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Philosophy of the Skeptical Academy

works by Carneades, Clitomachus, Philo of Larissa, Cicero and Others

Volume 2 of the Rediscovered Philosophers series

new material in this edition copyright © 2016

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Rediscovered Philosophers

A century after Plato's death, the Academy that he founded shifted from his original philosophy to skepticism. Now, you can read the works of the key philosophers of this "middle academy" or "skeptical academy."

Among many other works, this collection includes the second lecture on justice of Carneades, whose moral relativism so scandalized the Rome that Cato the Censor had the Senate rush Carneades and the other philosophers with him back to Athens.

About this Series

In the past, you had to learn about most Hellenistic philosophers by reading descriptions of their doctrines. Imagine if you could not read the works of Plato or William James and could only read descriptions of their doctrines! You would have no sense of their intellects or of their personalities.

Yet the works of many Hellenistic philosophers have always been hidden in plain sight, quoted in the dialogs of Cicero, where they have been accessible to a handful of classical scholars who were willing to search for the sources of the dialogs and to wade through all the extraneous material that Cicero added.

This series, the Rediscovered Philosophers, disentangles the philosophers' works from the dialogs, making these works accessible to a wider audience for the first time. It includes three books: Philosophy of the Stoics, Philosophy of the Skeptical Academy, and Philosophy of the Syncretic Academy.


The following selections from Philosophy of the Skeptical Academy are available on the web:

For selections from other books in this series, see the menu on the left.