About this topic
Summary

Pyrrhonism was one of the two main skeptical traditions in ancient philosophy. It originated in the Hellenistic era and continued into the Imperial age. The history of ancient Pyrrhonism is commonly divided into the early Pyrrhonism of Pyrrho of Elis (360–270 BC) and his leading disciple Timon of Phlius (320–230 BC), and the later Pyrrhonism (sometimes called “neo-Pyrrhonism” particularly in French scholarship) of Aenesidemus of Cnossos (first century BC) and Sextus Empiricus (late second century AD).

Key works Hankinson 1995 and Thorsrud 2009 offer a useful overview of ancient Pyrrhonism in English. Bett 2000 is the best book-length study of Pyrrho and his possible forerunners.
Introductions Machuca 2011
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1 — 50 / 412
  1. added 2019-02-11
    Sekstus Empiryk, Zarysy Pyrrońskie, ks I (1-30), z języka greckiego przetłumaczył i opracował Zbigniew Nerczuk.Zbigniew Nerczuk - 2018 - Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia (4):105-116.
    Jest to początek Zarysów Pyrrońskich Sekstusa Empiryka, ks. I (1-30) w nowym przekładzie. Całość tekstu ukaże się w Wydawnictwie UMK w połowie roku 2019. -/- This is the opening part of Sextus' Outlines of Pyrrhonism (I 1-30). The translation of the treatise will be published by Wydawnictwo UMK in the 2019.
  2. added 2019-01-30
    Sextus Empiricus: Against the Physicists. [REVIEW]Diego E. Machuca - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (3):614-617.
  3. added 2019-01-29
    Self-Completing Skepticism: On Hegel's Sublation of Pyrrhonism.Miles Hentrup - 2018 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (1):105-123.
    In his 1802 article for the Critical Journal, “Relationship of Skepticism to Philosophy,” Hegel attempts to articulate a form of skepticism that is “at one with every true philosophy.” Focusing on the priority that Hegel gives to ancient skepticism over its modern counterpart, Michael Forster and other commentators suggest that it is Pyrrhonism that Hegel views as one with philosophy. Since Hegel calls attention to the persistence of dogmatism even in the work of Sextus Empiricus, however, I argue that it (...)
  4. added 2018-09-06
    Descartes and the Suspension of Judgment–Considerations of Cartesian Skepticism and Epoché.Jan Forsman - 2018 - In Konstantinos Boudouris (ed.), Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy. Greek Philosophical Society. pp. 15-20.
    In this paper I will argue how Descartes in the First and Second Meditation of the Meditations uses a very clear suspension of judgments or assent that in many ways resembles the epoché of the ancient skepticism, especially that of pyrrhonistic variant. First I show how the pyrrhonistic epoché works and what purpose it was used. After that I show how this Cartesian epoché both resembles and differs from the ancient epoché. My main argument is that Descartes, when using the (...)
  5. added 2018-08-13
    Pyrrhonian Argumentation: Therapy, Dialectic, and Inquiry.Diego E. Machuca - 2018 - Apeiron.
    The Pyrrhonist’s argumentative practice is characterized by at least four features. First, he makes a therapeutic use of arguments: he employs arguments that differ in their persuasiveness in order to cure his dogmatic patients of the distinct degrees of conceit and rashness that afflict them. Secondly, his arguments are for the most part dialectical: when offering an argument to oppose it to another argument advanced by a given dogmatist, he accepts in propria persona neither the truth of its premises and (...)
  6. added 2018-07-31
    Early Pyrrhonism as a Sect of Buddhism? A Case Study in the Methodology of Comparative Philosophy.Monte Ransome Johnson & Brett Shults - 2018 - Comparative Philosophy 9 (2):1-40.
    We offer a sceptical examination of a thesis recently advanced in a monograph published by Princeton University Press, entitled Greek Buddha: Pyrrho’s Encounter with Early Buddhism in Central Asia. In this dense and probing work, Christopher I. Beckwith, a professor of Central Eurasian studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, argues that Pyrrho of Elis adopted a form of early Buddhism during his years in Bactria and Gandhāra, and that early Pyrrhonism must be understood as a sect of early Buddhism. In making (...)
  7. added 2018-07-26
    The Grafted Branches of the Sceptical Tree. "Noli Altum Sapere" and Henri Estienne's Latin Edition of Sexti Empirici Pyrrhoniarum Hypotyposeon Libri III.Luciano Floridi - 1992 - Nouvelles de la République des Lettres 1:127-166.
  8. added 2018-06-01
    Carlos Lévy, Les Scepticismes; Markus Gabriel, Antike Und Moderne Skepsis Zur Einführung. [REVIEW]Máté Veres - 2009 - Rhizai. A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science 11:107-114.
  9. added 2018-03-08
    Why the Epistemic Relativist Cannot Use the Sceptic’s Strategy. A Comment on Sankey.Markus Seidel - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):134-139.
    In two recent papers in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Howard Sankey has argued that there is an intimate relationship between Pyrrhonian skepticism and recent approaches to epistemic relativism.Though the general argument and idea of Sankey’s papers is very much appreciated, it is argued that the epistemic relativist’s recourse to the skeptical strategy outlined by the Pyrrhonian is not a good one. This diagnosis gives rise to an objection against the epistemic relativist who argues on the basis of (...)
  10. added 2018-03-08
    Scylla and Charybdis of the Epistemic Relativist: Why the Epistemic Relativist Still Cannot Use the Sceptic’s Strategy.Markus Seidel - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):145-149.
    In a reply to Howard Sankey I have maintained that the epistemic relativist cannot use the strategy of the sceptic since the relativist is at pains not to draw the sceptical solution. Sankey has objected to my argument by distinguishing between weak and strong justification: according to Sankey, the relativist using the sceptic’s strategy aims to provide an argument against the latter form of justification but still maintains that we can have the former.In this counter-response I argue that if this (...)
  11. added 2018-02-19
    Epicureanism and Scepticism. S. Marchand, F. Verde Épicurisme Et Scepticisme. Pp. XII + 189. Rome: Sapienza Università Editrice, 2013. Paper, €17. Isbn: 978-88-98533-10-7. [REVIEW]Paul Jackson & Cécile Césarini - 2015 - The Classical Review 65 (1):74-76.
  12. added 2018-02-18
    Sextus Empiricus: Against the Logicians.Richard Bett (ed.) - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
    Sextus Empiricus' Against the Logicians is by far the most detailed surviving examination by any ancient Greek sceptic of the areas of epistemology and logic. It critically examines the pretensions of non-sceptical philosophers to have discovered methods for determining the truth, either through direct observation or by inference from the observed to the unobserved. It is therefore a fine example of the Pyrrhonist sceptical method at work. It also provides a mine of information about the ideas of other Greek thinkers, (...)
  13. added 2018-02-16
    Review of Casey Perin, The Demands of Reason: An Essay on Pyrrhonian Scepticism[REVIEW]Filip Grgic - 2010 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (8).
  14. added 2017-11-20
    Can an Ancient Greek Sceptic Be Eudaimôn (or Happy)? And What Difference Does the Answer Make to Us?Richard Bett - 2012 - Journal of Ancient Philosophy 6 (1).
  15. added 2017-11-01
    Against the Ethicists.Tad Brennan, Sextus Empiricus & R. A. H. Bett - 1997 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 119:194.
  16. added 2017-11-01
    A History of Ancient Philosophy Iv: The Schools of the Imperial Age.John R. Catan (ed.) - 1989 - State University of New York Press.
    This book covers the first 500 years of the common era. These years witnessed the revivals of Aristotelianism, Epicureanism, Pyrrhonism, Cynicism, and Pythagoreanism; but by far the most important movement was the revival of Platonism under Plotinus. Here, the historical context of Plotinus is provided including the currents of thought that preceded him and opened the path for him. The presuppositions of the Enneads are made explicit and the thought of Plotinus is reconstructed. The author reorients the expositions of Middle (...)
  17. added 2017-08-30
    Scepticisme Et Langage.Richard Bett - 2012 - Ancient Philosophy 32 (1):217-223.
  18. added 2017-07-10
    Ancient Scepticism.Harald Thorsrud - 2009 - University of California Press.
    Scepticism, a philosophical tradition that casts doubt on our ability to gain knowledge of the world and suggests suspending judgment in the face of uncertainty, has been influential since its beginnings in ancient Greece. Harald Thorsrud provides an engaging, rigorous introduction to the central themes, arguments, and general concerns of ancient Scepticism, from its beginnings with Pyrrho of Elis to the writings of Sextus Empiricus in the second century A.D. Thorsrud explores the differences among Sceptics and examines in particular the (...)
  19. added 2017-06-24
    Anaxarchus on Indifference, Happiness, and Convention.Tim O'Keefe - forthcoming - In David Wolfsdorf (ed.), Ancient Greek Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    Because of the state of our evidence, any reconstruction of Anaxarchus' ethics will be speculative and incomplete. But he seems to have a distinctive position. It overlaps with several disparate ethical traditions but is not merely a hodge-podge; it hangs together as a unified whole. His assertion that things are indifferent in value and that realizing this indifference leads to contentment recalls Pyrrho and the layer Pyrrhonian skeptics. But this doctrine of indifference is rooted in Democritean atomism. And in his (...)
  20. added 2017-05-31
    Scepticism as Epochê.Jani Hakkarainen - 2004 - In Kaisa Luoma, Erna Oesch & Risto Vilkko (eds.), Philosophical Studies in honorem Leila Haaparanta. Tampere: Tampereen yliopistopaino. pp. 233-242.
  21. added 2017-04-26
    The Role of Skeptical Evidence in the First and Second “Meditations”. Article 1. The Doubt according to Descartes and Sextus Empiricus.Oleg Khoma - 2016 - Sententiae 35 (2):6-22.
    The first article of the cycle “The role of skeptical evidence in the First and Second ‘Meditations’” compares the Cartesian and Sextus Empiricus’ concepts of doubt in, respectively, “Metaphysical meditations” and “Outlines of Pyrrhonism”. The article starts with the current state of the problem “Descartes and skepticism” and admits the existence of consensus about Cartesian perception of skeptical tradition: Cartesius (1) was influenced by all skeptical movements, known in his time, and (2) created a generalized notion that contains elements of (...)
  22. added 2017-03-01
    The Ancient Sceptic's Way of Life.Donald Morrison - 1990 - Metaphilosophy 21 (3):204-222.
    This paper provides a description of the ancient sceptic’s way of life that frames skepticism as a pervasive state of mind and character. This state is presented through a causal account of the process through which it is created. Noted as the first rung in this account is the Sceptic Teacher, who, by blending the characteristics of the idea types of Universal Refuter and the Universal Persuader, causes a dispositional tendency in the sceptic student to suspend belief for all propositions (...)
  23. added 2017-02-16
    The Challenges of the Modes of Agrippa.Joseph B. Bullock - 2016 - Apeiron 49 (4):409-435.
    The standard “gladiatorial” interpretation of the Modes of Agrippa has undergone several recent attacks. Scholars have criticized it because it seems to portray the skeptic as a dogmatist about logical support and because it does not treat all five Modes as part of the system. Although some have attempted to patch up the standard interpretation to address these issues, I raise a further problem: The gladiatorial interpretation cannot make sense of the skeptic using the Modes on herself, to suspend her (...)
  24. added 2017-02-15
    The Toils of Scepticism by Jonathan Barnes. [REVIEW]R. J. Hankinson - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):109-112.
  25. added 2017-02-14
    Jonathan Barnes, The Toils of Scepticism Reviewed By.Robert Hahn - 1992 - Philosophy in Review 12 (1):6-8.
  26. added 2017-02-11
    Doubt and Anxiety: An Existentialist Reconstruction of Pyrrhonism.Örsan K. Öymen - 2012 - Journal of Ancient Philosophy 6 (1).
  27. added 2017-02-10
    Greek Scepticism: Anti-Realist Trends in Ancient Thought.Ezequiel de Olaso - 1992 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 30 (3):446-448.
  28. added 2017-02-08
    Pyrrho the Dogmatist.Glenn Lesses - 2002 - Apeiron 35 (3):255 - 271.
  29. added 2017-02-08
    Pyrrhonian Indeterminacy: A Pragmatic Interpretation.Priscilla Sakezles - 1993 - Apeiron 26 (2):77 - 95.
  30. added 2017-01-30
    Ethics and Epistemology in Sextus Empircus.Tad Brennan - 1999 - Routledge.
    This book defends the consistency, plausibility, and interest of the brand of Ancient Skepticism described in the writings of Sextus Empiricus, both through detailed exegesis of the original texts, and through sustained engagement with an array of modern critics.
  31. added 2017-01-29
    Sextus Empiricus, Contre les Professeurs, Intro. Par P. Pellegrin; Trad. Par C. Dalimier, D. Delattre, J. Delattre Et B. Perez. [REVIEW]D. E. Machuca - 2004 - Ancient Philosophy 24 (2):503.
  32. added 2017-01-27
    Sextus Empiricus. Against the Physicists. Translated and Edited by Richard Bett. [REVIEW]Harald Thorsrud - 2014 - Ancient Philosophy 34 (1):228-231.
  33. added 2017-01-27
    The Skeptic's Language Game: Does Sextus Empiricus Violate Normal Language Use?Kyle Shaffer - 2010 - Stance 3:47-54.
    This paper seeks to critique Pyrrhonean skepticism by way of language analysis. Linguistic aspects of Pyrrhonism are first examined utilizing the later writing of Wittgenstein. Pyrrhonean languageuse is then critiqued using H.P. Grice’s concept of implicature to demonstrate shared knowledge between speakers. Finally, a teleological model of communication is sketched using ideas from Jerry Fodor. If the Pyrrhonist denies speaking to communicate mental states, we are justified in questioning why we should listen to what she says.
  34. added 2017-01-27
    The Diffusion of Sextus Empiricus's Works in the Renaissance.Luciano Floridi - 1995 - Journal of the History of Ideas 56 (1):63-85.
  35. added 2017-01-26
    Richard Bett, Ed. And Trans. Sextus Empiricus: Against the Logicians Reviewed By.Joel E. Mann - 2007 - Philosophy in Review 27 (2):91-93.
  36. added 2017-01-26
    Book Review of'Pyrrho, His Antecedents, and His Legacy'by R. Bett, New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. [REVIEW]Luca Castagnoli - 2002 - Ancient Philosophy 22 (2):443-457.
  37. added 2017-01-26
    Aporetic Pyrrhonism.Paul Woodruff - 1988 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 6:139-68.
  38. added 2017-01-26
    Julia Annas and Jonathan Barnes, The Modes of Skepticism: Ancient Texts and Modern Interpretations Reviewed By.Robert J. Fogelin - 1987 - Philosophy in Review 7 (2):50-52.
  39. added 2017-01-25
    The System of the Sceptical Modes in Sextus Empiricus.Nathan Powers - 2010 - Apeiron 43 (4):157-172.
  40. added 2017-01-25
    Pyrrhonian Scepticism and the Search for Truth.Casey Perin - 2006 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 30:337-360.
  41. added 2017-01-25
    Pyrrho's Undecidable Nature.Svavar Hrafn Svavarsson - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 27:249-95.
  42. added 2017-01-25
    Self-Bracketing Pyrrhonism.Luca Castagnoli - 2000 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 18:263-328.
  43. added 2017-01-25
    Pyrrhonism and Protagoreanism.Catching Sextus Out - 1999 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 2:157.
  44. added 2017-01-24
    The Logical Structure of the Sceptic's Opposition.Benjamin Morison - 2011 - In Michael Frede, James V. Allen, Eyjólfur Kjalar Emilsson, Wolfgang-Rainer Mann & Benjamin Morison (eds.), Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 40--265.
  45. added 2017-01-24
    Timon of Phlius: Pyrrhonism Into Poetry (Review).Maria Noussia-Fantuzzi - 2011 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 104 (4):521-523.
  46. added 2017-01-24
    Against the Geometers by Sextus Empiricus: Sources, Targets, Structure.Guillaume Dye & Bernard Vitrac - 2009 - Phronesis-a Journal for Ancient Philosophy 54 (2):155 - 203.
    In this paper, we examine Sextus Empiricus’ treatise Against the geometers. We first set this treatise in the overall context of the sceptic’s polemics against the liberal arts. After a discussion of Sextus’ attitude to the quadrivium, we discuss the structure, the sources and the target of the Against the geometers. It appears that Euclid is not Sextus’ source, and neither he, nor the professional geometers, seem to be Sextus’ main targets. Of course, Sextus never really makes clear his precise (...)
  47. added 2017-01-23
    Diogenes Laertius IX 61 –116: The Philosophy of Pyrrhonism.Jonathan Barnes - 1992 - In Wolfgang Haase (ed.), Philosophie, Wissenschaften, Technik. Philosophie. De Gruyter. pp. 4241-4301.
  48. added 2017-01-23
    Scepticism Julia Annas, Jonathan Barnes: The Modes of Scepticism. (Ancient Texts and Modern Interpretations.) Pp. 204. Cambridge University Press, 1985. £20 (Paper, £6.95). [REVIEW]R. W. Jordan - 1987 - The Classical Review 37 (01):57-58.
  49. added 2017-01-22
    Review: Pyrrhic Pyrrhonism. [REVIEW]Garrett Cullity - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):720 - 731.
  50. added 2017-01-22
    Review: Symbolic Scepticism. [REVIEW]Nicholas Denyer - 1991 - Phronesis 36 (3):313 - 318.
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