Dordrecht: Springer, 2014. Pp. xii + 165. isbn 978-3-319-07358-3.If Anglophone historians of early modern philosophy think of Pierre Charron (1541–1603) at all, they likely think of an unoriginal disciple of Michel de Montaigne who attempted to systematize Montaigne’s Essays in a treatise, De la sagesse, at the beginning of the seventeenth century. José R. Maia Neto’s short but informative book attempts to correct this common, uncharitable picture of Charron and to restore to that philosopher the credit that he deserves for fundamental contributions to the development of modern European philosophy. The specific goal of the work is to give a systematic account of the influence of Charron on Gassendi, Descartes, Pascal, and La Mothe le Vayer surrounding the issue of skepticism. Maia Neto’s thesis is that each of these latter four philosophers engaged closely with Charron’s Academic skeptical notion of wisdom: La Mothe le Vayer and Gassendi supported and elaborated it, while Descartes and Pascal opposed it and tried to offer a rival account of wisdom. In addition to demonstrating the significant legacy of Charron on subsequent philosophers, Maia Neto also contributes to the broader history of philosophy by showing that Academic, and not merely Pyrrhonian, skepticism played an
International Journal for the Study of Skepticism – Brill
Published: May 1, 2018
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