Pyrrho's Connection with Pyrrhonean Scepticism

Alan Bailey

in Sextus Empiricus and Pyrrhonean Scepticism

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780198238522
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679667 | DOI:
Pyrrho's Connection with Pyrrhonean Scepticism

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This chapter begins with a discussion of the origins of Pyrrho's philosophical views. It then considers Pyrrho's epistemological nihilism and the fiction of an unbroken Pyrrhonean succession. It argues that the nature of the connection between Pyrrho and the Pyrrhonism espoused by Sextus remains unexplained. If Sextus would have classified anyone holding the views ascribed to Pyrrho by Timon as a negative dogmatist rather than a sceptic, and it is also clear that Sextus' position did not emerge from Pyrrho's by means of a process of incremental evolution, how do we explain Sextus' willingness to refer to sceptics as Pyrrhonists? Part of the answer to this question lies in the history of Plato's Academy after Plato's death in 347 bc.

Keywords: Pyrrho; scepticism; Pyrrhonean succession; Sextus

Chapter.  7036 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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