The Skeptic Way: Sextus Empiricus's Outlines of Pyrrhonism

The Skeptic Way Sextus Empiricus s Outlines of Pyrrhonism The Outlines of Pyrrhonism by the nd century A D Greek physician Sextus Empiricus was immensely influential in the history of Western philosophy The rediscovery and publication of this work in the si

  • Title: The Skeptic Way: Sextus Empiricus's Outlines of Pyrrhonism
  • Author: Sextus Empiricus Benson Mates
  • ISBN: 9780195092134
  • Page: 228
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Outlines of Pyrrhonism by the 2nd century A.D Greek physician Sextus Empiricus was immensely influential in the history of Western philosophy The rediscovery and publication of this work in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led directly to the skepticism of Montaigne, Gassendi, Bayle, Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, and others, and eventually to the preoccupation ofThe Outlines of Pyrrhonism by the 2nd century A.D Greek physician Sextus Empiricus was immensely influential in the history of Western philosophy The rediscovery and publication of this work in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led directly to the skepticism of Montaigne, Gassendi, Bayle, Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, and others, and eventually to the preoccupation of modern philosophy with attempts to refute or otherwise combat philosophical skepticism In recent years, however, it has become apparent that Pyrrhonism the form of skepticism professed by Sextus is in several important respects quite different from the modern forms of skepticism to which the writings of Sextus have given rise Some of these differences are of particular philosophic interest because they seem to render the ancient form immune to many of the standard responses to skepticism that are made today In this book, which incorporates a new translation of the Outlines in their entirety, Benson Mates presents Pyrrhonism not as a mere historical curiosity, as has often been done, but as a philosophical position eminently worthy of serious philosophical consideration here and now His thorough introduction sets the stage by explaining what Pyrrhonism is and what it is not, and by contrasting it in the relevant respects with modern skepticism He gives particular attention to explicating a number of quasi technical terms that occur frequently in the Outlines and have decisive bearing on the philosophical content By rendering these terms accurately and uniformly in his translation, he seeks to make the essential feautres of Sextus s Pyrrhonism evident to the reader The latter part of the book consists of a detailed Commentary, which endeavors to discuss and explain the work, section by section, from a philosophical as contrasted with a philological point of view.

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    One thought on “The Skeptic Way: Sextus Empiricus's Outlines of Pyrrhonism

    1. Jon(athan) Nakapalau

      I am skeptical that I fully understood this book, but I love the way writers of the past just said what they thoughtke it or leave it.

    2. Yann

      Lorsque la philosophie sceptique parait en Grèce avec Pyrrhon d’Elis, au début du troisième siècle avant notre ère, la plupart des autres grandes écoles philosophiques existent déjà : Académie de Platon, Lycée d’Aristote, Portique de Zénon, Jardin d’Épicure. On peut laisser de côté les cyniques qui ne se sont intéressé qu’à l’éthique. La philosophie était diversement appréciée : le commun relayait des plaisanteries sans nombre sur les rêveries de ces intellectuels [...]

    3. Erick

      Getting through this book was a bit of a trial. I can say, though, that now having finished it, this philosophy impressed me even less than Epicureanism did, which doesn't say much for either, but says even less for Pyrrhonism.Pyrrhonism can rightly be called the earliest school of philosophy devoted to skepticism. Now, before atheists wet themselves with glee, Pyrrhonism would have even denied the certitude of the empirical method that today's atheists adore. It really starts with the position [...]

    4. Muath Aziz

      When you take some honey, it tastes good to you, there is no denying in that. But, is honey truly in its essence sweet? Some are disgusted by the taste of honey and they can argue the opposite (that honey is not sweet) so why bother arguing in the first place when it comes to true nature of external objects! Not bothering to argue and being convinced that we can't come to a conclusion leads to happiness (and a relaxed mind I guess), Skeptics argue.Now there are two methods, Ten Modes, and Five M [...]

    5. Jesse

      Scepticism is a mode of thought that, in whatever domain it comes to have force in, necessarily arrives well after that which it is sceptical about; that is to say that, scepticism is a fundamentally reactionary phenomenon (both in form and content). Western philosophy, as everyone knows, began with Thales in the 7th century B.C.E and it was not until the late 4th century, at the dawn of the Hellenistic Age, that one gets Pyrrho. To my mind, Pyrrho is kind of uninteresting - he was apparently an [...]

    6. Coyle

      Are you skeptical about things? Is your instinct to disbelieve what others tell you, however trustworthy it seems and however often I've they've been right in the past? Well, let me tell you that you've got nothing -nothing- on the ancient Greek skeptics.We all know that the major figures of ancient philosophy are Plato, Aristotle, and a bunch of others. (Maybe also Cicero, if you were educated prior to the 1950s.) The author of Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Sextus Empiricus, is one of those "others"- [...]

    7. Frankie Della Torre

      The Ten Modes of Pyrrhonism seek to prove that we do not know anything in itself, as it is, but only as it impresses itself upon us, relative to our unique senses, opinions, prejudices, etc. Everything we see, think about, interact with--really, every sense-impression and idea--is mediated to us in such a way that our mind is actively constructing reality.The Skeptics called anybody who thought they knew reality as it is "Dogmatists" and "arrogant braggarts." From Montaigne to Nietzsche, Pyrrhon [...]

    8. C. Çevik

      Kendimden bile kuşku duymaya hazır mıyım bilmiyorum ama buna yürekle atılabilirmişim gibi hissediyorum, yanlış zamanda, yanlış bir yerde olduğumu bile bilmeden bu atılımı gerçekleştirebilirsem, işin kötüsü, hedefime ulaşıp ulaşmadığımı bile öğrenememiş olacağım. Kuşkunun doğasında bir yerde durmak var ama decretum’laşmış, başka deyişle ketumlaşmış Kuşkuculuğun böyle bir finiş çizgisi yok, alabildiğine kuşku duymayı benimseyenler bir vakitten [...]

    9. Víctor Bermúdez

      Suspensions of judgement is a standstill of the intellect, owing to which we neither reject nor posit anything. Tranquility [ataraxia] is freedom from disturbance or calmness of soul. We shall suggest in the chapter on the aim of scepticism how tranquillity accompanies suspension of judgement. (1994: 6).The causal principel of scepticism we say is the hope of becoming tranquil. (1994:6).

    10. Dave

      Sextus is a Roman who maddeningly recapitulates the philosophy of Pyrrhus, who did not believe that one could ever truly know anything. It would be nice to cogently disagree with Sextus, but most philosophers have, to their chagrin, found it exceptionally difficult.

    11. G0thamite

      If you want to take an agnostic stance on just about anything, read this book. A classic in fence-straddling.

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