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Publication Details

Skepticism and Negative Dogmatism in Homer and Xenophanes

(Original title: Skepticizmus a negatívny dogmatizmus v myslení Homéra a Xenofana)
Filozofia, 69 (2014), 3, 223-235.
Type of work: Homer in Ancient Philosophy
Publication language: Slovak

The article presents selected aspects of Xenophanes’ philosophy (especially B 34 and B 18 Diels-Kranz) in the light of Homer’s thought. First of all, skepticism should be distinguished from negative dogmatism. I will therefore use the term “skepticism” (from Greek skeptomai – explore, examine, consider, think) in accordance with Sextus Empiricus’ typology. In his Outlines of Pyrrhonism (I, 1-2) he distinguishes three forms of philosophy: (1) dogmatic (dogmatike), characteristic of those, who claim to have found the truth; (2) academic (akademaike), defined as negative dogmatism denying the possibility of finding the truth; (3) skeptic (skeptike), which involve a persistent search for truth. The main aim of the paper is to compare Homer’s attitudes with those of Xenophanes as far as the distinction between skepticism and negative dogmatism is concerned.


Homer, Knowledge, Negative dogmatism, Skepticism, Xenophanes of Colophon

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