Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book on Pyrrhonism

In February, I wrote a post saying that Casey Perin (University of Massachusetts at Amherst) was working on the book The Demands of Reason: An Essay on Pyrrhonian Scepticism. It now seems that it will be published next May by OUP. For those interested, I've found the following description of its subject matter:

"Sextus Empiricus' Outlines of Pyrrhonism is one of the most important and influential texts in the history of Greek philosophy. In The Demands of Reason Casey Perin exams those aspects of Pyrrhonian Scepticism as Sextus describes it in the Outlines that are of special philosophical significance: its commitment to the search for truth and to certain principles of rationality, its scope, and its consequences for action and agency. Perin argues that the Sceptic is engaged in the search for truth and that since this is so, the Sceptic aims to satisfy certain basic rational requirements. He explains how the fact that the Sceptic has this aim makes it necessary, as Sextus says it is, for the Sceptic to suspend judgment under certain conditions. Perin defends an interpretation of the scope of Scepticism according to which the Sceptic has no beliefs about how things are rather than merely appear to him to be. He then explores whether, and how, Sextus can respond to the objection that since the Sceptic lacks beliefs of this kind, he cannot act and Scepticism is not, as Sextus claims it is, a possible way of life."

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Book

Lorenzo Corti's book Scepticisme et langage has finally been published by Vrin. For information, go here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Middle Platonism and Skepticism

Since I'm working on a paper on ancient skepticism, I've been reading several essays on the presence of Academic skepticism and the responses to it in the so-called 'Middle Platonists'. There's increasing interest in this subject among scholars working on philosophy in the early imperial period. I thought some of you might be interested in a list of some of the papers and books on the topic:

J. Opsomer, “Favorinus versus Epictetus on the Philosophical Heritage of Plutarch. A Debate on Epistemology”, in J. Mossman (ed.), Plutarch and his Intellectual World. London–Swansea: Duckworth–Classical Press of Wales, 1997.

Opsomer, In Search of the Truth: Academic Tendencies in Middle Platonism. Brussels: Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van Belgie, 1998.

M. Bonazzi, Academici e Platonici. Il dibattito antico sullo scetticismo di Platone. Milano: Led, 2003.

Bonazzi, “Contro la rappresentazione sensibile: Plutarco tra l’Academia e il platonismo”, Elenchos 25 (2004).

Opsomer, “Plutarch’s Platonism Revisited”, and G. Boys-Stones, “Alcinous, Didaskalikos 4: in Defence of Platonism”. Both papers appear in a collective volume edited by M. Bonazzi and V. Celluprica, L’eredità platonica. Studi sul platonismo da Arcesilao a Proclo. Napoli: Bibliopolis, 2005.

C. Brittain, “Middle Platonists on Academic Scepticism”, in R. Sharples & R. Sorabji (eds.), Greek & Roman Philosophy 100 BC–200 AD, vol. II. London: Institute of Classical Studies, 2007.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Article

The latest issue of Philosophy and Phenomenological Research features James Beebe's "The Abductivist Reply to Skepticism". Here's the abstract:

"Abductivists claim that explanatory considerations (e.g., simplicity, parsimony, explanatory breadth, etc.) favor belief in the external world over skeptical hypotheses involving evil demons and brains in vats. After showing how most versions of abductivism succumb fairly easily to obvious and fatal objections, I explain how rationalist versions of abductivism can avoid these difficulties. I then discuss the most pressing challenges facing abductivist appeals to the a priori and offer suggestions on how to overcome them."

To access the paper, click here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Forthcoming Book

I've just found out that, next year, Oxford University Press will publish a collection of essays on skepticism by Anthony Brueckner (UC Santa Barbara). For information, go here.