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Epistemology After Sextus Empiricus

General Programming

dateOctober 28–29, 2016 location Philosophy Hall, Room 716, Columbia University
  • Department of Philosophy, Columbia
  • Classical Studies, Columbia
  • Lodge Fund
  • Department of Philosophy, UC Berkeley
  • Department of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley
  • Townsend Center, UC Berkeley
  • Graduate Assembly, UC Berkeley

A book project and two conferences at Columbia University and UC Berkeley.

Epistemology After Sextus Empiricus covers themes from Sextus Empiricus that have greatly shaped the history of epistemology. Relevant topics include the nature of investigation, perception and illusion, perceptual relativism, ignorance, belief-formation, induction, infinite regress, assertion, disagreement and conflicting appearances. Some chapters in the book are concerned with the reception of ideas from Sextus Empiricus; others are more immediately about skeptical arguments and themes. The book is part of a larger effort, namely to bring to the fore the philosophical sophistication of Hellenistic philosophy which continues to be less widely studied than Plato and Aristotle. Ancient skepticism addresses questions which remain highly relevant today. For example, the skeptics offer arguments on how one should react when things appear differently to different observers, when several explanations of phenomena seem available, how we should relate to differences in custom and ethical notions, how one can engage in inquiry even if one does not have a full grasp of the relevant concepts (as when one asks “are there atoms?” without having a firm notion of what atoms are), and more. These issues are immediately relevant to contemporary ethics and science. The book project is devoted to making more widely accessible these ideas, generating discussion that is inspired by ancient resources, and exploring contemporary takes on long-standing questions.

Speakers: Don Garrett NYU, Kathryn Tabb Columbia, MGF Martin University College London/Berkeley, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin University of Stockholm, John Morrison Barnard/Columbia, Susanna Schellenberg Rutgers New Brunswick, Peter Pagin University of Stockholm, Richard Bett Johns Hopkins, Jessica Berry Georgia State, Marko Malink NYU, Justin Vlasits Berkeley, Katja Vogt Columbia, Sergio Tenenbaum University of Toronto, Duncan Pritchard University of Edinburgh

Commentators-at-large: Lorenzo Corti Université de Lorraine, Melissa Fusco Columbia, Christiana Olfert Tufts, Simon Shogry Princeton, Justin Vlasits Berkeley, Lara Buchak Berkeley, Nick Gooding Berkeley, Ian McCready-Flora University of Virginia, Katy Meadows Stanford, Barry Stroud Berkeley

For Conference schedule, details, and more information, click HERE.