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Comprehensive Bibliography on Skeptical Thought in the Ancient World (1998)

Richard Carrier
(copyright 1999)


This bibliography is not as complete as I would like. However, it does contain every reference that could be found in every relevant electronic database known to me (and accessible through Columbia University), including everything that could be found in L'Anée Philologique after volume 46.

The only references I have included are those in languages that I can read: i.e., English, French, German, Greek, and Latin. Although I encountered numerous Italian, and occasional Danish, Polish, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, and Hindi sources of interest, I chose not to deal with them (some exceptons are noted).

When necessary, I have Romanized Greek letters. Note the following letter substitutions:
th = theta
ph = phi
ch = chi
ps = psi
ê = eta
ô = omega
y or u = upsilon
h = inserted before aspirated vowels

Please be aware that I am very much interested in expanding and completing this bibliography. If you are aware of any books, articles, dissertations, texts, or papers that are not listed, but should be, please e-mail me with the citation.

You might notice that a few items appear to be about India or China. I have included these because they either incorporate a cross-cultural comparison with the ancient West (usually the Greeks) or else they illuminate facts and general principles of analysis which I feel need to be applied to a study of Western skepticism.

For a more complete assessment of my research methods and findings, see my Research Notes and Protocols.

The attached entries are organized in the following categories: Introductions, Translations, Generalia, Supplements, Links Medieval to Modern, and Scientific Studies.

Introductions contains survey texts geared towards the advanced scholar which either outline ancient Skepticism, or discuss Hellenistic or Roman philosophy and in the process include essential work on ancient skepticism.

Translations contains translations into modern languages of relevant ancient texts. This is the most incomplete category at present. I have a lot of work to do in this area.

Generalia contains the main body of relevant entries, too various in their topics to categorize further. In essence, here you will find everything related to ancient skepticism which does not belong in any other category. This is the most complete list, but also the one I am most interested in expanding.

Supplements contains related references which are useful or essential to supplement our understanding of belief and doubt in antiquity, but are either ahistorical, or do not specifically mention skepticism, or do so only in passing. Beyond that, the entries are very diverse.

Links Medieval to Modern contains various scattered references belonging to the Medieval, Renaissance, or Modern periods, including a few contemporary philosophical issues pertaining to skepticism, which nevertheless carry some relevance to Antiquity. Since I am not specifically looking for such things, this will never be a complete list, containing only what I have hit upon by accident. The list is quite large, however, and some items included there are essential references.

Scientific Studies contains contemporary scientific research into belief and doubt, mainly from the perspectives of psychology or sociology, although a few are from the field of anthropology. I have included these entries because their findings can be employed in one way or another to better understand the mechanics of credulity and doubt in the ancient world. Although this list is also incomplete, and it is not of direct interest to the topic at hand, I am very interested in additional references that could be of use.