About this topic
Summary Pyrrhonism is the most prominent and influential form of skepticism in the history of Western philosophy. It was an important philosophical movement in the Hellenistic and Imperial periods, had a tremendous impact on modern philosophy, and some of its arguments continue to be a central topic of discussion in the contemporary scene. This form of skepticism does not deny the possibility of knowledge or justified belief tout court or in a specific area, but recommends across-the-board suspension of judgment. This subcategory covers works that examine the philosophical aspects of ancient Pyrrhonism and/or discuss Pyrrhonian skepticism in relation to current epistemological discussions.
Key works Fogelin 1994 offers an “updated” version of Sextus Empiricus's Pyrrhonism so as to make it applicable to contemporary debates about justification. Sinnott-Armstrong 2004 is a Festschrift for Robert Fogelin. While some of the essays either compare his neo-Pyrrhonism with its ancient ancestor or refer to this interpretation of certain modern and contemporary philosophers, others critically examine his neo-Pyrrhonism as expounded in Fogelin 1994Sinnott-Armstrong 2006 defends a moderate moral skepticism, characterized as Pyrrhonian, that is based on the notion of "contrast class."
Introductions Machuca Diego 2011 Machuca 2011
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  1. No More This Than That: Skeptical Impression or Pyrrhonian Dogma?Necip Fikri Alican - 2017 - ΣΧΟΛΗ: Ancient Philosophy and The Classical Tradition 11 (1):7–60.
    This is a defense of Pyrrhonian skepticism against the charge that the suspension of judgment based on equipollence is vitiated by the assent given to the equipollence in question. The apparent conflict has a conceptual side as well as a practical side, examined here as separate challenges with a section devoted to each. The conceptual challenge is that the skeptical transition from an equipollence of arguments to a suspension of judgment is undermined either by a logical contradiction or by an (...)
  2. Pyrrhonism and Medicine.James Allen - 2010 - In Richard Arnot Home Bett (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Scepticism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 232.
  3. The Problem of the Criterion.Robert Amico - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: A Quarterly Journal 57 (1):226-229.
    This book offers the first historical treatment and analytic analysis of the problem of the criterion. It provides analyses of the ancient and modern characterizations of the problem and a resolution of each. My purpose is to show that there are at least two versions of the problem, one posed by a Pyrrhonian sceptic and one by a dogmatic sceptic. I show that both versions have a dissolution. Then, by examining the presuppositions of the dogmatic sceptic, I demonstrate that the (...)
  4. The Problem of the Criterion.Robert Amico - 1993 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Selected by CHOICE as an Outstanding Academic Book for 1995.
  5. On the Moral Origin of the Pyrrhonian Philosophy.Hayden Weir Ausland - 1989 - Elenchos 10:359-434.
  6. Virtue-Theoretic Responses to Skepticism.Guy Axtell - 2008 - In John Greco (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter focuses on the responses that proponents of virtue epistemology (VE) make to radical skepticism and particularly to two related forms of it, Pyrrhonian skepticism and the “underdetermination-based” argument, both of which have been receiving widening attention in recent debate. Section 1 of the chapter briefly articulates these two skeptical arguments and their interrelationship, while section 2 explains the close connection between a virtue-theoretic and a neo-Moorean response to them. In sections 3 and 4 I advance arguments for improving (...)
  7. Sextus Empiricus and Pyrrhonean Scepticism.Alan Bailey - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
    Alan Bailey offers a clear and vigorous exposition and defence of the philosophy of Sextus Empiricus, one of the most influential of ancient thinkers, the father of philosophical scepticism. The subsequent sceptical tradition in philosophy has not done justice to Sextus: his views stand up today as remarkably insightful, offering a fruitful way to approach issues of knowledge, understanding, belief, and rationality. Bailey's refreshing presentation of Sextus to a modern philosophical readership rescues scepticism from the sceptics.
  8. Pyrrhonean Scepticism and the Self-Refutation Argument.Alan Bailey - 1990 - Philosophical Quarterly 40 (158):27-44.
  9. Review: Pyrrhonian Skepticism. [REVIEW]J. Barnes - 2006 - Mind 115 (457):166-169.
  10. Sextan Scepticism.Jonathan Barnes - 2007 - In Dominic Scott (ed.), Maieusis: Essays in Ancient Philosophy in Honour of Myles Burnyeat. Oxford University Press.
  11. The Toils of Scepticism.Jonathan Barnes - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    In the works of Sextus Empiricus, scepticism is presented in its most elaborate and challenging form. This book investigates - both from an exegetical and from a philosophical point of view - the chief argumentative forms which ancient scepticism developed. Thus the particular focus is on the Agrippan aspect of Sextus' Pyrrhonism. Barnes gives a lucid explanation and analysis of these arguments, both individually and as constituent parts of a sceptical system. For, taken together, these forms amount to a formidable (...)
  12. Review: Sextus Empiricus and Pyrrhonean Scepticism. [REVIEW]Jonathan Barnes - 2003 - Mind 112 (447):496-499.
  13. Against the Sceptics A. Haltenhoff: Kritik der akademischen Skepsis. Ein Kommentar zu Cicero , Lucullus 1–62 . (Studien zur klassischen Philologie 113.) Pp. 226. Berlin, etc.: Peter Lang, 1998. Paper, DM 29. ISBN: 3-631-33440-. [REVIEW]Jonathan Barnes - 2001 - The Classical Review 51 (01):46-.
  14. Leo Groarke: Greek Scepticism: Anti-Realist Trends in Ancient Thought. (McGill-Queen's Studies in the History of Ideas.) Pp. Xv + 176. Montreal & Kingston, London and Buffalo: McGill–Queen's University Press, 1990. £33.20. [REVIEW]Jonathan Barnes - 1991 - The Classical Review 41 (02):500-501.
  15. Scepticism and Relativity.Jonathan Barnes - 1988 - Philosophical Studies 32:1-31.
  16. Appearances and Impressions.Rachel Barney - 1992 - Phronesis 37 (3):283-313.
    Pyrrhonian sceptics claim, notoriously, to assent to the appearances without making claims about how things are. To see whether this is coherent we need to consider the philosophical history of ‘appearance’(phainesthai)-talk, and the closely related concept of an impression (phantasia). This history suggests that the sceptics resemble Plato in lacking the ‘non-epistemic’ or ‘non-doxastic’ conception of appearance developed by Aristotle and the Stoics. What is distinctive about the Pyrrhonian sceptic is simply that the degree of doxastic commitment involved in his (...)
  17. Skeptical Rationalism.William Berkson - 1979 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 22 (1-4):281 – 320.
    To improve our methods of rational inquiry and decision-making we need to recognize that such methods should guide but not fully determine the choices of individuals. Failure to acknowledge the essential incompleteness of rational methods made the methods of Classical Rationalism quite impractical and opened them to skeptical refutation. Mitigated Skepticism and Fideism failed to correct the error, and as a result put undesirable limits on rational inquiry. When the guiding character of rational methods is recognized, existing methods of scientific (...)
  18. The Demands of Reason: An Essay on Pyrrhonian Scepticism (Review).Jessica N. Berry - 2011 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (1):116-117.
    Professional philosophy is overdue for a Pyrrhonian revival. For too long, the skeptic has been either overlooked or regarded as an object of pity (for the feebleness of his arguments) or contempt (for his appearing to thumb his nose at the canons of reason and morality). Even among the most learned and philosophically astute commentators, those who would be best positioned to develop a philosophically sophisticated and compelling interpretation of Pyrrhonism, it has found few defenders, many detractors, and has generally (...)
  19. Nietzsche and the Ancient Skeptical Tradition.Jessica N. Berry - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    Introduction : reading Nietzsche skeptically -- Nietzsche and the Pyrrhonian tradition -- Skepticism in Nietzsche's early work : the case of "on truth and lie" -- The question of Nietzsche's "naturalism" -- Perspectivism and Ephexis in interpretation -- Skepticism and health -- Skepticism as immoralism.
  20. Skepticism in Nietzsche's Earliest Work.Jessica N. Berry - 2006 - International Studies in Philosophy 38 (3):33-48.
  21. Sextus Empiricus and Pyrrhonean Scepticism.R. Bett - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):100-102.
  22. On Pyrrhonism, Stances, and Believing What You Want.Richard Bett - 2015 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 5 (2):126-144.
  23. Ancient Scepticism.Richard Bett - 2013 - In Roger Crisp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter, which analyses the ethical theories of Greek sceptic Sextus Empiricus, begins by considering other sceptical figures who preceded Sextus, both for their intrinsic interest and to set the context for Sextus's work. These include Pyrrho, Arcesilaus of Pitane, Carneades of Cyrene, and Philo of Larissa. The chapter then examines surviving works of Sextus Empiricus, the best known being Outlines of Pyrrhonism.
  24. A Sceptic Looks at Art (but Not Very Closely): Sextus Empiricus on Music.Richard Bett - 2013 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (3):155-181.
  25. The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Scepticism.Richard Bett (ed.) - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
    This volume offers a comprehensive survey of the main periods, schools, and individual proponents of scepticism in the ancient Greek and Roman world. The contributors examine the major developments chronologically and historically, ranging from the early antecedents of scepticism to the Pyrrhonist tradition. They address the central philosophical and interpretive problems surrounding the sceptics' ideas on subjects including belief, action, and ethics. Finally, they explore the effects which these forms of scepticism had beyond the ancient period, and the ways in (...)
  26. What Kind of Self Can a Greek Sceptic Have?Richard Bett - 2008 - In Pauliina Remes & Juha Sihvola (eds.), Ancient Philosophy of the Self. Springer. pp. 139--154.
  27. Sceptic Optics?Richard Bett - 2007 - Apeiron 40 (1):95 - 121.
  28. Pyrrho, His Antecedents, and His Legacy.Richard Bett - 2000 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Richard Bett presents a ground-breaking study of Pyrrho of Elis, who lived in the late fourth and early third centuries BC and is the supposed originator of Greek scepticism. In the absence of surviving works by Pyrrho, scholars have tended to treat his thought as essentially the same as the long subsequent sceptical tradition which styled itself 'Pyrrhonism'. Bett argues, on the contrary, that Pyrrho's philosophy was significantly different from this later tradition, and offers the first detailed account of that (...)
  29. Sextus's Against the Ethicists: Scepticism, Relativism or Both?Richard Bett - 1994 - Apeiron 27 (2):123 - 161.
  30. Greek Scepticism.Richard Bett - 1993 - Ancient Philosophy 13 (1):243-252.
  31. Pyrrhonian and Naturalistic Themes in the Final Writings of Wittgenstein.Indrani Bhattacharjee - unknown
    The following inquiry pursues two interlinked aims. The first is to understand Wittgenstein's idea of non-foundational certainty in the context of a reading of On Certainty that emphasizes its Pyrrhonian elements. The second is to read Wittgenstein's remarks on idealism/radical skepticism in On Certainty in parallel with the discussion of rule-following in Philosophical Investigations in order to demonstrate an underlying similarity of philosophical concerns and methods. I argue that for the later Wittgenstein, what is held certain in a given context (...)
  32. Contesting Pyrrhonian Contrastivism.Martijn Blaauw - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):471–477.
  33. Rec.: J. Sihvola (Ed.), Ancient Scepticism and the Sceptical Tradition (Helsinki 2000).M. Bonazzi - 2003 - Rivista di Storia Della Filosofia 58:161-164.
  34. Knowledge, Scepticism, and Defeat: Themes From Klein.Rodrigo Borges, Branden Fitelson & Cherie Braden (eds.) - forthcoming - Springer.
    This is a collection of new essays written in honor of the work of Peter D. Klein, who has had and continues to have a tremendous influence in the development of epistemology. The essays reflect the breadth and depth of Klein’s work by engaging directly with his views and with the views of his interlocutors.
  35. The Life and Learning of Arne Naess: Scepticism as a Survival Strategy.Inga Bostad - 2011 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 54 (1):42-51.
    ABSTRACT It is obvious that Arne Naess had his most important philosophical experience, and quite possibly made his most significant achievement, in confrontation with the variety of philosophical scepticism known as Pyrrhonism. Naess maintained, however, that he did not defend scepticism as a philosophical position, and he was concerned to distinguish Pyrrhonism from the inverse form of dogmatism often associated with the term ?scepticism?. Naess was primarily preoccupied with the practical implications of this radical form of scepticism, in which he (...)
  36. SCEPTICISM R. J. Hankinson: The Sceptics . Pp. Viii + 376. London and New York: Routledge, 1998 (First Published 1995). Paper, £17.99. ISBN: 0-415-18446-. [REVIEW]George Boys-Stones - 2000 - The Classical Review 50 (01):155-.
  37. Sceptical Ethics.George Boys-Stones - 1997 - The Classical Review 47 (02):292-.
  38. Criterion and Appearance in Sextus Empiricus: The Scope of Sceptical Doubt, the Status of Sceptical Belief.Tad Brennan - 1994 - Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 39:151-169.
  39. The Scepticism Of Sextus. [REVIEW]Charles Brittain - 2003 - The Classical Review 53 (2):326-328.
  40. The Scepticism of Sextus A. Bailey: Sextus Empiricus and Pyrrhonean Scepticism . Pp. XVI + 302. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002. Cased. Isbn: 0-19-823852-. [REVIEW]Charles Brittain - 2003 - The Classical Review 53 (02):326-.
  41. Assertions Only?Ben Bronner - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):44-52.
    It is standardly believed that the only way to justify an assertion in the face of a challenge is by making another assertion. Call this claim ASSERTIONS ONLY. Besides its intrinsic interest, ASSERTIONS ONLY is relevant to deciding between competing views of the norms that govern reasoned discourse. ASSERTIONS ONLY is also a crucial part of the motivation for infinitism and Pyrrhonian skepticism. I suggest that ASSERTIONS ONLY is false: I can justify an assertion by drawing attention to something that (...)
  42. Life Without Belief: A Madhyamaka Defense of the Livability of Pyrrhonism.Robin Brons - 2018 - Philosophy East and West 68 (2):329-351.
    Despite the striking similarities between Pyrrhonian skepticism and Madhyamaka Buddhism, few lessons have been drawn from the parallels between the two traditions. Here, it is argued that Madhyamaka Buddhism verifies the livability of Pyrrhonian skepticism. After establishing that Pyrrhonism and Madhyamaka can be understood as undertaking the same project, it is shown that Madhyamaka philosophy is able to refute objections to the viability of Pyrrhonism. Finally, it is demonstrated that Madhyamaka is still a lived practice in Tibetan Buddhism, and it (...)
  43. Skepticism: Historical and Contemporary Inquiries.G. Anthony Bruno & A. C. Rutherford (eds.) - 2018 - Routledge.
    Skepticism is one of the most enduring and profound of philosophical problems. With its roots in Plato and the Sceptics to Descartes, Hume, Kant and Wittgenstein, skepticism presents a challenge that every philosopher must reckon with. In this outstanding collection philosophers engage with skepticism in five clear sections: the philosophical history of skepticism in Greek, Cartesian and Kantian thought; the nature and limits of certainty; the possibility of knowledge and related problems such as perception and the debates between objective knowledge (...)
  44. Sosa on Skepticism.Otávio Bueno - 2009 - Metaphilosophy 40 (2):195-202.
    Abstract: Ernest Sosa has recently articulated an insightful response to skepticism and, in particular, to the dream argument. The response relies on two independent moves. First, Sosa offers the imagination model of dreaming according to which no assertions are ever made in dreams and no beliefs are involved there. As a result, it is possible to distinguish dreaming from being awake, and the dream argument is blocked. Second, Sosa develops a virtue epistemology according to which in appropriately normal conditions our (...)
  45. The Skeptical Tradition. Burnyeat (ed.) - 1983 - University of Chicago Press.
  46. The Original Sceptics: A Controversy.Myles Burnyeat & Michael Frede - 1997 - Hackett.
    These five essays began a debate about the nature and scope of ancient scepticism which has transformed our understanding of what scepticism originally was. Together they provide a vigorous and highly stimulating introduction to the thought of the original sceptics, and shed new light on its relation to sceptical arguments in modern philosophy.
  47. Sextus Empiricus and Pyrrhonean Scepticism. [REVIEW]Sarah Byers - 2003 - International Philosophical Quarterly 43 (3):391-392.
  48. The Scepticism of Francisco Sanchez.Damian Caluori - 2007 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 89 (1):30-46.
    The Renaissance sceptic and medical doctor Francisco Sanchez has been rather unduly neglected in scholarly work on Renaissance scepticism. In this paper I discuss his scepticism against the background of the ancient distinction between Academic and Pyrrhonian scepticism. I argue that Sanchez was a Pyrrhonist rather than, as has been claimed in recent years, a mitigated Academic sceptic. In keeping with this I shall also try to show that Sanchez was crucially influenced by the ancient medical school of empiricism, a (...)
  49. La Sala (R.) Die Züge des Skeptikers. Der dialektische Charakter von Sextus Empiricus' Werk. (Hypomnemata 160.) Pp. 204. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2005. Cased, €49.90. ISBN: 978-3-525-25259-. [REVIEW]Luca Castagnoli - 2007 - The Classical Review 57 (02):370-372.
  50. The Nature and Genesis of the Skeptic Attitude.Venant Cauchy - 1949 - Modern Schoolman 27 (3):203-221.
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