Pyrrho, his Antecedents, and his Legacy

Pyrrho, his Antecedents, and his Legacy

3.75 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
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Richard Bett presents a ground-breaking study of Pyrrho of Elis, who lived in the late fourth and early third centuries BC and is the supposed originator of Greek scepticism. In the absence of surviving works by Pyrrho, scholars have tended to treat his thought as essentially the same as the long subsequent sceptical tradition which styled itself 'Pyrrhonism'. Bett argues, on the contrary, that Pyrrho's philosophy was significantly different from this later
tradition, and offers the first detailed account of that philosophy in this light. Bett considers why Pyrrho was adopted as the figurehead for that tradition: his answer suggests that we should distinguish two phases within Pyrrhonism, of which the initial phase is much closer to Pyrrho's own thought than is
the better-known later phase. Bett also investigates the origins and antecedents of Pyrrho's ideas; in particular, Plato is singled out as an important inspiration. The result is the first comprehensive picture of this key figure in the development of philosophy. The new claims that Bett puts forward have major implications for the history and interpretation of ancient Greek thought.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 155 x 234 x 15mm | 399g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0199256616
  • 9780199256617
  • 2,289,240

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Pyrrho the Non-Sceptic ; 2. Putting it into Practice ; 3. Looking Backwards ; 4. Looking Forwards ; References ; Index of Names ; Index Locorum ; Index of Subjects
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Review quote

The standards of production are as high as those of composition * Bryn Mawr Classical Review * Is immensely valuable to all students of ancient thought since Bett addresses most of the key issues of early Pyrrhonism in an orderly, learned and intelligently argued manner. It is informative and thought-provoking from start to finish, and his answers to the many problems of Pyrrhonism are always illuminating * Bryn Mawr Classical Review * Offers a comprehensive interpretation of the fortunes of early Pyrrhonism * Bryn Mawr Classical Review * The book usefully puts the material together and considers, with modesty and intelligence, certain objections which have been or might be raised against the metaphysical interpretation. Many of the accompanying contentions are true: the book makes a substantial contribution to the understanding of a knotty group of texts. In addition, it is pleasingly written and prettily presented. * Mind, vol. 110, no. 440 *
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About Richard Bett

Richard Bett is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Johns Hopkins University. He was educated at Oxford and at the University of California, Berkeley, and he was Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas, Arlington, from 1986 to 1991.
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Rating details

4 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
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3 50% (2)
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