For many centuries the Peritrope was used primarily as a tool for refuting skepticism. Skepticism proposes that There is no truth, which can be challenged by responding with the Peritrope — the rhetorical question, Well, then, isn't that true? Skepticism and similar views are considered to be "self-refuting." In other words, a philosopher has retained what he has disavowed in and by the disavowal itself. In general, versions of the Peritrope can be used to challenge many kinds of assertion that universality is impossibile.
In What Plato Said, Paul Shorey notes: "The first argument advanced by Socrates is the so-called peritrope, to use the later technical term, that the opinion of Protagoras destroys itself, for, if truth is what each man troweth, and the majority of mankind in fact repudiates Protagoras' definition of truth, it is on Protagoras' own pragmatic showing more often false than true".