To explain real quick. Pyrrhonism is some sort of philosophical practice which does reject (or suspend judgment on) epistemic criteria. It is debatable if they can hold beliefs, but even if the could not, they do have a criterion for action which are the phenomena of everyday life. Hence the apraxia objection loses its appeal.

Pyrrhonism is radical scepticism in the sense that all of our attempts to justifiy do fail, because either they are dogmatist, circular or ad infinitum (see Agrippan Trilemma). Reconciling such an attitude towards truth (that we have not found it YET) with politics - given democracy - does seem to pose a variety of problems, as in normative democratic theory, truth (at least factual truth in the sense of Hannah Arendt) is important. So how could this tension be alleviated, also against the background, that descriptevly, political subjects do not really ground their beliefs according to the ideal of deliberation in the tradition of enlightment.

I can not make my mind up wheather "truth and politics" does matter for "pyrrhonism and politics" since they do provide a criteiron for action. And please,its not about the plausibility of Pyrrhonism. Its more a technical question of how to reconcil (truth of) justification, political beliefs, and political action.

Maybe you guys do have an input?

Thanks. Alepou

  • Are you saying that in a democracy voters are expected to argue about issues that are above and beyond the evident? So vote whether big bang should be believed or not? If people in a democracy are mainly involved in evident issues, there is no problem with pyrrhonism.
    – Nikos M.
    Feb 26, 2023 at 21:07
  • A justification can use only evident reasons, as pyrrhonism itself does. It justified its system entirely on self-evident things
    – Nikos M.
    Feb 26, 2023 at 21:09

1 Answer 1


To my knowledge, all justifications are (easy) prey to Agrippa's trilemma. I've seen political debates and they do consist of arguments in the philophical sense - we should raise/lower taxes, we should/shouldn't permit abortion, etc. Post-campaign, the party in charge also has to argue its policies and decisions in the senate/parliament. To cut to the chase, Agrippa's trilemma is universal in scope.

This has an intriguing implication for democracy by the way. Educating the electorate is pointless if the intention is to enable people to make good voting decisions. Democracies then are exactly what they were and what they are today - (merely) the will of the majority and definitely not, impossible that it is, the reason of the people. It isn't a question of hey people, what is the right thing to do?, it is what do you want to do? and hence I believe the phrase tyranny of the majority.

  • That includes the justifications for the trilemma itself..? :)
    – Nikos M.
    Feb 26, 2023 at 21:11

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