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Head Karneades Glyptothek Munich.jpg
Carneades, Roman copy after the sit statue exhibited on the agora of Athens, c. 150 BC, Glyptothek
Born 214/213 BC
Died 129/128 BC
Era Hellenistic philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Academic skepticism, Platonism
Main interests
Epistemology, ethics
Notable ideas
Philosophical skepticism, probabilism, Plank of Carneades

Carneades ( Greek: Καρνεάδης, Karneadēs, "of Carnea"; 214/3–129/8 BC) was an Academic Skeptic philosopher born in Cyrene. By the year 159 BC, he had started to refute all previous dogmatic doctrines, especially Stoicism and even the Epicureans whom previous skeptics had spared . As scholarch (leader) of the Academy, he was one of three philosophers sent to Rome in 155 BC where his lectures on the uncertainty of justice caused consternation among leading politicians. He left no writings. Many of his opinions are known only via his successor Clitomachus. He seems to have doubted the ability not just of the senses but of reason too in acquiring truth. His skepticism was, however, moderated by the belief that we can, nevertheless, ascertain probabilities (not in the sense of statistical probability, but in the sense of persuasiveness) of truth, to enable us to act.

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