Sunday, August 14, 2005

The most mature sceptical perspective in ancient times is Pyrrhonism. Sextus describes its relationship to other ancient philosophies in the opening passage of his Outlines of Pyrrhonism (henceforth PH).

When people search for something, the likely outcome is that either they find it or, not finding it, they accept that it cannot be found, or they continue to search. So also in the case of what is sought in philosophy, I think, some people have claimed to have found the truth, others have asserted that it cannot be apprehended, and others are still searching. Those who think that they have found it are the Dogmatists, properly so called — for example, the followers of Aristotle and Epicurus, the Stoics, and certain others. The followers of Clitomachus and Carneades, as well as other Academics, have asserted that it cannot be apprehended. The Skeptics [skeptikoi] continue to search. (PH 1.1-3, Mates)
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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