The Pyrrhonian skeptics occupy a paradoxical place in the history of “philosophical inquiry”. On the one hand, they are the only school that self-consciously defined themselves as inquirers, this being, of course, the root meaning of skeptikos . 1 Moreover, they developed
with differences—or so at least I believe, and intend to show.
The Starting-Point of Scepticism
Sceptics start out their inquiries with the same motivations as everyone else. They are puzzled by “the inconcinnity in things” ( ē tōn pragmatōn anōmalia ), and seek to resolve these
What is the relation, in Plato, between the account of knowledge and the account of inquiry? Is the account of knowledge independent of the account of inquiry? Taking up this question is a large task, not least because, while so much work has been done on Plato’s account of
early thinkers addressed epistemic questions but never conceptualized them as, therefore failed to thematize them into, a distinct subject of enquiry. […] there is no Presocratic instance of critical appraisal of an argument or a theory, or of a self-criticism. [….] But, even if we admit that the early
The Importance of Inquiry for Understanding (Ancient) Philosophy
At least since Socrates, philosophy has been understood as the desire for acquiring a special kind of knowledge, namely wisdom, a kind of knowledge that human beings ordinarily do not possess. According to ancient thinkers
According to Sextus Empiricus, Pyrrhonian Sceptics possess the capacity to motivate suspension of judgement concerning any given matter of inquiry by setting contrary but equipollent arguments in opposition ( Outlines of Pyrrhonism [= PH ] I .8–11). The oppositional capacity ( dunamis
The purpose of teaching logic in philosophy is to enable us to evaluate arguments with respect to (formal) validity. Standard logics refer to a concept of validity which allows for the relation of implication to hold between premises and conclusion even in cases where there is no “relevant” connection between the premises and the conclusion. A prominent example for this is the rule “Ex-Falso-Quodlibet” (EFQ), which allows us to infer an arbitrary proposition from a contradiction. The tolerance of irrelevance endorsed by standard logics unfortunately engenders that they cannot adequately fulfill their intended task of analyzing and evaluating philosophical, scientific and everyday-life arguments – instead, their application even gives rise to a multitude of artificial philosophical pseudoproblems (like the problem of the disposition predicates or the problem of counterfactuals). As alternatives to standard logics, there exist non-standard systems called “relevance logics” or “relevant logics” meant to avoid irrelevance. The problem with these systems, however, is that the mainstream relational semantics (“worlds semantics”) available for them is to be considered unintuitive and complex to a degree which is apt to render relevant logics unattractive to the majority of philosophers who are on the lookout not only for adequate, but also simple and efficient technical means for evaluating arguments. Therefore, the main aim of this treatise is to provide an alternative semantics (“rules semantics”) which is comparatively easy to grasp and simple in application. A second aim of the book is to extend the semantics as least as far as it takes to cover more or less all the logical notions philosophers need in their “everyday analyzing”. This includes first order predicate logic, higher order logic (for analyzing talk about “properties” etc.), identity, definite descriptions, abstraction principles and modal logic. This book can be read without having any more background than a good introductory course in classical logic provides.
question unthinkable? And what does it mean when inquiry is dismissed, avoided, or marginalized by this kind of declaration? Second, I want to look at and analyze the form of the question itself. There is an important philosophical difference between the two modal verbs that organize the inquiry – “can
work, I expressed the datum of consciousness as a constraint on metaphysical enquiry, something I called ›the consciousness constraint.‹ Roughly this is the constraint on the metaphysician to account for consciousness in her overall theory of reality. The metaphysical implications of logic can
marches into account and ask about the reasons for the discomfort we feel when faced with them. Black (1937: 433), to whom we owe the very first forced-march scenario (according to my inquiry, at least), correctly observes that
any ›normal‹ [subject, I.B.] inspecting the series finds extreme