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The History of Skepticism

In Search of Consistency


Renata Ziemińska

This book reconstructs the history of skepticism ranging from ancient to contemporary times, from Pyrrho to Kripke. The main skeptical stances and the historical reconstruction of the concept of skepticism are connected with an analysis of their recurrent inconsistency. The author reveals that this inconsistency is not a logical contradiction but a pragmatic one. She shows that it is a contradiction between the content of the skeptical position and the implicit presumption of the act of its assertion. The thesis of global skepticism cannot be accepted as true without falling into the pragmatic inconsistency. The author explains, how skepticism was important for exposing the limits of human knowledge and inspired its development.

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Ac. – Cicero, On Academic Skepticism (trans. Ch. Brittain, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2006).

Adv. – Arnobius, Adversus Nationes, in: Amata B. (ed.). The Latin Library, (accessed: 1.05.2012).

CA – Augustine St., Against the Academicians (trans. M. P. Garvey, Milwaukee, Wis.: Marquette University Press, 1942).

CD – Augustine St., The City of God (trans. M. Dods, Modern Library: New York, 2000).

CP – Peirce Ch. S., Collected Papers (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1931–1958, vols. 1–8). Congr. – Philo of Alexandria, De congressu eruditionis gratia, in: P. Wendland (ed.), Philonis Alexandrini opera quae supersunt (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1962, vol. 3, pp. 72–109).

Div. – Lactantius, Divinae Institutiones III–IV, Heck E., A. Wlosok (eds.) (Berlin: W. de Gruyter 2007).

DL – Diogenes Laertius, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (trans. C. D. Yonge, London: J. Haddon and Son, 1853).

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