Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Published in 2006 - First Part

An important book that appeared in 2006 is Joëlle Delattre (ed.), Sur le Contre les professeurs de Sextus Empiricus (Lille: Presses de l’Université de Charles-de-Gaulle–Lille 3). This collective volume is devoted to Sextus Empiricus' least-known work, namely, his Adversus Mathematicos.

In my view, Richard Bett's "La double ‘schizophrénie’ de M. I–VI et ses origines historiques" is by far the best essay in this volume. He maintains that the tensions detectable in Adversus Mathematicos are to be explained by Sextus’ drawing on different Pyrrhonian sources and by his failure to adapt fully earlier skeptical arguments to his later version of Pyrrhonism. These arguments would have the same origin as the negative arguments found in the fifth book of Sextus' Adversus Dogmaticos.

More information about the book can be found here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Encyclopedia Entries - Second Part

Highly recommended is also Walter Sinnott-Armstrong's entry on Moral Skepticism from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Other entries worth reading are those on Ancient Greek Skepticism (Harald Thorsrud) and Contemporary Skepticism (Duncan Pritchard) from The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Encyclopedia Entries - First Part

The following entries on ancient skeptics from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy are highly recommended, since they've written by leading specialists:

Pyrrho and Timon by Richard Bett.

Arcesilaus and Philo of Larissa by Charles Brittain.

Carneades by James Allen.

I hope there will be entries on Aenesidemus and Sextus Empiricus.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Conference on Pyrrhonism

I've started working on the web page for the conference on Pyrrhonism and its impact on early modern and contemporary philosophy that will take place here in Buenos Aires in August 2008. Though there's still much work to do, you can find some information here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Conference on Skepticism in Modern Philosophy

Next Monday begins the international conference on skepticism in modern philosophy organized by José Raimundo Maia Neto. The conference will take place in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and will include talks by important scholars from Brazil, Europe and the US. As I said in a previous post, the program can be found here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Published in 2005 - Final Part

The last two books I'll refer to concern contemporary discussions of epistemological skepticism.

- Duncan Pritchard, Epistemic Luck. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Pritchard defends what he calls a neo-Moorean safety-based externalism. As regards the notion of epistemic luck, he distinguishes between veritic luck and reflective luck, affirming that his safety-based view deals successfully with the former but not with the latter. An interesting aspect of the book is that it takes into consideration Pyrrhonian skepticism, claiming that the challenge posed by the Modes of Agrippa concerns the problem of reflective luck and not that of “veritic” epistemic luck. Therefore, the Pyrrhonian attack is not directed against knowledge simpliciter but only against internalist knowledge, so that Pyrrhonism is compatible with widespread externalist knowledge. Certainly, this is a contentious claim. For more information about this book, click here.

- Bryan Frances, Scepticism Comes Alive. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Frances claims to have discovered a new kind of skepticism that cannot be countered by present-day responses to traditional skepticism. What characterizes this type of skepticism is that it is based upon live scientific-philosophical hypotheses. For more information, go here.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Published in 2005 - Third Part

Another important book published in 2005 is Richard Bett's new translation of Sextus Empiricus' Against the Logicians (Adversus Dogmaticos I-II). The only previous complete English version of Sextus' Against the Logicians is Bury's translation in the Loeb Classical Library, which appeared in 1935. Given that Bury's English versions of Sextus' works are sometimes inaccurate or even misleading and often sound dated, Bett's translation is a most welcome addition to the literature on Pyrrhonism. I also highly recommend the Bett's introduction, in which he claims that in the Adversus Dogmaticos it is possible to detect traces of a variety of Pyrrhonism earlier than Sextus' own variety. If you want more information about this book, click here.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Published in 2005 - Second Part

Another book published in 2005 that must be mentioned is the collective volume O Ceticismo e a possibilidade da Filosofia (Ijuí: Unijuí), edited by Waldomiro Silva Filho. The book contains essays by Alves Eva, Bolzani Filho, Junqueira Smith, and Porchat Pereira, among others. The subjects discussed include ancient Pyrrhonism, Hume, Kant, and Davidson. Click here to find more information. (I'm grateful to Roberto Bolzani for sending me a copy of this book.)