Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Skepticism; universal doubt.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The doctrines of Pyrrho and his followers; absolute skepticism; universal doubt.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Neither dogmatism nor pyrrhonism will solve the enigma: the one explains the greatness of man, the other his misery; but neither explains both.

    Blaise Pascal

  • And thus, O circular philosopher, I hear some reader exclaim, you have arrived at a fine pyrrhonism, at an equivalence and indifferency of all actions, and would fain teach us that if we are true, forsooth, our crimes may be lively stones out of which we shall construct the temple of the true God.

    IX. Essays. Circles. 1841

  • This were the true cosmopolitanism, destroying those distressful variations which make your clock vary with your climate, and which throw the shadow of pyrrhonism over truths which should be clear as daylight.

    Without Prejudice

  • From whatever source such a tenet springs, whether from materialism, stoicism, pyrrhonism, epicureanism, atheism even, is of small matter; it is a tenet which is honorable to the holder.

    Imperial Purple

  • I may mention that this insight into an immaterial world (he having been inclined before to pyrrhonism) quite altered his career, and that soon after he took holy orders.

    My Life as an Author

  • It may be said that critical scepticism carried to the length suggested is historical pyrrhonism; that if we are altogether to discredit an ancient or a modern historian, because he has assumed fabulous matter to be true, it will be as well to give up paying any attention to history.

    Lectures and Essays

  • And thus, O circular philosopher, I hear some reader exclaim, you have arrived at a fine pyrrhonism, [713] at an equivalence and indifferency of all actions, and would fain teach us that _if we are true_, forsooth, our crimes may be lively stones out of which we shall construct the temple of the true God.

    Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • But it requires but a very slight consideration to show that the boasted prerogative of reason is here also that of a limited monarch; and that its attempts to make itself absolute can only end in its own dethronement, and, after successive revolutions, in all the anarchy of absolute pyrrhonism.

    Reason and Faith; Their Claims and Conflicts From The Edinburgh Review, October 1849, Volume 90, No. CLXXXII. (Pages 293-356)

  • Nor could we stop, indeed, till we had arrived at that absolute pyrrhonism which consists, if such

    Reason and Faith; Their Claims and Conflicts From The Edinburgh Review, October 1849, Volume 90, No. CLXXXII. (Pages 293-356)

  • Merciful and adore the Holy, yea, even though his later life may be entangled amidst the thorns of some desolate pyrrhonism, can ever hear reviled and scoffed without a shock to the conscience and a revolt of the heart.

    My Novel — Volume 04

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • (Philos.) The doctrine of the impossibility of attaining certainty of knowledge; absolute or universal skepticism.

    May 12, 2008