Thursday, October 28, 2010

Research Fellowship

The Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame announces up to four one-year residential Research Fellowships on the topic of 'Evil and Skeptical Theism', open rank, funded by the John Templeton Foundation. (Skeptical theism is an increasingly widely discussed strategy for responding to the problem of evil.) Fellows will be expected to spend the year in residence at the University of Notre Dame. Each successful applicant will receive a total fellowship award of $55,000 to $85,000. Stipend will depend on rank and circumstances of the applicant, and up to $15,000 of each award may be received as reimbursement for travel, re-location, or research-related expenses.

In addition, there will be funding available to invite outside scholars of interest to the fellows for brief visits during the 2011–2012 academic year. There will also be funding available for a workshop on the theme of skeptical theism in late spring of 2012. (Details of the workshop are still to be determined. Applicants who are interested in helping to organize the workshop should indicate as much in their cover letter.)

For further details, including a brief characterization of skeptical theism and information about appropriate topics of research, please visit and follow the “Fellowships” and "Skeptical Theism" links.

To apply, please submit the following materials electronically, if possible, to, or by mail to Michael Rea, Director, Center for Philosophy of Religion, 418 Malloy Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556:

• A complete curriculum vitae.
• Three letters of recommendation.
• A project abstract of no more than 150 words.
• A project description of no more than 1200 words.
• One published or unpublished paper.
All application materials must be received by January 15, 2011 to assure full consideration. Questions may be addressed to Michael Rea at

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dretske in Brazil

On November 11-12, at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Porto Alegre), Fred Dretske (Duke University) will deliver two papers, one of them on skepticism:

Thursday 11, at 15:30h: "What We See: The Texture of Conscious Experience".

Friday 12, at 14h: "I Think I Think, Therefore I Am . . . I Think: Skeptical Doubts About Self Knowledge".

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cicero's Academica

A new French translation (with facing Latin text) of Cicero's Academica has just come out:

Cicéron, Les Académiques/Academica. Translation by José Kany-Turpin, introduction by Pierre Pellegrin (GF Flammarion, 2010).

For more information, go here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Online Submission New Journal

Manuscripts for consideration in the International Journal for the Study of Skepticism must now be submitted online through Editorial Manager. The link to this online manuscript submission system can be found on the journal's website, where you can also find the instructions for authors and the list of members of the editorial board.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pyrrhonism and Doubt

Lorenzo Corti has recently published his paper "Sextus Empiricus: scepticisme sans doute" in the collective volume "Quid est veritas?" Hommage à Jonathan Barnes (Napoli: Bibliopolis, 2010), pp. 157-177. Corti claims that the Pyrrhonist's suspension of judgment is not the same as the state of doubt. This view was already defended by Benson Mates (and also by Ezequiel de Olaso), but Corti holds it for a different reason. He compares the so-called 'Cartesian' skeptic and the Pyrrhonist, and concludes (i) that the former does not believe that P or not-P, whereas the latter does not judge that P or not-P, and (ii) that belief is a state, whereas judgment is an act. Now, one may be in a given state without having performed an act of judgment: I may believe that P without having judged that P. So the only beliefs the Pyrrhonist eschews are those which are based on judgments (pp. 172-6).

I'm not convinced by this view, because the distinction in question seems somehow artificial. Sextus does attack the very holding of dogmata and doxai, and it is not at all clear that the beliefs and opinions targeted are only those based on judgments. Also, contrary to what Corti suggests (p. 175), there's no textual evidence for the view that what disturbed the proto-skeptic was, not the beliefs he held, but the judgments he formed. If a person believes that an object X is good by nature, he is disturbed if he does not have it and, if he does, he is disturbed because he is afraid of losing it. And this is so even if the belief in question is not based on a judgment.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

McDowell and Skepticism

Santiago Echeverri's paper "McDowell's Conceptualist Therapy for Skepticism" is forthcoming in the European Journal of Philosophy. The paper can at present be accessed through the early view system: go here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pyrrhonism and Self-Refutation

I'd like to let you know about this very recent publication by Luca Castagnoli (Durham University):

Ancient Self-Refutation: The Logic and History of the Self-Refutation Argument from Democritus to Augustine (CUP, 2010).

For more information, go here. Some of the chapters deal with ancient Pyrrhonism. Since I had the opportunity to read a draft of the book, I can tell you that it is certainly worth reading.