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October 3, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

Criticisms of Epistemological Skepticism

I’ve been studying philosophy since I was 14 in high school due to my experience with debate. Here are 18 response one might have to hyper-skepticism:

1)Skepticism is a type of hyper-pefectionism that doesn’t work. (also undermine the value or need for absolute certainty for action). It creates stasis and paralysis. Its good to have goals–but dynamic ones–not rigid ones.

2) Historical verification. Skepticism is a cul de sac of truth and reason. Its intellectual suicide.

3) Practical implications of a world of radical skepticism

4) The biographies of skeptics are interesting test cases for the ideology

5) Some knowledge is better than no knowledge

6) Either/or creates a false perception. It fails to have the nuance to deal with reality. Creating a contiuum of credibility, truth, and reliability is better than out of hand rejection. This implicitly takes aim at the underlying assumptions of skepticism–and its overall framework/worldview.

7) The argument to act as if makes more sense.

8) Hope is better than skepticism

9) Faith is better than skepticism

10) Love is better than skepticism

11) Skepticism kills innovation and creativity. It creates static beings. We are made to grow and learn and seek truth. Not to just tear it down.

12) Skepticism destroys goals, life, and values. Its anti-thetical to anything a person could ever want, need, or desire. Its anti-thetical to virtue ethics and character.

13) Similar types of skepticism in other fields fail (Multi-disciplinary and/or Analogous cases

14) Its self-refuting. Its like cutting of your brain. You’d be dead if people in the past adopted this belief.

15) Science good. Science works. Science better than the alternatives.

16) Abductive knowledge good. Thats specifically about the future. (link to Wikipedia on abductive reasoning)

17) Alternative: to adopt skepticism as a thinking hat or thinking perspective (making reference to De Bonos Thinking Hats). In the same way that Heideggers reflection can’t be a 24/7 activity….neither can skepticism. We need other thinking perspectives to help illuminate reality. This might be a sort of positive post-modernism.

18) Skepticism doesn’t have the tools do everything modernity good–which is historically and experientially proven.

I think the perfectionism & either/or arguments have serious implications and could be developed further. The various virtue arguments (8 to 10), the cup-de sac argument (2 and elsewhere), and the argument for everything valuable about life and life itself (11) are I think quite compelling as well.

In addition you might check out this, which provides criticisms of post-modernism.

One Comment

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  1. Chrysoprase / Oct 4 2013 11:33 am

    18) Skepticism doesn’t have the tools do everything modernity good–which is historically and experientially proven.

    Skepticism proves that skepticism doesn’t work, got it.

    19) without skepticism (critical rationalism), I can build up a straw man by using a concept inconsistent with the way it is generally understood and post a bunch of objections that are entirely unrelated to the premise.

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