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Founders of the Modern Skeptical Movement: Paul Kurtz

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Paul Kurtz, died in October 2012, was a philosopher and one of the founders of the modern skeptical movement, who embodied the principle of skepticism as thoughtful inquiry. The term “skepticism” simply means “thoughtful”, which is far from modern misconceptions of the words, connotation as meaning “cynical” and “nihilism”. From the title, could I gather that Kurtz was trying to demonstrate skeptics to be mere critical thinkers who are determined to learn the truth? Does it depend on adequate evidence to form a consistent logical explanation before acquiring such knowledge? Contemporary scenarios are extracted from several well-known Psychology and Chemistry experiments and personally engaged experiments in the two subject within the IB curriculum; this will be linked with Reason and Perception within the Ways of Knowing, and Natural Sciences and Human Sciences within the Areas of Knowledge. Since both sciences and their experiments have extreme ethical concerns, validity and reliability; it has led philosophers and scientists to be skeptical of the knowledge acquired in these areas. By being skeptical, is it necessary to have consistency in logic or could there be a designated time and place for it? Skepticism occurs to be dangerous, for one can switch mind off to new ideas that challenge the conventional wisdom. There are many examples of ideas that were ridiculed when they first appeared but then were later proven true. For example, Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) suggested the theory of continental drift in 1912, which rejected by his contemporaries, but was resurrected in the 1960s as part of the theory of plate tectonics. So basically, for skeptics, an idea that doesn’t fit the theories in that time period, does not necessaril... ... middle of paper ... ...6923/. 20th November 2013. “Paul Kurtz” ISHV Mourns the Loss of Our Founder Paul Kurtz: 1925-2012. 2010. Paul Kurtz. http://paulkurtz.net. 7th November 2013. “Skeptic >> eSkeptic >> Wednesday, October 24th, 2012”. eSkeptic: the email newsletter of the Skeptics society. 2012. Skeptic. 24th October 2012. http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/12-10-24/. 3rd December 2013. Tugoy, Ivan. “Psychology and the problem of scientific knowledge.” Psychology and the problem of scientific knowledge. 2003. http://www.effecton.com. 4th Jan. 2014 van de Lagemaat, Richard. Theory Of Knowledge For The IB Diploma. Cambridge University Press. 2010. Print. “Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models.” N. d. http://schoolsites.leeschools.net/nfm/kassidyml/Documents/Transmission%20of%20aggression%20through%20imitation%20of%20aggressive%20models.pdf. 6th Jan 2014
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