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Belief and TruthA Skeptic Reading of Plato$
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Katja Maria Vogt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199916818

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199916818.001.0001

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The Aims of Skeptical Investigation

The Aims of Skeptical Investigation

Chapter:
(p.119) 5 The Aims of Skeptical Investigation
Source:
Belief and Truth
Author(s):

Katja Maria Vogt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199916818.003.0006

Scholars sometimes raise the following objection against Sextus' skepticism: in order to properly investigate, one must aim at discovery of the truth; the skeptics employ modes of argument that predictably lead them to suspension of judgment; arguably, this—combined with tranquility—is their aim. Thus they do not seem to be investigators, a deadly charge, for this is precisely what skepticism is supposed to be: a philosophy of on-going investigation. The chapter explores the complex nature of investigation in the Socratic tradition. The aim of investigation is twofold: to accept truths and to avoid accepting falsehoods. Different kinds of investigation reflect different ways in which the relationship between these two aims can be construed. The skeptics primarily aim to avoid the acceptance of falsehoods. This aim, however, expresses valuation of the truth. And thus the skeptics can plausibly describe themselves as investigators.

Keywords:   Investigation, truth, scepticism, discovery, beliefs, Socratic investigation

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