Concepts and inquiry: Sextus and the Epicureans

Gail Fine

in Episteme, etc.

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199696482
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738036 | DOI:
Concepts and inquiry: Sextus and the Epicureans

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At the beginning of Outlines of Pyrrhonism (PH), Sextus says there are three main types of philosophy: Dogmatic, Academic, and Sceptic. Dogmatic philosophers think they have discovered the truth; Academics deny that the truth is discoverable; Sceptics go on inquiring. In PH 1.7, Sextus considers various names that have been given to the Sceptical way (agogê), one of which is zêtêtikê: inquiring. Sceptics are so called because of their activity of inquiring (zêtein) and investigating (skeptesthai). Yet both Stoics and Epicureans raise difficulties about the possibility of Sceptical inquiry. Hence, the accuracy of one of the most fundamental characterizations of Scepticism is in jeopardy. This chapter explores the Epicurean challenge to the possibility of Sceptical inquiry.

Keywords: Outlines of Pyrrhonism; Dogmatic philosophy; Academic philosophy; Scepticism; Sceptical inquiry

Chapter.  15497 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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