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New Approaches to Early Modern Skepticism

Posted By Amanda Kellogg, Thursday, May 05, 2016
Updated: Friday, May 06, 2016

Over the past 30 years, scholars have written extensively on the influence of skepticism in the early modern period, frequently characterizing the philosophical school as a threat to the era’s epistemology, ethics, and religion. But could skepticism also work to generate meaning, create stability, or provide a sense of tranquility? This panel series seeks to build on and compliment earlier readings by examining how ancient philosophical models-- such as Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Pyrrhonism-- as well as the skeptical texts available to early modern readers might complicate our current understanding of skepticism as a fundamentally destabilizing or disruptive force. Papers on philosophy, history, literature across a variety of genres, and art are welcome. We also encourage papers examining the relevance of skepticism to contemporary critical and theoretical approaches to the early modern period, including but not limited to phenomenology, affect studies, political theory, and feminist/queer theory. This panel series aims to foster an interdisciplinary discussion about the nature of early modern skepticism and its effects on the aesthetic, cultural, and political imaginations of early modern peoples. The organizers--Amanda Kellogg, Brent Dawson (, and Cassie Miura ( your questions and comments.

Please send an abstract of no more than 150 words along with a current CV to Amanda Kellogg at by Friday, May 20th. The organizers hope to include papers in a series of linked panels on these topics.

Tags:  classics  epistemolgy  ethics  Montaigne  philosophy  Pyrrhonism  Sextus Empiricus  skepticism 

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