Remittances Review

ISSN:2059-6588 | e-ISSN: 2059-6596

ISSN:2059-6588 | e-ISSN: 2059-6596

The Historical Turn of Skepticism in Modern Philosophy

Dr. Chadli Houari


        The nascent forms of skeptical philosophy emerged within the Sophist school between the fourth and fifth centuries BCE, championing a discourse rooted in individualism, which posits that knowledge originates from the self. They contested the existence of absolute knowledge and embraced doctrinal skepticism in their philosophical discourses. The vanguard of this movement adopted a decidedly antagonistic stance towards all forms of certain knowledge, an audacity that catalyzed intellectual engagement among philosophers. Socrates initiated his philosophic endeavors by challenging the Sophist assertions, while Aristotle devised a methodological framework to organize thought based on logical principles aimed at rectifying the skeptics' misconceptions regarding the validity of thought.

Skepticism has perennially permeated philosophical inquiry throughout its history. By the seventeenth century, philosophical paradigms employing methodological skepticism as a means to attain certainty began to surface. Knowledge, according to these paradigms, is not merely inherited through tradition or intellectual subservience but necessitates profound critique that delves into the core of issues for comprehension. Such understanding is attainable only through the application of methodological skepticism as the foundational approach to certain knowledge. This perspective continued to evolve, finding resonance in contemporary philosophical and scientific discourses, notably manifesting in the concept of relativity.