In class exercise: 30 words or less. Define the word "Skeptic." Just your working, go-to, this-is-how-I-use-this-word definition of "skeptic." 5 minutes.
Okay. Fingers away from keyboards. No one googled a definition? What'd you come up with?
I have "someone who is critical of a/some subject/subjects. A detective. A scientist."
Don't worry, my definition is wrong.
OED has four definitions. They're really long-winded but:
1. someone who, like pyrrho, doubts the possibility of real knowledge, and subsequent claims to such
2. A critic, either in a specific field or in general.
3. someone who doubts the possibility of knowledge in the supernatural, specifically Christian supernaturalism.
4.someone who has yet to reach a conclusion, but remains a seeker of, and believer in, truth.
Is it possible then, that skeptic means nothing? I mean, it seems like 4. is opposed to 1. Maybe it just means whatever we think it means.
And yet, Logic was made by 4's to prevent 1's from wasting away worrying about what would happen if they were found out for 3's. And yet, 4's depend on "skeptic" meaning 1. and not 2,3, or 4.
And that smells.