Doubt (dubito, to go two ways). "Man knows some things and is ignorant of many things, while he is in doubt as to other things. Doubt is that state of mind in which we hesitate as to two contradictory conclusions, having no preponderance of evidence in favor of either. Philosophical doubt has been distinguished as provisional or definitive. Definitive doubt is skepticism. Provisional or methodical doubt is a voluntary suspending of our judgment for a time, in order to come to a more clear and sure conclusion. This was first given as a rule in philosophical method by Des Cartes, who tells us that he began by doubting everything, discharging his mind of all preconceived ideas, and admitting none as clear and true till he had subjected them to a rigorous examination. Doubt is some degree of belief, along with the consciousness of ignorance, in regard to a proposition. Absolute disbelief implies knowledge: it is the knowledge that such or such a thing is not true. If the mind admits a proposition without any desire for knowledge concerning it, this is credulity; if it is open to receive the proposition, but feels ignorance concerning it, this is doubt. As knowledge increases, doubt diminishes, and belief or disbelief strengthens (Taylor, Elements of Thought)." — Fleming, Vocabulary of Philosophy, Phila. 1860. SEE DES CARTES; SEE SCEPTICISM.

Bible concordance for DOUBTING.

Definition of doubt

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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