N.1/2018 Studi cartesiani tra Europa e Brasile

Aristotele, Sesto e Descartes sull’auto-confutazione dello scettico

Fábio Baltazar do Nascimento Junior

Universidade Federal de Uberlândia – UFU

Published in June, 2018

Aristoteles, Sextus and Descartes on self-refutation of the skeptic


This article tries to discuss some reasons why Descartes could not challenge the radical skepticism of the first meditation by appealing to the fact that a pyrrhonist shall be subject to self-refutation. First of all, we try to establish some relations between the principle of non-contradiction and the aphasia, both from the point of view of the Aristotle’s Γ book of Metaphysics and from the view of Sextus’ Outlines of Skepticism. From an account of this fundamental divergence between pyrrhonists and Aristotle, we could exhibit some elements of the de- bate between Descartes and the radical skeptic: the problem of the insufficiency of logic as a solution to the referred divergence and the search for a metaphysical principle that is an indubitable being – as Descartes argues in the letter to Clerselier on June or July 1646 – that the skeptic could not deny.


Skepticism, Contradiction, Aphasia, Cogito, Descartes, Aristotle

Critical Journal of History of Ideas
International Philosophy Journal

Andrea Tagliapietra and Sebastiano Ghisu

Giovanni Campus

Authorized by Tribunale di Sassari n.455 del 14/7/2008 - ISSN 2035-732X - ISSN (Paper edition) 2035-732X