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Pyrrhonism (Studies in Comparative…
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Pyrrhonism (Studies in Comparative Philosophy and Religion)

by Adrian Kuzminski

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Pyrrhonism claims the middle ground between dogmatism and scepticism. While sceptics claim that all dogmatic beliefs are false, Pyrrhonists suspend judgment about nonevident things, including the claim that all beliefs are false. While this sounds like a minor distinction, the implications are profound. The Pyrrhonist goal of tranquility (ataraxia) is quite different from the disputations of scepticism. Pyrrhonism has parallels to the philosophy of Madhyamaka Buddhism as described in the writings of Nāgārjuna and Chandragupta. Both schools of thought find a middle path between the true and the false. Pyrrho is known to have traveled with Alexander to India, where he met with various sages. Kuzminski suggests that this is more than a coincidence.

This is a dense book that reclaims Pyrrhonism from academic scepticism with which it has been confused. There is a long discussion on what distinguishes the evident from the nonevident, including such arcane constructions as the "evidently nonevident" (things such as consciousness which do not appear directly to our senses but which are implied by anything and everything that does appear). A final chapter makes a case for Wittgenstein as a modern Pyrrhonist. My only complaint is that there are several typos cluttering the text making it difficult to explicate some sentences.

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  le.vert.galant | Jan 26, 2015 |
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