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The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Scepticism


  • 1 table
  • Page extent: 392 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.62 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521697545)

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$34.99 (P)

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.


Abbreviations; Introduction, Richard Bett; Part I. Origins and Development: 1. Antecedents in early Greek philosophy Mi-Kyoung Lee; 2. Pyrrho and early Pyrrhonism Svavar Hrafn Svavarsson; 3. Arcesilaus and Carneades Harald Thorsrud; 4. The sceptical academy: decline and afterline Carlos Lévy; 5. Aenesidemus and the rebirth of Pyrrhonism James Hankinson; 6. Sextus Empiricus Pierre Pellegrin; Part II. Topics and Problems: 7. Scepticism and belief Casey Perin; 8. Scepticism and action Katja Maria Vogt; 9. Scepticism and ethics Richard Bett; 10. Academics versus Pyrrhonists, reconsidered Gisela Striker; 11. The Pyrrhonian modes Paul Woodruff; 12. Pyrrhonism and medicine James Allen; 13. Pyrrhonism and the specialized sciences Emidio Spinelli; Part III. Beyond Antiquity: 14. The rediscovery and posthumous influence of scepticism Luciano Floridi; 15. Descartes' transformation of the sceptical tradition Michael Williams; Bibliography.


"This very welcome contribution will aid readers' understanding of an underrepresented area of philosophical inquiry. It stands among the finest in this esteemed series from Cambridge University Press.... Essential...."
J. M. Carvalho, Villanova University, Choice

"....This volume is designed to provide a comprehensive view on the main protagonists, the central issues of contention in recent scholarship, and the transformation of sceptical traditions beyond antiquity.... this book will serve as a reliable introduction for all those who want to turn to original sources and study the ideas and arguments of ancient sceptics more carefully.... care was taken to ensure that the essays are accessible to non-specialists.... will also be very useful for specialists...."
Filip Grgić,, Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb, Philosophy in Review

"...Although some fine general presentations of Greco-Roman scepticism have recently appeared in print, the advantage of this book lies in its variety of approaches and interpretations. This will allow the reader to better appreciate the historical, exegetical, and philosophical complexity faced by anyone exploring the ancient sceptical traditions. Richard Bett has assembled a prestigious line-up of contributors, most of whom are renowned specialists.... this volume will become an indispensable reference book for students and non-specialists, but even scholars of ancient scepticism will find among these essays new and challenging interpretations with which to engage."
Diego E. Machuca, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina, British Journal for the History of Philosophy

"This anthology is very helpful to all those (specialists and students) who want to have a closer look at the origin of scepticism as well as the disputes that surrounded it in the Ancient period."
Science et Esprit


Richard Bett, Mi-Kyoung Lee, Svavar Hrafn Svavarsson, Harald Thorsrud, Carlos Lévy, James Hankinson, Pierre Pellegrin, Casey Perin, Katja Maria Vogt, Gisela Striker, Paul Woodruff, James Allen, Emidio Spinelli, Luciano Floridi, Michael Williams

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