Pyrrhonism : How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism

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Pyrrhonism is commonly confused with scepticism in Western philosophy. Unlike sceptics, who believe there are no true beliefs, Pyrrhonists suspend judgment about all beliefs, including the belief that there are no true beliefs. Pyrrhonism was developed by a line of ancient Greek philosophers, from its founder Pyrrho of Elis in the fourth century BCE through Sextus Empiricus in the second century CE. Pyrrhonists offer no view, theory, or knowledge about the world, but recommend instead a practice, a distinct way of life, designed to suspend beliefs and ease suffering. Adrian Kuzminski examines Pyrrhonism in terms of its striking similarity to some Eastern non-dogmatic soteriological traditions-particularly Madhyamaka Buddhism. He argues that its origin can plausibly be traced to the contacts between Pyrrho and the sages he encountered in India, where he traveled with Alexander the Great. Although Pyrrhonism has not been practiced in the West since ancient times, its insights have occasionally been independently recovered, most recently in the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Kuzminski shows that Pyrrhonism remains relevant perhaps more than ever as an antidote to today's cultures of more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 170 pages
  • Lexington Books
  • MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739131397
  • 9780739131398

Review quote

A thought provoking exercise in comparative philosophy. This book allows us to interrogate the meaning of Pyrrhonism in light of Madhyamaka Buddhism and vice versa. The result will be of great interest to students of both traditions.....--Sara Ahbel-Rappe The connections between Greek Pyrrhonism and Indian Madhyamaka are too striking to ignore. Kuzminski provides welcome attention to the philosophical vision they share and to the arguments Pyrrhonists and madhyamikas deploy to advance that vision. The exposition is clear and accessible to the non-specialist....--Jay L. Garfield In promoting cross-cultural understanding and the quest for linkages between Greek and Buddhist philosophies, the book has paved a radiant path reflecting the continuity of traditions since the third century BCE.....--Rana P.B. Singhshow more

About Adrian Kuzminski

Adrian Kuzminski is research scholar in philosophy at Hartwick more

Rating details

42 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 45% (19)
4 38% (16)
3 17% (7)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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