Arcesilaus was an Ancient Hellenic scholar. He was the founder of scholarly scepticism, the Academy era in which academic scepticism was accepted in what is called the Second or Middle or Modern Academy. About 264 BC Arcesilaus as sixth scholar of the Academy succeeded Crates of Athens. He has not retained his observations in prose and his opinions can only be gleaned from what later writers hold in second hand. In Athens Arcesilaus met with the Pyrrhonist philosopher, Timon of Phlius, whose philosophy seems to have influenced Arcesilaus to become the first thinker to develop an attitude of philosophical cynicism, that is, he doubted the power of the senses to reveal the reality of the universe, although he may have preferred to believe in the very existence of nature. This has led to the pessimistic environment at the Academy. The chief opponent was the predecessor, the founder of Stoicism, Zeno of Citium, of whom Arcesilaus opposed the doctrine of catalepsy. Arcesilaus was born at Pitane, in Aeolis. He received his early education from Autolycus, the mathematician with whom he travelled to Sardis. He later studied rhetoric in Athens. He later studied philosophy, first becoming a follower of Theophrastus, and later Crantor. He also attended college at Pyrrho, whose philosophy he retained but in name. He was also acquainted with Athens 'Polemo and Crates, who nominated his counterpart to Arcesilaus as scholar of the Platonic Academy. Diogenes Laërtius claims that Arcesilaus died of drinking excessively, much like his successor Lacydes, but the accounts of some and his own precepts refute the storey. He is well known to have received a high esteem from the Athenians. Arcesilaus has not contributed something to the prose. His opinions among his contemporaries were imperfectly known, and can still be inferred only from the comments of his critics. It makes the evaluation of his hypothesis unlikely, albeit somewhat contrary. It has led scholars to see various facets of his cynicism. Some also considered his ideology inherently derogatory or detrimental to all political beliefs. Others consider him holding the opinion that his philosophical theories require nothing to be learnt. Others thought he had no constructive views on any philosophical subject, including the possibility of comprehension. Sextus Empiricus said Arcesilaus 'theory was essentially the same as the Pyrrhonism theory, but acknowledged it may have been superficial. In the one hand, Arcesilaus is said to have resurrected Plato's teachings in an uncorrupted form; while on the other hand, according to Cicero, he summarised his thoughts in the formula, "that he knew little, not even his own ignorance. There are two ways to understand the difficulty: either we may have supposed him to have thrown such aphorisms out as an exercise for his pupils, as Sextus Empiricus, who considers him a sceptic, would have us believe; or he may have just rejected Plato's metaphysical meaning, and supposed himself to have stripped his works of the figments of the Dogmatists, when he simply took it from Plato. The chief opponents of Arcesilaus were Citium Zeno and other Stoics. He opposed their catalêptikê phantasy theory as being interpreted to be a mean between knowledge and religion. He concluded it should not have been too bad. In words it involved a fallacy, as the very essence of phantasy indicated the possibility of the same event being represented both false and true. As such, it was merely the interpolation of a word. The Pyrrhonist scholar and friend of Arcesilaus, Timon of Phlius, ridiculed Arcesilaus in his Silloi but also praised him at the Funeral Banquet in Arcesilaus. In his Pensées, Blaise Pascal wrote about Arcesilaus where it states that I saw changes in all nations and women, and even after many changes in judgement on true justice, I realised that our society was still in perpetual flux, and since then I have not changed; even if I did, I would affirm my position.