Pyrrhonism and Protagoreanism: Catching Sextus out?

Verity Harte
Yale University
Prima facie, the sceptical procedure described in Sextus Empiricus' Outlines of Pyrrhonism I is committed to a gap between appearance and reality, that is, to the possibility that reality is other than it appears. But the Pyrrhonist is keen to avoid having commitments. In this paper, we consider whether the Pyrrhonist is indeed so committed; what, more precisely, the commitment might be; and whether it is the kind of commitment which can be dislodged in the way the Pyrrhonist advertises as the way to get rid of commitments, be they his own or others'. The Protagorean is our foil. It is the Protagorean's alternative approach to conflicting appearances which reveals, by contrast, the implications of the sceptical procedure, implications which prove difficult to dislodge by Pyrrhonist means
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