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You’re Entitled to No Opinion: Ancient Scepticism in the Modern World
Saturday April 15 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm BST
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Join Interintellect fellow Bryan Kam to discuss scepticism in the ancient world and its role today. No background in the subject is required.
Pyrrho of Elis (~300 BC) and Sextus Empiricus (~200 AD) may not be familiar names, yet their influence on modernity is profound. As proponents of scepticism, they challenged all forms of dogma, not only the assertions of truth in Greek philosophical schools like Platonism, Stoicism, and Epicureanism, but also the “academic” scepticism that negated the possibility of discovering truth.
In this salon, we’ll consider the hypotheses that Pyrrho introduced elements of Buddhism to the Western world and Sextus Empiricus sparked the European Enlightenment during the 15th and 16th centuries. Both philosophers offer potent antidotes to dogmatic certainty, making them valuable allies in the battle against today’s polarization.
Discover how this lesser-known philosophical stance has had a profound impact on the world, potentially shaping its course on multiple occasions. Then take these discoveries into your own lived experience.
Learn to become more open-minded by suspending judgement. Embrace “ataraxia” (unperturbedness) as a path to a more harmonious life. While Pyrrhonism has long been derided as logically self-refuting, it may be an important ethical, pragmatic, and even soteriological position, rather than a rationalist one.