Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism

LCL 273: 4-5

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Sextus Empiricus

λεχθησομένων διαβεβαιούμεθα ὡς οὕτως ἕχοντος πάντως καθάπερ λέγομεν, ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὸ νῦν φαινόμενον ἡμῖν ἱστορικῶς ἀπαγγέλλομεν περὶ ἑκάστου.


5Τῆς σκεπτικῆς οὖν φιλοσοφίας ὁ μὲν λέγεται καθόλου λόγος ὁ δὲ εἰδικός, καὶ καθόλου μὲν ἐν ᾧ τὸν χαρακτῆρα τῆς σκέψεως ἐκτιθέμεθα, λέγοντες τίς ἔννοια αὐτῆς καὶ τίνες ἀρχαὶ καὶ τίνες λόγοι τί τε κριτήριον καὶ τί τέλος, καὶ τίνες οἱ τρόποι τῆς ἐποχῆς, καὶ πῶς παραλαμβάνομεν τὰς σκεπτικὰς ἀποφάσεις, καὶ τὴν διάκρισιν τῆς σκέψεως ἀπὸ τῶν παρακειμένων αὐτῇ φιλοσοφιῶν, 6εἰδικὸς δὲ ἐν ᾧ πρὸς ἕκαστον μέρος τῆς καλουμένης φιλοσοφίας ἀντιλέγομεν. περὶ τοῦ καθόλου δὴ πρῶτον διαλάβωμεν λόγου, ἀρξάμενοι τῆς ὑφηγήσεως ἀπὸ τῶν τῆς σκεπτικῆς ἀγωγῆς ὀνομάτων.


7Ἡ σκεπτικὴ τοίνυν ἀγωγὴ καλεῖται μὲν καὶ ζητητικὴ ἀπὸ ἐνεργείας τῆς κατὰ τὸ ζητεῖν καὶ σκέπτεσθαι, καὶ ἐφεκτικὴ ἀπὸ τοῦ μετὰ τὴν ζήτησιν περὶ τὸν σκεπτόμενον γινομένου πάθους, καὶ ἀπορητικὴ ἤτοι ἀπὸ τοῦ περὶ παντὸς ἀπορεῖν καὶ ζητεῖν, ὡς ἔνιοί φασιν, ἢ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀμηχανεῖν πρὸς συγκατάθεσιν ἢ ἄρνησιν, καὶ Πυρρώνειος ἀπὸ τοῦ φαίνεσθαι ἡμῖν τὸν Πύρρωνα σωματικώτερον


Sextus Empircus

future statements do we positively affirm that the fact is exactly as we state it, but we simply record each fact, like a chronicler, as it appears to us at the moment.

Chapter II.—of the Arguments of Scepticism

Of the Sceptic philosophy one argument (or branch 5of exposition) is called “general,” the other “special.” In the general argument we set forth the distinctive features of Scepticism, stating its purport and principles, its logical methods, criterion, and end or aim; the “Tropes,” also, or “Modes,”a which lead to suspension of judgement, and in what sense we adopt the Sceptic formulae, and the distinction between Scepticism and the philosophies which stand next to it. In the special argument we state our objections 6regarding the several divisions of so-called philosophy.b Let us, then, deal first with the general argument, beginning our description with the names given to the Sceptic School.

Chapter III.—Of the Nomenclature of Scepticism

The Sceptic School, then, is also called “Zetetic” 7from its activity in investigation and inquiry, and “Ephectic” or Suspensive from the state of mind produced in the inquirer after his search, and “Aporetic” or Dubitative either from its habit of doubting and seeking, as some say, or from its indecision as regards assent and denial, and “Pyrrhonean” from the fact that Pyrrhoc appears to us to

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sextus_empiricus-outlines_pyrrhonism.1933