Über den Autor
Gianni Paganini is currently Professor of History of Philosophy at the University of Piedmont (Vercelli), he studied Bayle's thought, history of modern scepticism, libertinism and Hobbes's philosophy. Editor of: La filosofia della seconda metà del Novecento (Piccin/Vallardi 1998); The Return of Scepticism. From Hobbes and Descartes to Bayle (Kluwer, 2003). Author of: Pierre Bayle (La Nuova Italia, 1981), Theophrastus redivivus (with G. Canziani, La Nuova Italia, 2 vols., 1981-82), Les philosophies clandestines à l'âge classique (PUF 2005), -Skepsis. Le Débat des modernes sur le scepticisme (Vrin, forthcoming).
José R. Maia Neto received his MA in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in 1987, and his Ph.D in Philosophy from Washington University in Saint Louis in 1991. Currently he is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Author of Machado de Assis, the Brazilian Pyrrhonian (Purdue U. P., 1994), The Christianization of Pyrrhonism (International Archives for Intellectual History, Kluwer, 1995), and co-editor, with Richard H. Popkin, of Skepticism: An Anthology (Prometheus, 2007).
Introduction. Before reading Sextus.
Renaissant Pyrrhonism: A Relative Phenomenon; E. Naya. Self-knowledge, Scepticism and the Quest for a New Method : Juan Luis Vives on cognition and the impossibility of perfect knowledge; L. Casini. Scepticism, Reformation and Counter-Reformation.
The Issue of Reformation Scepticism Revisited. What Sebastian Castellio Did or Did Not Know, I. Backus. Tutius ignorare quam scire: Cornelius Agrippa and Scepticism; V.P. Compagni. Pedro de Valencia and Academic Scepticism in Late Sixteenth-Century Spain; J.C. Laursen. Four Renaissance Sceptics.
Gianfrancesco Pico and Scepticism; G. Cao. Humanus animus nusquam consistit: doctor Sanchez's diagnosis of incurable human unrest and ignorance; A. Lupoli. A Scepticism that Conquers the Mind. Montaigne and Plutarch; N. Panichi. Charron's Academic Sceptical Wisdom; N. Panichi. Three Reactions to Scepticism.
Giordano Bruno on Scepticism; Tristan Dagron. The Sceptical Evaluation of Techné and Baconian Science; B.J. de Oliveira, J.R.M. Neto. T. Campanella: Reappraisal and Refutation of Scepticism; G. Paganini.
Even if specific pieces of research (on the sources or on individual authors, such as Pico, Agrippa, Erasmus, Montaigne, Sanches etc.) have given and are still producing significant results on Renaissance scepticism, an overall synthesis comprising the entire period has not been achieved yet. No predetermined idea of that complex historical subject that is Renaissance scepticism underlies this book, and we want to sacrifice the complexity of movements, personalities, tendencies and interpretations to any sort of a priori unity of theme even less. We acknowledge unhesitatingly that we had always thought of "scepticisms" in the plural, and believe that the different contexts (philosophical, religious, cultural) in which these forms grew up must also be taken into account. Furthermore, given the transversal nature and provocative character of the sceptical challenge, this book contains essays also on philosophers who, without being sceptics and sometimes engaged in fighting scepticism, nevertheless took up its challenge.
The main authors considered in this book are: Vives, Castellio, Agrippa, Pedro de Valencia, Pico, Sanchez, Montaigne, Charron, Bruno, Bacon, and Campanella. The various essays in the book show the relevance of the philosophical thought of authors little known by the general public and put in new perspective important aspects of the thought of some of the great thinkers of the Renaissance.
The only available synthesis on Renaissance Scepticism
Treats important Renaissance philosophers
Stretches from the Quattrocento to the mid-Seventeenth Century
Takes into account history of scholarship, history of religious thought, history of scientific thought, besides history of philosophy