Skepticism

14 - Making the Weaker Argument the Stronger: the Sophists

Posted on 16 January 2011

In this episode, Peter Adamson discusses the sophists, teachers of rhetoric in ancient Athens, looking especially at the contributions of Protagoras and Gorgias.

19 comments
69 - Beyond Belief: Pyrrho and Skepticism

Posted on 26 February 2012

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

3 comments
70 - The Know Nothing Party: the Skeptical Academy

Posted on 4 March 2012

Under Arcesilaus and Carneades, Plato’s Academy took a skeptical turn, casting doubt on the possibility of knowledge. But was their skepticism skeptical enough?

11 comments
71 - Rhetorical Questions: Cicero

Posted on 11 March 2012

Cicero’s philosophical works are invaluable records of Hellenistic thought. But what kind of philosopher was Cicero himself?

7 comments
72 - Raphael Woolf on Cicero

Posted on 18 March 2012

Peter talks to Raphael Woolf about the method and philosophical allegiance of Cicero, focusing on the work On Ends (De Finibus).

3 comments
73 - Healthy Skepticism: Sextus Empiricus

Posted on 25 March 2012

Sextus Empiricus, the last great ancient skeptic, expounds a radical branch of the tradition called Pyrrhonism. Peter raises some doubts about how to interpret him.

2 comments
143 - Special Delivery: al-Ghazālī

Posted on 29 September 2013

Al-Ghazālī’s search for truth leads him to philosophy, Ash'arite theology, and ultimately the mystical tradition of Ṣūfism.

17 comments
189 - Subcontinental Drift: Philosophy in Islamic India

Posted on 17 August 2014

Ideas spread to Mughal India from Iran, and prince Dārā Shikūh seeks to unite the wisdom of the Upanishads with the Koran.

7 comments
19. When in Doubt: the Rise of Skepticism

Posted on 29 May 2016

Skeptical tendences in Indian thought and responses to skepticism from the Mīmāṃsā and Vedānta schools.

0 comments
32. What You See Is What You Get: Nyāya on Perception

Posted on 25 December 2016

Nyāya philosophers explain how perception can bring us knowledge.

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274. Susan Brower-Toland on Ockham's Philosophy of Mind

Posted on 26 March 2017

An interview with Susan Brower-Toland covering Ockham's views on cognition, consciousness, and memory.

0 comments
39. The Wolf’s Footprint: Indian Naturalism

Posted on 2 April 2017

The Cārvāka or Lokāyata tradition rejects the efficacy of ritual and belief in the afterlife, and restricts knowledge to the realm of sense-perception.

0 comments
44. It All Depends: Nagarjuna on Emptiness

Posted on 11 June 2017

Nāgārjuna founds the Mādhyamaka (“middle way”) Buddhist tradition by “relinquishing all views” and arguing that everything is “empty.”

2 comments
45. Motion Denied: Nāgārjuna on Change

Posted on 25 June 2017

Nāgārjuna applies his emptiness theory to motion, change, and cognition.

2 comments
46. No Four Ways About It: Nāgārjuna’s Tetralemma

Posted on 9 July 2017

Nāgārjuna’s four-fold argument scheme, the tetralemma (catuṣkoṭi).

10 comments
47. Jan Westerhoff on Nāgārjuna

Posted on 23 July 2017

A discussion with Jan Westerhoff, an expert on the great Buddhist thinker Nāgārjuna, dealing with the notion of emptiness, the tetralemma, and Nāgārjuna's reception in India and Tibet.

4 comments
284. Seeing is Believing: Nicholas of Autrecourt’s Skeptical Challenge

Posted on 13 August 2017

The debate between Nicholas of Autrecourt and John Buridan on whether it is possible to achieve certain knowledge.

3 comments
285. Dominik Perler on Medieval Skepticism

Posted on 24 September 2017

The medievals were too firm in their beliefs to entertain skeptical worries, right? Don't be so sure, as Peter learns from Dominik Perler.

5 comments
59. Looking East: Indian Influence on Greek Thought

Posted on 4 February 2018

Did Indian ideas play a role in shaping ancient Greek philosophy?

29 comments
334. Chance Encounters: Reviving Hellenistic Philosophy

Posted on 20 October 2019

The rediscovery of Epicurus, Lucretius, and Sextus Empiricus spreads challenging ideas about chance, atomism, and skepticism.

7 comments
386. Perhaps Not Wrong: Cornelius Agrippa

Posted on 19 December 2021

Was Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa a dark magician, a pious skeptic, or both?

4 comments