What do the terms 'Pyrhonism' and 'Academic scepticism' mean?
I know they're both types of scepticism but how do they differ? Or is one a form of the other?
You won't be surprised to learn that what these terms mean is a matter of some controversy among scholars. Some bits, however, have achieved general agreement. Pyrrhonian and Academic skepticism mark two branches of ancient skepticism. David Hume and other moderns also used the terms. One way to discriminate them is institutionally. Not long after Plato's death his school just outside of Athens, the Academy, became dominated by skeptical thinkers. The philosophical work engaged by those thinkers came, of course, to be called Academic skepticism. The major texts by which Academic skepticism, however, came to be known to the modern world were not those of philosophers leading the Academy but, rather, of the Roman philosopher, Cicero. His books, Academica and De natura deorum , became highly influential. Pyrrhonian skepticism, by contrast, follows a line rooted in the thought of a man named Pyrrho, who lived in small town of Elis, on the other side of Greece. Pyrrho was not associated with a...