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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter assesses the relations between Greco-Roman philosophical skepticism, centered on the attitude of suspension of judgment, and the Second Sophistic. It begins with Favorinus, who identified as an Academic skeptic, and whose rhetorical activity is recognizably related to the practice of Academic skepticism, but who also engaged with the Pyrrhonist skeptical tradition. The rest of the chapter addresses Pyrrhonism, particularly Sextus Empiricus. The central point is Sextus’s complete lack of reference to the Second Sophistic, despite its being almost certainly contemporary with him. This may be due in part to his self-effacement and disengagement from the public arena, which is encouraged by the Pyrrhonist goal of ataraxia. But it also seems to be connected with the peculiar anachronism of his intellectual engagements, both concerning philosophy and (in his Against the Rhetoricians) concerning rhetoric itself.

Keywords: skepticism, Pyrrhonism, suspension of judgment, ataraxia, anachronism

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