Sextus Empiricus and Pyrrhonean Scepticism

Hardcover | April 1, 2002

byAlan Bailey

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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 uptoday as remarkably insightful, offering a fruitful way to approach issues of knowledge, understanding, belief, and rationality.It is widely supposed that any form of scepticism that arrives at a global denial of the availability of rationally justified beliefs is self-refuting and unliveable. Bailey shows that the former objection can be disarmed by distinguishing between the mature Pyrrhonean sceptic's assessment of hisnegative epistemological arguments and the assessment forced upon his philosophical opponents by their own rationalistic code. The latter objection overlooks the role Sextus allocates to beliefs that are necessitated by the Pyrrhonist's psychological and biological constitution. Alan Bailey's refreshing presentation of Sextus to a modern philosophical readership rescues scepticism from the sceptics.

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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 uptoday as remarkably insightful, offering a frui...

Alan Bailey is a Teaching Fellow in Philosophy at the University of York.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.88 inPublished:April 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198238525

ISBN - 13:9780198238522

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Scepticism2. Pyrrho's Connection with Pyrrhonean Scepticism3. Arcesilaus and Suspension of Judgement4. The New Academy and the Origins of Aenesidemean Pyrrhonism5. Pyrrhonism from Aenesidemus to Sextus Empiricus6. An Outline of Sextus' Pyrrhonism7. A Life without Beliefs?8. Pyrrhonism and Common Sense9. Is the Pyrrhonist a Proto-Phenomenalist?10. Arguments and Reasons11. Pyrrhonism and Constrained BeliefSelect Bibliography, Index

Editorial Reviews

`a very valuable contribution for our understanding of Sextus' Pyrrhonism as well as for the current debate about the coherence of his position.'Ancient Philosophy