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date: 27 October 2021

p. 182. Who were the first agnostics?locked

p. 182. Who were the first agnostics?locked

  • Robin Le Poidevin


‘Who were the first agnostics?’ asks: who originated the idea of agnosticism, and who were the first to call themselves ‘agnostics’? The Metaphysical Society was founded in 1868 by James Knowles as a theological society for discussing religious issues with the impartiality and open-mindedness of scientific discussions. One of its early members, Thomas Henry Huxley, coined the term agnosticism to contrast his own uncertainty with the claims of the gnostics to privileged knowledge. The opposition to, and defence of, agnosticism is examined, as is the nature of scepticism, and the influence of Kant and Hume is explained.

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