The ancient sceptic's way of life

Metaphilosophy 21 (3):204-222 (1990)
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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 p and ~p by presenting equally convincing arguments for each over a range representative of all beliefs. As a result, the sceptic loses many cognitive attitudes completely, and this essay discusses the moral implications of losses of cognitive attitudes of this kind, addressing criticisms of the sceptic’s cognitive tendencies by examining various benefits to such an attitudinal disposition. Such benefits include reduced ataraxia and increased respect for the views of others in that the sceptic grants no special status to his/her own point of view



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Donald Morrison
Rice University

Citations of this work

Le sceptique cherche-t-il vraiment la vérité ?Stéphane Marchand - 2010 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 65 (1):125-141.
El escepticismo ético de Sexto Empírico.Diego E. Machuca - 2006 - Dissertation, Universidad de Buenos Aires

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