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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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Skepticism and Concepts: Can the Skeptic Think?

Skepticism and Concepts: Can the Skeptic Think?

Chapter:
(p.140) 6 Skepticism and Concepts: Can the Skeptic Think?
Source:
Belief and Truth
Author(s):

Katja Maria Vogt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199916818.003.0007

It is argued that, among ancient anti-skeptical objections, one charge stands out as particularly damning to skeptical philosophy: without forming beliefs, the skeptic cannot think. More specifically, the charge says that conceptual thought involves holding things to be a certain way, and that is, it involves something the skeptics say they do not. This charge is under-explored, and Sextus almost hides it, perhaps quite aware that it is especially hard to respond to. Surely, if the skeptic cannot think the skeptic cannot investigate, and that means, the skeptic is no skeptic. I argue that PH 2 and M 8 offer different strategies, and that PH 2 succeeds in offering a response—a response that also explains a crucial passage in PH 1, according to which the skeptic can perceive and think through the guidance of nature (1.23–4).

Keywords:   investigation, concepts, beliefs, skepticism, relative chronology of Sextus’ writings, thought, preconceptions

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