In this magma, all Greek culture had lost its meaning, and the Hellenistic schools, with skepticism at the head, try to recover it.
Finally, a methodological note: the reader will observe that there are no notes in this book. In principle, it was composed for a now-defunct collection that required, as an essay and a selection of texts (translated by me), an introduction to the thought of Pirrón de Elis. Each statement of his thought is supported by a text recognized by the philosophical tradition. I did so and in order not to lose that work already done due to the editorial crisis, I give the result to the presses as a basic and simple work, and with a formative and didactic nature. However, for those readers caught by the force of Pyrrho’s thought, or specialists in philosophy in need of a deeper, more precise and academic investigation, I include at the end a bibliography, with some titles also from the creator of these pages, in which you can Expand and verify each of the statements that are stated in these short notes.
The beginnings of philosophical skepticism are unique (Text 1). Not only is there a theoretical problem of historical relevance in them, but their extraordinary doctrine, or antidoctrine according to some, culminates a powerful tradition visible in part in pre-Socratic philosophy (Text 2). Furthermore, it so happens that the mature skepticism linked to Pyrrhonism had a philosophical awareness of being immersed in that tradition of thought.
Like any philosophical movement, the skeptic does not lack a founder recognized by all: Pirrón de Elis. Pyrrho’s reputation as the founder of the skeptic movement does not come from any writing that emerged from his hand, as we have advanced, but from the testimonies of other skeptics, who recognize that he embodied the ancient principles of skepticism better than anyone. Of all the skeptics, perhaps, Pyrrho is the author whose study is most necessary and most complex at the same time. His name is surrounded by legend, most of which may not be true. Hence, the memory of Pyrrho is protected by the mystery that is revealed thanks to interpretation: for this reason, the conclusions of this book may not be absolute, but basically provisional.
Pyrrho’s thought and life lends itself to numerous comments. Leaving aside the texts considered minor, we must distinguish four main sources on Pyrrhonism. On the one hand, Cicero and Diogenes Laercio and, on the other, Timón de Fliunte (Pyrrho’s disciple) and the Sixth Empiricist. The first two are not recognized as belonging to skepticism, while the second belong to this current in the most radical way.