Pyrrho's Way
Pyrrho's Way

Pyrrho's Way

Regular price $29.95

ISBN 978-1-896559-56-8 paperback
322 pages, print, 6 x 9 inches, June 2020
Pyrrho, Pyrrhonist Philosophy, Zen Buddhist Practice, Taoism

PYRRHO'S WAY: The Ancient Greek Version of Buddhism

by Douglas C. Bates

It is not events that disturb us, but what we believe about them.

In ancient Greece, a group of philosophers developed highly effective techniques to change our thoughts for the better, allowing practitioners to achieve inner peace. They called their philosophy “Pyrrhonism” after the founder of their school, Pyrrho. Pyrrho traveled to India and brought back with him ideas from Buddhism, reshaping them to fit into Greek philosophy. Pyrrho agreed with the Buddha that delusion was the cause of suffering, but instead of using meditation to end delusion, Pyrrho applied Greek philosophical rationalism.

Pyrrho’s Way lays out the Pyrrhonist path for modern readers, giving clear guidance on how to apply Pyrrhonist practice to everyday life to achieve inner peace. If Buddhist wisdom has ever appealed to you, but you found Buddhism’s paradoxes and endless hours of meditation to be a barrier, Pyrrhonism is for you.

Douglas C. Bates is the founder of the Modern Pyrrhonism Movement ( He has been a Zen practitioner for over 25 years, was a founding member of Boundless Way Zen, and is a student of Zeno Myoun, Roshi.

Praise for Pyrrho's Way

“…succeeds in making a difficult and obscure philosophy not only intelligible but, more to the point, something to be practiced in a way that can make a difference to your life here and now.” — STEPHEN BATCHELOR, author of The Art of Solitude

“…an intelligent, readable book that succeeds in its goal of introducing Pyrrhonism as practice.” — CHRISTOPHER BECKWITH, author of Greek Buddha: Pyrrho’s Encounter with Early Buddhism in Central Asia

Douglas Bates on the Academy of Reason podcast

and on the Imperfect Buddha podcast

and in this online salon about Pyrrhonism

Listen to 





Book I Introduction

1 Pyrrho’s Journey to the East

2 Eudaimonia

3 The Allegory of the Cave

4 Dukkha


Book II A Modern Outline of Pyrrhonism

5 When People Search for Something

6 Overview of Pyrrhonism

7 The Goal of Pyrrhonism

8 The Pyrrhonist Concept of Signs

9 The Modes of Epoché

10 The Ten Modes of Aenesidemus

11 The Five Modes of Agrippa

12 The Pyrrhonist Maxims

13 Can Pyrrhonists Question What Is Said by the Dogmatists?

14 The Basis of Pyrrhonist Criticism of Dogmatism

15 Does a Criterion of Truth Exist?

16 The Problem of Induction

17 The Criterion of Action

18 Pyrrhonist Ethics

19 Is Anything Inherently Good, Bad, or Indifferent?

20 Is There a Techne of Living?

21 Concluding Comments


Book III Pyrrhonism and Other Philosophies

22 Where Pyrrhonism Fits in Hellenistic Philosophy

23 Pyrrhonism and Buddhism

24 Pyrrhonism and Democritean Philosophy

25 Pyrrhonism and Cyrenaicism

26 Pyrrhonism and Protagorean Philosophy

27 Pyrrhonism and Academic Skepticism

28 Pyrrhonism and Taoism

29 Pyrrhonism and Heraclitean Philosophy

30 Pyrrhonism and Science

31 Pyrrhonism and Postmodernism


Book IV Practicing Pyrrhonism

32 The Cure by Argument

33 Styles of Pyrrhonist Practice

34 Beliefs and Appearances

35 Against Aristocles of Messene

36 Is There a Self?

37 Meditation

38 Confusions About Pyrrhonist Ethics

39 Moral Beliefs

40 Pyrrhonist Decision-Making

41 Pyrrhonism and Religion

42 Pyrrhonism and Politics

43 Tips on Pyrrhonist Practice


Book V Pyrrhonism Now

44 Pyrrhonism as a Path to Buddhism 

45 Pyrrhonism and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

46 The Stoics

47 Are We There Yet?


Book VI The Emperor and the Pyrrhonist

48 Sextus Empiricus of Chaeronea

49 Marcus Aurelius on Sextus Empiricus 

50 Pyrrhonist Influences on Marcus Aurelius



Appendix 1 Translation of the Meditations


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