Scepticism: Hero and Villain


Sir Roy Y. Calne – Department of Medicine and Surgery, National University of Singapore, Cambridge, UK

Series: World Philosophy
BISAC: PHI000000

Scepticism was a central topic in the culture of ancient Greece, the source of Western civilization. Over some three thousand years scepticism remains an important tool with which to hone new ideas. With the advent of science and the opportunity for independent verification of concepts, scepticism has assumed a more central role in contemporary culture, requiring constant modification and updating. This volume has attempted to discuss scepticism in the context of both science and the humanities with 33 chapters covering a wide range of subjects without any attempt at being comprehensive. The authors come from different disciplines, though all have focused on the role of scepticism in their subjects. The editors have contributed short introductory and linking texts in an attempt to provide a smooth continuity between some chapters that are aimed at aiding the reader’s transition between sections.

Table of Contents

Preface pp. i-x

A. Preface to the Volume, Lord Rees pp. xi-xiv

B. Introduction to the Volume, Roy Calne pp.xv-xx

Science pp.1-2

1. Scepticism in Cosmology;
(Michael P. Hobson,Cavendish Laboratory,Cambridge,UK)pp. 3-22

2. Doubt and Commitment in Science and Beyond;
(John Polkinghorne, Queens College, Cambridge,UK)pp. 23-30

3. Scepticism and Radiation;
(Dillwyn Williams and Keith Baverstock, University of Cambridge and University of Eastern Finland)pp. 31-46

4. Scepticism and Mathematics
(Thomas William Körner, DPMMS, Cambridge University, UK) pp. 47-56

5. Scepticism in Medical Research
(Damian C. Crowther, Trinity Hall and Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Department of Genetics, Cambridge) pp. 57-66

6A. Introduction to Robert Asher Chapter 67-70

6. Evolutionary Biology and Scepticism: The Reception of Darwinism in 19th Century German Embryology
(Robert Asher, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge)pp.71-86

7. Scepticism in Medicine, Organ Transplantation, Gene and Stem Cell Therapy
(R.Y. Calne, University of Cambridge and National University of Singapore) pp. 87-98

8. Can Medical Ethics Survive When Medicine is Commercialized?
(K.O. Lee, National University of Singapore)pp. 99-110

9. Recovery from Brain Damage and Plasticity: Nihilism, Scepticism and Optimism (John Pickard) pp. 111-130

10. A Principled Climate Change Scepticism
(M.J. Kelly, University of Cambridge, UK) pp. 131-138

Humanities pp. 139-140

11. Ancient Scepticism and Its Challenges
(Lucia Prauscello, University of Cambridge, UK) pp. 141-158

12. Philosophical Scepticism: Neither Friend Nor Foe but Frenemy
(Fraser McBride, University of Cambridge, UK) pp. 159-170

13A. Introduction to Religious Belief
(Roy Calne, University of Cambridge, UK) pp. 171-174

13. Doubting Religious Fundamentalism – The Sociologist As Sceptic
(Graham Howes, University of Cambridge, UK) pp. 175-186

14. Belief and Cynicism in Religion
(Robert A. Hinde)pp. 187-196

15. Doubt in Religion and Theology
(Brian Hebblethwaite)pp. 197-204

16. Scepticism and History
(William O’Reilly, University of Cambridge, UK) pp. 205-214

17. Gotcha: The Poetics of Linguistic Scepticism
(Drew Milne, University of Cambridge, UK)pp. 215-228

18. Love, Sex, Prostitution and Hypocrisy
(R.Y. Calne, University of Cambridge, UK) pp. 229-236

19A. Introduction to Art
(Roy Calne)pp. 237-242

19. ‘Art Made for Strangers’: Re-Thinking Inuit Art
(Maria Tippett)pp. 243-252

20. ‘I Saw It With My Own Eyes’: Scepticism and Photography: A Marriage Made in Heaven
(Kiloran Howard)pp. 253-262

21. Scepticism and the Army
(Nigel Chancellor, University of Cambridge, UK) pp. 263-274

Economics, Law and Politics pp.275-276

22. Economic Scepticism
(Andrew Verity, BBC Financial Presenter and Correspondent,Manchester, UK)pp. 277-290

23. Is Money Good or Evil, Does It Really Exist at All?
(Marcus Johnson, Chief Executive of NW Brown Group and Regional President of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments,
Cambridge, UK) pp. 291-296

24A. Introduction for Education chapter
(Roy Calne)pp. 297-298

24. How Do We Teach Scepticism?
(Daisy Christodoulou, University of London, UK) pp. 299-314

25. Sport
(Stephen Chittenden, Reporter for BBC News, London, UK) pp. 315-326

26A. Introduction to the Law
(William O’Reilly)pp. 327-328

26. Between Blind Justice and Skeptical Justice: Lynching in Brazil
(Jose de Souza Martins, University of Cambridge, UK) pp. 329-342

27. Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders
(David A. Thomas, Trinity Hall, Cambridge, UK)pp. 343-356

28. The Prison and the Performance Revolution: ‘Virtual’ or Virtuous Improvement
(Alison Liebling, University of Cambridge, UK) pp. 357-372

29. The Reasonableness of Doubt: Scepticism and the Law
(Ian Winter, Cloth Fair Chambers, London, UK) pp. 373-382

30. ‘An Impossible Sense of Expectation’: Lies and Disappointment in British Politics
(Ross Hawkins, BBC Westminster, London, UK) pp. 383-394

31. The Revival of Arab Scepticism: From Private to Public
(Farah Dakhlallah and Adam Coutts, University of Cambridge, UK)pp. 395-406

32. Israeli Dual Scepticism
(Yonatan Mendel and Ronald Ranta) pp. 407-418

33. Corruption: Evil or Necessity Or How I Learnt to Love Human Nature
(Paul Ffolkes Davis, University of Cambridge, UK) pp. 419-430

C. Postscript pp. 431-432

List of images

Index pp. 433-451

“In a new collection of essays collected by Sir Roy Calne and William O’Reilly, inquirers from a multitude of backgrounds set out again on this search for truth, coming up with some fascinating insights on the history of scepticism on the way.”  href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>READ MORE…Isabel Asquith

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