David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 9 (1-4):301 – 321 (1966)
A brief account is given of Pyrrhonian scepticism, as portrayed by Sextus Empiricus. This scepticism differs significantly from the views commonly attributed to 'the sceptic' which take scepticism to be a view or philosophical position to the effect that there can be no knowledge. The Pyrrhonist makes no philosophical assertions, because he does not find the arguments in favor of any position to be decisively stronger than the arguments against. Objections to scepticism, for instance that the sceptic cannot consistently show trust and confidence, that he must ignore the obvious achievements of science, and that he cannot distinguish between appearance and reality, are found to be indecisive in the case of Pyrrhonism. After submitting Pyrrhonism to criteria of positive mental health, the author concludes by suggesting there are cases where a sceptical bent of mind should be encouraged.
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