Press and Pop Culture

Skepticism is not “Rational and Empirical”

Being a skeptic just means being rational and empirical: thinking and seeing before believing.

Michael Shermer, What is Skepticism, Anyway?

While I’m sure plenty of skeptics do employ rational and empirical thinking, skeptics don’t have a monopoly on either. And many skeptics (humans in general) fail to employ either consistently. Therefore, it seems misleading to use “rational and empirical” as defining characteristics of skepticism (and didn’t the failure of the logical positivist program nearly a century ago teach us that seeing is not a theory/belief independent activity, so that can’t be defining of skepticism either).

Rebekah Higgit’s “Skeptics and Scepticism” seems a better place to learn what skepticism is.