Greeks and Romans Lacked the Virtue of Doubt

The Greek and Roman antiquarians, and even their literati and philosophers, are chargeable with a total neglect of that spirit of doubt which subjects to a rigorous investigation both sacts, and the proofs that establish them. In reading their accounts of the history of events or of manners, of the productions and phenomena of nature, or of the works and processes of the arts, we are astonished at the composure with which they relate the most palpable absurdities, and the most fulsome and disgusting prodigies. A hearsay or rumour which they found tacked to any event, was sufficient, they conceived, to screen them from the censure of childish credulity. This indifference, which spoiled their study of history, and was an obstruction to their advancement in the knowledge of nature, is to be ascribed to the misfortune of the art of printing not being known. The certainty of our having collected, respecting any fact, all the authorities for and against it, a facility in comparing the different testimonies, the opportunity of throwing light upon the subject by the discussions to which that difference may give rise, are means of ascertaining truth which can only exist when it is possible to procure a great number of books, when copies of them may be indefinitely multiplied, and when no fear is entertained of giving them too extensive a circulation.


...and as a result, their writing reveals an incredible gullibility.

Folksonomies: history doubt

/law, govt and politics (0.528422)
/religion and spirituality (0.509808)
/art and entertainment/books and literature (0.403628)

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Epistemology (0.950959): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Roman Empire (0.716861): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Greek language (0.676682): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Truth (0.670449): dbpedia | freebase
Knowledge (0.610972): dbpedia | freebase
Arts (0.601580): dbpedia
Greeks (0.591395): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Difference (0.579914): dbpedia

 Outlines of an Historical View of the Progress of the Human Mind
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Condorcet, Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat (1795), Outlines of an Historical View of the Progress of the Human Mind, Retrieved on 2012-08-06
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: philosophy