Christiana Olfert (Tufts University)
Commentators: Dhananjay Jagannathan (Columbia University), Luke Lea (Columbia University)
Columbia University’s Division of Humanities, Classical Studies Program, and Philosophy Department.
The meeting is part of the Workshop in Ancient and Contemporary Philosophy.
Abstract: The practical perspective on Skepticism starts from what I call the “Important Problem.” On the one hand, we tend to believe that some things are really important in life (as opposed to merely seeming important). On the other hand, believing that some things are really important is a source of great turmoil and disturbance—practically, emotionally, and interpersonally. Skepticism claims to be able to mitigate this turmoil and disturbance by helping us suspend judgment about what is really important in life. When we suspend judgment, they say, we can regain a peaceful and tranquil state of mind, and return to our relationships and our actions with a clear head.