When you read “The Complete Cynic’s Guide to Investing”, you can appreciate the candor and the facetiousness of the article; however, the points addressed in the article are very well articulated and are valid points. I’m not sure if anyone is a complete cynic. We are more likely to be wired and conditioned to be skeptical rather than cynical and something to be cognizant of before reading Rob Carrick’s article below. For ease of reference, the definitions of Skepticism and Cynicism are provided below:
Skepticism attempts to show that knowledge is either impossible (Academic Skepticism) or that there is never sufficient data to tell if knowledge is possible (Pyrrhonian Skepticism). Academic Skepticism rejects certainty but accepts degrees of probability. The philosophical skeptic is defined by three words: “I don’t know.” For a deeper understanding of skepticism in business, read my book review of “The Art of War ”.
Cynicism,on the other hand, is someone who doesn’t believe thatgoodnessis possible. Cynicism is a moral concept which has nothing to do with knowledge. A cynic has contempt for human merit and human pleasure.
The cynic rejects goodness. The skeptic rejects knowledge. That is the difference between the two.