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Sextus Empiricus

“ἐν ταῖς παρακμαῖς τὴν ποικίλην δίαιταν καὶ τὸν οἶνον δοκιμαστέον.” ἤδη δὲ καὶ κατὰ τὸν βίον ἄχρι καὶ τοὺς παῖδας ὁρῶμεν διαστελλομένους ἀμφιβολίας, ὧν ἡ διαστολὴ χρησιμεύειν αὐτοῖς δοκεῖ. εἰ γοῦν τις ὁμωνύμους οἰκέτας ἔχων κελεύοι παιδίον κληθῆναι αὐτῷ τὸν Μάνην, εἰ τύχοι, (τοῦτο γὰρ τοὔνομα τοῖς οἰκέταις ἔστω κοινόν) πεύσεται ὁ παῖς ποῖον. καὶ εἰ πλείονας καὶ διαφόρους τις οἴνους ἔχων λέγοι τῷ παιδίῳ “ἔγχεόν μοι τοῦ οἴνου πιεῖν,” ὁμοίως ὁ παῖς πεύσεται ποίου. 258οὕτως ἡ ἐν ἑκάστοις ἐμπειρία τοῦ χρησίμου τὴν διαστολὴν εἰσάγει.

Ὅσαι μέντοι μὴ ἔν τινι τῶν βιωτικῶν ἐμπειριῶν εἰσὶν ἀμφιβολίαι, ἀλλ᾿ ἐν δογματικαῖς οἰήσεσι κεῖνται καὶ εἰσὶν ἴσως ἄχρηστοι πρὸς τὸ ἀδοξάστως βιοῦν, περὶ ταύτας ἰδίως ὁ διαλεκτικὸς ἔχων ἀναγκασθήσεται καὶ ἐν αὐταῖς ὁμοίως ἐπέχειν κατὰ τὰς σκεπτικὰς ἐφόδους, καθὸ πράγμασιν ἀδήλοις καὶ ἀκαταλήπτοις ἢ καὶ ἀνυποστάτοις ἴσως εἰσὶ 259συνεζευγμέναι. ἀλλὰ περὶ μὲν τούτων καὶ εἰσαῦθις διαλεξόμεθα· εἰ δέ τις δογματικὸς πρός τι τούτων ἀντιλέγειν ἐπιχειροίη, κρατυνεῖ τὸν σκεπτικὸν λόγον, ἐκ τῆς ἑκατέρωθεν ἐπιχειρήσεως καὶ τῆς ἀνεπικρίτου διαφωνίας τὴν περὶ τῶν ζητουμένων ἐποχὴν καὶ αὐτὸς βεβαιῶν.

Τοσαῦτα καὶ περὶ ἀμφιβολιῶν εἰπόντες αὐτοῦ που περιγράφομεν καὶ τὸ δεύτερον τῶν ὑποτυπώσεων σύνταγμα.

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Sextus Empircus

case of the ambiguity “In periods of abatement one should sanction a varied diet and wine.”a And in the ordinary affairs of life we see already how people—ay, and even the slave-boys—distinguish ambiguities when they think such distinction is of use. Certainly, if a master who had servants named alike were to bid a boy called, say, “Manes” (supposing this to be common name for a servant) to be summoned, the slave-boy will ask “Which one?” And if a man who had several different wines were to say to his boy “Pour me out a draught of wine,” then too the boy will ask “Which one?” Thus it258is the experience of what is useful in each affair that brings about the distinguishing of ambiguities.

All such ambiguities, however, as are not involved in the practical experiences of life but in dogmatic opinions, and are no doubt useless for a life void of dogmatism,—concerning these the Dialectician, in his own peculiar position,b will be similarly forced, in view of the Sceptic attacks, to suspend judgement, in so far as they are probably linked up with matters that are non-evident and non-apprehensible, or even non-substantial. This subject, however, we259shall discuss later onc; and if any Dogmatist should attempt to refute any of our statements he will be strengthening the Sceptic argument by adding support to their suspension of judgement about the matters in question as a result of our mutual antagonism and interminable dissension.

Having said thus much concerning ambiguities we now conclude therewith our Second Book of Outlines.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sextus_empiricus-outlines_pyrrhonism.1933