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THE SKEPTICISM OF THE NEW ACADEMY: A WEAK FORM OF PLATONISM? - page 19 / 19

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acknowledges certain similarities with Pyrrhonic reasoning with which he appears to be in agreement, as demonstrated by the opening phrase: “it seems to me” (moi dokei) (P.H. 232). However, in Outlines of Pyrrhonism 234, Sextus contradicts himself and appears to dismiss Arcesilaus’ dogmatic interpretation as if he refuses to believe it, as if he were in disagreement: “if we are to believe (dei=.. Pisteu/ein) that which is said of him.”

In conclusion, both the destructive and constructive elements of Academic philosophy have played a crucial role for contemporary and later Skeptics in acknowledging and classifying Arcesilaus’ philosophy.  To consider the Pyrrhonean and skeptical critique solely from a destructive or anti-Stoic viewpoint is insufficient to define Arcesilaus’ novel innovation.  The ambiguity already present in ancient times when attempting to situate Arcesilaus somewhere between Pyrrhonism and Platonism, seems to suggest that both philosophical currents existed side by side, albeit with a fair share of difficulties and conflicts.  Without doubt, Platonism served to provide the necessary dialectical resources for the Skeptics in their battle against the Stoics; resources that would never cease to be Platonic in nature and whose development would constitute a response to the fundamental problems of Hellenistic philosophy in its own right.

Dr. Ramón ROMÁN ALCALÁ

Prof. Titular de Filosofía

Dpto. Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades

Universidad de Córdoba

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