- Pyrrhonism• A system of skepticism founded by the Greek philosopher Pyrrho
Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006.
- PyrrhonismPyrrhonism† Catholic_Encyclopedia ► PyrrhonismPyrrhonism is a system of scepticism, the founder of which was Pyrrho, a Greek philosopher, about whom very little is known except that he died in 270 B. C. The best known of Pyrrho's disciples was Timon of Philius, known as the sillographer. Pyrrho's scepticism was so complete and comprehensive that the word Pyrrhonism is sometimes used as a synonym for scepticism, The scepticism of Pyrrho's school covered three points.(1) All the dogmatists, that is to say, all the philosophers who believed that truth and certitude can be attained, were mere sophists; they were self-deceived and deceivers of others.(2) Certitude is impossible of attainment, not only because of the possibility that our faculties deceive us, but also because, in themselves, things are neither one thing nor the other, neither good nor evil, beautiful nor ugly, large nor small. Or, rather, things are both good and evil, beautiful and ugly, large and small, so that there is no reason why we should affirm that they are one thing rather than the other. This conviction was expressed in the famous saying, ouden mallon, nothing is more one thing than another; the paper is not more white than black, the piece of sugar is not more sweet than bitter, and so forth.(3) The reality of things being inaccessible to the human mind, and certitude being impossible of attainment, the wise man doubts about everything; that is, he recognizes the futility of inquiry into reality and abstains from judging. This abstention is called epoche. It is the foundation of happiness. Because he alone can attain happiness who cultivates imperturbability, ataraxia; and then only is the mind proof against disquietude when we realize that every attempt to attain the truth is doomed to failure.From this account of the principles of Pyrrhonism, it is evident that Pyrrho's aim was ethical. Like all the philosophers of the period in which he lived, he concerned himself principally with the problem of happiness. The Stoics sought to found happiness on the realization of the reign of law in human nature as well as in nature. The Epicureans grounded happiness on the conviction that transitory feeling is the one important phenomenon in human life. The Eclectics placed the intellectual basis of happiness in the conviction that all systems of philosophy are equally true. The Pyrrhonist, as well as the other sceptics of that period, believed that there is no possibility of attaining happiness unless one first realizes that all systems of philosophy are equally false and that the real truth of things cannot be attained. Pyrrhonism is, therefore, an abdication of all the supposed rights of the mind, and cannot be dealt with by the ordinary rules of logic or by the customary canons of philosophical criticism.BRODERSEN, De Philos. Pyrrhonis (Kiel, 1819); LANGHEINRICH, Diss. Tres de Timone Sillographo (Leipzig, 1720) ; ZELLER, Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics, tr. REICHEL (London, 1892); TURNER, History of Philosophy (Boston, 1903), 184 sqq.WILLIAM TURNER.Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat. 1910.
Look at other dictionaries:
Pyrrhonism — Pyrrhonism, or Pyrrhonian skepticism, was a school of skepticism founded by Aenesidemus in the first century BC and recorded by Sextus Empiricus in the late 2nd century or early 3rd century AD. It was named after Pyrrho, a philosopher who lived… … Wikipedia
Pyrrhonism — Pyr rho*nism, n. [From Pyrrho, the founder of a school of skeptics in Greece (about 300 b. c.): cf. F. pyrrhonisme.] Skepticism; universal doubt. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Pyrrhonism — [pir′ə niz΄əm] n. 1. the doctrine taught by Pyrrho (c. 360 c. 270 B.C. ), a Gr. Skeptic, that all knowledge, including the testimony of the senses, is uncertain 2. extreme skepticism Pyrrhonist n … English World dictionary
pyrrhonism — a school or method of doubt regarding what is held as knowledge. • Pyrrhonian skepticism or pyrrhonism a Hellenistic school of skepticism that inquired about, but did not reject, dogmatic beliefs because the lack of belief is not the same as… … Mini philosophy glossary
Pyrrhonism — noun Etymology: French pyrrhonisme, from Pyrrhon Pyrrho, 4th century B.C. Greek philosopher, from Greek Pyrrhōn Date: circa 1670 1. the doctrines of a school of ancient extreme skeptics who suspended judgment on every proposition compare… … New Collegiate Dictionary
Pyrrhonism — Pyrrhonist, n. Pyrrhonistic, adj. /pir euh niz euhm/, n. 1. the Skeptic doctrines of Pyrrho and his followers. 2. extreme or absolute skepticism. [1660 70; < Gk Pýrrhon PYRRHO + ISM] * * * … Universalium
Pyrrhonism — Pyrrho of Elis … Philosophy dictionary
PYRRHONISM — philosophic scepticism. See PYRRHO … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
pyrrhonism — total or radical skepticism Philosophical Isms … Phrontistery dictionary
Pyrrhonism — a sub philosophy of skepticism that holds that any assent with regard to non evident propositions will always remain in a state of perpetual inquiry; therefore, proof or disproof of an observation is not necessarily a valid reason for holding an… … Mini philosophy glossary