International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées

Academic Skepticism in Seventeenth-Century French Philosophy

The Charronian Legacy 1601-1662

Authors: Neto, José R. Maia

  • First systematic account of Charron's influence among major French Philosophers
  • First book to show that Academic skepticism was more relevant than Pyrrhonism in Early Modern Philosophy
  • Provides new research for early modern scholars in philosophy, French literature and religion
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eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-07359-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-07358-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $129.00
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at 1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (Weekdays 8:30am – 5:30pm ET) to place your order.
  • Due: November 4, 2016
  • ISBN 978-3-319-38188-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

This book is the first systematic account of Pierre Charron’s influence among the major French philosophers in the period (1601-1662). It shows that Charron’s Wisdom was one of the main sources of inspiration of Pierre Gassendi’s first published book, the Exercitationes adversus aristoteleos. It sheds new light on La Mothe Le Vayer, who is usually viewed as a major free thinker. By showing that he was a follower of Charron, La Mothe emerges neither as a skeptical apologist nor as a disguised libertine, as combatting superstition but not as irreligious. The book shows the close presence of Charron in the preambles of Descartes’ philosophy and that the cogito is mainly based on the moral Academic self-assurance of Charron’s wise man. This interpretation reverses the standard view of Descartes’ relation to skepticism. Once this skepticism is recognized to be Charron’s Academic one, it is seen not as the target but as the source of the cogito. Pascal is the last major philosopher for whom Charron’s wisdom is crucially relevant. Montaigne and Descartes influenced, respectively, Pascal’s view of the Pyrrhonian skeptic and of the skeptical main arguments. The book shows that Charron’s Academic skeptical wise man is one of the main targets of his projected apology for Christianity, since he considered him as a threat and counter-example of the kind of Christian view of human beings he believed. By restoring the historical philosophical relevance of Charron in early modern philosophy and arguing for the relevance of Academic skepticism in the period, this book opens a new research program to early modern scholars and will be valuable for those interested in the history of philosophy, French literature and religion.

About the authors

José R. Maia Neto is Professor of Philosophy at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He has published Machado de Assis, The Brazilian Pyrrhonian (Purdue U. P., 1994) and The Christianization of Pyrrhonism: skepticism and faith in Pascal, Kierkegaard and Shestov (Kluwer, 1995). With Richard H. Popkin, he edited Skepticism in Renaissance and Post-Renaissance Thought (Humanity Books, 2004) and Skepticism: an anthology (Prometheus Books, 2007). With Gianni Paganini, he edited Renaissance Scepticisms (Springer, 2009) and with Paganini and John Christian Laursen, Skepticism in The Modern Age: building on the work of Richard Popkin (Brill, 2009). He has published many articles and chapters on early modern skepticism in English, French and Portuguese.

Reviews

“In recent scholarship, this is the first effort at a more systematic consideration of aspects of Charron’s influence. … The work offers many interesting textual comparisons and interpretative hypotheses in a concise way, well-informed by recent scholarship. It provides good support for the more general claim that Academic skepticism … .” (Luiz Eva, Journal of the History of Philosophy, Vol. 55 (1), January, 2017)


Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Neto, José R. Maia

    Pages 1-9

  • Charron’s Academic Skeptical Wisdom

    Neto, José R. Maia

    Pages 11-43

  • Gassendi’s Attack on Dogmatic Science

    Neto, José R. Maia

    Pages 45-65

  • La Mothe Le Vayer’s Attack on Opinion and Superstition

    Neto, José R. Maia

    Pages 67-96

  • Descartes’s Rehabilitation of Science

    Neto, José R. Maia

    Pages 97-125

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-07359-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-07358-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $129.00
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at 1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (Weekdays 8:30am – 5:30pm ET) to place your order.
  • Due: November 4, 2016
  • ISBN 978-3-319-38188-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Academic Skepticism in Seventeenth-Century French Philosophy
Book Subtitle
The Charronian Legacy 1601-1662
Authors
Series Title
International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées
Series Volume
215
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-07359-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-07359-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-07358-3
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-38188-6
Series ISSN
0066-6610
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 165
Number of Illustrations and Tables
1 b/w illustrations
Topics