Pyrrhonian Argumentation: Therapy, Dialectic, and Inquiry

Apeiron 52 (2):199-221 (2019)
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The Pyrrhonist’s argumentative practice is characterized by at least four features. First, he makes a therapeutic use of arguments: he employs arguments that differ in their persuasiveness in order to cure his dogmatic patients of the distinct degrees of conceit and rashness that afflict them. Secondly, his arguments are for the most part dialectical: when offering an argument to oppose it to another argument advanced by a given dogmatist, he accepts in propria persona neither the truth of its premises and conclusion nor the validity of its logical form. Thirdly, he avails himself of arguments in his own open-minded inquiry into the truth about a wide range of topics. Fourthly, Pyrrhonian argumentation is oppositional inasmuch as it typically works by producing oppositions among arguments that appear to the Pyrrhonist to be equipollent. In this article, I focus on the first three features with the aim of both shedding some light on them and determining whether they are in tension or coherently relate to each other.

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