The Skeptic Way: Sextus Empiricus's Outlines Of Pyrrhonism
The Skeptic Way: Sextus Empiricus's Outlines of Pyrrhonism
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 several important 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 made today.
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 thorough introduction sets the stage by explaining what Pyrrhonism is and what it is not,...