Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fribourg

Next Sunday I'm leaving for Fribourg (Switzerland), where I'll be a visiting researcher for about two months.

During this stay in Europe, I hope I'll be able to deliver a couple of papers on Sextan Pyrrhonism. This would be important because here in Argentina there are few people working on skepticism in general - I don't know anyone working on Pyrrhonism in particular. Hence, it is not possible to discuss with others. I hope this situation will start to change with the conference that will take place in Buenos Aires in August.

If you know of any interesting event taking place in May or June in Europe, please let me know.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pothius on Aenesidemus

Tomorrow, at the Faculty of Classics of the University of Cambridge, Roberto Polito will deliver a paper entitled 'Photius on Aenesidemus (Bibl. 170a 28-38): philosophical and textual aporiai'. This will take place at 1-2 pm in room 1.04.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Issue of Sképsis

Good news: the second issue of the Brazilian journal Sképsis has just appeared. You can find the table of contents here. Note that you can download the papers.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

XI Symposium Hellenisticum

As you may probably know, the Eleventh Symposium Hellenisticum took place last year in Delphi. Its topic was 'Sextus Empiricus and Ancient Physics'. A complete and very interesting report can be found here. It seems that they're preparing a collective volume which will be published (in 2009?) by Cambridge University Press.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oxford Handbook of Skepticism

I've just found out that another chapter of the Oxford Handbook of Skepticism (edited by Greco) is 'The Pyrrhonian Problematic' by Markus Lammenranta (University of Helsinki). A pdf file of this paper can be found on Markus' webpage.

Update April 24: Kent Gustavsson has just let me know that, besides Markus' paper and the ten essays I mention here, there will also be a piece by Alan Millar, "Disjunctivism and Skepticism".

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

APA Central Division Meeting

I've found a couple of things you might find interesting:

Thursday 17

GII-9. Hume Society 7:30-10:35 p.m. Place: TBA
Topic: Hume on Skepticism and Moral Distinctions

Chair: Karánn Durland (Austin College)

Speakers:

John Corvino (Wayne State): “Hume on the ‘Reality’ of Moral Distinctions”

Brian Ribeiro (University of Tennessee–Chattanooga): “Hume’s Changing Views on the ‘Durability’ of Skepticism”

Friday 18

II-C. Author Meets Critics: Duncan Pritchard, Epistemic Luck 9:00 a.m.-Noon

Chair: Mylan Engel, Jr. (Northern Illinois University)

Critics: Ernest Sosa (Rutgers University)
Linda Zagzebski (University of Oklahoma)
Jonathan L. Kvanvig (Baylor University)

Author: Duncan Pritchard (University of Stirling)

As you probably know, Brian Ribeiro has written several fine articles on skepticism and Duncan's excellent book discusses, among other things, external world skepticism and Pyrrhonism.

Edit: Brian has just let me know that there has been a time change. So I've modified the information and also added that John Corvino is the other speaker. The info on the APA website is a little inaccurate.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Florence Skepticism Conference

As you might remember, back in November I wrote a post saying that the NYU philosophy department was going to hold a conference on skepticism in Florence next June. Quite a few people then wrote me asking for information about the program. I sent a message to that department and it seemed that they were going to keep me posted, which has not been the case. I made a last try last week. This time they answered my e-mail saying that the conference is open only to the invited participants, but didn't say a word about the program. I do not understand at all why the program for the conference is such a secret and why they just don't tell me that they don't want to give me that information. Honestly, I find their reluctance a little ridiculous.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sosa's A Virtue Epistemology

As you might know, last year Ernest Sosa (Rutgers) published the first wolume of his A Virtue Epistemology - Apt Belief and Reflective Knowledge, vol. I (Oxford University Press). Needless to say, in this book Sosa deals with skepticism. For information, go here.

The second volume will appear next year. Sosa is going to present a couple of its chapters at the Wisconsin Epistemology Conference in May. If you're interested, click here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pyrrhonism and Action

This morning, Jason Stanley (Rutgers University) delivered a paper entitled 'Knowledge and Action' at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Buenos Aires. Therein he defends the the following principles:

The Action-Knowledge Principle: Treat the proposition that p as a reason for acting only if you know that p.

The Reason-Knowledge Principle: Where one's choice is p-dependent, it is appropiate to treat the proposition that p as a reason for acting iff you know that p.

He formulates both principles by reflecting on what people actually say in ordinary life. One of the examples he gives is the following: 'Suppose John decides not to buy health insurance anymore, reasoning that he is healthy enough. He calls his mother to report excitedly on his money-saving decision. His mother can berate him for not buying the insurance, by appealing to the fact that he doesn't know that he won't fall ill'. All the examples Stanley gives describe situations in which one criticizes a person's action for not knowing that upon which he bases his decision to perform that action. Therefore, he seems to derive normative claims from a description of what we ordinarily say. Insofar as his claims are normative, what he means is that, if you do not know p but act on the basis of p, your action is not rational.

Now, at one point I asked Stanley: 'Suppose that you come accross a Pyrrhonian skeptic. What would you say to him? Would you tell him (i) that when he acts he is not rational or (ii) that, despite what he says, he does have beliefs and does know lots of things?'. His answer was that the Pyrrhonist does know what he says he doesn't know. It seems that people consider it obvious that Pyrrhonism is not tenable because it is not possible to act on the basis of a reason (I'm using this term loosely) without believing or knowing something. That is, the reason for performing a given action must be a belief or a piece of knowledge. But is it that obvious? It sometimes appears to me that people dismiss Pyrrhonism without carefully reflecting on its conceptual and argumentative resources.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Handbook of Skepticism

It seems that the Oxford Handbook of Skepticism, edited by John Greco, will be published in October. According to Amazon, it will include twenty-six chapters. I've already mentioned ten of them in a previous post.