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Pyrrho, his Antecedents, and his Legacy$
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Richard Bett

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256617

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256617.001.0001

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Looking Backwards

Looking Backwards

(p.112) 3 Looking Backwards
Pyrrho, his Antecedents, and his Legacy

Richard Bett

Oxford University Press

Pyrrho's philosophical affiliations and antecedents are far from clear and a bewildering variety of claims has been made on the topic, in both ancient and modern times. In the ancient period, these frequently take the form of locating Pyrrho in a certain ‘succession’ of philosophers — that is, a chronological sequence of philosophers, each member of which is alleged to have been the teacher of the next member. Such ‘succession’ stories deserve consideration. More clearly worthy of serious attention are the verdicts on other philosophers offered by Timon in his poem Silloi, ‘Lampoons’. This chapter casts doubt on a number of such claims of influence — claims that have received a large measure of acceptance in the literature on Pyrrho. It discusses the indeterminacy thesis, Pyrrho's predecessors such as Plato and Aristotle, Xenophanes, Protagoras, Democritus, Anaxarchus, and the megarians and the Indians.

Keywords:   Pyrrho, succession, philosophers, Timon, indeterminacy thesis, Aristotle, Xenophanes, Protagoras, Democritus, Anaxarchus

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