Talks at this conferenceAdd a talk
Skepticism has been mainly interpreted in the Modern philosophical tradition since Descartes as an extreme theoretical attitude raising above all epistemological problems that lie at the foundation of any philosophical enterprise or that are consequential to the issues therein discussed. It somehow turned into a manifold problematic tradition itself with a kind of relative autonomy to other traditions due to its transversal character to practically all philosophical branches and currents. In spite of the historical origins of skepticism in Ancient Pyrrhonism, Modern studies of skepticism tended till recently to minimize the importance of the determination and understanding of the relation between Ancient Pyrrhonism and Modern Skepticism, often reducing the former to an expression of a radical doctrine conceived as an ante litteram image of the latter. However, since approximately four decades ago many scholars have begun reinterpreting Pyrrhonian philosophy in ways that although quite different from one another share in common an apparent tendency to emphasize in it traits that do not make it a merely theoretical and negative attitude as assumed in its mainstream depiction. On the other hand, this same period was also fertile in producing philosophical research somehow pursued within the tradition of Modern skepticism itself that innovatively dealt with its main problems and with the reappraisals of skeptical or skeptic like arguments such as those due to Hume, Kant, Hegel, Santayana and Wittgenstein among others. This Colloquium addresses the intersection between these two main and often apparently contradictory currents of understanding the meaning of skepticism and of philosophizing about it. Pyrrhonism, as now historically read, in spite of departing from the interpretations that reduced its philosophical importance to the function of being a prelude to a Modern version of skepticism may assume a decisive role in present-time philosophical reflection. Analogously, the new explorations of traditional modern skeptical issues like the problems of other minds and of the outer world opened up new territories within theoretical philosophy with such figures as Cavell, Fogelin ,Williams or McDowell.