Richard Bett

Richard Bett

Professor of Philosophy

Contact Information

Research Interests: Ancient Greek philosophy

Education: PhD, University of California, Berkeley

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), Against the Physicists (Cambridge, 2012, with introduction and notes), and Against Those in the Disciplines (Oxford, 2018, with introduction and notes).  He is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Scepticism (2010). A collection of his essays, under the title How to be A Pyrrhonist, was published in 2019 (Cambridge). In 2021 he published How to Keep an Open Mind: An Ancient Guide to Thinking Like a Skeptic, a guided selection of Sextus Empiricus' writings for a general audience, in Princeton University Press's Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers series. He is currently working on a translation of Sextus Empiricus' Outlines of Pyrrhonism, which will also include commentary. He has published articles in Phronesis, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Apeiron, International Journal for the Study of Skepticism, and elsewhere (he is an editorial board member of the last two). 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; since 2013 he has been Vice Chair of its Board of Officers.

Some Forthcoming Articles

Nature and Norms, forthcoming in The Cambridge Companion to the Sophists, ed. Christopher Moore and Joshua Billings

The Stoics and Carneades: Dialectic and the Holding of Views, forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenistic Philosophy, ed. Nathan Powers and Jacob Klein

Doing Things with Concepts in Sextus Empiricus, forthcoming in The Notion of Concept in Greek Philosophy, ed. Gábor Betegh and Voula Tsouna (Cambridge)

The Ancient Greek Skeptics' Practice and its Relation to Truth, forthcoming in Practices of Truth in Philosophy: Historical and Comparative Perspectives, ed. Lorenzo Serini and Pietro Tori (Routledge)