Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pyrrho (Group 3 Section 8)

Leo, Dwight, Nathan, Wes, Ashley. (I do hope that I am correct on your names as it is late and I am exhausted.) I apologize for this being later than i first assumed. I could not connect to the internet for several hours.


  1. Modern Skepticism differs from Pyrrhanical skepticism in many ways. Pyrrhanical skepticism is disbelief in the entirety of everything that exists (or for that matter, that that does not exist). Pyrrho, himself, did not believe in his perception of the outside world or most of what he thought.” The proper course of the sage, said Pyrrho, is to ask himself three questions. Firstly we must ask what things are and how they are constituted. Secondly, we ask how we are related to these things. Thirdly, we ask what ought to be our attitude towards them.” The fact that he didn’t believe in anything caused him not to feel most emotions. Pyrrhanical skepticism dates back to 360 B.C., while modern skepticism dates back to as early as the 16th century. Modern skepticism came to be by new scientific findings, along with the Reformation, which manifested fundamental disagreement among Roman Catholics and Protestants about the bases and criteria of religious knowledge. Michel de Montaigne (17th century) opposed science and everything similar, yet encouraged the teachings of God. His view was refuted by Pierre Gassendi, who put science above all else and believed it to be the only true knowledge. Rene Descartes sided with Gassendi, by saying “I think, therefore I am,” believing that the only truth in life is the knowledge of knowing that one exists. Modern and Pyrrhanical skepticism differs in some ways, yet skepticism as a whole is on branch of philosophy. These two types are similar in the way that most knowledge cannot be proven, but differ as Pyrrhanical skepticism says that even your own existence cannot be fully proven.


  2. Pyrrho was a sceptic. He argued what most sceptics did - nothing is concrete, and everything should be questioned. Even so, the magnitude of his application of Scepticism surpassed that of Aristotle and Plato, and hit an uncomfortable extreme. His beliefs would render any established belief or concept as abstract, methodically leaving nothing to be salvaged except cascading questions.

    Scepticism of this form would bluntly conflict with many other philosophers, as well as the constructs they’re credited with introducing into the world. Take Descartes, for example. He was a sceptic, but rather than not trust anything at all, he created what is known as the Method of Cartesian Doubt. This essentially meant that you didn’t accept anything as true if there was the slightest possibility that it didn’t. It’s easy to surmise that he wouldn’t take kindly to Pyrrho’s paranoia that nothing deserve tangibility, for it would render it significantly difficult to live.

    Karl Marx also brought to the world a concept that Pyrrho’s extreme philosophy would have happily thrown out. Marx saw error in the capitalist system, feeling that human beings should be treated as equals. He did many things in his life, such as the call-to-action known as the Communist Manifesto of 1848, urging workers of the world to unite and overthrow the oppressive capitalism.

    In the end, Pyrrho’s interpretation of sceptic philosophy would have left no room for growth. It contradicted any legitimate effort by other Philosophers to understand the world that we all share.

  3. The topic my group decided to report on is the ancient skeptic, Pyrrho. The part that I will be covering is his contributions to philosophy, or in other words, what he believed. To put it plainly, Phrryos form of philosophy was deemed skepticism. Skepticism, deriving from the Greek word skepsis which means examination and consideration, can be divided up into two categories: Academic, coming from Plato’s Academy, and Pyrrhonian, coming from Pyrrho.
    The main principle of Pyrrhonian skepticism is best described using the word acatalepsia, which means the inability of comprehending or conceiving a thing. It is the belief that human knowledge can never amount to certainty, but only to probability. It is a very abstract concept that is best explained like so: if I take a pen and hold out in front of me planning to drop it, I cannot know if the pen will fall. I can only use my past experiences with dropping a pen to form my judgment. However, I have never dropped this pen at this exact moment. Common sense will tell me that the pen will fall, but if I were to apply Pyrrho’s unique form of philosophy to this situation, it is only probable that the pen will fall, it is not certain. Pyrrho believed that this form of thinking freed the mind from the fear of worry, if you cannot know what will happen, why worry about it. It is, for all intents and purposes, the true form of skepticism.