Chapter

A Life without Beliefs?

Alan Bailey

in Sextus Empiricus and Pyrrhonean Scepticism

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780198238522
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679667 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198238522.003.0007
A Life without Beliefs?

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In the preceding chapter it was argued that Sextus' explicit account of the Pyrrhonist's έποχή does not have any tendency to suggest that the mature Pyrrhonist eschews all belief. On the contrary, that account strongly implies that even the mature Pyrrhonist has beliefs about evident matters of inquiry. However, Myles Burnyeat insists in his paper ‘Can the Sceptic Live his Scepticism?’ that Sextus is committed to the view that the mature Pyrrhonist has no beliefs at all. This chapter argues that no attempt to explain how the Pyrrhonist acts without beliefs can hope to succeed, and that Burnyeat's novel version of this strategy, is not, in any case, one that Sextus would regard as applicable to Pyrrhonist's actual situation.

Keywords: Sextus; scepticism; belief; truth—valueless thesis; Burnyeat

Chapter.  11305 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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