Disagreement is a pervasive feature of human life whose skeptical implications have been emphasized particularly by the ancient Pyrrhonists and by contemporary moral skeptics. Although the connection between disagreement and skepticism is also a focus of analysis in the emerging and burgeoning area of epistemology concerned with the significance of controversy, it has arguably not received the full attention it deserves. The present volume explores for the first time the possible skeptical consequences of disagreement in different areas and from different (...) perspectives, with an emphasis in the current debate over the epistemic impact of disagreement. The thirteen new essays collected here examine the Pyrrhonian approach to disagreement and its relevance to the present epistemological discussions of the topic; the relationship between disagreement and moral realism and antirealism; disagreement-based skeptical arguments in contemporary epistemology; and disagreement and the possibility of philosophical knowledge and justified belief. Given the ever-growing interest in both the significance of disagreement and the challenge of skepticism, this volume makes a new contribution by conjugating two important trends in current philosophical research. (shrink)
In his Pyrrhonian Outlines , Sextus Empiricus employs an argument based upon the possibility of disagreement in order to show that one should not assent to a Dogmatic claim to which at present one cannot oppose a rival claim. The use of this argument seems to be at variance with the Pyrrhonian stance, both because it does not seem to accord with the definition of Skepticism and because the argument appears to entail that the search for truth is doomed to (...) failure. In the present paper, I examine the passages in which Sextus utilizes the argument from possible disagreement and offer an interpretation that makes the use of this argument compatible with the Pyrrhonian outlook. (shrink)
The present paper has two, interrelated objectives. The first is to analyze the different senses in which arguments are characterized as persuasive in the extant writings of Sextus Empiricus. The second is to examine the Pyrrhonist’s therapeutic use of arguments in the discussion with his Dogmatic rivals – more precisely, to determine the sense and basis of Sextus’ distinction between therapeutic arguments that appear weighty and therapeutic arguments that appear weak in their persuasiveness.
This translation of the two books that make up Against the Logicians is a valuable addition to the ever increasing literature on Pyrrhonism. The only previous complete English version of these two books is that of R. G. Bury, which appeared in 1935 in the Loeb Classical Library as the second volume of..
The purpose of this paper is twofold: to discuss some challenging issues concerning Sextus’ works and outlook, and to offer an overview of the influence exerted by Sextan Pyrrhonism on both early modern and contemporary philosophy.
Particularly during the past twenty five years, there has been an outstanding advance in the study of ancient skepticism, both in its Pyrrhonian and Academic varieties. This is reflected in the publication of a considerable number of works about the nature and consistency of those philosophical outlooks, as well as about their influence on the development of early modern philosophy and their relevance to present day epistemological discussions. Most of these works concern Pyrrhonian skepticism. This predominance of interest in Pyrrhonism (...) over Academic skepticism also manifests itself in the fact that, whereas in recent years several new translations of Sextus Empiricus' writings (our principal source for Pyrrhonism) have appeared in the most important European languages, the same has not happened with Cicero's Academica, which is our main source of information about the philosophy of the skeptical Academy. Even though Sextus'. (shrink)
Julia Annas has affirmed that the kind of modern moral skepticism which denies the existence of objective moral values rests upon a contrast between morality and some other system of beliefs about the world which is not called into doubt. Richard Bett, on the other hand, has argued that the existence of such a contrast is not a necessary condition for espousing that kind of moral skepticism. My purpose in this paper is to show that Bett fails to make a (...) good case against Annas’ thesis. To accomplish this, it will be helpful to consider the Pyrrhonean attitude towards morality as expounded in Sextus Empiricus’ work. (shrink)
The purpose of the present paper is twofold. First, to examine what beliefs, if any, underlie (a) the Pyrrhonist’s desire for ataraxia and his account of how this state may be attained, and (b) his philanthropic therapy, which seeks to induce, by argument, ejpochv and ataraxia in the Dogmatists. Second, to determine whether the Pyrrhonist’s philanthropy and his search for and attainment of ataraxia are, as scholars have generally believed, essential aspects of his stance.