The history of skepticism usually ignores the Middle Ages. It is customary in most historical overviews to say that epistemological skepticism and external-world skepticism did not find its way into the Western philosophical tradition until Sextus Empiricus was rediscovered and retranslated into Latin in the Sixteenth century. It is the aim of this book to show that this is not true and that the history of skepticism must be rewritten. It is only once the rich discussions of both epistemological and external-world skepticism in the Middle Ages are included that the whole history of skepticism can be written, and only then can the development of modern thought be understood. This book begins this rewriting of the history of skepticism by tracing discussions of skepticism from Al-Ghazali to sixteenth century Paris.
Contributors are Taneli Kukkonen, Martin Pickave, Claude Panaccio, David Piche, Christophe Grellard, Gyula Klima, Dominik Perler, Henrik Lagerlund, and Elizabeth Karger
Al-Ghazālī’s Maqāsid al-falāsifa is an intelligent reworking of Avicenna’s Dānesh-name (Book of Science). It was assumed by Latin scholastics that the Maqāsid contained the views of Al-Ghazālī himself. Very well read in Latin translation, it was the basic text from which the Latin authors gained their knowledge of Arabic logic. This article examines the views on the form and matter of the syllogism given in the Maqāsid and considers how they would have been viewed by a Latin reader in the thirteenth century.