THE SKEPTICS - THE SKEPTICS The school which which...

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THE SKEPTICS The school which which ultimately may have contributed most to the development of modern science was that of the Skeptics. In the end, Plato and Aristotle had agreed on very little except the possibility of arriving at ultimate truth. At the Lyceum under Aristotle's student Theophrastus, the Peripatetics turned more and more to specialized studies in botany, zoology, history, and biography. But Athens was growing poor, and not long after Theophrastus died, the center of scientific inquiry shifted to the thriving new Egyptian city founded by Alexander which he had named, of course, Alexandria. Meanwhile, at Plato's Academy, as interest turned to mathematics and morals, metaphysics languished. Around 360 B.C., Phyrro of Elis (c. 360-270 B.C.) was born. He studied in India and then returned to Elis, his birthplace, to teach philosophy. Phyrro was the first of the Skeptics, after the Greek term skeptikos, which meant "inquirers." The Skeptics were the most direct successors to Socrates' stance of questioning every presumed certainty. Skepticism promoted a suspension of all belief. A philosophical skeptic examines alleged achievements in various fields to see if those who claim to know something really know what they claim to know. Some skeptics claimed that no knowledge beyond immediate experience is possible, while others doubted that even immediate experience is a fully reliable guide to truth. Phyrro took the latter tack. He maintained that we cannot find truth through the senses because
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2011 for the course PSY PSY2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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THE SKEPTICS - THE SKEPTICS The school which which...

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