In Konstantinos Boudouris (ed.), Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy. Greek Philosophical Society. pp. 15-20 (2018)

Jan Forsman
Tampere University
In this paper I will argue how Descartes in the First and Second Meditation of the Meditations uses a very clear suspension of judgments or assent that in many ways resembles the epoché of the ancient skepticism, especially that of pyrrhonistic variant. First I show how the pyrrhonistic epoché works and what purpose it was used. After that I show how this Cartesian epoché both resembles and differs from the ancient epoché. My main argument is that Descartes, when using the method of doubt, doesn’t really dismiss or abandon earlier knowledge or beliefs, as he is sometimes been viewed, but more likely doesn’t take any stance in them, suspending his judgment on the existence of the outside-world. I base my argument both on my reading of Meditations and the “as it were sensing” -interpretation of Descartes’ use of method of doubt by John Carriero.
Keywords Descartes  Skepticism  Epoché  Pyrrhonism  Ancien Skepticism  17th Century Philosophy
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