"The skeptic does not mean him who doubts,
but him who investigates or researches,
as opposed to him who asserts and thinks he has found."
Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo
(1864-1936) Spanish Basque essayist, novelist, poet, playwright, philosopher, professor
Essays and Soliloquies, 1924
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- jim k, austin      
    I think I doubt it. :)
     -- scoot4par, ruston     
  • 1
    Not to be confused with a contrarian who merely diagrees in order to be different or simply to push people's buttons.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Actually, no. Philosophy needs two "voices" to be philosophy: (1) the creative thought that tries to expand the limits of understanding to understand the universe and man's place in it, and (2) the rational mind that is capable of defining the limits placed on the first voice's attempts. Skepticism, however, is not healthy and is the death of philosophy. Skepticism also has two voices: (1) the automatic assumption that truth has been been found in perfect understanding and that everything that's worth trying has been tried; there is no looking back on history to see it for what it was (in learning how to plot the future, but the skeptic automatically assumes that he has the truth as a matter of progressive thought (regardless of any fact or event that proves otherwise). (2) Lastly, the voice of creating a following base. It doesn't matter what the truth is, so long as there are enough people to believe that something is true -- then it is absolute truth by consensus; furthermore, in his quest to create a following, the skeptic will either re-write history or tell his followers that it is unimportant to re-examine history -- the "truth", he tells them, is already found and needs no longer be questioned. As such, skepticism is the death of philosophy.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
    "He asserts and thinks he has found" sounds like Mike and Archer to me. And how about those guys who assert and think they have found that "America is a republic not a democracy".
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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