Author: Sextus Empiricus
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2000-07-20
Outlines of Scepticism, by the Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus, is a work of major importance for the history of Greek philosophy. It is the fullest extant account of ancient scepticism, and it is also one of our most copious sources of information about the other Hellenistic philosophies. Its first part contains an elaborate exposition of the Pyrrhonian variety of scepticism; its second and third parts are critical and destructive, arguing against 'dogmatism' in logic, epistemology, science and ethics - an approach that revolutionized the study of philosophy when Sextus' works were rediscovered and published in the sixteenth century. This volume presents the accurate and readable translation which was first published in 1994, together with a substantial new historical and philosophical introduction by Jonathan Barnes.
Throughout history philosophers have sought to define, understand, and delineate concepts important to human well-being. One such concept is "knowledge." Many philosophers believed that absolute, certain knowledge, is possible—that the physical world and ideas formulated about it could be given solid foundation unaffected by the varieties of mere opinion. Sextus Empiricus stands as an example of the "skeptic" school of thought whose members believed that knowledge was either unattainable or, if a genuine possibility, the conditions necessary to achieve it were next to impossible to satisfy. In other words, in the absence of complete knowledge, one must make do with the information provided by an imperfect world and conveyed to the mind through sense impressions that can often deceive us. Throughout his life Sextus Empiricus entered into intellectual combat with those who confidently claimed to possess indubitable knowledge. For skeptics, the best one can hope to achieve is a reasonable suspension of judgment—remaining ever mindful that claims to knowledge require careful scrutiny, thoughtful analysis, and critical review if we are to prevent ourselves and others from plunging headlong into mistaken notions.
The Meaning of Life and the Great Philosophers reveals how great philosophers of the past sought to answer the question of the meaning of life. This edited collection includes thirty-five chapters which each focus on a major philosophical figure, from Confucius to Rorty, and that imaginatively engage with the topic from their perspective. This volume also contains a Postscript on the historical origins and original significance of the phrase ‘the meaning of life’. Written by leading experts in the field, such as A.C. Grayling, Thaddeus Metz and John Cottingham, this unique and engaging book explores the relevance of the history of philosophy to contemporary debates. It will prove essential reading for students and scholars studying the history of philosophy, philosophy of religion, ethics, metaphysics or comparative philosophy.
The subject is Sextus Empiricus, one the chief sources of information on ancient philosophy and one of the most influential authors in the history of skepticism. Sextus' works have had an extraordinary influence on western philosophy, and this book provides the first exhaustive and detailed study of their recovery, transmission, and intellectual influence through Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. This study deals with Sextus' biography, as well as the history of the availability and reception of his works. It also contains an extensive bibliographical section, including editions, translations, and commentaries.
The final volume to be published in the acclaimed Routledge History of Philosophy series provides an authoritative and comprehensive survey and analysis of the key areas of late Greek and early Christian Philosophy.
Author: Edward Craig
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 1998-01-01
Genre: Electronic books
Review: "Depth and breadth of coverage, clarity of presentation, impressive bibliographies, excellent use of cross references, and an extensive index combine to make this an impressive reference work. The contributors have addressed both current and past scholarship on world philosophy and religion and have produced a worthy successor to Macmillan's 1967 Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It will be read and understood by the educated public as well as scholars and will be a fine addition to academic and large public library reference collections."--"Outstanding Reference Sources : the 1999 Selection Sources Committee, RUSA, ALA
Author: Sextus (Empiricus.)
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 1996
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
The Outlines of Pyrrhonism by the 2nd century A.D. Greek physician Sextus Empiricus was immensely influential in the history of Western philosophy. The rediscovery and publication of this work in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led directly to the skepticism of Montaigne, Gassendi, Bayle, Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, and others, and eventually to the preoccupation of modern philosophy with attempts to refute or otherwise combat philosophical skepticism. In recent years, however, it has become apparent that Pyrrhonism--the form of skepticism professed by Sextus--is in several important respects quite different from the modern forms of skepticism to which the writings of Sextus have given rise. Some of these differences are of particular philosophic interest because they seem to render the ancient form immune to many of the standard responses to skepticism that are made today. In this book, which incorporates a new translation of the Outlines in their entirety, Benson Mates presents Pyrrhonism not as a mere historical curiosity, as has often been done, but as a philosophical position eminently worthy of serious philosophical consideration here and now. His thorough introduction sets the stage by explaining what Pyrrhonism is and what it is not, and by contrasting it in the relevant respects with modern skepticism. He gives particular attention to explicating a number of quasi-technical terms that occur frequently in the Outlines and have decisive bearing on the philosophical content. By rendering these terms more accurately and uniformly in his translation, he seeks to make the essential feautres of Sextus's Pyrrhonism more evident to the reader. The latter part of the book consists of a detailed Commentary, which endeavors to discuss and explain the work, section by section, from a philosophical (as contrasted with a philological) point of view.
Author: Diego E. Machuca
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2011-07-17
This is the first collection of original essays entirely devoted to a detailed study of the Pyrrhonian tradition. The twelve contributions collected in the present volume combine to offer a historical and systematic analysis of the form of skepticism known as “Pyrrhonism”. They discuss whether the Pyrrhonist is an ethically engaged agent, whether he can claim to search for truth, and other thorny questions concerning ancient Pyrrhonism; explore its influence on certain modern thinkers such as Pierre Bayle and David Hume; and examine Pyrrhonian skepticism in relation to contemporary analytic philosophy.
Combining a basic history of philosophical thought with the often quirky personal stories of famous philosophers, this comprehensive introduction to the world of philosophy answers more than 1,000 questions, ranging from What was the Enlightenment? to Why did the Pythagorians avoid fava beans? Analyzing the collective effort of philosophers throughout history in the pursuit of truth and wisdom, the guide explores the tangible significance of philosophical thought to modern society and civilization as a whole. With a wide range of information suitable for various knowledge bases—from junior high to junior college—this is an ideal resource for anyone looking to get a better grasp of the history of thought.
"Judicious in every respect: selection, translation and structuring of the texts, footnotes, bibliography, and index. . . . The book of choice for undergraduate courses." -- Edward M Galligan, University of North Carolina
Author: Graeme Hunter
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Release Date: 2013-12-06
Blaise Pascal has always been appreciated as a literary giant and a religious guide, but has received only grudging recognition as a philosopher: philosophers have mistaken Pascal’s harsh criticism of their discipline as a rejection of it. But according to Graeme Hunter, Pascal’s critics have simply failed to grasp his lean, but powerful conception of philosophy. This accessibly written book provides the first introduction to Pascal’s philosophy as an organic whole. Hunter argues that Pascal’s aim is not merely to humble philosophy, but to save it from a kind of failure to which it is prone. He lays out Pascal’s development of a more promising and fruitful path for philosophical inquiry, one that responded to the scientific, religious, and political upheaval of his time. Finally, Hunter illuminates Pascal’s significance for contemporary readers, allowing him to emerge as the rare philosopher who is spiritual, literary, and rigorous all at once – both a brilliant controversialist and a thinker of substance.
Author: Alan Bailey
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2002
Alan Bailey offers a clear and vigorous exposition and defence of the philosophy of Sextus Empiricus, one of the most influential of ancient thinkers, the father of philosophical scepticism. The subsequent sceptical tradition in philosophy has not done justice to Sextus: his views stand up today as remarkably insightful, offering a fruitful way to approach issues of knowledge, understanding, belief, and rationality. It is widely supposed that any form of scepticism that arrives at a global denial of the availability of rationally justified beliefs is self-refuting and unliveable. Bailey shows that the former objection can be disarmed by distinguishing between the mature Pyrrhonean sceptic's assessment of his negative epistemological arguments and the assessment forced upon his philosophical opponents by their own rationalistic code. The latter objection overlooks the role Sextus allocates to beliefs that are necessitated by the Pyrrhonist's psychological and biological constitution. Alan Bailey's refreshing presentation of Sextus to a modern philosophical readership rescues scepticism from the sceptics.
Author: Jason L. Saunders
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 1966
A concise selection from the standard philosophical works written after the death of Aristotle to the close of the third century, which includes the writings of seminal figures from early Christian thought. Eminent scholar Jason Saunders shows how philosophers from the Hellenistic Age greatly influenced early Christian teachings.
Author: Graziano Ranocchia
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
Release Date: 2014-10-29
Historically speaking, the majority of efforts in the study of ancient Greek physics have traditionally been devoted either to the analysis of the surviving evidence concerning Presocratic philosophers or to the systematic examination of the Platonic and the Aristotelian oeuvre. The aim of this volume is to discuss the notion of space by focusing on the most representative exponents of the Hellenistic schools and to explore the role played by spatial concepts in both coeval and later authors who, without specifically thematising these concepts, made use of them in a theoretically original way. To this purpose, renowned scholars investigate the philosophical and historical significance of the different conceptions of space endorsed by various thinkers ranging from the end of the Classical period to the middle Imperial age. Thus, the volume brings to light the problematical character of the ancient reflection on this topic.