Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Scepticism and LiteratureAn Essay on Pope, Hume, Sterne, and Johnson$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Fred Parker

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253180

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253180.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 October 2018

Rational Ignorance and Sceptical Thinking

Rational Ignorance and Sceptical Thinking

(p.1) I Rational Ignorance and Sceptical Thinking
Scepticism and Literature


Oxford University Press

By ‘sceptical thinking’ in the 18th-century is meant a radical scepticism, such as appears to undermine the rational grounds of belief and action, but which nevertheless generates a surprising confidence of assertion, often described in terms of ‘following nature’. Newly alert to questions of epistemology, language use, and the pressures on religious belief, its intellectual sources include Locke, Bayle, and especially Montaigne, who is an influential model as well as a source. It finds the essay form particularly congenial, and depends upon a certain play of irony that flourishes in a space at once imaginative and social. The boundaries of that space can be thought of as marked by separate salient tendencies in the writing of Burke, Rousseau, and Swift.

Keywords:   scepticism, nature, essay, Locke, Bayle, Montaigne, irony

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .