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Encyclopedia > Arcesilaus

Arcesilaus (Ἀρκεσίλαος) (c.316-c.241 BC) was a Greek philosopher and founder of the New, or Middle, Academy—the sceptical phase. Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 321 BC 320 BC 319 BC 318 BC 317 BC 316 BC 315 BC 314 BC 313... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC - 240s BC - 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 246 BC 245 BC 244 BC 243 BC 242 BC - 241 BC - 240 BC 239 BC 238... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Raphaels portrait of Plato, a detail of The School of Athens fresco An an institution for the study of (usually) higher learning. ...

Born at Pitane in Aeolia, he was trained by Autolycus the mathematician and later at Athens by Theophrastus and Crantor, by whom he was led to join the Academy. He subsequently became intimate with Polemon and Crates, whom he succeeded as head of the school (σχολάρχης). Aeolis (Aiolis) or Aeolia (Aiolia) was an area in west and northwest Asia Minor, mostly along the coast and offshore islands (particularly Lesbos), where the Aeolian Greek city_states were located. ... Autolycus of Pitane (c. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Evzones Athens (Greek: Αθήνα, Athína IPA: ) is the capital and largest city of Greece. ... Theophrastus (Greek Θεόφραστος, 370 — about 285 BC), a native of Eressos in Lesbos, was the successor of Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. ... Crantor was a Greek philosopher of the Old Academy, born probably about the middle of the 4th century BC, at Soli in Cilicia. ... Polemon is the name of several eminent ancient Greeks: Polemon of Athens, a 2nd century BC Platonic philosopher, also referred to as Polemon of Ilium Polemon (general), a Macedonian officer of Alexander the Great Polemon (Cilicia), the name of a king of Cilicia in Anatolia. ...

Diogenes Laërtius says that similarly to his successor Lacydes, he died of excessive drinking, but the testimony of others (e.g. Cleanthes) and his own precepts discredit the story, and he is known to have been much respected by the Athenians. His doctrines, which must be gathered from the writings of others (Cicero, Academica 1. 12, iv. 24; De Oratorio iii. 18; Diogenes Laërtius iv. 28; Adv. Math. vii. 150, Pyrrh. Hyp. i. 233; Sextus Empiricus Against the Logicians), present an attack on the Stoic notion of φαντασία καταληπτική (manifest presentation, or verifiable sense-impression) as self-warranting criterion of truth and are based on the sceptical element latent in the later writings of Plato. Diogenes Laërtius, the biographer of the Greek philosophers, is supposed by some to have received his surname from the town of Laerte in Cilicia, and by others from the Roman family of the Laërtii. ... Lacydes of Cyrene, Greek philosopher, was head of the Academy at Athens in succession to Arcesilaus about 241 B.C. Though some regard him as the founder of the New Academy, the testimony of antiquity is that he adhered in general to the theory of Arcesilaus, and, therefore, that he... Cleanthes (c. ... Cicero at about age 60, from an ancient marble bust Marcus Tullius Cicero (IPA: ; Classical pronunciation:  ; January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was an orator, statesman, political theorist, lawyer and philosopher of Ancient Rome. ... Stoicism is a school of philosophy commonly associated with such Greek philosophers as Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes, or Chrysippus and with such later Romans as Cicero, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus. ... Skepticism (Commonwealth spelling: Scepticism) can mean: Philosophical skepticism - a philosophical position in which people choose to critically examine whether the knowledge and perceptions that they have are actually true, and whether or not one can ever be said to have absolutely true knowledge; or Scientific skepticism - a scientific, or practical... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ...

He held that strength of intellectual conviction cannot be regarded as valid, as much as it is characteristic equally of contradictory convictions. The uncertainty of sensible data applies equally to the conclusions of reason, and therefore man must be content with probability which is sufficient as a practical guide. "We know nothing, not even our ignorance"; therefore the wise man will have to be content with an agnostic attitude. He made use of the Socratic method of instruction and left no writings. His arguments were marked by incisive humour and fertility of ideas. The term agnosticism and the related agnostic were coined by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1869. ...

See R. Brodeisen, De Arcesila philosopizo (1821); Aug. Geffers, Arcesila (1842); Ritter and Preller, Hist. philos. graec. (1898). Heinrich Ritter (November 21, 1791 - February 3, 1869) was a German philosopher. ... Ludwig Preller (September 15, 1809 – June 21, 1861) was a German philologist and antiquarian. ...

External links

  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain. Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Arcesilaus (5365 words)
In either case, Arcesilaus argued that, whether the nature of the objects or of our minds were at fault, it was always possible to have a false impression with exactly the same phenomenal content as a true impression [a] that also met condition [b].
Arcesilaus' argument for a ‘practical criterion’ for action is a defence of the possibility of suspending assent universally given in response to two Stoic objections.
The suggestion, then, is that Arcesilaus' beliefs in the importance of knowledge and the inadequacy of mere opinion are explicitly non-rational, in the sense that he is not persuaded that they are warranted by a rational argument or theory, or even by the extensive argument he has devoted his life to.
Ancient Greek Skepticism [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] (11197 words)
Arcesilaus had (selectively) derived the lesson from Plato's dialogues that nothing can be known with certainty, either by the senses or by the mind (de Oratore 3.67, on the topic of Plato and Socrates as proto-skeptics, see Annas [1992], Shields [1994] and Woodruff [1986]).
Arcesilaus presented this criterion in response to the Stoic objection that if we were to suspend judgment regarding everything, then we would not be able to continue to engage in day to day activities.
On this view, Arcesilaus is simply showing the Stoics both that their account of knowledge is not necessary for virtue, and that they nonetheless already have a perfectly acceptable epistemic substitute, to eulogon (see Striker [1980/1996]).
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