Sextus Empiricus, Against the Professors

LCL 382: 2-3

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Sextus Empiricus





Τὴν πρὸς τοὺς ἀπὸ τῶν μαθημάτων ἀντίρρησιν κοινότερον μὲν διατεθεῖσθαι δοκοῦσιν οἵ τε περὶ τὸν Ἐπίκουρον καὶ οἱ ἀπὸ τοῦ Πύρρωνος, οὐκ ἀπὸ τῆς αὐτῆς δὲ διαθέσεως, ἀλλ᾿ οἱ μὲν περὶ τὸν Ἐπίκουρον ὡς τῶν μαθημάτων μηδὲν συνεργούντων πρὸς σοφίας τελείωσιν, ἢ ὥς τινες εἰκάζουσι, τοῦτο προκάλυμμα τῆς ἑαυτῶν ἀπαιδευσίας εἶναι νομίζοντες (ἐν πολλοῖς γὰρ ἀμαθὴς Ἐπίκουρος ἐλέγχεται, οὐδὲ ἐν ταῖς κοιναῖς ὁμιλίαις καθαρεύων), 2τάχα δὲ καὶ διὰ τὴν πρὸς τοὺς περὶ Πλάτωνα καὶ Ἀριστοτέλη καὶ τοὺς ὁμοίους δυσμένειαν πολυμαθεῖς γεγονότας. οὐκ ἀπέοικε δὲ καὶ διὰ τὴν πρὸς Ναυσιφάνην τὸν Πύρρωνος ἀκουστὴν ἔχθραν· πολλοὺς γὰρ τῶν νέων συνεῖχε καὶ τῶν μαθημάτων σπουδαίως ἐπεμελεῖτο, μάλιστα δὲ ῥητορικῆς. 3γενόμενος οὖν τούτου μαθητὴς ὁ Ἐπίκουρος ὑπὲρ τοῦ δοκεῖν αὐτοδίδακτος εἶναι καὶ αὐτοφυὴς φιλόσοφος ἠρνεῖτο ἐκ παντὸς τρόπου, τήν τε περὶ


Sextus Empiricus

Against the Professors

Book I

§§ 1–40—Against the Professors; §§ 41-End—Against the Grammarians

aThe case against the Mathematici (or Professors of1 Arts and Sciences) has been set forth in a general way, it would seem, both by Epicurus and by the School of Pyrrho, although the standpoints they adopt are different. Epicurus took the ground that the subjects taught are of no help in perfecting wisdom; and he did this, as some conjecture, because he saw in it a way of covering up his own lack of culture (for in many matters Epicurus stands convicted of ignorance, and even in ordinary converse his speech was not correct). Another reason may have been his hostility2 towards Plato and Aristotle and their like who were men of wide learning. It is not unlikely, too, that he was moved by his enmity against Nausiphanes, the disciple of Pyrrho, who kept his hold on many of the young men and devoted himself earnestly to the Arts and Sciences, especially Rhetoric. Epicurus, then,3 though he had been one of this man’s disciples, did his best to deny the fact in order that he might be thought to be a self-taught and original philosopher, and tried hard to blot out the reputation of Nausiphanes,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sextus_empiricus-against_professors.1949