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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a remarkable reappraisal of a misunderstood tradition, 8 Jan 2011
This review is from: Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism (Studies in Comparative Philosophy and Religion) (Paperback)
Kuzminski begins this brief but radical reappraisal of Pyrrhonism by showing that it differs sharply from ancient Dogmatic Scepticism, although the two are often mistakenly conflated. Dogmatic Scepticism is the doctrine that knowledge is impossible; Pyrrhonism is not a theory or doctrine at all, but rather a practise of careful suspension of belief in the non-evident. Pyrrho of Elis, the founder of this school, accompanied Alexander the Great to India, and ancient sources claim that his philosophy was inspired by encounters with "gymnosophists" there. Kuzminski explores the remarkable parallels between the Pyrrhonist tradition and Madhyamaka Buddhism in particular: the critique of appearance/reality dualism; the affinity between suspension of belief and the acceptance of appearances at face value; the rejection of dogmatic belief as a form of clinging with pathological effects; and how practise-based ways of life which eschew metaphysics can serve as an antidote to "cultures of belief". The book ends with a suggestive discussion of how the insights of Pyrrhonism have been independently recovered in the West, most recently by Ludwig Wittgenstein.
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