Leslie Stephen gave this popular agnosticism its finest literary expression.
"1 5 An interesting manifesto of agnosticism, with a religious conclusion, is A.
Jones, almost as merciless as MacTaggart, calls this procedure by the hard names of agnosticism and dualism.
Jones with partial agnosticism.
Flint, Theism, Antitheistic Theories, Agnosticism - all with valuable notes and references, and J.
But at least we may say that agnosticism is much less clear in Browning than in Tennyson.
He quotes pages from Mansel's Bampton Lectures in favour of his own type of agnosticism, which is to make peace between religion and science by permanently silencing the former.
The element of agnosticism tends rather towards pantheism, just as Indian pantheism long ago tended towards agnosticism.
Popular scepticism - perhaps even Charles Darwin's; Huxley himself was a student of Hume - understands by agnosticism that science is certain while philosophy and theology are baseless.
The extremest form of antagonism is pure scepticism or pure agnosticism, the assertion that nothing can be known.
When the existence of God is denied (atheism), or His nature is declared unknowable (agnosticism), or He is identified with nature itself (pantheism), or He is so distinguished from the world that His free action is excluded from the course of nature (deism), miracle is necessarily denied.
2-4) and Ecclus., are not interested in the question and ignore it; Agur's agnosticism (Prov.
Still, his agnosticism meant that, though he did not assert that there is no God, he did assert that we cannot know whether there is or is not.
James Ward, in Naturalism and Agnosticism (1899), starts from the same phenomenalistic views of Mach and Kirchhoff about mechanics; he proceeds to the hypothesis of duality within experience, which we have traced in James Ward.
MacCosh published a short pamphlet (1884) containing interesting but perhaps not conclusive arguments on the Agnosticism of Hume and Huxley.
Agur's dictum is one of pious agnosticism directed, apparently, against certain theologians who talked as if they were well acquainted with the ways of God.
Agnosticism really rests on the doctrine of the Unknowable, the assertion that concerning certain objects - among them the Deity - we never can have any "scientific" ground for belief.
Huxley's agnosticism was a natural consequence of the intellectual and philosophical conditions of the 'sixties, when clerical intolerance was trying to excommunicate scientific discovery because it appeared to clash with the book of Genesis.
Or it may be the result of economic agnosticism, combined with unwillingness to cut adrift from old moorings.
See also Agnosticism, Rationalism.
Alongside of this there are other elements in Spencer's composite system of " Naturalism and Agnosticism " (J.
[The name agnosticism (q.v.) is T.
Flint, Agnosticism (1903); T.
Ritschl's theory of "value-judgments" (Werthurtheile) illustrates this form of agnosticism.
Kant had fewer isolated points of departure than intuitionalists; yet gaps and isolation recurred in Kant, and helped to make him the father of modern agnosticism.
Lotze; more drastic in Ward's Naturalism and Agnosticism).
There was a new scepticism - at the very least a doctrine of limitation in human knowledge; but in its extremer forms an absolute agnosticism.
The theory found a melodious echo in Tennyson's In Memoriam, a great hymn of God, Freedom and Immortality on a basis of speculative agnosticism.
Flint has dealt with the following antitheistic theories: atheism, materialism, positivism, secularism, pessimism, pantheism and (in a separate volume) agnosticism.
James Ward's masterly criticism of Herbert Spencer (Naturalism and Agnosticism) has been mentioned above.
Spencer, who claims him as justifying antiChristian agnosticism.
The same general line of thought underlies James Ward's Naturalism and Agnosticism (2nd ed., 1903), and A.
But, in spite of these materialistic tendencies, he followed Hume in reducing matter and everything knowable to phenomena of consciousness; and, supposing that nothing is knowable beyond phenomena, concluded that we can neither affirm nor deny that anything exists beyond, but ought to take up an attitude which the ancient sceptics called Aphasia, but he dubbed by the new name of Agnosticism.
Nor can we find any difference, except the minute shade that Pearson takes up a position of agnosticism between Clifford's assertion of " mind-stuff " and Mach's denial of things in themselves.
This is his way of destroying Naturalism and Agnosticism.
1888) he applied to Christian theology the metaphysical agnosticism which seemed to result from Kant's criticism, and which had been developed in Hamilton's Philosophy of the Unconditioned.
Then again, as the movement, taking its rise in the philosophical agnosticism which grew out of the early physical systems, was itself persistently sceptical, sophistry may be regarded as an interlude in the history of philosophy.
Ward, Naturalism and Agnosticism (1899).
Hutton himself frequently misrepresented the doctrine by describing it as "belief in an unknown and unknowable God"; but agnosticism as defined by Huxley meant not belief, but absence of belief, as much distinct from belief on the one hand as from disbelief on the other; it was the half-way house between the two, where all questions were "open."
Occasionally he too mis-stated the meaning of the word he had invented, and described agnosticism as meaning "that a man shall not say he knows or believes what he has no scientific ground for professing to know or believe."
Of this necessity there is a growing consciousness in recent years, and no more notable exposition of it has been published than is contained in James Ward's Naturalism and Agnosticism.
Agnosticism, Phenomenalism, Rationalism, Materialism all manifest the positivist spirit, denying what may be succinctly described as the metempirical.
This drastic scepticism is the first and the most thorough exposition of agnosticism in the history of thought.
For myself, I think utter agnosticism is the most rational of starts.
This suggests that there should be a certain agnosticism or humility in our thinking about ante-natal life.
There is at the very heart of Christianity what you can only call a deep and reverent agnosticism.
Nature's Chronicle was one of the many books in which Professor Ainslie Gray had enforced the negative doctrines of scientific agnosticism.
The theory of psychophysical parallelism has been subjected to a rigorous examination in James Ward's Naturalism and Agnosticism, part iii., in which the argument that mind cannot be derived from matter is convincingly presented.
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.
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.
It appears also that Darwin, having extended his theory of evolution as far as the rational and moral nature of man, in the Descent of Man, ended in his Autobiography by declaring his attitude to first and final causes to be that of an agnostic. Not that he was a materialist, and shortly before his death, in a conversation with Buchner, he maintained his agnosticism against his opponent's atheism.
Thoroughgoing rationalism, on the other hand, either categorically denies that the supernatural or the infinite - whether it exist or not - can be the object of human knowledge (see Agnosticism), or else, in the mouth of a single person, states that he at least has no such knowledge.
In his Guesses at the Riddle of Existence (1897), he abandons the faith in Christianity expressed in his lecture of 1861 on Historical Progress (where he forecast the speedy reunion of Christendom on the "basis of free conviction"), and writes in a spirit "not of Agnosticism, if Agnosticism imports despair of spiritual truth, but of free and hopeful inquiry, the way for which it is necessary to clear by removing the wreck of that upon which we can found our faith no more."
The eminent teachers of the time are said to have been Aristo, Zeno's heterodox pupil, and Arcesilas, who in Plato's name brought Megarian subtleties and Pyrrhonian agnosticism to bear upon the intruding doctrine; and after a vigorous upgrowth it seemed not unlikely to die out.
Very similar positions were maintained by Kant and Comte; and, under the name of "agnosticism" (q.v.), the theory has popularized itself in the outer courts of philosophy, and on the shifting borderland of philosophy and literature.
The attitude itself is as old as Scepticism; but the expressions "agnostic" and "agnosticism" were applied by Huxley to sum up his deductions from those contemporary developments of metaphysics with which the names of Hamilton ("the Unconditioned") and Herbert Spencer ("the Unknowable") were associated; and it is important, therefore, to fix precisely his own intellectual standpoint in the matter.
chap. 2; Ward, Naturalism and Agnosticism; Rashdall, The Theory of Good and Evil, vol.
Mansel there were sweeping changes in the direction of agnosticism - changes due partly or primarily to the influence of Kant.) Memory is included among First Principles.
Once again, empiricism may lead to some qualified and restricted form of agnosticism, religious or antireligious.
Ward in his Gifford lectures for 1896-1898 (Naturalism and Agnosticism, 1899), Huxley's challenge ("I know what I mean when I say I believe in the law of the inverse squares, and I will not rest my life and my hopes upon weaker convictions") is one which a spiritualistic philosophy need not shrink from accepting at the hands of naturalistic agnosticism.
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