Keep Calm and Carry On

Sextus Empiricus on the Origins of Pyrrhonism

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
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  • 1 Department of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

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Abstract

Pyrrhonian inquiry responds to the hope of intellectual tranquillity, and aims at the achievement and maintenance of said tranquillity. According to the Tranquillity Charge, philosophical inquiry aims at the truth; hence, insofar as Pyrrhonian inquiry aims at tranquillity, it does not qualify as philosophical inquiry. Furthermore, Pyrrhonian philanthropy rests on the Partisan Premise, i.e. the claim that all philosophers aim at the removal of psychological disturbance. I show that the origin-story of Pyrrhonism evades the Tranquillity Charge, and that the Partisan Premise is not as partisan as it seems. Unlike previous attempts, my reconstruction preserves all tranquillity-related features of Sextan Pyrrhonism.

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