Ideas from 'reports' by Pyrrho [325 BCE], by Theme Structure

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 1. Philosophy
He studied philosophy by suspending his judgement on everything
                        Full Idea: He studied philosophy on the principle of suspending his judgement on all points.
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.3
                        A reaction: In what sense was Pyrrho a philosopher, then? He must have asserted SOME generalised judgments.
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 9. Limits of Reason
Sceptics say reason is only an instrument, because reason can only be attacked with reason
                        Full Idea: The Sceptics say that they only employ reason as an instrument, because it is impossible to overturn the authority of reason, without employing reason.
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.8
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 1. Justification / a. Justification issues
If we need a criterion of truth, we need to know whether it is the correct criterion
                        Full Idea: Against the Stoics, the Pyrrhonians argued that if someone presents a criterion of truth, then it will be important to determine whether it is the correct criterion.
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Robert Fogelin - Walking the Tightrope of Reason Ch.4
                        A reaction: Hence Davidson says that attempts to define truth are 'folly'. If something has to be taken as basic, then truth seems a good candidate (since, for example, logical operators could not otherwise be defined by means of 'truth' tables).
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 1. Scepticism
The Pyrrhonians attacked the dogmas of professors, not ordinary people
                        Full Idea: The attacks of the Pyrrhonian sceptics are directed against the dogmas of the 'professors', not against the beliefs of the common people pursuing the business of daily life.
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Robert Fogelin - Walking the Tightrope of Reason Ch.4
                        A reaction: This may be because they thought that ordinary people were too confused to be worth attacking, rather than because they lived in a state of beautifully appropriate beliefs. Naïve realism is certainly worth attacking.
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 6. Scepticism Critique
Academics said that Pyrrhonians were guilty of 'negative dogmatism'
                        Full Idea: The ancient Academic sceptics charged the Pyrrhonian sceptics with 'negative dogmatism' when they claimed that a certain kind of knowledge is impossible.
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Robert Fogelin - Walking the Tightrope of Reason Ch.4
                        A reaction: It is this kind of point which should push us towards some sort of rationalism, because certain a priori 'dogmas' seem to be indispensable to get any sort of discussion off the ground. The only safe person is Cratylus (see Idea 578).
13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 1. Relativism
Judgements vary according to local culture and law (Mode 5)
                        Full Idea: Fifth mode: judgements vary according to local custom, law and culture (Persians marry their daughters).
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.9
Perception varies with viewing distance and angle (Mode 7)
                        Full Idea: Seventh mode: perception varies according to viewing distance and angle (the sun, and a dove's neck).
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.9
Perception of things depends on their size or quantity (Mode 8)
                        Full Idea: Eighth mode: perceptions of things depend on their magnitude or quantity (food and wine).
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.9
Perception and judgement depend on comparison (Mode 10)
                        Full Idea: Tenth mode: perceptions and judgements depend on comparison (light/heavy, above/below).
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.9
Individuals vary in responses and feelings (Mode 2)
                        Full Idea: Second mode: individual men vary in responses and feelings (heat and cold, for example).
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.9
Perception varies with madness or disease (Mode 4)
                        Full Idea: Fourth mode: perceivers vary in their mental and physical state (such as the mad and the sick).
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.9
Animals vary in their feelings and judgements (Mode 1)
                        Full Idea: First mode: animals vary in their feelings and judgements (of food, for example).
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.9
Objects vary according to which sense perceives them (Mode 3)
                        Full Idea: Third mode: things like an apple vary according to which sense perceives them (yellow, sweet, and fragrant).
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.9
Perception of objects depends on surrounding conditions (Mode 6)
                        Full Idea: Sixth mode: the perception of an object depends on surrounding conditions (sunlight and lamplight).
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.9
Perception is affected by expectations (Mode 9)
                        Full Idea: Ninth mode: we perceive things according to what we expect (earthquakes and sunshine).
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.Py.9
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 7. Eliminating causation
There are no causes, because they are relative, and alike things can't cause one another
                        Full Idea: The idea of cause is relative to that of which it is the cause, and so has no real existence. …Also cause must either be body causing body, or incorporeal causing incorporeal, and neither of these is possible.
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.11.11
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / a. Explaining movement
Motion can't move where it is, and can't move where it isn't, so it can't exist
                        Full Idea: Motion is not moved in the place in which it is is, and it is impossible that it should be moved in the place in which it is not, so there is no such thing as motion.
                        From: report of Pyrrho (reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.11.11