Catholic Dictionary




The theory that the real truth of things cannot be known with certainty. Two kinds of skepticism are professed. One type casts doubt on the capacity of the human mind to attain to reality. Another type calls into question the existence of thereal world outside the mind. The first type has been more prevalent in the Western world, notably since the writings of David Hume (1711-76) and Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). The second type is familiar in the Orient, among Hindu and Buddhist philosophers in the Vedanta tradition. (Etym. Greek skeptikos, thoughtful, inquiring, skeptesthai, consider, examine carefully.)