The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Scepticism

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Richard Bett
Cambridge University Press, Jan 28, 2010 - Philosophy - 380 pages
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This volume offers a comprehensive survey of the main periods, schools, and individual proponents of scepticism in the ancient Greek and Roman world. The contributors examine the major developments chronologically and historically, ranging from the early antecedents of scepticism to the Pyrrhonist tradition. They address the central philosophical and interpretive problems surrounding the sceptics' ideas on subjects including belief, action, and ethics. Finally, they explore the effects which these forms of scepticism had beyond the ancient period, and the ways in which ancient scepticism differs from scepticism as it has been understood since Descartes. The volume will serve as an accessible and wide-ranging introduction to the subject for non-specialists, while also offering considerable depth and detail for more advanced readers.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
I Origins and Development
11
1 Antecedents in early Greek philosophy
13
2 Pyrrho and early Pyrrhonism
36
3 Arcesilaus and Carneades
58
decline and afterlife
81
5 Aenesidemus and the rebirth of Pyrrhonism
105
6 Sextus Empiricus
120
10 Academics versus Pyrrhonists reconsidered
195
11 The Pyrrhonian Modes
208
12 Pyrrhonism and medicine
232
13 Pyrrhonism and the specialized sciences
249
III Beyond Antiquity
265
14 The rediscovery and posthumous influence of scepticism
267
15 Descartes transformation of the sceptical tradition
288
Bibliography
314

II Topics and Problems
143
7 Scepticism and belief
145
8 Scepticism and action
165
9 Scepticism and ethics
181

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About the author (2010)

Richard Bett is Professor of Philosophy and Classics at Johns Hopkins University. His previous publications include Pyrrho, his Antecedents and his Legacy (2000), and translations of Sextus Empiricus' Against the Ethicists (1997, with commentary) and Against the Logicians (2005).

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