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Philosophy of Sciences

2021 year, number 2

Holistic Assumptions in Some Sextus Empiricus Skeptical Arguments

Igor Vladimirovich Berestov
Institute of Philosophy and Law, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 8, Nikolaev st., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Keywords: mental holism, instability principle, incommensurability, narrow content, skepticism, alethic relativism, intentional objects, mental objects, abstract objects, propositional attitudes reports


We identify a number of Sextus Empiricus skeptical arguments that use assumptions about a holistic nature of the systems, which Sextus considers. All these systems contain mental objects. We construct a general formulation for the holistic assumptions used by Sextus, as well as reveal the specifics of the systems considered by Sextus. We point out the premises which are basic both to Sextus approach and modern versions of mental holism (M. Esfeld, etc.). Our interpretation uses the assumption that the intentional objects in Sextus arguments under consideration are internal, or mental, objects. In our formalization of Sextus statements, we use the notation of propositional attitudes reports with doxastic operators. We also use the assumption that the internal intentional object is an abstract object that encodes its characteristics - in accordance with E. Zaltas approach to abstract objects.