Volume 10, Issue 1, 2019
Epistemology’s Ancient Origins and New Developments
Skeptical Fideism in Cicero’s De Natura Deorum
The work of Richard H. Popkin both introduced the concept of skeptical fideism and served to impressively document its importance in the philosophies of a diverse range of thinkers, including Montaigne, Pascal, Huet, and Bayle. Popkin’s landmark History of Scepticism, however, begins its coverage with the Renaissance. In this paper I explore the roots of skeptical fideism in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, with special attention to Cicero’s De Natura Deorum, the oldest surviving text to clearly develop a skeptical fideist perspective.