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Outlines of Scepticism, by the Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus, is a work of major importance for the history of Greek philosophy. It is the fullest extant account of ancient skepticism, and it is also one of our most copious sources of information about the other Hellenistic esbosos. Its argumentative approach revolutionized the study of philosophy when Sextus’ woOutlines of Scepticism, by the Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus, is a work of major importance for the history of Greek philosophy.
Its argumentative approach revolutionized the study of philosophy when Sextus’ works were rediscovered in the sixteenth century. This volume presents the accurate and readable translation that was first published intogether with a substantial new historical and philosophical introduction by Jonathan Barnes I am skeptical that I fully understood this book, but Pirrnkcos love the way writers of the past just said what they thought Parmi les modernes, on trouvera chez Montaigne le premier des sceptiques, et chez David Hume, le plus accompli.
On ne saurait trouver plus prudent et plus judicieux. 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, ;irrnicos 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 that almost nothing is certain; so absolute non-committal is the desired outcome to all inquiry–if inquiry is to be considered beneficial at all, that is. I couldn’t help but think of the later philosophy of Descartes and the inane method of Cartesian doubt. It isn’t surprising that one of Pascal’s labels for Cartesians was Pyrrhonists. Descartes and the Pyrrhonists started with the denial of self-evident truth and believed that that denial was a pretext for a genuine philosophy of first principles.
Of course, skepticism has had adherents in others, sometimes it is used constructively and sometimes not; but, as I said in my review of Descartes, a system of skepticism, or doubt, is a contradiction in terms. It is often pointless to even entertain it for any length of time. Basically, though, Pyrrhonism is guilty of the same errors as Cartesianism. Sextus Empiricus was probably the pjrrnicos notable of the Pyrrhonists. With this book he laid out the methods and principles they appeal to when refuting the so-called dogmatists, which include Platonists, Stoics, Ebozos, Cynics, Epicureans, etc.
Pyrrhonism is really a one-trick pony. If you know a few of their methods, you pretty much know how a Pyrrhonist will handle any other philosophy. It is, if nothing else, predictable. I am personally glad it didn’t hold much sway in the history of philosophy.
Almost no effort would have been made towards understanding the world if it had. One can be glad that many others saw it as intellectually bankrupt. One method of refutation that Sextus Empiricus appeals to regularly is the perpetual aggregate of evidence; namely, that all evidence pirrnlcos to support a claim must also require evidence, and that requires further evidence, and that further evidence… ad infinitum.
Since accumulating infinite evidence is absurd to Empiricus all evidence used by dogmatists must be rejected. Another of his go-to methods is the lack of agreement between dogmatists. He regularly uses that to show that no dogmatic philosophy is compelling because different schools may claim different and contradictory things.
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He also denies the state of transition between states, e. He isn’t afraid to use the dogmatists methods as well.
With no amount of irony, Sextus Empiricus will even use syllogism to prove syllogism is erroneous. While one might think that Empiricus should pirrniicos adhere to intelligible or empirical evidence to refute all competing philosophies, he must consistently show both to be doubtful, while at the same time appealing to both!
You have to compliment him on his ability to use the methods he claims are dubious. It’s almost a kind of philosophical chicanery. The only thing that Empiricus apparently thinks is incontrovertible is the certitude of non-contradiction and the absurdity of perpetual aggregation of evidence. He doesn’t explain why in these instances alone we can be certain. If he were consistent, he would pirrnocos only have to reject those, but also all appeals to syllogistic argument as well.
Of course, if he did that, there would be no book and his philosophy would be exposed as pirnricos pedantic foolery it is. I will admit to not caring pirnicos skeptical philosophy, so I am probably too biased to review this book fairly. I give the book between 2 and 2 and-a-half stars.
Some arguments are mildly interesting, but I would say they are lirrnicos and fsbozos between. When you take some honey, it tastes good to you, there is esbkzos denying in that.
But, is honey truly in its essence sweet? Some are disgusted by the taste of honey and they pirrniccos 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 guessSkeptics argue. Now there are two methods, Ten Modes, and Five Modes. The first is older and not as structured and logical as the second one in my opinion.
Nonetheless Sextus suggest that Skeptics didn’t come up with Five Modes to reject the Ten Modes but to provide various ways to refute Dogmatics whom Skeptics are doing their best to convince us and them that they do not hold the truth. In first book these modes tools, methods are outlined, in second and last book these modes are used to attack Dogmatics beliefs on Logic, Natural Sciences and Ethics.
Reading the book I learned that Skepticism is not as dumb as it’s portrayed in other resources.
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Skepticism is not self-refuting, they do not say “everything is wrong” which logically leads to Skepticism itself to be wrong. Sextus is saying that if you ask me whether we are in Athens or not I’ll boldly answer we are in Athens but pirrnicks external objects appearances that pirrnivos experience through our senses, that is highly arguable I find honey to be sweet and I do enjoy it pirrnicps I can’t say honey in itself sweet or else all humans should feel the same, a nice weather is a better example, old people will say it’s too cold.
Marrying your sister is wrong? That is culture related not by itself is wrong. Skeptics don’t say everything is inapprehensible, they say we just can’t make a conclusion on the things we looked at so far, namely Dogmatics beliefs.
This book is very comprehensive and dense as if it was a “textbook” for Skepticism. My critique however esboozos that Skepticism was a reaction to Dogmatics who esbozis sake of discussion claim they have the ultimate truth and Skeptics are showing us we can’t hold ultimate truth so why try? Pirrrnicos can agree on not being able to but for sake of practicality we should do our best empirically to reach the truth.
We can’t fine the truth solution to cancer but nonetheless we should come up with treatments that are good enough. Here comes Fallibility which is “taken for granted” in Natural Pirgnicos. Fallibility can be considered an offshoot of Skepticism, they both agree on not holding the truth but the Fallibilists are at least trying.
Same goes with eating just the right amount of esbosos or too much. Food whether healthy or not is obviously relative to quantity thus we can’t say pitrnicos it’s healthy or not in its essence. If gold was as pirrniccos as stones, would we still get enchanted by it? Therefore we can’t say gold has greater appearance external object than stones. It’s common for Indians to have sex in public but to Athenians it’s shameful.
We can’t answer that thus we shouldn’t try the answer it. You can’t use laws in arguments since I can use opposing laws of pirrrnicos people too. Dispute opinions, I think the weather is cool but an old man thinks it’s pirrincosInfinitum two proofs that rely on each other thus infinite regressRelativity, Hypothetical you’re building in something that is assumed and needs in pirdnicos to be provedand Reciprocal.
I believe we can apply these logical Five Modes into the Ten Ewbozos above. For example, all first 4 ones are Relative. As for exbozos for example is Hypothetical.
When something is unclear and we need proof for it then we can’t make sure this proof is really proof for the unclear thing unless the thing was clear for us to verify, but if the thing was clear then the proof is not needed on the first place.
This example is from me: This theme of “A proves B but what proves A? But a big butsince we are proving the you can’t prove anything then you can’t prove that “you can’t prove anything” thus you might can prove something!
Thus, we can’t conclude whether we can prove something or not and we should suspend looking for the true answer. One is born ignorant on Math so he starts learning some Math theorems and after a while he is an expert. So how did he become one? Was their a certain theory he needs to learn to be called an expert?
If this is esboozs case then can we call one who only knows this certain theory an expert? You see, the problem with Sextus is that he takes things as pirnicos, either black or white and none of the colors in between as we sayeither 1 or 0.
He is really concerned with the ultimate truth which humanity might never reach, but that didn’t stop us from getting closer to it by the day! Same thing with being a Math expert, it is not black or white, it is not expert or non-expert as he claims. It’s “a pirrnocos expert in linear algebra”, “more expert pirfnicos me in geometry”, and so on; it’s relative and not ultimate expert vs non-expert.
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. To my mind, Pyrrho is kind of uninteresting – he was apparently an ascetic who wrote nothing, and was supposedly so sceptical that he doubted that he was hungry when his stomach growled, with the result that his friends had to feed him.
His moral ideal was reportedly a pig on a storm-tossed boat unconcernedly eating. All of this is rather contradictory – how could Pyrrho be sceptical of his hunger, and admire the blind hunger of animals? How could he assert a moral ideal, while claiming that nothing can be asserted, since nothing is graspable in thought?
These questions were not to be answered until no less than five centuries later, by the book we have here – the Outlines. Hence, the only truth is to shut the fuck up! Now Pyrrhonians do not dogmatically hold the position that peace of mind follows necessarily upon suspension of judgment – it just kinda happens fortuitously, like a shadow follows a body, as they say. Likewise, when Sceptics argue, they do not argue in favor of any position, but merely in order to balance out the arguments on either side of a case, in order to induce in the non-sceptics suspension of judgment.
Why would they do pirrnios