Thursday, 24 May 2018

A Standstill of the Intellect

A Pyrrhonist's researches do not end in discovery; nor yet do they conclude that discovery is impossible. For they do not terminate at all: the researches continue, and the researcher finds himself in a condition of epoche. 'Epoche is defined as 'a standstill of the intellect, as a result of which we neither deny nor affirm anything'. The Sceptical investigator neither asserts nor denies, neither believes nor disbelieves.

Jonathan Barnes, "The Beliefs of a Pyrrhonist".


  1. I never realized how close some of the Pyrrhonist work is to the Madhyamaka school. Have you ever read Nagarjuna? While he goes further through teachings of emptiness, he arrives at similar conclusions in his "Mulamadhayamakakarika". Jay Garfield, who is an analytical philosopher, has some introductory works of Nagarjuna in case you haven't read. Eviatar Schulman does as well.

    1. Have you ever read Nagarjuna?

      Sadly, no. I was aware of the similarities between Pyrrhonism and Buddhism though.

      Pyrrho spent time in India with Alexander the Great, and might have even met a couple Buddhists. Not Madhyamaka, though. Too early.