Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Hellenistic Philosophy

I have proof. Proof of what you may ask. Proof that I am a sceptic. Here it is.
You are a Sceptic.
You are a Sceptic.
Philosophical skepticism originated in ancient
Greek philosophy. One of its first proponents
was Pyrrho of Elis (c. 360-275 B.C.), who
travelled and studied as far as India, and
propounded the adoption of 'practical'
skepticism. Subsequently, in the 'New Academy'
Arcesilaos (c. 315-241 B.C.) and Carneades (c.
213-129 B.C.) developed more theoretical
perspectives, whereby conceptions of absolute
truth and falsity were refuted. Carneades
criticised the views of the Dogmatists,
especially supporters of Stoicism, asserting
that absolute certainty of knowledge is
impossible. Sextus Empiricus (c. A.D. 200), the
main authority for Greek skepticism, developed
the position further, incorporating aspects of
empiricism into the basis for asserting

Greek skeptics criticised the Stoics, accusing them
of dogmatism. For the skeptics, the logical
mode of argument was untenable, as it relied on
propositions which could not be said to be
either true or false without relying on further
propositions. This was the argument of infinite
regress, whereby every proposition must rely on
other propositions in order to maintain its
validity. In addition, the skeptics argued that
two propositions could not rely on each other,
as this would create a circular argument (as p
implies q and q implies p). For the skeptics
logic was thus an inadequate measure of truth
which could create as many problems as it
claimed to have solved. Truth was not, however,
necessarily unobtainable, but rather an idea
which did not yet exist in a pure form.
Although skepticism was accused of denying the
possibility of truth, in actual fact it appears
to have mainly been a critical school which
merely claimed that logicians had not
discovered truth.

Which Hellenistic School of Philosophy Would You Belong To?
brought to you by Quizilla

Unfortunately I don't believe it. (As Father Ted Crilly said to Richard Wilson in The Mainland (episode # 3.4) 3 April 1998. But that is just too sad.)

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