Sképsis: Revista de Filosofia 24 (13):24-46 (2022)

Roger Eichorn
University of Chicago (PhD)
In her book Michel de Montaigne: Accidental Philosopher, Ann Hartle argues that Montaigne’s thought is dialectical in the Hegelian sense. Unlike Hegel’s progressive dialectic, however, Montaigne’s thought is, according to Hartle, circular in that the reconciliation of opposed terms comes not in the form of a newly emergent term, but in a return to the first term, where the meaning of the first is transformed as a result of its dialectical interaction with the second. This analysis motivates Hartle’s claim that Montaigne is not a skeptic at all, let alone a Pyrrhonian skeptic. In this paper, I argue that Hartle’s circular-dialectical interpretation of Montaigne is not only compatible with Pyrrhonism, but is in fact an ideal model for understanding Sextus Empiricus’s skeptical therapy.
Keywords Montaigne, Sextus Empiricus, skepticism, Pyrrhonism, metaphilosophy
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