Studia Philosophica

Volume 66, Issue 1, 2019

Andrej Kalaš
Pages 9-26

The Problem of Truth, Happiness and Self-Refutation in the Philosophical Viewpoint of the World by Pyrrho of Elis

This paper attempts to explore the concept of truth, human happiness and the related prob­lem of self-refutation in the philosophical viewpoint of the world by Pyrrho of Elis. I argue that according to the so-called metaphysical interpretation of Pyrrho, the reason for our radical incompetence when it comes to knowledge is not our cognitive inability to grasp the truth, but rather the very nature of things of the world. I provide an alternative philosophical interpretation which is based on a philological conjecture in the preserved textual source. I then point out a surprising connection between this radical attitude and the achievement of human happiness, which constitutes the ultimate goal of Pyrrho’s philosophy. Finally, I pres­ent a possible solution to the problem of self-refutation, which is in a sense a challenge for radical Pyrrhonian agnosticism. By this paper, I endeavour to show how bizarre could be the image of the world viewed by the prism of radical skepticism of the early Pyrrhonism. Nev­ertheless, it is a world, wherein the philosopher vindicates his/her eudaimonia and defends the logical consistency of one’s own claims.