The Skeptic Way: Sextus Empiricuss Outlines of Pyrrhonism

Paperback | April 30, 1999

Translated byBenson Mates

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The Outlines of Pyrrhonism by the 2nd century A.D. Greek physician Sextus Empiricus was immensely influential in the history of Western philosophy. The rediscovery and publication of this work in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led directly to the skepticism of Montaigne, Gassendi,Bayle, Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, and others, and eventually to the preoccupation of modern philosophy with attempts to refute or otherwise combat philosophical skepticism. In recent years, however, it has become apparent that Pyrrhonism--the form of skepticism professed by Sextus--is in severalimportant respects quite different from the modern forms of skepticism to which the writings of Sextus have given rise. Some of these differences are of particular philosophic interest because they seem to render the ancient form immune to many of the standard responses to skepticism that are madetoday. In this book, which incorporates a new translation of the Outlines in their entirety, Benson Mates presents Pyrrhonism not as a mere historical curiosity, as has often been done, but as a philosophical position eminently worthy of serious philosophical consideration here and now. His thoroughintroduction sets the stage by explaining what Pyrrhonism is and what it is not, and by contrasting it in the relevant respects with modern skepticism. He gives particular attention to explicating a number of quasi-technical terms that occur frequently in the Outlines and have decisive bearing onthe philosophical content. By rendering these terms more accurately and uniformly in his translation, he seeks to make the essential feautres of Sextus's Pyrrhonism more evident to the reader. The latter part of the book consists of a detailed Commentary, which endeavors to discuss and explain the work, section by section, from a philosophical (as contrasted with a philological) point of view.

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The Outlines of Pyrrhonism by the 2nd century A.D. Greek physician Sextus Empiricus was immensely influential in the history of Western philosophy. The rediscovery and publication of this work in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led directly to the skepticism of Montaigne, Gassendi,Bayle, Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, and others, a...

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The Outlines of Pyrrhonism, by the 2nd century A.D. Greek physician Sextus Empiricus was immensely influential in the history of Western philosophy. The rediscovery and publication of this work in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led directly to the skepticism of Montaigne, Gassendi, Bayle, Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, and others,...

Benson Mates is at University of California, Berkeley (Emeritus).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 6.06 × 9.17 × 0.91 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195092139

ISBN - 13:9780195092134

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Table of Contents

IntroductionThe Skeptic WaySextus Empiricus: Outlines of Pyrrhonism Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Book 1 Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Book 2 Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Book 3Commentary About the Translation Who Was Sextus Empiricus? Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Book 1 Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Book 2 Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Book 3GlossarySelect BibliographyIndex

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