Greek philosopher, founder of the Third or New Academy, was
See also:born at
See also:Cyrene . Little is known of his
See also:life . He learned dialectics under
See also:Diogenes the Stoic, and under Hegesinus,the third
See also:leader of the Academy in descent from
See also:Arcesilaus . The chief
See also:objects of his study, however, were the
See also:works of
See also:Chrysippus, opposition to whose views is the mainspring of his philosophy . " If Chrysippus had not been," he is reported to have said, " I had not been either." In 155, together with Diogenes the Stoic and
See also:Critolaus the Peripatetic, he was sent on an
See also:embassy to Rome to justify certain depredations committed by the Athenians in the territory of
See also:Oropus . On this occasion he delivered two speeches on successive days, one in favour of
See also:justice, the other against it . His powerful reasoning excited among the
See also:Roman youth an
See also:enthusiasm for philosophical speculations, and the elder
See also:Cato insisted on
See also:Carneades and his companions being dismissed from the city . Carneades, practically a 5th-century sophist, is the most important of the
See also:ancient sceptics . Negatively, his philosophy is a polemic against the Stoic theory of knowledge in all its aspects . All our sensations are relative, and acquaint us, not with things as they are, but only with the impressions that things produce upon us . Experience, he says, clearly shows that there is no true impression . There is no notion that may not deceive us; it is impossible to distinguish between false and true impressions; therefore the Stoic davravia KaraXrla-n0rl (see
See also:STOICS) must be given up .
There is no criterion of truth . Carneades also assailed Stoic
See also:theology and physics . In answer to the
See also:doctrine of final cause, of design in nature, he points to those things which cause destruction and danger to man, to the evil committed by men endowed with reason, to the miserable
See also:condition of humanity, and to the misfortunes that assail the
See also:good man . There is, he concludes, no evidence for the doctrine of a divine superintending
See also:providence . Even if there were orderly connexion of parts in the universe, this may have resulted quite naturally . No
See also:proof can be advanced to show that this
See also:world is anything but the product of natural forces . Carneades further attacked the very idea of
See also:God . He points out the contra-diction between the attributes of infinity and individuality . Like Aristotle, he insists that virtue, being relative, cannot be ascribed to God . Not even intelligence can be an attribute of the divine Being . Nor can he be conceived of as corporeal or incorporeal . If corporeal, he must be
See also:simple or compound; if a simple and elementary substance, he is incapable of life and thought; if compound, he contains in himself the elements of dissolution .
If incorporeal, he can neither
See also:act nor feel . In fact, nothing whatever can be asserted with certainty in regard to God . The general
See also:line of
See also:argument followed by Carneades anticipates much in
See also:modern thought . The
See also:positive side of his teaching resembles in all essentials that of Arcesilaus (q.v.) . Knowledge being impossible, a wise man should practise roxi (suspension of
See also:judgment) . He will not even be sure that he can be sure of nothing . Ideas or notions are never true, but only probable; nevertheless, there are degrees of probability, and hence degrees of belief, leading to
See also:action . According to Carneades, an impression may be probable in itself; probable and uncontradicted (aaepLQaavros, lit . " not pulled aside," not distracted by synchronous sensations, but shown to be in harmony with them) when compared with others; probable, uncontradicted, and thoroughly investigated and
See also:con-firmed . In the first degree there is a strong persuasion of the propriety of the impression made; the second and third degrees are produced by comparisons of the impression with others associated with it, and an analysis of itself . His views on the summum bonum are not clearly known even to his
See also:disciple and successor
See also:Clitomachus . He seems to have held that virtue consisted in the direction of activity towards the satisfaction of the natural impulses .
See also:left no written works; his opinions seem to have been systematized by Clitomachus . See A . Geffers, De Arcesilae Successoribus (1845) ; C . Gouraud, De Carneadis Vita et Placitis (1848); V . Brochard,
See also:Les Sceptiques grecs (1887); C . Martha, " Le Philosophe Carneade b . Rome," in Revue
See also:des deux mondes,
See also:xxix . (1878), and the histories of philosophy; also ACADEMY, GREEK .
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