Dialectic and Sophisms: The Sceptical Dissolution of Dogmatic Logic

In: Méthexis
Emidio Spinelli Professor, Department of Philosophy, “Sapienza”- Università di Roma, Rome, Italy,

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This paper aims to examine a very specific passage of Sextus Empiricus’s work: the final section of the second book of the Outlines of Pyrrhonism (=ph ii, 229–259). Here Sextus concentrates his attention on a very limited yet crucial topic, namely the question of the validity or invalidity and ‘pragmatic dissolution’ of an allegedly strong tool such as sophisms and their dialectical structure. Indeed, Pyrrhonists do not wander about aimlessly nor lack effective tools through which to dismantle the logical industry of sophisms; their reference point is completely different, since they agree about some evident facts and live their life in accordance with κοινὸς βίος.

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