Four Categories of Skepticism

According to American sociologist Marcello Truzzi, as reported by Hilary Mantel on The London Review of Books:

First there are ‘proponents’, […] single-track obsessives […].

Anomalists’ […] seek to enhance scientific knowledge. Confronted with puzzling phenomena, they are willing to take an interdisciplinary approach, and realise that what is under investigation may not fit existing paradigms. They apply Occam’s razor, and try to test claims using existing methodology. They put the burden of proof on the claimant.

A third category, ‘mystery-mongers’, are ‘fundamentally unscientific’. They don’t really want explanations. What they are sceptical about is the scientific consensus. […]

Then there is another category, the large and familiar category of ‘scoffers’. Scoffers begin by assuming that anomalous phenomena are invalid. They are mentally rigid and doctrinaire, and insist that science – that wilting flower – is under threat from those who are not as good as they are at critical thinking […]

The crudity of public discourse means that the mystery-mongers and the scoffers get all the attention. The anomalists have history on their side