Workshop: Ancient Skepticism, Voluntarism, and Science


Location: 210-214 McKenna Hall

Ancient Skepticism, Voluntarism, and Science University of Notre Dame
210-214 McKenna Hall
11 May 2012

The idea of warranted suspension of belief – that there are conditions under which one should ascribe neither truth nor falsity to certain kinds of proposition – is famously associated with Pyrrhonian skepticism, as discussed by Sextus Empiricus. The idea of voluntarism in contemporary epistemology and the philosophy of science – that reasonable beliefs with respect to certain kinds of proposition admit of voluntary control, and that the subject matters of reasonable belief are subject to voluntary choice – has come under increasing scrutiny. This workshop aims to explore some nascent connections between these ideas in ancient philosophy, epistemology, and the philosophy of science.
The workshop is open and free of charge. Please register by sending an email message to by 30 April 2012, indicating your name, affiliation, and whether you will join us for lunch.

9:00-9:25     Coffee
9:25-9:30     Welcome
9:30-10:40   Michael Williams, Johns Hopkins University ‘The Pyrrhonian Problematic, Then and Now’
10:50-12:00 Casey Perin, University of California, Irvine ‘Conflicting Appearances and Norms of Belief’
12:00-1:20   Lunch
1:30-2:40     Richard Bett, Johns Hopkins University ‘On Pyrrhonism, Stances, and Believing What you Want’
2:50-4:00     Otávio Bueno, University of Miami ‘Realism and Anti-Realism About Science: A Pyrrhonian Stance’
4:10-5:20     Anjan Chakravartty, University of Notre Dame ‘Suspension of Belief and Epistemologies of Science’
This workshop is made possible by support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame, and the Notre Dame Workshop on Ancient Philosophy.

Click here for the poster.