Ancient Skepticism, Voluntarism, and Science

Location: McKenna Hall

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.

For more information, please contact the conference organizer, Professor Anjan Chakravartty at


Michael Williams, Johns Hopkins University ‘The Pyrrhonian Problematic, Then and Now’
Casey Perin, University of California, Irvine ‘Conflicting Appearances and Norms of Belief’
Richard Bett, Johns Hopkins University ‘On Pyrrhonism, Stances, and Believing What you Want’
Otávio Bueno, University of Miami ‘Realism and Anti-Realism About Science: A Pyrrhonian Stance’
Anjan Chakravartty, University of Notre Dame ‘Suspension of Belief and Epistemologies of Science’

A poster for this conference is available here: