ETYM Cf. French scepticisme.
Ancient philosophical view that absolute knowledge of things is ultimately unobtainable, hence the only proper attitude is to suspend judgment. Its origins lay in the teachings of the Greek philosopher Pyrrho, who maintained that peace of mind lay in renouncing all claims to knowledge.
It was taken up in a less extreme form by the Greek Academy in the 3rd and 2nd centuries bc. Academic skeptics claimed that although truth is finally unknowable, a balance of probabilities can be used for coming to decisions. The most radical form of skepticism is known as solipsism, which maintains that the self is the only thing that can be known to exist.
1. An undecided, inquiring state of mind; doubt; uncertainty.
2. The doctrine that no fact or principle can be certainly known; the tenet that all knowledge is uncertain.
3. A doubting of the truth of revelation, or a denial of the divine origin of the Christian religion.