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Encyclopedia > Pyrrho

Pyrrho (c. 360 BC - c. 270 BC), a Greek philosopher from Elis, was in antiquity credited as being the first skeptic philosopher and inspiration for the school known as Pyrrhonism founded by Aenesidemus in the 1st century BC. Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 365 BC 364 BC 363 BC 362 BC 361 BC 360 BC 359 BC 358 BC 357... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC - 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 275 BC 274 BC 273 BC 272 BC 271 BC - 270 BC - 269 BC 268 BC 267... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Elis, or Eleia (Greek, Modern: Ήλιδα Ilida, Ancient/Katharevousa: Ήλις, also Ilis, Doric: Άλις) is an ancient district within the modern prefecture of Ilia. ... 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... Pyrrhonism, or Pyrrhonian skepticism, was a school of skepticism founded by Aenesidemus in the first century BCE and recorded by Sextus Empiricus in the 3rd century. ... Aenesidemus, Greek philosopher, was born at Cnossus in Crete and taught at Alexandria, probably during the first century BC. He was the leader of what is sometimes known as the third scepticismal school and revived to a great extent the doctrine of Pyrrho and Timon. ...


Diogenes Laertius, quoting from Apollodorus, says that he was at first a painter, and that pictures by him were in existence in the gymnasium at Elis. Later he was diverted to philosophy by the works of Democritus, and became acquainted with the Megarian dialectic through Bryson, pupil of Stilpo. 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. ... Apollodorus was a common name in ancient Greece. ... ‎ Democritus (Greek: Δημόκριτος) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace around 460 BC[1][2]). Democritus was a student of Leucippus and co-originator of the belief that all matter is made up of various imperishable, indivisible elements which he called atomos, from which we get the... Bryson Reginald Le is by far the most feared pirate in the 7 seas. ... Stilpo (Stilpon), Greek philosopher of the Megarian school, was a contemporary of Theophrastus and Crates. ...


Pyrrho, along with Anaxarchus, travelled with Alexander the Great on his exploration of the east, and studied in India under the Gymnosophists and under the Magi in Persia. From the Oriental philosophy he seems to have adopted a life of solitude. Returning to Elis, he lived in poor circumstances, but was highly honoured by the Elians and also by the Athenians, who gave him the rights of citizenship. His doctrines are known mainly through the satiric writings of his pupil Timon of Phlius (the Sillographer). Anaxarchus (flourished around 340 BC), a Greek philosopher of the school of Democritus, was born at Abdera in Thrace. ... Alexander the Great (Greek: ,[1] Megas Alexandros; July 356 BC–June 11, 323 BC), also known as Alexander III, king of Macedon (336–323 BC), was one of the most successful military commanders in history. ... Gymnosophists is the name (meaning naked philosophers) given by the Greeks to certain ancient Indian philosophers who pursued asceticism to the point of regarding food and clothing as detrimental to purity of thought. ... The Wise Men are given the names Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar in this Romanesque mosaic from the Basilica of St Apollinarius in Ravenna, Italy. ... The Persian Empire was a series of historical empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau (Irān - Land of the Aryans[1]) and beyond. ... Timon (c. ...


The main principle of his thought is expressed in the word acatalepsia, which implies the impossibility of knowing things in their own nature. Against every statement the contradictory may be advanced with equal reason. Secondly, it is necessary in view of this fact to preserve an attitude of intellectual suspense, or, as Timon expressed it, no assertion can be known to be better than another. Thirdly, these results are applied to life in general. Pyrrho concludes that, since nothing can be known, the only proper attitude is ataraxia, "freedom from worry". Acatalepsy (from the Greek α̉-, privative, and καταλαμβάνειν, to seize), in philosophy, is incomprehensibleness, or the impossibility of comprehending or conceiving a thing. ... Ataraxia (Αταραξία) is a Greek term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for freedom from worry or any other preoccupation, and is the first step to achieve Hêdonê, the pleasure. ...


The proper course of the sage, said Pyrrho, is to ask himself three questions. Firstly we must ask what things are and how they are constituted. Secondly, we ask how we are related to these things. Thirdly, we ask what ought to be our attitude towards them. Pyrrho's answer was that things are indistiguishable, unmesurable and undecidable and no more this than that, or both this and that and neither this nor that. Therefore, he said, our senses neither tell us tuths nor lie.[1] Therefore we know nothing. We only know how things appear to us, but of their inner substance we are ignorant.


The impossibility of knowledge, even in regard to our own ignorance or doubt, should induce the wise man to withdraw into himself, avoiding the stress and emotion which belong to the contest of vain imaginings. This theory of the impossibility of knowledge is the first and the most thorough exposition of agnosticism in the history of thought. Its ethical results may be compared with the ideal tranquillity of the Stoics and the Epicureans. Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without and gnosis, knowledge, translating to unknowable) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims — particularly theological claims regarding metaphysics, afterlife or the existence of God, god(s), or deities — is unknown or (possibly) inherently unknowable. ... A restored Stoa in Athens. ... Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus (c. ...


It is important to note that strictly speaking Pyrrho is not a skeptic according to the skeptic's own standards - even though he was considered to be a skeptic in antiquity - but rather a negative dogmatist. Having a view of how things are in the world makes Pyrrho a dogmatist, denying the possibility of knowledge makes his dogma negative.[2]


Pyrrho is said to have been so seriously bound to skepticism that it led to his own unfortunate and sudden death around 270 BC According to the legend, he was demonstrating skepticism while blindfolded when his disciples tried to warn him of a dangerous cliff he was headed toward. He refused to believe them, and thus his life ended abruptly. Others are skeptical of this claim. Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC - 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 275 BC 274 BC 273 BC 272 BC 271 BC - 270 BC - 269 BC 268 BC 267...


Notes

  1. ^ Long and Sedley (1987) vol. 1, pp. 14-17, vol. 2, pp. 5-7.
  2. ^ See Long (1986) 75-88, Long and Sedley (1987) 16-17, Bett (1994a), (1994b) and (2000), Brunschwig (1999) 241-251, and Svavarsson (2002) and (2004).

References

  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  • Algra, K., Barnes, J., Mansfeld, J. and Schofield, M. (eds.), The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
  • Annas, Julia and Barnes, Jonathan, The Modes of Scepticism: Ancient Texts and Modern Interpretations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
  • Bett, Richard, "Aristocles on Timon on Pyrrho: The Text, Its Logic and its Credibility" Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 12 (1994a), 137-181.
  • Bett, Richard, "What did Pyrrho Think about the Nature of the Divine and the Good?" Phronesis 39 (1994b), 303-337.
  • Bett, Richard, Pyrrho, his antecedents, and his legacy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).
  • Brunschwig, Jacques, "Introduction: the beginnings of Hellenistic epistemology" in Algra, Barnes, Mansfeld and Schofield (eds.), The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999) 229-259.
  • Burnyeat, Myles (ed.), The Skeptical Tradition (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983).
  • Burnyeat, Myles and Frede, Michael (eds.), The Original Sceptics: A Controversy (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1997).
  • Hankinson, R.J., The Sceptics (London: Routledge, 1995).
  • Long, A.A., Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics (University of California Press, 1986).
  • Long, A.A. and Sedley, David, The Hellenistic Philosophers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).
  • Striker, Gisela, "On the the difference between the Pyrrhonists and the Academics" in G. Striker, Essays on Hellenistic Epistemology and Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996): 135-149.
  • Striker, Gisela, "Sceptical strategies" in G. Striker, Essays on Hellenistic Epistemology and Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996): 92-115.
  • Striker, Gisela, "The Ten Tropes of Aenesidemus" in G. Striker, Essays on Hellenistic Epistemology and Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996): 116-134.
  • Svavarsson, Svavar Hrafn, "Pyrrho’s dogmatic nature", The Classical Quarterly 52 (2002), 248-56.
  • Svavarsson, Svavar Hrafn, "Pyrrho’s undecidable nature", Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 27 (2004), 249-295.

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. ...

External links

  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry
  • The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry

  Results from FactBites:
 
Pyrrho - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (900 words)
Pyrrho, along with Anaxarchus, travelled with Alexander the Great on his exploration of the east, and studied in India under the Gymnosophists and under the Magi in Persia.
Pyrrho's answer was that things are indistiguishable, unmesurable and undecidable and no more this than that, or both this and that and neither this nor that.
Pyrrho is said to have been so seriously bound to skepticism that it led to his own unfortunate and sudden death around 270 BC According to the legend, he was demonstrating skepticism while blindfolded when his disciples tried to warn him of a dangerous cliff he was headed toward.
Pyrrho (103 words)
Pyrrho, a Greek philosopher that lived from around 365 BC-360 BC to around 275 BC-270 BC, is usually credited as being the first skeptic philosopher.
He traveled with Alexander the Great on his exploration of the east, and came back with his skeptical philosophy, that says apathy[?] (based on the realization that no action can be known to be better than another) is the state with most happiness.
Ataraxia, ‘freedom from worry’, is familiar to us from later Pyrrhonism; this is said by the later Pyrrhonists to be the result of the suspension of judgement that they claimed to be able to induce.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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