David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):653-673 (2014)
Sextus Empiricus portrays the Pyrrhonian sceptics in two radically different ways. On the one hand, he describes them as inquirers or examiners, and insists that what distinguishes them from all the other philosophical schools is their persistent engagement in inquiry. On the other hand, he insists that the main feature of Pyrrhonian attitude is suspension of judgement about everything. Many have argued that a consistent account of Sextan scepticism as both investigative and suspensive is not possible. The main obstacle to characterizing Pyrrhonism as both investigative and suspensive is the fact that it seems that the mature sceptics, after they have suspended judgement and thus reached tranquillity, have no motivation for further inquiry. Any inquiry they seem to be interested in after they have suspended judgement is the refutation of beliefs needed for maintaining tranquillity. I try to show that the mature sceptics' removal of distress does not ipso facto mean removal of the desire for knowledge. This is because distress is not just a matter of unsatisfied desire, but of belief that one of the opposed appearances must be true, or, more generally, of belief that the truth is the only worthwhile epistemic goal. Having abandoned this belief, the sceptics can still engage in philosophical inquiries. This is because Sextus does not assume that philosophy is the search for truth: it is so only for the dogmatists. In a more general sense, applicable to the sceptics as well, philosophy is just an inquiry into certain things, and for the sceptics, its epistemic goal is still open
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Julia Annas (1993). The Morality of Happiness. Oxford University Press.
Casey Perin (2010). The Demands of Reason: An Essay on Pyrrhonian Scepticism. Oxford University Press.
Diego E. Machuca (2006). The Pyrrhonist's Ataraxia and Philanthropia. Ancient Philosophy 26 (1):111-126.
Luciano Floridi (2002). Sextus Empiricus: The Transmission and Recovery of Pyrrhonism. Oxford University Press.
Gisela Striker (2001). Scepticism as a Kind of Philosophy. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 83 (2):113-129.
Citations of this work BETA
Jane Friedman (2015). Why Suspend Judging? Noûs 50 (4).
Jan Willem Wieland (2014). Sceptical Rationality. Analytic Philosophy 55 (1):222-238.
Similar books and articles
Alan Bailey (2002). Sextus Empiricus and Pyrrhonean Scepticism. Oxford University Press.
Rachel Barney (1992). Appearances and Impressions. Phronesis 37 (3):283-313.
Ioannis Trisokkas (2012). Pyrrhonian Scepticism and Hegel's Theory of Judgement: A Treatise on the Possibility of Scientific Inquiry. Brill.
Arne Naess (1966). Psychological and Social Aspects of Pyrrhonian Scepticism. Inquiry 9 (1-4):301 – 321.
Jan Palkoska (2012). Are Humean Beliefs Pyrrhonian Appearances? Hume's Critique of Pyrrhonism Revisited. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (2):183-198.
Wai-hung Wong (2002). The Problem of Insulation. Philosophy 77 (3):349-373.
Filip Grgic (2008). Sextus Empiricus on the Possibility of Inquiry. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (4):436-459.
Filip Grgic (2006). Sextus Empiricus on the Goal of Skepticism. Ancient Philosophy 26 (1):141-160.
Gail Fine (1996). Scepticism, Existence, and Belief: A Discussion of RJ Hankinson, The Sceptics. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy:273-90.
Howard Sankey (2012). Scepticism, Relativism and the Argument From the Criterion. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):182-190.
Stephen Hetherington (2006). Scepticism and Ordinary Epistemic Practice. Philosophia 34 (3):303-310.
Timothy Williamson (2004). Philosphical 'Intuitions' and Scepticism About Judgement. Dialectica 58 (1):109–153.
Ernest Sosa (1993). Epistemology, Realism, and Truth: The First Philosophical Perspectives Lecture. Philosophical Perspectives 7 (1):1-16.
Added to index2012-04-18
Total downloads37 ( #128,246 of 1,932,585 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #225,622 of 1,932,585 )
How can I increase my downloads?