I recently had a discussion on Twitter around the way in which skepticism can be applied to the world. The conversation was kicked off by a tweet of mine in which I linked to some blog posts about feminism, following on from this a very good blogger of Three Men make a Tiger fame posited that discussions about sexism, feminism or gender don’t necessarily belong within skeptical discourse.
I fundamentally disagree with this. What followed was a bit of back and forth about the definition(s) of skepticism, the reach of it and how it can be applied. Now we both come from two distinctly different areas of research, unlike David I am an Arts graduate. Having spent the past few years studying museums (and by extension society) I would argue that the ideals of skepticism can and should be applied to all aspects of human endeavour. If you ascribe to a purely sciencitific mode of skepticism this may not either of interest or seem relevant.
It turns out I am not alone in having an interest in promoting the role of the Arts and Humanities in promoting critical or rational thinking . The good people at the Skeptical Humanities are on the case and if you listen to the Token Skeptic you would have heard them being recently interviewed (they do a much better job of “unpacking” this idea that I ever could). Just as I think museology can be examined through the prism of skepticism I look forward to seeing how this more formalised field will develop.