Philosophical skepticism is a systematic approach that questions the notion that absolutely certain knowledge is possible. Classical philosophical skepticism derives from the 'Skeptikoi', a school who "asserted nothing". Adherents of Pyrrhonism (and more recently, partially synonymous with Fallibilism), for instance, suspend judgment in investigations. Skeptics may even doubt the reliability of their own senses. Religious skepticism, on the other hand, is "doubt concerning basic religious principles (such as immortality, providence, and revelation)". Scientific skepticism is about testing beliefs for reliability, by subjecting them to systematic investigation using the scientific method, to discover empirical evidence for them.
In ordinary usage, skepticism (US) or scepticism (
- an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object;
- the doctrine that true knowledge or some particular knowledge is uncertain; or
- the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism that is characteristic of skeptics (Merriam–Webster).
- an inquiry,
- a method of obtaining knowledge through systematic doubt and continual testing,
- the arbitrariness, relativity, or subjectivity of moral values,
- the limitations of knowledge,
- a method of intellectual caution and suspended judgment.