Sextus Empiricus and ancient physics by Keimpe Algra, Katerina Ierodiakonou

By Keimpe Algra, Katerina Ierodiakonou

The 2 books of Sextus Empiricus' opposed to the Physicists haven't bought a lot recognition of their personal correct, as sustained and methodical specimens of sceptical philosophy. This quantity redresses the stability through providing a sequence of in-depth experiences on them, focusing specifically on their total argumentative constitution and at the numerous ways that their formal gains relate to their contents, displaying how Sextus' tactics differ from one part to the opposite, and throwing new gentle at the method he was once utilizing his resources. It follows Sextus' personal department of those books into 9 successive subject matters, specifically god, reason, wholes and components, physique, position, movement, time, quantity, coming-to-be and passing-away. those 9 chapters are preceded through an advent which discusses a couple of basic positive factors of Sextus' scepticism and hyperlinks the conclusions of this quantity to a couple fresh discussions at the scope of historic scepticism

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In the past I have used comparisons of this kind, applied to other parts of Sextus’ oeuvre, as part of an argument for revising what is probably still the standard view on the order of composition of Sextus’ works. The seemingly more polished composition of Outlines of Pyrrhonism (hereafter, PH), I have claimed, is one reason for thinking that it is later than the longer work of which Against the Physicists is part, not earlier, as has usually This chapter has benefited greatly from comments at the 2007 Symposium Hellenisticum conference.

They may also be due to the different nature of the two works. After all, also on the assumption that the passages suggesting some form of negative dogmatism will be mainly due to his scissors-and-paste copying from earlier Pyrrhonian sources, we are more likely to find them in M, which is more of a storehouse of sceptical arguments, than in PH, which in general shows a higher degree of authorial intervention. Finally, a general point about the use of phrases that may seem to indicate a commitment to negative dogmatism may be in order here.

276–92; and Barnes 1992: 4252–3. ’ No arguments pro are provided. The whole section is exclusively negative. See also Barnes 1992: 4252, with n. 58 for further examples from PH. The only thing which we find in M but not in PH, it seems, is the use of the first-person plural of the verb ἀναιρεῖν (‘to abolish’/‘to do away with’); see Janáček 1972: 55; Bett 2005: xxix; and Bett, in this volume, pp. 37–40. But, given the other considerations offered in the present context, it is not immediately clear what conclusions should be drawn from this particular difference.

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