69 - Beyond Belief: Pyrrho and Skepticism

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Peter turns to the final major Hellenistic school, the Skeptics, beginning with Pyrrho and the question of how ancient skepticism compares to modern skepticism.



Further Reading

• R. Bett, Pyrrho, his Antecedents and his Legacy (Oxford: 2000).

• R. Bett (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Scepticism (Cambridge: 2010).

• T. Brennan, “Pyrrho on the Criterion,” Ancient Philosophy 18 (1998), 417–34.

• R.J. Hankinson, The Sceptics (London: 1995).

• D. Sedley, “The Motivation of Greek Skepticism,” in The Skeptical Tradition, ed. M. Burnyeat (Berkeley: 1983), 9-29.

• S. Svavarsson, “Pyrrho’s Undecidable Nature,” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 27 (2004), 249–295.

Stanford Encyclopedia: Pyrrho


In reply to by Corey Mohler

Peter Adamson on 27 November 2013

Pyrrho wins the lottery

I like that a lot! I posted it to Twitter for others to enjoy. Thanks.

In reply to by Corey Mohler

Czas on 17 April 2014

Existential comics

In fact, that was what brought me here! 69 episodes later, I remember now :)

I can't believe I had such luck!


ps. No seriously now, great luck to find this great series. Excellent work!

Andrew Shields on 19 January 2023

An unfulfilled prediction!

Getting to Descartes in five years' time? Soon, though, right?

The mention of this episode in episode 412 the other day sent me back to listen to this one again. It's wonderful to go back and listen to an earlier episode and think of all the later links that this one sets up!

By the way, you spoke differently on the podcast ten-plus years ago! And you have stopped saying, "Now, I know what you're thinking", which was a common phrase in the early episodes.

In reply to by Andrew Shields

Peter Adamson on 19 January 2023

I don't know what Descartes was thinking...

...yet. Yeah things have gone slower than I expected/hoped!

I dropped the catchphrase because people said it was annoying them, which I can understand; I mean, five times it is cute, but 400 times not so much.

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