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Montaigne's And Bayle's Variations: The Philosophical Form Of Skepticism In Politics

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Chapter Summary

Modern jusnaturalism during the seventeenth century was an attempt to refute and surmount skepticism through the association established between the tradition of natural law and rationalism. This chapter identifies the philosophical form of skepticism in politics. The author views this enterprise as complementing that of establishing a history of skepticism as a political and moral philosophy, rather than as refuting or outstripping other efforts. This type of concern will require an investigation strategy that transposes any rigid distinction between the history of philosophy and an analytical perspective. Appropriate materials for this type of investigation may be found generously within the universe disclosed by Richard Popkin, with special emphasis on Michel de Montaigne and Pierre Bayle. The philosophical form of skepticism in politics, in author's view, depends on the actions of its devices of circumstance and finitude that necessarily apply to the observed world and above all to its observers.

Keywords: Michel de Montaigne; moral philosophy; Pierre Bayle; pyrrhonic skepticism



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