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Philo of Larissa

(c. 160 bc — 180 ad)


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(160–c.80 bc)

The last undisputed head of the Academy of Athens. Philo studied under a pupil of Carneades, before succeeding Clitomachus as head of the Academy in 110/109 bc. Around 88 bc he left Athens for Rome, effectively ending the Academy. He maintained the sceptical doctrines of Carneades, modified by the admission of to pithanon, or those things that deserve some kind of confidence as a basis of action (see scepticism). His claim that this scepticism represented the true legacy of Plato prompted the break from the Academy by Antiochus that gave rise to Middle Platonism. Philo's most distinguished pupil and disciple was Cicero.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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