“CURING” PYRRHONIAN DOUBT: ANTI-SKEPTICAL RHETORIC IN THE EARLY 18TH CENTURY
Abstract. By examining the analogies of sickness and disease used by several opponents of philosophical skepticism (Pyrrhonism) in the early 18th century, this article will shed light on the rhetorical strategies used in attempts to undermine the revival of this ancient school of philosophy. It will look at the ways in which anti-skeptics discussed the repercussions of the spread of Pyrrhonism for society and describe how they proposed to “cure” this so-called disease. A consideration of the strategies will both reveal some of the assumptions commonly shared by authors of apologetic literature in the first half of the 18th century and explain why they saw skepticism as such a dangerous philosophical position.
Keywords: Skepticism, Pyrrhonism, Irreligion, Atheism, Pierre Bayle, Jean-Pierre de Crousazq