Megarian school

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Megarian school,

Greek school of philosophy at Mégara from late 5th cent. to early 3d cent. B.C. Influenced by the Eleatic schoolEleatic school
, Greek pre-Socratic philosophical school at Elea, a Greek colony in Lucania, Italy. The group was founded in the early 5th cent. B.C. by Parmenides, its greatest thinker. He denied the reality of change on the ground that things either exist or do not.
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 and by Socrates, it was known for its interest in logic and for argumentation. Its founder was Euclid of MegaraEuclid of Megara
, c.450–c.375 B.C., Greek philosopher, a disciple of Socrates and traditional founder of the Megarian school. He combined the Eleatic doctrine of the unity of being with the Socratic teaching that virtue is knowledge.
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, who maintained that good was an unchanging absolute under various names, such as wisdom, God, and mind. His successor Eubulides was famed for his paradoxes, such as "If I say that I am lying, am I telling the truth?" Other members included Stilpo, Diodorus Cronus, Cleinomachus, and Panthoides. No Megarian writings survive.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Megarian School


one of the Socratic schools of ancient Greek philosophy (fourth century B.C.) that eclectically combined the ideas of Socrates, the Eleatic school, and the Sophists.

The school was founded by Euclides of Megara; its members included Eubulides of Miletus, Thrasymachus, Diodorus Cronus, and Stilpo of Megara. Adopting some of the teachings of the Eleatic school about the absolute Whole, the Megarians, following Socrates’ example, were the first to identify the Whole with the Good. Thus, their teachings paralleled those of Plato. In its recognition of the indivisible Whole and its negation of sensory plurality, the Megarian school was also influenced by Zeno of Elea.

As a result of its proclivity for dialectical judgments, the Megarian school was called the eristic school. Many of the traditional logical sophisms, or paradoxes, (for example, the “Liar” and the “Sorites”) were first formulated by Eubulides and Diodorus Cronus. Stilpo, who was influenced by the Cynics, used—according to Seneca—the term apatheia to signify the basic principle of his ethical teachings. The cynically minded Stoics (Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism, was a disciple of Stilpo) as well as the Skeptics Pyrrho and Timon adopted the basic teachings of the Megarian school.


Gomperts, T. Grecheskie mysliteli, vol. 2. St. Petersburg, 1913. Pages 128-57.
Losev, A. F. Istoriia antichnoi estetiki: Sofisty, Sokrat, Platon. Moscow, 1969. Pages 119-23.
Mallet, C. Histoire de I’ecole de Megare. Paris, 1845.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.