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The Possibility of Philosophical UnderstandingReflections on the Thought of Barry Stroud$
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Jason Bridges, Niko Kolodny, and Wai-hung Wong

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195381658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381658.001.0001

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Stroud and Pyrrhonism

Stroud and Pyrrhonism

(p.62) 4 Stroud and Pyrrhonism
The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding

Robert Fogelin

Oxford University Press

This essay explores the notion that Barry Stroud, in The Quest for Reality, treats the contemporary dispute between realists and antirealists concerning the status of colors in a way that is strikingly similar to the basic moves in the Ten Modes attributed to Aenesidemus. The central strategy in the opening four modes is to point to the apparent diversity in the ways in which creatures perceive the world, and then ask: Which of these standpoints (if any) provides a correct representation of reality? The question seems, in principle, unanswerable, for there seems to be no privileged perceptual standpoint from which this dispute can be settled. In a parallel way, Stroud argues that there is no privileged conceptual standpoint from which one can settle the dispute between the realists and the antirealists with respect to the ontological status of colors. This result, Stroud thinks, sheds important light on our perceptual concepts.

Keywords:   Pyrrhonism, Sextus Empiricus, Aenesidemus, color, standpoint, realism, antirealism, secondary qualities

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