Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015. Pp. vi + 292. isbn 978-1-4426-4921-7.This volume rides the recent tidal wave of secondary scholarship on the role of skepticism in early modern philosophy. We are now in the second (or perhaps third, depending on who’s counting) generation of scholarship since Richard Popkin’s discipline-shaking The History of Scepticism (from Erasmus to Descartes in 1960; from Erasmus to Spinoza in 1979; and from Savonarola to Bayle in 2003). The increasing scope of the subtitles of Popkin’s editions reflects the expanded conception of early modern skepticism that has developed in the secondary literature since then: far from being a uniform movement with clearly defined positions and boundaries, skepticism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is a radically heterogeneous cluster of positions that are, in some cases, mutually inconsistent with each other. One might thus forgive the scholar of early modern skepticism of despair at the task of rendering the movement intelligible qua coherent philosophical position. Even more forgivable, then, is the despair at explicating enough systematicity in the movement so as to discern implications for political thought.Yet this is the Sisyphean task that the editors of the present volume have set for themselves and their
International Journal for the Study of Skepticism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1
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