|Word (and Verse) of the Month:
Question everything. Every stripe, every star,
every word spoken. Everything.
Ernest J. Gaines (b. 1933), “The Sky is Gray”
(African-American author, e.g. A Lesson Before Dying)
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zetetic, adj. or n. (zǝ tet’ ik)
Arrived at or proceeding by inquiry or investigation.
noun A seeker or skeptic.
The word comes from the Greek followers of the skeptic
Pyrrho (c 360–c 270 BC). Pyrrhonians (or Pyrrhonism)
can be subdivided into those who are ephectic (a
"suspension of judgment"), zetetic ("engaged in seeking"),
or aporetic ("engaged in refutation").
Usually, in investigating the word itself, the “zetetic” word-
aholic will inevitably find references to Samuel Birley
Rowbotham, a radical 19th-century British socialist who
wrote under the pseudonym Parallax, and to his "modern
public revival of the flat-earth idea", which he called
. . . my current favorite word, “zetetic”, meaning
skeptical of all established canons of skepticism or bias for
or against likelihood, even one’s own, . . .
From a book review, Denver Examiner, April 1, 2012.
The ascetic zetetic will turn off the phone,
unplug the TV, and will ponder alone.
No enigma’s too puzzling or tough.
His more sociable colleagues, their minds in a huddle,
while they skeptically probe some perplexing muddle,
sort the logical grist from the fluff.
They will question their theories and pose hypothetic-
al theorems and concepts, their methods zetetic,
thinking through to the bottom of stuff.
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