Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism

LCL 273: 150-151

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Sextus Empiricus



1Ἐπεὶ δὲ τὴν ζήτησιν τὴν πρὸς τοὺς δογματικοὺς μετήλθομεν, ἕκαστον τῶν μερῶν τῆς καλουμένης φιλοσοφίας συντόμως καὶ ὑποτυπωτικῶς ἐφοδεύσωμεν, πρότερον ἀποκρινάμενοι πρὸς τοὺς ἀεὶ θρυλοῦντας ὡς μήτε ζητεῖν μήτε νοεῖν ὅλως οἷός τέ ἐστιν ὁ σκεπτικὸς περὶ τῶν δογματιζομένων 2παρ᾿ αὐτοῖς. φασὶ γὰρ ὡς ἤτοι καταλαμβάνει ὁ σκεπτικὸς τὰ ὑπὸ τῶν δογματικῶν λεγόμενα ἢ οὐ καταλαμβάνει· καὶ εἰ μὲν καταλαμβάνει, πῶς ἂν ἀποροίη περὶ ὧν κατειληφέναι λέγει; εἰ δ᾿ οὐ καταλαμβάνει, ἄρα περὶ ὧν οὐ κατείληφεν οὐδὲ 3οἶδε λέγειν. ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ μὴ εἰδώς, εἰ τύχοι, τί ἐστι τὸ καθ᾿ ὃ περιαιρουμένου ἢ τὸ διὰ δύο τροπικῶν θεώρημα, οὐδὲ εἰπεῖν τι δύναται περὶ αὐτῶν, οὕτως ὁ μὴ γινώσκων ἕκαστον τῶν λεγομένων παρὰ τοῖς δογματικοῖς οὐ δύναται ζητεῖν πρὸς


Sextus Empircus

Book II

Chapter I.—Can The Sceptic investigate The Statements of The Dogmatists?

Since we have undertaken this inquiry in criticism1 of the Dogmatists,a let us review briefly and in outline the several divisions of so-called philosophy, when we have first made reply to those who keep constantly repeating that the Sceptic is incapable of either investigating or in any way cognizing the objects about which they dogmatize. For theyb maintain2 that the Sceptic either apprehends or does not apprehend the statements made by the Dogmatists; if, then, he apprehends, how can he be perplexed about things which he has, as he says, apprehended? Whereas if he apprehends not, then neither does he know how to discuss matters which he has not apprehended. For just as he who is ignorant, for instance,3 of the arguments known as “How far reduced”c or “By two hypotheses,”d is unable also to say anything about them, so the man who does not know each of the statements made by the Dogmatists is unable to

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sextus_empiricus-outlines_pyrrhonism.1933