11 Facts About Aenesidemus


Aenesidemus was a Greek Pyrrhonist philosopher, born in Knossos on the island of Crete.

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Aenesidemus lived in the 1st century BC, taught in Alexandria and flourished shortly after the life of Cicero.

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Photius says Aenesidemus was a member of Plato's Academy, but he came to dispute their theories, adopting Pyrrhonism instead.

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Whether Aenesidemus re-founded the Pyrrhonist school or merely revitalized it is unknown.

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Aenesidemus says that the Academics are doctrinaire: they posit some things with confidence and unambiguously deny others.

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Knossos Crete Alexandria Cicero

Aenesidemus goes on in the same discourse, the first, to report in summary outline the entire way of life of the Pyrrhonists.

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Aenesidemus is considered the creator of the ten modes of Aenesidemus —although whether he invented the tropes or just systematized them from prior Pyrrhonist works is unknown.

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Aenesidemus argues that experiences vary infinitely under circumstances whose importance to one another cannot be accurately judged by human observers.

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Aenesidemus therefore rejects any concept of absolute knowledge of reality, since each person has different perceptions, and they arrange their sense-gathered data in methods specific to themselves.

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Aenesidemus was able to assert the co-existence of contrary qualities in the same object by admitting that contraries co-exist for the perceiving subject.

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Unlike other Pyrrhonists who reported that following Pyrrho's prescription contained in the Aristocles passage produced ataraxia, Aenesidemus is reported to have claimed that it produces pleasure.

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