Richard Bett

Professor of Philosophy and Chair

Gilman 202
Mondays & Wednesdays, 2:00–3:00 pm and By Appointment
Curriculum Vitae


Richard Bett specializes in ancient Greek philosophy, with a particular focus on ethics and epistemology. He also has interests in modern ethics and epistemology, as well as a significant side-interest in Nietzsche. He is the author of Pyrrho, his Antecedents and his Legacy (Oxford, 2000), and of translations of Sextus Empiricus' Against the Ethicists (Oxford, 1997, with introduction and commentary), Against the Logicians (Cambridge, 2005, with introduction and notes), and Against the Physicists (Cambridge, 2012, with introduction and notes). He is currently working on a translation of Sextus' work on the special disciplines (usually called Against the Professors), for which he has a contract with Oxford. He is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Scepticism (2010). In addition, he has published articles in Phronesis, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Apeiron (of which he is an Editorial Board member), and elsewhere. His publications have been especially on ancient Greek skepticism (sometimes including comparisons with modern approaches to skepticism), but also include papers on the Stoics, Socrates, Plato, the Sophists, and Nietzsche. He spent 1994–95 as a Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington, DC. From January 2000 to June 2001, he was acting executive director of The American Philosophical Association, and from 2003-13 he was secretary-treasurer of its Eastern Division; he is currently Vice Chair of its Board of Officers.

Some Forthcoming Articles

Skepticism, forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook to the Second Sophistic

Scepticism, forthcoming in The History of Evil in Antiquity, ed. Tom Angier

The Cyrenaics and Skepticism, forthcoming in Diego Machuca and Baron Reed (eds.), Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present (Bloomsbury)

Can We Be Ancient Sceptics, forthcoming in French translation as « Le scepticisme ancien est-il viable aujourd’hui ? », in Pour et contre: études sur le scepticisme antique, ed. Diego Machuca and Stéphane Marchand (Classiques Garnier)

Nietzsche and Plato, forthcoming in Alan Kim (ed.), Brill’s Companion to German Platonism

Prodicus, forthcoming in Early Greek Ethics, ed. David Wolfsdorf (Oxford)

Humor as Philosophical Subversion, Especially in the Skeptics, forthcoming in Laughter and Comedy in Ancient Philosophy, ed. Franco Trivigno and Pierre Destree.