By Tad Brennan
This publication defends the consistency, plausibility, and curiosity of the logo of historical Skepticism defined within the writings of Sextus Empiricus (c. one hundred fifty AD), either via targeted exegesis of the unique texts, and during sustained engagement with an array of recent critics.
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He wants to say, for instance, that he has not yet been convinced of the claim that there are such things, nor of the Peripatetics’ rival claims that there are not. g. of being indeterminate or uncognizable), because it may be that on further enquiry he or others will come to decide that they do exist, and find that they are able to make statements about their determinacy and so on. He just wants to say that, so far, he has not found them, or gotten the kind of grasp of them implied by the term “cognition”.
E. a dogma”. Yes, this too might be right, but only if one means exactly the other kind of criterion, that is, an infallible foundational criterion of truth. That kind is certainly dogmatic. And that kind is specifically cited by Sextus as the object of his enquiries and doubts. But that kind is also quite superfluous for arriving at some belief about the tem perature of the water. , dipping a finger into it, or, if we are prac ticing the confectioner’s craft, by dipping a thermometer into it.
17). I have argued in Brennan 1998a that the metaphysical interpretation of Pyrrho’s skepticism runs directly counter to our best evidence about Pyrrho, and is not supported by any good interpretive arguments. The most that can be said is that certain ancient critics of Pyrrho were not always careful to distinguish the metaphysical from the epistemological view, or wanted to tar the epistemological position with the difficulties attendant on the metaphysical one. But be that as it may, if this sort of position was already attributed to Pyrrho in antiquity, whether rightly or wrongly, the Sextan skeptic would want to distinguish his position from it.
Ethics and Epistemology in Sextus Empiricus by Tad Brennan