Greek Philosopher Aenesidemus

Aenesidemus was a Greek philosopher of the 1st century B.C. Born at Knossos, Crete, he taught skepticism in Alexandria, Egypt. His writings, which are lost, included Kata sophias (Against Wisdom), Peri zeteseos (On Inquiry), and Prote eisagoge (First Introduction).

Ten well-known arguments asserting the impossibility of knowledge are attributed to Aenesidemus. These arguments, called tropoi tes epoches (tropes of suspense of judgment), contain only a few distinct ideas, since some of them express the same thought in different ways.

They are: (1) sensations and perceptions differ; (2) mental and physical differences among individuals make things appear differently to them; (3) different senses produce different impressions; (4) perceptions depend upon an individual's mental and physical condition at the time of perception; (5) things appear different in different positions and at different distances; (6) perception is never direct, but always through a medium; (7) things appear different according to variations in their color, motion, quantity, and temperature; (8) degrees of familiarity cause differences in perception; (9) all supposed knowledge is based on predication; and (10) opinions and customs differ in different countries.

More by this Author

  • Greek Philosopher Socrates

    Socrates was a Greek philosopher and moralist. He wrote no philosophical works himself, but the discussions he held with the young men who gathered round him af­fected profoundly the subsequent development of...

  • Greek Philosophy

    The story of philosophy begins in Greece. The ancient Greeks provided the world with some of its greatest philosophers. The most famous are Plato (427-347BC) and Aristotle (384-322BC), and Plato's teacher Socrates...

  • What is Idealism?

    Idealism is the philosophical theory that reality is essentially mental or spiritual. Idealism is opposed to materialism, the theory that reality is physical. In philosophy there are two schools of idealism. The older...


No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article