Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism

LCL 273: 2-3

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Sextus Empiricus




1Τοῖς ζητοῦσί τι πρᾶγμα ἢ εὕρεσιν ἐπακολουθεῖν εἰκὸς ἢ ἄρνησιν εὑρέσεως καὶ ἀκαταληψίας ὁμολογίαν 2ἢ ἐπιμονὴν ζητήσεως. διόπερ ἴσως καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν κατὰ φιλοσοφίαν ζητουμένων οἱ μὲν εὑρηκέναι τὸ ἀληθὲς ἔφασαν, οἱ δ᾿ ἀπεφήναντο μὴ δυνατὸν εἶναι τοῦτο καταληφθῆναι, οἱ δὲ ἔτι 3ζητοῦσιν. καὶ εὑρηκέναι μὲν δοκοῦσιν οἱ ἰδίως καλούμενοι δογματικοί, οἷον οἱ περὶ Ἀριστοτέλην καὶ Ἐπίκουρον καὶ τοὺς στωικοὺς καὶ ἄλλοι τινές, ὡς δὲ περὶ ἀκαταλήπτων ἀπεφήναντο οἱ περὶ Κλειτόμαχον καὶ Καρνεάδην καὶ ἄλλοι Ἀκαδημαϊκοί, 4ζητοῦσι δὲ οἱ σκεπτικοί. ὅθεν εὐλόγως δοκοῦσιν αἱ ἀνωτάτω φιλοσοφίαι τρεῖς εἶναι, δογματικὴ Ἀκαδημαϊκὴ σκεπτική. περὶ μὲν οὖν τῶν ἄλλων ἑτέροις ἁρμόσει λέγειν, περὶ δὲ τῆς σκεπτικῆς ἀγωγῆς ὑποτυπωτικῶς ἐπὶ τοῦ παρόντος ἡμεῖς ἐροῦμεν, ἐκεῖνο προειπόντες ὅτι περὶ οὐδενὸς τῶν


Sextus Empircus

Outlines of Pyrrhonism

Book I

Chapter I.—of the Main Difference between Philosophic Systems

The natural result of any investigation is that the 1investigators either discover the object of search or deny that it is discoverable and confess it to be inapprehensible or persist in their search. So, too, 2with regard to the objects investigated by philosophy, this is probably why some have claimed to have discovered the truth, others have asserted that it cannot be apprehended, while others again go on inquiring. Those who believe they have discovered it are the 3“Dogmatists,” specially so called—Aristotle, for example, and Epicurus and the Stoics and certain others; Cleitomachus and Carneades and other Academicsa treat it as inapprehensible: the Sceptics keep on searching. Hence it seems reasonable to 4hold that the main types of philosophy are three—the Dogmatic, the Academic, and the Sceptic. Of the other systems it will best become others to speak: our task at present is to describe in outline the Sceptic doctrine,b first premising that of none of our

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sextus_empiricus-outlines_pyrrhonism.1933