Skeptical and Natural Philosophy

Michel De Montaigne

Was Montaigne the only skeptical philosopher to reason in this Pyrrhonnic way?

No. Montaigne (1533–1592) derived his views from Sextus Empiricus (160–210 C.E.), who held that we could not even know whether we had knowledge in certain cases. By 1590, Sextus Empiricus’ (150–210) Hypotoses had been published in Latin, Greek, and English. Pyrrhonic skepticism died out by the third century C.E. Desiderius Erasmus (1466–1536) was a closer predecessor to Montaigne, who defended Catholicism based on faith in De Libro Arbitro (1524) on the grounds that theological controversies were inconclusive. Martin Luther (1483–1546) responded to Erasmus with a dogmatic claim about his subjective certainty about God, based on his own conscience, as well as scripture.


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