Arcesilaus

Arcesilaus

[ahr-ses-uh-ley-uhs]
noun
316–241 b.c, Greek philosopher.
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arcesilaus

philosopher who succeeded Crates as head of the Greek Academy; he introduced a skepticism derived either from Socrates or from Pyrrhon and Timon. Refusing to accept or deny the possibility of certainty in knowing, Arcesilaus advocated a skeptical "suspension of judgment" (epoche). The stoics (who held a theory of "irresistible impressions") attacked him for thus paralyzing man and vitiating the goal of philosophy, which they believed was to make man happy and vigorous. Arcesilaus replied that a wise man need know only that his actions are "reasonable" (eulogon).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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