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Nausiphanes (Greek: Ναυσιφάνης; lived c. 325 BC), a native of Teos, was attached to the philosophy of Democritus, and was a pupil of Pyrrho.[1][2] He had a large number of pupils, and was particularly famous as a rhetorician. Epicurus was at one time one of his hearers, but was unsatisfied with him, and apparently abused him in his writings.[3][4] He also argued that the study of natural philosophy (physics) was the best foundation for studying rhetoric or politics.[5] There is a polemic in Philodemus' On Rhetoric against Nausiphanes' view that the natural philosopher is the best orator.[6] Epicurus may also have derived his three criteria of truth in his Canon from the Tripod of Nausiphanes.[3]


  1. ^ Diogenes Laertius, ix.
  2. ^ Sextus Empiricus, adv. Math. i. 1.
  3. ^ a b Diogenes Laertius, x.
  4. ^ Cicero, de Natura Deorum, i. 26, 33.
  5. ^ Sedley, David N. "Nausiphanes." In Hornblower, Simon and Antony Spawforth, eds. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. New York: OUP, 2003. p. 1029
  6. ^ Warren, J., Epicurus and Democritean Ethics: An Archaeology of Ataraxia. Cambridge University Press. (2002).

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