Volume 10, Issue 1, 2019
Epistemology’s Ancient Origins and New Developments
Allysson V.L. Rocha
Boundless Skepticism and the Five Modes
There is a difference between the tasks of interpreting Sextus Empiricus and contesting his arguments. Usually, one does the latter relying on some version of the former. Though this seems obvious, it is easy to make mistakes in this endeavor. From this point, I draw two basic recommendations which we should follow, lest we take Sextus to hold implausible positions regarding his Five Modes. However, these recommendations lead us to interpret Sextus’ Pyrrhonism as a limited skepticism. In the final section, as I suggest a counter-example to this commitment, I reconsider the notion of infinite (apeiron) in the Five Modes to better explain interpretation and criticism of Sextus’ arguments.