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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10314
Sextus, Outlines Of Pyrrhonism, 1.170-1.172
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Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

3 results
1. Sextus, Against The Mathematicians, 7.34-7.37, 7.261-7.442 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

2. Sextus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, 1.1-1.4, 1.8-1.11, 1.35-1.169, 1.171-1.186, 2.22, 2.26, 2.31, 2.38-2.42, 2.70, 2.97-2.98 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

3. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 9.74, 9.79-9.89, 9.94, 9.106 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

9.74. The Sceptics, then, were constantly engaged in overthrowing the dogmas of all schools, but enuntiated none themselves; and though they would go so far as to bring forward and expound the dogmas of the others, they themselves laid down nothing definitely, not even the laying down of nothing. So much so that they even refuted their laying down of nothing, saying, for instance, We determine nothing, since otherwise they would have been betrayed into determining; but we put forward, say they, all the theories for the purpose of indicating our unprecipitate attitude, precisely as we might have done if we had actually assented to them. Thus by the expression We determine nothing is indicated their state of even balance; which is similarly indicated by the other expressions, Not more (one thing than another) 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. 9.89. The mode derived from relativity declares that a thing can never be apprehended in and by itself, but only in connexion with something else. Hence all things are unknowable. The mode resulting from hypothesis arises when people suppose that you must take the most elementary of things as of themselves entitled to credence, instead of postulating them: which is useless, because some one else will adopt the contrary hypothesis. The mode arising from reciprocal inference is found whenever that which should be confirmatory of the thing requiring to be proved itself has to borrow credit from the latter, as, for example, if anyone seeking to establish the existence of pores on the ground that emanations take place should take this (the existence of pores) as proof that there are emanations. 9.94. We must not assume that what convinces us is actually true. For the same thing does not convince every one, nor even the same people always. Persuasiveness sometimes depends on external circumstances, on the reputation of the speaker, on his ability as a thinker or his artfulness, on the familiarity or the pleasantness of the topic.Again, they would destroy the criterion by reasoning of this kind. Even the criterion has either been critically determined or not. If it has not, it is definitely untrustworthy, and in its purpose of distinguishing is no more true than false. If it has, it will belong to the class of particular judgements, so that one and the same thing determines and is determined, and the criterion which has determined will have to be determined by another, that other by another, and so on ad infinitum. 9.106. Aenesidemus too in the first book of his Pyrrhonean Discourses says that Pyrrho determines nothing dogmatically, because of the possibility of contradiction, but guides himself by apparent facts. Aenesidemus says the same in his works Against Wisdom and On Inquiry. Furthermore Zeuxis, the friend of Aenesidemus, in his work On Two-sided Arguments, Antiochus of Laodicea, and Apellas in his Agrippa all hold to phenomena alone. Therefore the apparent is the Sceptic's criterion, as indeed Aenesidemus says; and so does Epicurus. Democritus, however, denied that any apparent fact could be a criterion, indeed he denied the very existence of the apparent.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aenesidemus Bett, How to be a Pyrrhonist: The Practice and Significance of Pyrrhonian Scepticism (2019) 121; Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 100
affection Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 126
agrippa Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 100
apellas Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 100
appearances, reliance on Bett, How to be a Pyrrhonist: The Practice and Significance of Pyrrhonian Scepticism (2019) 175
appearances Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 85, 100, 126
ataraxia Bett, How to be a Pyrrhonist: The Practice and Significance of Pyrrhonian Scepticism (2019) 175
confusion Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 100
criterion Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 85
demonstration Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 85
diogenes laertius Bett, How to be a Pyrrhonist: The Practice and Significance of Pyrrhonian Scepticism (2019) 122; Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 85, 100, 126
dogmatists Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 126
impressions Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 126
investigation Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 100
isostheneia Bett, How to be a Pyrrhonist: The Practice and Significance of Pyrrhonian Scepticism (2019) 175, 230, 231
providence Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 126
pyrrhonists Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 126
sense-perception Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 126
sextus empiricus Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 85, 126
skeptical language Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 126
skeptical phrases Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 126
skepticism, as ability (dunamis) Bett, How to be a Pyrrhonist: The Practice and Significance of Pyrrhonian Scepticism (2019) 121, 231
skepticism, as inquiry Bett, How to be a Pyrrhonist: The Practice and Significance of Pyrrhonian Scepticism (2019) 175
skepticism, pyrrhonian skepticism Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 126
skepticism Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 100
skeptics, pyrrhonian skeptics Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 126
stoicism Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 85
suspension of judgment' Vogt, Pyrrhonian Skepticism in Diogenes Laertius (2015) 126