Modern skepticism can trace its origins back as far as ancient Greece. Where today the term can refer to a doctrine or a method of critical inquiry or be regarded as synonymous with scientific investigation, its foundations lie in an epistemol-ogy that denies the possibility of absolute truth and is based instead on the fallibility of the senses and the necessity of reason to better understand why we see what we do. Its opposing philosophy is that of dogmatism, which maintains that some truths or conclusions are absolute and beyond criticism.

In the 5th century BCE, the philosopher Democritus wrote that two forms of knowledge exist, “one legitimate, one bastard.” The “bastard” knowledge was said to involve the five senses, but the other form of ...

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