Chapter

Pyrrhonism and Constrained Belief

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/9780198238522.003.0011
Pyrrhonism and Constrained Belief

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This chapter argues that global scepticism about the availability of rationally justified beliefs can be refuted only by showing that the sceptic's negative epistemological arguments can be rejected without abandoning one's grasp on the notion of a rational justification. If the Pyrrhonist's arguments do succeed in turning our standards of rationality against themselves, then it will be impossible for anyone attempting to live rationally to avoid the conclusion to the sceptical thesis that there are no rationally justified beliefs is correct. Thus, the only way out for the non-sceptic is to uncover the specific flaws in the sceptic's argumentation. The current discussion of Sextus' Pyrrhonism establishes that the reflex response of global scepticism about rational justification is self-refuting and unlivable is no longer convincing.

Keywords: Sextus; Pyrrhonism; Pyrrhonist; scepticism; belief; justified beliefs; rational justification

Chapter.  9373 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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