3 Annotations

Pedro   Link to this

Agnosticism?

Would this have a place in the Diary?
Term invented by Huxley in around 1885?

TerryF   Link to this

See Skepticism, http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1725/
where JonTom Kittredge quotes a use of "sceptical" by SP concerning what Lord Sandwich says to mean what Huxley would later call "agnostic", i.e. refusing to claim to "know" specific claims, in that case, religious ones.

cgs   Link to this

OED entries

f. Gr. ..... unknowing, unknown, unknowable (f. not + {gamma}{nu}{omicron}- know) + -IC. Cf. GNOSTIC; in Gr. the termination -{iota}{kappa}{goacu}{fsigma} never coëxists with the privative {alenis}-.]

A. n. One who holds that the existence of anything beyond and behind material phenomena is unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable, and especially that a First Cause and an unseen world are subjects of which we know nothing.
[Suggested by Prof. Huxley at a party held previous to the formation of the now defunct Metaphysical Society, at Mr. James Knowles's house on Clapham Common, one evening in 1869, in my hearing. He took it from St. Paul's mention of the altar to ‘the Unknown God.’R. H. HUTTON in letter 13 Mar. 1881.]
1870

[f. AGNOSTIC + -ISM.]

The doctrine or tenets of Agnostics.
1870 Spect. 29 Jan. 135 The lecture was..perhaps not quite so full as it should have been of his Agnosticism. 187

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