Saturday, April 19, 2014

HowTheLightGetsIn - The World's Largest Philosophy Festival

I was asked to post information about the HowTheLightGetsIn philosophy festival, which will take place in the Welsh town Hay-on-Wye this summer from May 22 to June 1. The full program can be found here, but below are some highlights.

24th May - The Limits of Logic

Logicians don’t rule the world or get the most done. Could it be that a logically-consistent world view is neither desirable nor achievable? Would abandoning the straightjacket of rationality lead to a more exciting future, or simply to madness? With Simon Blackburn, Iain McGilchrist, and Beatrix Campbell.

27th May - New Gods

Evidence and reason are supposedly the basis of our beliefs. Yet religion continues to flourish, and new gods conquer even the most rational minds. Is unjustified, groundless belief an essential part of human nature? Or can we banish faith forever? American anthropologist Scott Atran, Cambridge philosopher Simon Blackburn, and human rights advocate Peter Tatchell examine the foundations of thought.

31st May - The Ultimate Proof

We think evidence decides the matter. Yet even suicide bombers think they have evidence to support their cause. Should we see independent evidence as an illusion? Would this lead to a chaotic world without foundations or constraint? Or open us to the richness of reality? Laurie Taylor asks philosopher advisor Nancy Cartwright, Templeton Prize-winning cosmologist George Ellis, and American anthropologist Daniel Everett to consider the evidence.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tony Brueckner (1953-2014)

As many of you already know, a couple of days ago Tony Brueckner (UCSB) passed away. I don't usually see the point of writing this kind of post because it makes no difference to the deceased. But upon reflection I thought I should say something because Tony was a member of the editorial board of both the International Journal for the Study of Skepticism and the recently launched Brill Studies in Skepticism book series. I never met him in person, but we've been in contact for the past four years because he was the most active member of the IJSS editorial board: he reviewed a couple of papers for us, encouraged some of his former grad students to submit their work to the journal, and above all he himself published two pieces in the journal and co-authored an article that will be published soon. I heard that he was having health problems because he couldn't write a chapter for a volume I'm co-editing with Baron Reed, but I didn't think it was something serious because a few weeks ago he sent me a new paper for consideration in the journal. Let me just add that he was always extremely friendly (it is everyone's opinion that he was an exceptional guy) and that he did groundbreaking work on epistemological skepticism--just take a look at his voluminous Essays on Skepticism (OUP 2010).

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Special Issue on the Regress Problem

The latest issue of Metaphilosophy is devoted to the regress problem. You can find the articles here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Workshop on Hume's Dialogues

On April 10th, 2014, there will be a workshop on Hume's Dialogues on Natural Religion, entitled "Illuminismo, scienza newtoniana e religione nei Dialoghi di David Hume," at the Accademia dei Lincei, Palazzo Corsini, Via della Lungara 10, Roma. I've uploaded the file with the program here.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Conference on Voltaire

I was asked to let you know about the upcoming conference Voltaire philosophe, which will take place in Paris on May 21-24. Even though the talks won't deal with skepticism, I'm sure that many of you will be interested in this conference. Now, on the first two days there will be some security restrictions to access the Luxembourg Palace, so if you're going to attend bring your ID and write to either one of the organizers, who will warn the security service: Sébastien Charles ( or Stéphance Pujol (

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Issue 4/1 of IJSS

Issue 4/1 of the International Journal for the Study of Skepticism is now out. It includes three articles, one discussion note, and three book reviews. You can find it here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pyrrhonism and Persuasiveness

In a month or so, OUP will publish Strategies of Argument: Essays in Ancient Ethics, Epistemology, and Logic. Although it is not presented as such on the OUP webpage, the volume is a Festschrift for Gisela Striker. Now, the last paper is Svavar Svavarsson's "Sextus Empiricus on Persuasiveness and Equipollence." I look forward to reading it because I dealt with the same topic in a paper published in Méthexis a few years ago, and would like to see how much we disagree.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hume's Dialogues in Italian

An Italian translation, with facing English text, of Hume's Dialogues has just been published: Dialoghi sulla religione naturale (BUR Rizzoli, 2013). Gianni Paganini is the author of the translation, the introduction, and the commentary. Complete information can be found here.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Epicureanism & Skepticism

The following volume has just been published despite its official publication date: Stéphane Marchand & Francesco Verde (éds.), Épicurisme et Scepticisme (Roma: Sapienza Università Editrice, 2013). This collection derives from a conference held in Lyon in November 2012 and organized by Marchand. More information can be found on this webpage, but not the table of contents, so here it is:

Pierre-Marie Morel & Emidio Spinelli

Stéphane Marchand & Francesco Verde


Tranquility: Democritus and Pyrrho 
Svavar Svavarsson

Chain of Proof in Lucretius, Sextus, and Plato: Rhetorical Tradition and Philosophy 
Michael Erler

Scepticisme et thérapeutique : le cas de conscience du dogmatisme épicurien 
Julie Giovacchini

Le statut particulier de la philosophie épicurienne dans le néo-pyrrhonisme 
Stéphane Marchand


Epicureans and Cyrenaics on Pleasure as a Pathos
James Warren

La critique du critère de vérité épicurien chez Sextus Empiricus : un scepticisme sur le monde extérieur ?
Diego Machuca


Epicurean Attitude toward Geometry: The Sceptical Account 
Francesco Verde

Sextus Empiricus et le τέλoς épicurien : le plaisir est-il par nature digne d’être choisi ?
Emidio Spinelli

Friday, January 24, 2014

IJSS: TOC on PhilPapers

You can now find the TOC of the first three volumes (eight issues from 2011 to 2013) of the International Journal for the Study of Skepticism on PhilPapers.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Disagreement and Relativism

I haven't been able to post lately because I've been snowed under. So I couldn't let you know that the latest issue of Philosophy contains a nice paper by Steven Hales: "Motivations for Relativism as a Solution to Disagreements." It can be found here.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Three Talks on Sextus

Next Tuesday (January 14th), the Université Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne will host the workshop, "Travaux en cours sur le scepticisme antique," from 9.00 to 13.00 at the Centre Panthéon, Salle 11. Here's the program:

- Lorenzo Corti (Université de Lorraine): "Sextus, le nombre deux et le Phédon."

​- Stéphane Marchand (ENS de Lyon): "Scepticisme, empirisme et vie quotidienne."
- ​Alfonso Correa (Universidad Nacional de Colombia): "Les choix des pyrrhoniens."

Saturday, January 4, 2014

An Introduction to Skepticism

Bloomsbury (formerly Continuum) will soon publish Allan Hazlett's A Critical Introduction to Skepticism. For complete information, go here.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Perin on Arcesilaus

The latest issue of Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy (45/2013) contains Casey Perin's article, "Making Sense of Arcesilaus." Unfortunately, OSAP issues are only available in print and as e-books.