|1. Philo of Alexandria, On Drunkenness, 169-202 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)
Tagged with subjects: • Aenesidemus
Found in books: Bett (2019) 94; Geljon and Runia (2013) 30, 137; Russell and Nesselrath (2014) 183
|169. Accordingly we must, on these accounts, remind the man who gives himself airs by reason of his power of deliberating, or of wisely choosing one kind of objects and avoiding others, that if the same unalterable perceptions of the same things always occurred to us, it might perhaps be requisite to admire the two faculties of judging which are implanted in us by nature, namely, the outward senses and the intellect, as unerring and incorruptible, and never to doubt or hesitate about anything, but trusting in every first appearance to choose one kind of thing and to reject the contrary kind. '170. But since we are found to be influenced in different manners by the same things at different times, we should have nothing positive to assert about anything, inasmuch as what appears has no settled or stationary existence, but is subject to various, and multiform, and ever-recurring changes. XLII. For it follows of necessity, since the imagination is unstable, that the judgment formed by it must be unstable likewise; 171. and there are many reasons for this. In the first place, the differences which exist in animals are not in one particular only, but are unspeakable in point of number, extending through every part, having reference both to their creation and to the way in which they are furnished with their different faculties, and to their way of being supported and their habits, and to the manner in which they choose and avoid different things, and to the energies and motions of the outward senses, and to the peculiar properties of the endless passions affecting both the soul and body. 172. For without mentioning those animals which have the faculty of judgment, consider also some of those which are the objects of judgment, such as the chameleon and the polypus; for they say that the former of these animals changes his complexion so as to resemble the soils over which he is accustomed to creep, and that the other is like the rocks of the sea-shore to which it clings, nature herself, perhaps, being their saviour, and endowing them with a quality to protect them from being caught, namely, with that of changing to all kinds of complexions, as a defence against evil. 173. Again, have you never perceived the neck of the dove changing colour so as to assume a countless variety of hues in the rays of the sun? is it not by turns red, and purple and fiery coloured, and cinereous, and again pale, and ruddy, and every other variety of colour, the very names of which it is not easy to enumerate? 174. They say indeed that among the Scythians, among that tribe which is called the Geloni, most marvellous things happen, rarely indeed, but nevertheless it does happen; namely that there is a beast seen which is called the tarandus, not much less than an ox in size, and exceedingly like a stag in the character of his face. The story goes that this animal continually changes his coat according to the place in which he is, or the trees which he is near, and that in short he always resembles whatever he is near, so that through the similarity of his colour he escapes the notice of those who fall in with him, and that it is owing to this, rather than to any vigour of body, that he is hard to catch. 175. Now these facts and others which resemble them are visible proofs of our inability to comprehend everything. XLIII. In the next place, not only are there all these variations with respect to animals, but there are also innumerable changes and varieties in men, and great differences between one man and another. 176. For not only do they form different opinions respecting the same things at different times, but different men also judge in different manners, some looking on things as pleasures, which others on the contrary regard as annoyances. For the things with which some persons are sometimes vexed, others delight in, and on the contrary the things, which some persons are eager to acquire and look upon as pleasant and suitable, those very same things others reject and drive to a distance as unsuitable and ill-omened. 177. At all events I have before now often seen in the theatre, when I have been there, some persons influenced by a melody of those who were exhibiting on the stage, whether dramatists or musicians, as to be excited and to join in the music, uttering encomiums without intending it; and I have seen others at the same time so unmoved that you would think there was not the least difference between them and the iimate seats on which they were sitting; and others again so disgusted that they have even gone away and quitted the spectacle, stopping their ears with their hands, lest some atom of a sound being left behind and still sounding in them should inflict annoyance on their morose and unpleasable souls. 178. And yet why do I say this? Every single individual among us (which is the most surprising thing of all) is subject to infinite changes and variations both in body and soul, and sometimes chooses and sometimes rejects things which are subject to no changes themselves, but which by their intrinsic nature do always remain in the same condition. 179. For the same fancies do not strike the same men when they are well and when they are ill, nor when they are awake and when they are asleep, nor when they are young and when they are old. And a man who is standing still often conceives different ideas from those which he entertains when he is in motion; and also when he is courageous, or when he is alarmed; again when he is grieved, or when he is delighted, and when he is in love, he feels differently from what he does when he is full of hatred. 180. And why need I be prolix and deep dwelling on these points? For in short every motion of both body and soul, whether in accordance with nature or in opposition to nature, is the cause of a great variation and change respecting the appearances which present themselves to us; from which all sorts of inconsistent and opposite dreams arise to occupy our minds. XLIV. ' "181. And that is not the least influential cause of the instability of one's perceptions which arises from the position of the objects, from their distance, and from the places by which they are each of them surrounded. " '182. Do we not see that the fishes in the sea, when they stretch out their fins and swim about, do always appear larger than their real natural size? And oars too, even though they are very straight, look as if they were broken when they are under water; and things at a great distance display false appearances to our eyes, and in this way do frequently deceive the mind. 183. For at times iimate objects have been imagined to be alive, and on the contrary living animals have been considered to be lifeless; sometimes again stationary things appear to be in motion, and things in motion appear to be standing still: even things which are approaching towards us do sometimes appear to be retreating from us, and things which are going away do on the other hand appear to be approaching. At times very short things seem to be exceedingly long, and things which have many angles appear to be circular. There is also an infinite number of other things of which a false impression is given though they are open to the sight, which however no man in his senses would subscribe to as certain. XLV. 184. What again are we to say of the quantities occurring in things compounded? For it is through the admixture of a greater or a lesser quantity that great injury or good is often done, as in many other instances, so most especially in the case of medicines compounded by medical science. 185. For quantity in such compounds is measured by fixed limits and rules, and it is not safe either to stop short before one has reached them, nor to advance beyond them. For if too little be applied, it relaxes, and if too much, it strains the natural powers; and each extremity is mischievous, the one from its impotence being capable of producing any effect at all, and the other by reason of its exceeding strength being necessarily hurtful. Again it is very plain with reference to smoothness, and roughness, and thickness, and close compression, or on the other hand leanness and slackness, how very much influence all these differences have in respect of doing good or harm. 186. Nor indeed is any one ignorant that scarcely anything whatever of existing things, if you consider it in itself and by itself, is accurately understood; but by comparing it with its opposite, then we arrive at a knowledge of its true nature. As for instance, we comprehend what is meant by little by placing it in juxta-position with what is great; we understand what dry is by comparing it with wet, cold by comparing it with heat, light by comparing it with heavy, black by contrasting it with white, weak by contrasting it with strong, and few by comparing it with many. In the same way also, in whatever is referred to virtue or to vice, 187. what is advantageous is recognised by a comparison with what is injurious, what is beautiful by a comparison with what is unseemly, what is just and generally good, by placing it in juxta-position with what is unjust and bad. And, indeed, if any one considers everything that there is in the world, he will be able to arrive at a proper estimate of its character, by taking it in the same manner; for each separate thing is by itself incomprehensible, but by a comparison with another thing, is easy to understand it. 188. Now, that which is unable to bear witness to itself, but which stands in need of the advocacy of something else, is not to be trusted or thought steady. So that in this way those men are convicted who say that they have no difficulty in assenting to or denying propositions about anything. 189. And why need we wonder? For any one who advances far into matters, and who contemplates them in an unmixed state will know this, that nothing is ever presented to our view according to its real plain nature, but that everything has the most various possible mixtures and combinations. XLVI. 190. Some one will say, We at once comprehend colours. How so? Do we not do so by means of the external things, air and light, and also by the moisture which exists in our eyes themselves? And in what way are sweet and bitter comprehended? Is it apart from the moisture in our mouths? And as to all the flavours which are in accordance with, or at variance with nature, are not they in the same case? What, again, are we to say of the smells arising from perfumes which are burnt? Do they exhibit plain unmixed simple natures, or rather qualities compounded of themselves and of the air, and sometimes also of the fire which consumes their bodies, and also of the faculty existing in our own nostrils? 191. From all this we collect the inference that we have neither any proper comprehension of colours, not only of the combination which consists of the objects submitted to our view and of light; nor of smells, but only of the mixture which consists of that which flows from substances and the all-receiving air; nor of tastes, but only of the union which arises from the tasteable object presented to us, and the moist substance in our mouths. XLVII. 192. Since, then, this is the state of affairs with respect to these matters, it is worth while to appreciate correctly the simplicity, or rashness, or impudence of those who pretend to be able with ease to form an opinion, so as to assent to or deny what is stated with respect to anything whatever. For if the simple faculties are wanting, but the mingled powers and those which are formed by contributions from many sources are within sight, and if it is impossible for those which are invisible to be seen, and if we are unable to comprehend separately the character of all the component parts which are united to make up each faculty, then what remains except that we must think it necessary to suspend our judgment? 193. And then, too, do not those facts which are diffused over nearly the whole world, and which have caused both to Greeks and barbarians such erroneous judgments, exhort us not to be too ready in giving our credence to what is not seen? And what are these facts? Surely they are the instructions which we have received from our childhood, and our national customs and ancient laws, of which it is admitted that there is not a single one which is of equal force among all people; but it is notorious that they vary according to the different countries, and nations, and cities, aye, and even still more, in every village and private house, and even with respect to men, and women, and infant children, in almost every point. 194. At all events, what are accounted disgraceful actions among us, are by others looked upon as honourable; what we think becoming, others call unseemly; what we pronounce just, others renounce as iniquitous; others think our holy actions impious, our lawful deeds lawless: and further, what we think praiseworthy, they find fault with; what we think worthy of all honour, is, in the eyes of others, deserving of punishment; and, in fact, they think most things to be of a contrary character to what we think. 195. And why need I be prolix and dwell further on this subject, when I am called off by other more important points? If then, any one, leaving out of the question all other more remarkable subjects of speculation, were to choose to devote his time to an investigation of the subject here proposed, namely, to examine the education, and customs, and laws of every different nation, and country, and place, and city; of all subjects and rulers; of all men, whether renowned or inglorious, whether free or slaves, whether ignorant or endowed with knowledge, he would spend not one day or two, nor a month, nor even a year, but his whole life, even though he were to reach a great age, in the investigation; and he would nevertheless still leave a vast number of subjects unexamined, uninvestigated, and unmentioned, without perceiving it. 196. Therefore, since there are some persons and things removed from other persons and things, not by a short distance only, but since they are utterly different, it then follows of necessity that the perceptions which occur to men of different things must also differ, and that their opinions must be at variance with one another. XLVIII. 197. And since this is the case, who is so foolish and ridiculous as to affirm positively that such and such a thing is just, or wise, or honourable, or expedient? For whatever this man defines as such, some one else, who from his childhood, has learnt a contrary lesson, will be sure to deny. 198. But I am not surprised if a confused and mixed multitude, being the inglorious slave of customs and laws, however introduced and established, accustomed from its very cradle to obey them as if they were masters and tyrants, having their souls beaten and buffeted, as it were, and utterly unable to conceive any lofty or magimous thoughts, believes at once every tradition which is represented to it, and leaving its mind without any proper training, assents to and denies propositions without examination and without deliberation. But even if the multitude of those who are called philosophers, pretending that they are really seeking for certainty and accuracy in things, being divided into ranks and companies, come to discordant, and often even to diametrically opposite decisions, and that too, not about some one accidental matter, but about almost everything, whether great or small, with respect to which any discussion can arise. 199. For when some persons affirm that the world is infinite, while others pronounce it to be confined within limits; or while some look upon the world as uncreated, and others assert that it is created; or when some persons look upon it as destitute of any ruler and superintendent, attributing to it a motion, deprived of reason, and proceeding on some independent internal impulse, while others think that there is a care of and providence, which looks over the whole and its parts of marvellous power and wisdom, God ruling and governing the whole, in a manner free from all stumbling, and full of protection. How is it possible for any one to affirm that the comprehension of such objects as are brought before them, is the same in all men? 200. And again, the imaginations which are occupied with the consideration of what is good, are not they compelled to suspend their judgment rather than to agree? While some think that it is only what is good that is beautiful, and treasure that up in the soul, and others divide it into numbers of minute particles, and extend it as far as the body and external circumstances. 201. These men affirm that such pieces of prosperity as are granted by fortune, are the body-guards of the body, namely strength and good health, and that the integrity and sound condition of the organs of the external senses, and all things of that kind, are the guards of that princess, the soul; for since the nature of good is divided according to three divisions, the third and outermost is the champion and defender of the second and yielding one, and the second in its turn is a great bulwark and protection to the first; 202. and about these very things, and about the different ways of life, and about the ends to which all actions ought to be referred, and about ten thousand other things which logical, and moral, and natural philosophy comprehends, there have been an unspeakable number of discussions, as to which, up to the present time, there is no agreement whatever among all these philosophers who have examined into such subject. XLIX. '. None|
|3. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 9.62, 9.64-9.65, 9.69, 9.79-9.88, 9.105 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)
Tagged with subjects: • Aenesidemus • Aenesidemus of Cnossus,
Found in books: Bett (2019) 3, 70, 89, 92, 93, 108, 115; Del Lucchese (2019) 225, 229; Long (2006) 52, 57, 71, 74; Russell and Nesselrath (2014) 183
|9.62. He led a life consistent with this doctrine, going out of his way for nothing, taking no precaution, but facing all risks as they came, whether carts, precipices, dogs or what not, and, generally, leaving nothing to the arbitrament of the senses; but he was kept out of harm's way by his friends who, as Antigonus of Carystus tells us, used to follow close after him. But Aenesidemus says that it was only his philosophy that was based upon suspension of judgement, and that he did not lack foresight in his everyday acts. He lived to be nearly ninety.This is what Antigonus of Carystus says of Pyrrho in his book upon him. At first he was a poor and unknown painter, and there are still some indifferent torch-racers of his in the gymnasium at Elis." "|
9.64. On being discovered once talking to himself, he answered, when asked the reason, that he was training to be good. In debate he was looked down upon by no one, for he could both discourse at length and also sustain a cross-examination, so that even Nausiphanes when a young man was captivated by him: at all events he used to say that we should follow Pyrrho in disposition but himself in doctrine; and he would often remark that Epicurus, greatly admiring Pyrrho's way of life, regularly asked him for information about Pyrrho; and that he was so respected by his native city that they made him high priest, and on his account they voted that all philosophers should be exempt from taxation.Moreover, there were many who emulated his abstention from affairs, so that Timon in his Pytho and in his Silli says:" "9.65. O Pyrrho, O aged Pyrrho, whence and howFound'st thou escape from servitude to sophists,Their dreams and vanities; how didst thou looseThe bonds of trickery and specious craft?Nor reck'st thou to inquire such things as these,What breezes circle Hellas, to what end,And from what quarter each may chance to blow.And again in the Conceits:This, Pyrrho, this my heart is fain to know,Whence peace of mind to thee doth freely flow,Why among men thou like a god dost show?Athens honoured him with her citizenship, says Diocles, for having slain the Thracian Cotys." "
9.69. Once in Elis he was so hard pressed by his pupils' questions that he stripped and swam across the Alpheus. Now he was, as Timon too says, most hostile to Sophists.Philo, again, who had a habit of very often talking to himself, is also referred to in the lines:Yea, him that is far away from men, at leisure to himself,Philo, who recks not of opinion or of wrangling.Besides these, Pyrrho's pupils included Hecataeus of Abdera, Timon of Phlius, author of the Silli, of whom more anon, and also Nausiphanes of Teos, said by some to have been a teacher of Epicurus. All these were called Pyrrhoneans after the name of their master, but Aporetics, Sceptics, Ephectics, and even Zetetics, from their principles, if we may call them such —" '
9.79. They showed, then, on the basis of that which is contrary to what induces belief, that the probabilities on both sides are equal. Perplexities arise from the agreements between appearances or judgements, and these perplexities they distinguished under ten different modes in which the subjects in question appeared to vary. The following are the ten modes laid down.The first mode relates to the differences between living creatures in respect of those things which give them pleasure or pain, or are useful or harmful to them. By this it is inferred that they do not receive the same impressions from the same things, with the result that such a conflict necessarily leads to suspension of judgement. For some creatures multiply without intercourse, for example, creatures that live in fire, the Arabian phoenix and worms; others by union, such as man and the rest.' "9.80. Some are distinguished in one way, some in another, and for this reason they differ in their senses also, hawks for instance being most keen-sighted, and dogs having a most acute sense of smell. It is natural that if the senses, e.g. eyes, of animals differ, so also will the impressions produced upon them; so to the goat vine-shoots are good to eat, to man they are bitter; the quail thrives on hemlock, which is fatal to man; the pig will eat ordure, the horse will not.The second mode has reference to the natures and idiosyncrasies of men; for instance, Demophon, Alexander's butler, used to get warm in the shade and shiver in the sun." '9.81. Andron of Argos is reported by Aristotle to have travelled across the waterless deserts of Libya without drinking. Moreover, one man fancies the profession of medicine, another farming, and another commerce; and the same ways of life are injurious to one man but beneficial to another; from which it follows that judgement must be suspended.The third mode depends on the differences between the sense-channels in different cases, for an apple gives the impression of being pale yellow in colour to the sight, sweet in taste and fragrant in smell. An object of the same shape is made to appear different by differences in the mirrors reflecting it. Thus it follows that what appears is no more such and such a thing than something different.' "9.82. The fourth mode is that due to differences of condition and to changes in general; for instance, health, illness, sleep, waking, joy, sorrow, youth, old age, courage, fear, want, fullness, hate, love, heat, cold, to say nothing of breathing freely and having the passages obstructed. The impressions received thus appear to vary according to the nature of the conditions. Nay, even the state of madmen is not contrary to nature; for why should their state be so more than ours? Even to our view the sun has the appearance of standing still. And Theon of Tithorea used to go to bed and walk in his sleep, while Pericles' slave did the same on the housetop." '9.83. The fifth mode is derived from customs, laws, belief in myths, compacts between nations and dogmatic assumptions. This class includes considerations with regard to things beautiful and ugly, true and false, good and bad, with regard to the gods, and with regard to the coming into being and the passing away of the world of phenomena. Obviously the same thing is regarded by some as just and by others as unjust, or as good by some and bad by others. Persians think it not unnatural for a man to marry his daughter; to Greeks it is unlawful. The Massagetae, according to Eudoxus in the first book of his Voyage round the World, have their wives in common; the Greeks have not. The Cilicians used to delight in piracy; not so the Greeks. 9.84. Different people believe in different gods; some in providence, others not. In burying their dead, the Egyptians embalm them; the Romans burn them; the Paeonians throw them into lakes. As to what is true, then, let suspension of judgement be our practice.The sixth mode relates to mixtures and participations, by virtue of which nothing appears pure in and by itself, but only in combination with air, light, moisture, solidity, heat, cold, movement, exhalations and other forces. For purple shows different tints in sunlight, moonlight, and lamplight; and our own complexion does not appear the same at noon and when the sun is low. 9.85. Again, a rock which in air takes two men to lift is easily moved about in water, either because, being in reality heavy, it is lifted by the water or because, being light, it is made heavy by the air. of its own inherent property we know nothing, any more than of the constituent oils in an ointment.The seventh mode has reference to distances, positions, places and the occupants of the places. In this mode things which are thought to be large appear small, square things round; flat things appear to have projections, straight things to be bent, and colourless coloured. So the sun, on account of its distance, appears small, mountains when far away appear misty and smooth, but when near at hand rugged.' "9.86. Furthermore, the sun at its rising has a certain appearance, but has a dissimilar appearance when in mid-heaven, and the same body one appearance in a wood and another in open country. The image again varies according to the position of the object, and a dove's neck according to the way it is turned. Since, then, it is not possible to observe these things apart from places and positions, their real nature is unknowable.The eighth mode is concerned with quantities and qualities of things, say heat or cold, swiftness or slowness, colourlessness or variety of colours. Thus wine taken in moderation strengthens the body, but too much of it is weakening; and so with food and other things." '9.87. The ninth mode has to do with perpetuity, strangeness, or rarity. Thus earthquakes are no surprise to those among whom they constantly take place; nor is the sun, for it is seen every day. This ninth mode is put eighth by Favorinus and tenth by Sextus and Aenesidemus; moreover the tenth is put eighth by Sextus and ninth by Favorinus.The tenth mode rests on inter-relation, e.g. between light and heavy, strong and weak, greater and less, up and down. Thus that which is on the right is not so by nature, but is so understood in virtue of its position with respect to something else; for, if that change its position, the thing is no longer on the right. 9.88. Similarly father and brother are relative terms, day is relative to the sun, and all things relative to our mind. Thus relative terms are in and by themselves unknowable. These, then, are the ten modes of perplexity.But Agrippa and his school add to them five other modes, resulting respectively from disagreement, extension ad infinitum, relativity, hypothesis and reciprocal inference. The mode arising from disagreement proves, with regard to any inquiry whether in philosophy or in everyday life, that it is full of the utmost contentiousness and confusion. The mode which involves extension ad infinitum refuses to admit that what is sought to be proved is firmly established, because one thing furnishes the ground for belief in another, and so on ad infinitum.
9.105. We see that a man moves, and that he perishes; how it happens we do not know. We merely object to accepting the unknown substance behind phenomena. When we say a picture has projections, we are describing what is apparent; but if we say that it has no projections, we are then speaking, not of what is apparent, but of something else. This is what makes Timon say in his Python that he has not gone outside what is customary. And again in the Conceits he says:But the apparent is omnipotent wherever it goes;and in his work On the Senses, I do not lay it down that honey is sweet, but I admit that it appears to be so.'". None