists to rhetoric, their cultivation of a subjective readiness as the essential equipment for life, their substitution of persuasion for conviction, all mark the sceptical undertone of their teaching.
But with these insignificant exceptions it holds true that, after the sceptical wave marked by the Sophists, scepticism does not reappear till after the exhaustion of the Socratic impulse in Aristotle.
It was not till - towards the close of the middle ages that a sense of conflict between reason and revelation became "truth' widely prevalent and took shape in the essentially sceptical theory of the twofold nature of truth.
In his " tesmoynages de nostre imbecillite " he follows in the main the lines of the ancients, and he sums up with a lucid statement of the two great arguments in which the sceptical thought of every age resumes itself - the impossibility of verifying our faculties, and the relativity of all impressions.
Of more or less isolated thinkers may be mentioned Francois de la Mothe le Vayer (1588-1672), whose Cinq Dialogues appeared after his death under the pseudonym of Orosius Tubero; Samuel Sorbiere (1615-1670), who translated the Hypotyposes Pyrrhoneae of Sextus Empiricus; Simon Foucher (1644-1696), canon of Dijon, who wrote a History of the Academics, and combated Descartes and Malebranche from a sceptical standpoint.
But it is essential to the sceptical position that reason be dethroned within experience as well as beyond it, and this is undoubtedly the result at which Hume finally arrives.
The system of Kant, or rather:that part of his system expounded in the Critique of Pure Reason, though expressly distinguished by its author from scepticism, has been included by sceptical many writers in their survey of sceptical theories.
Is obvious; and his limitation of reason to the sphere of experience suggests in itself the title of agnostic or positivist rather than that of sceptic. Yet, if we go a little deeper, there is substantial justification for the view which treats agnosticism of the Kantian type as essentially sceptical in its foundations and in its results.
If this dream or prejudice be exploded, then the scepticism originating in it - and a large proportion of recent sceptical thought does so originate - loses its raison d'etre.
2 It may be as well to add that the sceptical side of Kantianism is mainly confined to the Critique of Pure Reason, but this side of Kantian thought has been most widely influential.
His first book on the subject was The Sceptical Chemist, published in 1661, in which he criticized the "experiments whereby vulgar Spagyrists are wont to endeavour to evince their Salt, Sulphur and Mercury to be the true Principles of Things."
Works: - Neue Apologie des Socrates, &c. (2 vols., 1772-1778); Allgemeine Theorie des Denkens and Empfindens, &c. (Berlin, 1776), an essay which gained the prize assigned by the Royal Society of Berlin for that year; Von dem Begriff der Philosophie and ihren Theilen (Berlin, 1778) - a short essay, in which he announced the plan of his lectures on being appointed to the professorship at Halle; Lobschrift auf Herrn Johann Thunmann Prof. der Weltweisheit and Beredsamkeit auf der Universitcit zu Halle (Halle, 1779); Amyntor, eine Geschichte in Briefen (Berlin, 1782) - written with the view of counteracting the influence of those sceptical and Epicurean principles in religion and morals then so prevalent in France, and rapidly spreading amongst the higher ranks in Germany; Ober die Zeichen der Aufklarung einer Nation, &c. (Halle, 1783); Theorie der schonen Kiinste and Wissenschaften, &c. (Halle, 1783, 3rd ed.
Zola's Lourdes (Paris, 1894), a criticism from the sceptical point of view, in the form of a realistic novel, has called forth many replies from the Catholic side.