It seems to me that this avoids the self contradictory "everything is uncertain, even uncertainty" while allowing agnostic positions, by allowing only uncertainty as the only thing certain, sort of the base case for everything.

Edit: Based on the first answer, the way I would formalize is: "Certain(x)" and "x = !Certain(y)" where "y = !x"

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    "Everything is uncertain except for this one claim" avoids the incoherence, but it is what is called special pleading, an unmotivated exception. One can make all sorts of self-consistent claims, e.g. "everything I say is true", the trick is to make them plausible. How one would do that when everything else is uncertain is very obscure. Skeptics typically avoid the incoherence by avoiding any claims, they express doubts about all of them, but claim nothing. – Conifold Aug 26 '19 at 4:25
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    If you admit ideal contents, you lose to analytic tautologies. That you cannot choose an element of an empty set remains certain. If you are talking about physics, you have a category problem, certainty or uncertainty is part of our thoughts about physical facts, and not part of the physical world, so the principle of uncertainty does not apply to it to begin with. Instead of a correction, this makes for a statement that is to some degree meaningless. – user9166 Aug 26 '19 at 6:27
  • @Conifold, I believe that as well. But I see the statement more of as an axiom, since there is no guarantee that what we think of as logical and physical laws actually hold in all possible worlds across time, even though we strongly believe in them. I feel comfort that if doesn't contradict itself while expressing that notion. – csp2018 Aug 26 '19 at 10:49
  • Logical laws govern only our language, not the world. But if you allow altering them, why care about contradictions? The law of non-contradiction need not be certain either. And calling a sentence "certain" makes it no more certain than writing "yellow" on a page makes it yellow. So why say it at all, let alone draw comfort from it? – Conifold Aug 26 '19 at 23:10
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    To doubt everything, or, to believe everything, are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection. Instead of a summary condemnation we should examine with the utmost care the role of hypothesis; we shall then recognize not only that it is necessary, but that in most cases is legitimate.” • Henri Poincaré: Science and Hypothesis, 1905 – user47436 Oct 19 '20 at 7:14

Actually it may not be a contradiction:

  1. We are only certain of progressive change. This change manifests itself as the progression of one self evident truth to another: A -> B -> C...

  2. This progressive change observes a linear continuum, as one self evident truth progresses to another.

  3. This linear continuum, as progressive axioms, is constant in both an abstract sense and empirical time (ie one particle moving from one position to another always has a straight line between points even if the pattern is zig zagging.).

  4. This linear continuum observes form and function as the same thing. So while we may have variously changing self evident truths, these truths exist recursively under a single platonic form.

  5. Each change effectively is composed on infinite immeasurable changes (ie zeno paradox or a line composed of infinite lines) this necessitating infinite change as indefinite change or "no change.

  6. Change is that the observation of multiple parts. For example one picture inverting to another picture observes static pictures but the perceived movement only occurs because of the multitude of pictures. Change is thus grounded in the inversion of one phenomenon into many. One picture into another, the position of one particle into another position, one emotion into another emotion, etc.

  7. Change and no change, using a line as an example, is assumed through form alone. It is the dualism between one and many forms that allows change and no change to be observed. However this dualism is synthesized under the "form" itself as a "boundary of movement".

  8. This can be observed through the platonic forms as consisting of many forms or the process of actualization, in aristotelian thought, as matter existing through form where potentiality (ie mass) exists through form as movement.

I hope this makes sense, I may have to clarify some points.

  • Richard Feynman said that all scientific knowledge is uncertain and uncertainty is a very important part of it. He goes on to say that if we are free of doubt and ignorance, we will not get any new ideas and make no progress.ajnr.org/content/31/10/1767 – user47436 Oct 19 '20 at 7:54

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