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Ancient Greek Skepticism

Although all skeptics in some way cast doubt on our ability to gain knowledge of the world, the term 'skeptic' actually covers a wide range of attitudes and positions. There are skeptical elements in the views of many Greek philosophers, but the term 'ancient skeptic' is generally applied either to a member of Plato's Academy during its skeptical period (c. !" #.$.% to &st century #.$.%.' or to a follower of Pyrrho (c. "() to !* #.$.%.'. Pyrrhonian skepticism flourished from Aenesidemus' revival (&st century #.$.%.' to +e,tus %mpiricus, who lived sometime in the nd or "rd centuries $.%. Thus the two main varieties of ancient skepticism- Academic and Pyrrhonian. The term 'skeptic' derives from a Greek noun, skepsis, which means e,amination, in.uiry, consideration. /hat leads most skeptics to begin to e,amine and then eventually to be at a loss as to what one should believe, if anything, is the fact of widespread and seemingly endless disagreement regarding issues of fundamental importance. 0any of the arguments of the ancient skeptics were developed in response to the positive views of their contemporaries, especially the +toics and %picureans, but these arguments have been highly influential for subse.uent philosophers and will continue to be of great interest as long as there is widespread disagreement regarding important philosophical issues. 1early every variety of ancient skepticism includes a thesis about our epistemic limitations and a thesis about suspending 2udgment. The two most fre.uently made ob2ections to skepticism target these theses. The first is that the skeptic's commitment to our epistemic limitations is inconsistent. 3e cannot consistently claim to know, for e,ample, that knowledge is not possible4 neither can he consistently claim that we should suspend 2udgment regarding all matters insofar as this claim is itself a 2udgment. %ither such claims will refute themselves, since they fall under their own scope, or the skeptic will have to make an apparently arbitrary e,emption. The second sort of ob2ection is that the alleged epistemic limitations and5or the suggestion that we should suspend 2udgment would make life unlivable. 6or, the business of day7to7day life re.uires that we make choices and this re.uires making 2udgments. +imilarly, one might point out that our apparent success in interacting with the world and each other entails that we must know some things. +ome responses by ancient skeptics to these ob2ections are considered in the following discussion. (3ankinson 8&99): is a comprehensive and detailed e,amination of ancient skeptical views. +ee +chmitt 8&9! : and Popkin 8&9!9: for discussion of the historical impact of ancient skepticism, beginning with its rediscovery in the &(th $entury, and 6ogelin 8&99;: for an assessment of Pyrrhonian skepticism in light of contemporary epistemology. The differences between ancient and modern forms of skepticism has been a controversial topic in recent years7see especially, Annas 8&9<(:, 8&99(:, #urnyeat 8&9<;:, and #ett 8&99":.'

Table of $ontents ($licking on the links below will take you to those parts of this
article' &. The =istinction #etween Academic and Pyrrhonian +kepticism . Academic +kepticism a. Arcesilaus i. Platonic innovator ii. Attack on the +toics iii. >n suspending 2udgment iv. =ialectical ?nterpretation v. Practical $riterion- to eulogon b. $arneades i. +ocratic =ialectic ii. >n ethical theory iii. >n the +toic sage iv. >n epistemology v. Practical criterion- to pithanon vi. =ialectical skeptic or fallibilist@ c. Philo and Antiochus d. $icero ". Pyrrhonian +kepticism a. Pyrrho and Timon b. Aenesidemus i. Aevival of Pyrrhonism ii. The Ten 0odes iii. Tran.uility c. +e,tus %mpiricus i. General Account of +kepticism ii. The path to skepticism iii. The 0odes of Agrippa iv. +kepticism versus relativism v. The skeptical life ;. +kepticism and the %,amined Bife ). Greek and Batin te,ts, commentaries, and translations (. +elect #ibliography

1. The Distinction Between Academic and Pyrrhonian Skepticism


The distinction between Academic and Pyrrhonian skepticism continues to be a controversial topic. ?n the +econd $entury $.%., the Aoman author Aulus Gellius already refers to this as an old .uestion treated by many Greek writers (Attic Nights &&.).(, see +triker 8&9<&5&99(:'. The biggest obstacle to correctly making this distinction is that it is misleading to describe Academic and Pyrrhonian skepticism as distinctly unified views in the first place since different Academics and Pyrrhonists seem to have understood their skepticisms in different ways. +o even though the terms Academic and Pyrrhonian are

appropriate insofar as there are clear lines of transmission and development of skeptical views that unify each, we should not e,pect to find a simple account of the distinction between the two.
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2. Academic Skepticism
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a. Arcesilaus
6ollowing Plato's death in ";! #.$.%., his nephew +peusippus became head of the Academy. 1e,t in line were Cenocrates, Polemo and $rates. The efforts of the Academics during this period were largely directed towards developing an orthodo, Platonic metaphysics. /hen $rates died (c. ! #.$.%.' Arcesilaus of Pitane (c. "&< to ;" #.$.%.' became the si,th head of the Academy. Another member of the Academy, +ocratides, who was apparently in line for the position, stepped down in favor of Arcesilaus (=B ;." '4 so it seems he was held in high regard by his predecessors, at least at the time of his appointment. (+ee Bong 8&9<(: for discussion of the life of Arcesilaus.'

i. Platonic innovator
According to =iogenes Baertius (D=B', Arcesilaus was Ethe first to argue on both sides of a .uestion, and the first to meddle with the traditional Platonic system 8or- discourse, logos: and by means of .uestion and answer, to make it more of a debating contestE (;. <, translation after A.=. 3icks'. =iogenes is certainly wrong about Arcesilaus being the first to argue on both sides of a .uestion. This was a long standing practice in Greek rhetoric commonly attributed to the +ophists. #ut Arcesilaus was responsible for turning Plato's Academy to a form of skepticism. This transition was probably supported by an innovative reading of Plato's books, which he possessed and held in high regard (=B ;."&'. =iogenes' remark that Arcesilaus 'meddled' with Plato's system and made it more of a debating contest indicates a critical attitude towards his innovations. =iogenes (or his source' apparently thought that Arcesilaus betrayed the spirit of Platonic philosophy by turning it to skepticism. $icero, on the other hand, in an approving tone, reports that Arcesilaus revived the practice of +ocrates, which he takes to be the same as Plato's. E8+ocrates: was in the habit of drawing forth the opinions of those with whom he was arguing, in order to state his own view as a response to their answers. This practice was

not kept up by his successors4 but Arcesilaus revived it and prescribed that those who wanted to listen to him should not ask him .uestions but state their own opinions. /hen they had done so, he argued against them. #ut his listeners, so far as they could, would defend their own opinionE (de Finibus . , translated by Bong and +edley, (<F, see also de 1atura =eorum &.&&'. Arcesilaus had (selectively' derived the lesson from Plato's dialogues that nothing can be known with certainty, either by the senses or by the mind (de Oratore ".(!, on the topic of Plato and +ocrates as proto7skeptics, see Annas 8&99 :, +hields 8&99;: and /oodruff 8&9<(:'. 3e even refused to accept this conclusion4 thus he did not claim to know that nothing could be known (Academica ;)'.

ii. Attack on the +toics


?n general, the +toics were the ideal target for the skeptics4 for, their confidence in the areas of metaphysics, ethics and epistemology was supported by an elaborate and sophisticated set of arguments. And, the stronger the 2ustification of some theory, the more impressive is its skeptical refutation. They were also an attractive target due to their prominence in the 3ellenistic world. Arcesilaus especially targeted the founder of +toicism, Geno, for refutation. Geno confidently claimed not only that knowledge is possible but that he had a correct account of what knowledge is, and he was willing to teach this to others. The foundation of this account is the notion of katalpsis: a mental grasping of a sense impression that guarantees the truth of what is grasped. ?f one assents to the proposition associated with a kataleptic impression, i.e. if one e,periences katalepsis, then the associated proposition cannot fail to be true. The +toic sage, as the perfection and fulfillment of human nature, is the one who assents only to kataleptic impressions and thus is infallible. Arcesilaus argued against the possibility of there being any sense7impressions which we could not be mistaken about. ?n doing so, he paved the way for future Academic attacks on +toicism. To summariHe the attack- for any sense7impression +, received by some observer A, of some e,isting ob2ect >, and which is a precise representation of >, we can imagine circumstances in which there is another sense7impression +', which comes either (i' from something other than >, or (ii' from something non7e,istent, and which is such that +' is indistinguishable from + to A. The first possibility (i' is illustrated by cases of indistinguishable twins, eggs, statues or imprints in wa, made by the same ring (Lucullus <;7<!'. The second possibility (ii' is illustrated by the illusions of dreams and madness (Lucullus <<79&'. >n the strength of these e,amples, Arcesilaus apparently concluded that we may, in principle, be deceived about any sense7impression, and conse.uently that the +toic account of empirical knowledge fails. 6or the +toics were thorough7going empiricists and believed that sense7impressions lie at the foundation of all of our knowledge. +o if we could not be certain of ever having grasped any sense7impression, then we cannot be certain of any of the more comple, impressions of the world, including what strikes us as valuable. Thus, along with the failure to establish the possibility of katalepsis goes the failure to establish the possibility of +toic wisdom (see 3ankinson 8&99):, Annas 8&99*: and 6rede 8&9<"5&9<!: for detailed discussions of this

epistemological debate'.

iii. >n suspending 2udgment


?n response to this lack of knowledge (whether limited to the +toic variety or knowledge in general', Arcesilaus claimed that we should suspend 2udgment. #y arguing for and against every position that came up in discussion he presented e.ually weighty reasons on both sides of the issue and made it easier to accept neither side (Academica ;)'. =iogenes counts the suspension of 2udgment as another of Arcesilaus' innovations (=B;. <' and refers to this as the reason he never wrote any books (;." '. +e,tus %mpiricus (Outlines of !rrhonism 8generally referred to by the initials of the title in Greek, P3: &. " ' and Plutarch (Adversus "olotes && *$' also attribute the suspension of 2udgment about everything to him. =etermining precisely what cognitive attitude Arcesilaus intended by Esuspending 2udgmentE is difficult, primarily because we only have second and third hand reports of his views (if indeed he endorsed any views, see =ialectical ?nterpretation below'. To suspend 2udgment seems to mean not to accept a proposition as true, i.e. not to believe it. ?t follows that if one suspends 2udgment regarding p, then he should neither believe that p nor should he believe that not7p (for this will commit him to the truth of not7p'. #ut if believing p 2ust means believing that p is true, then suspending 2udgment regarding everything is the same as not believing anything. ?f Arcesilaus endorsed this, then he could not consistently believe either that nothing can be known or that one should conse.uently suspend 2udgment.

iv. =ialectical ?nterpretation


>ne way around this problem is to adopt the dialectical interpretation (advanced by $ouissin 8&9 9:'. According to this interpretation, Arcesilaus merely showed the +toics that the! didn't have an ade.uate account of knowledge, not that knowledge in general is impossible. ?n other words, knowledge will only turn out to be impossible if we define it as the +toics do. 6urthermore, he did not show that everyone should suspend 2udgment, but rather only those who accept certain +toic premises. ?n particular, he argued that if we accept the +toic view that the +age never errs, and since katalepsis is not possible, then the +age (and the rest of us insofar as we emulate the +age' should never give our assent to anything. Thus the only way to achieve sagehood, i.e. to consistently avoid error, is to suspend 2udgment regarding everything and never risk being wrong (Lucullus ((7(!, !(7 !<, see also +e,tus %mpiricus, Against the Logicians 8generally referred to by the initial 0, for the name of the larger work from which it comes, Adversus #athematikos: !.&)*7 )!'. #ut the dialectical Arcesilaus himself neither agrees nor disagrees with this.

v. Practical $riterion- to eulogon


The biggest obstacle to the dialectical interpretation is Arcesilaus' practical criterion, to eulogon. Arcesilaus presented this criterion in response to the +toic ob2ection that if we

were to suspend 2udgment regarding everything, then we would not be able to continue to engage in day to day activities. 6or, the +toics thought, any deliberate action presupposes some assent, which is to say that belief is necessary for action. Thus if we eliminate belief we will eliminate action (Plutarch, Adversus "olotes && A76, B+ (9A'. +e,tus remarks that Einasmuch as it was necessary . . . to investigate also the conduct of life, which cannot, naturally, be directed without a criterion, upon which happiness7that is, the end of life7 depends for its assurance, Arcesilaus asserts that he who suspends 2udgment about everything will regulate his inclinations and aversion and his actions in general by the rule of 'the reasonable 8to eulogon:,' and by proceeding in accordance with this criterion he will act rightly4 for happiness is attained by means of wisdom, and wisdom consists in right actions, and the right action is that which, when performed, possesses a reasonable 2ustification. 3e, therefore, who attends to 'the reasonable' will act rightly and be happyE (# !.&)<, translated by #ury'. There is a good deal of +toic technical terminology in this passage, including the term eulogon itself, and this may seem to support the dialectical interpretation. >n this view, Arcesilaus is simply showing the +toics both that their account of knowledge is not necessary for virtue, and that they nonetheless already have a perfectly acceptable epistemic substitute, to eulogon (see +triker 8&9<*5&99(:'. #ut this raises the .uestion, why would Arcesilaus make such a gift to his +toic adversaries@ ?t would be as if, 0aconi's words, EArcesilaus first knocked his opponent to the ground and then gave him a hand up againE (&9<<- ;<'. +uch generosity would seem to be incompatible with the purely dialectical purpose of refutation. +imilarly, if he had been arguing dialectically all along, there seems to be no good reason for him to respond to +toic ob2ections, for he was not presenting his own views in the first place. >n the other hand, the proponent of the dialectical view could maintain that Arcesilaus has not done any favors to the +toics by giving them the gift of to eulogon$ rather, this 'gift' may still be seen as a refutation of the +toic view that a robust knowledge is necessary for virtue. An alternative to the dialectical view is to interpret to eulogon as Arcesilaus' own considered opinion regarding how one may live well in the absence of certainty. This view then encounters the earlier difficulty of e,plaining how it is consistent for Arcesilaus to endorse suspending 2udgment on all matters while at the same time believing that one may attain wisdom and happiness by adhering to his practical criterion.
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b. $arneades
Arcesilaus was succeeded by Bacydes (c. ;" #.$.%.', and then %vander and 3egesinus in turn took over as heads of the Academy. 6ollowing 3egesinus, $arneades of $yrene (c. &" to & 9 #.$.%.', perhaps the most illustrious of the skeptical Academics, took charge. Aather than merely responding to the dogmatic positions that were currently held

as Arcesilaus did, $arneades developed a wider array of skeptical arguments against any possible dogmatic position, including some that were not being defended. 3e also elaborated a more detailed practical criterion, to pithanon% As was the case with Arcesilaus, he left nothing in writing, e,cept for a few letters, which are no longer e,tant (=B ;.()'.

i. +ocratic =ialectic
$arneades employed the same dialectical strategies as Arcesilaus (Academica ;), Lucullus &(', and similarly found his inspiration and model in Plato's +ocrates. The +ocratic practice which $arneades employed, according to $icero, was to try to conceal his own private opinion, relieve others from deception and in every discussion to look for the most probable solution (Tusculan =isputations ).&&, see also de Natura &eorum &.&&'. ?n &)) #.$.%., nearly one hundred years after Arcesilaus' death in ;", $arneades is reported to have gone as an Athenian ambassador to Aome. There he presented arguments one day in favor of 2ustice and the ne,t he presented arguments against it. 3e did this not because he thought that 2ustice should be disparaged but rather to show its defenders that they had no conclusive support for their view (Bactantius, B+ (<0'. +imilarly, we find $arneades arguing against the +toic conception of the gods, not in order to show that they do not e,ist, but rather to show that the +toics had not firmly established anything regarding the divine (de Natura &eorum ".;"7;;, see also &.;'. ?t seems then that $arneades was motivated primarily by the +ocratic goal of relieving others of the false pretense to knowledge or wisdom and that he pursued this goal dialectically by arguing both for and against philosophical positions.

ii. >n ethical theory


#ut whereas Arcesilaus seemed to limit his targets to positions actually held by his interlocutors, $arneades generaliHed his skeptical attack, at least in ethics and epistemology. The main task of 3ellenistic ethics was to determine the summum bonum, the goal at which all of our actions must aim if we are to live good, happy lives. $arneades listed all of the defensible candidates, including some that had not actually been defended, in order to argue for and against each one and show that no one in fact knows what the summum bonum is, if indeed there is one (de Finibus ).&(7 &'. 3e may have even intended the stronger conclusion that it is not possible to ac.uire knowledge of the summum bonum, assuming his list was e,haustive of all the serious candidates.

iii. >n the +toic sage


As with Arcesilaus, $arneades also focused much of his skeptical energy on the +toics, particularly the views of the scholarch $hrysippus (=B ;.( '. The +toics had developed a detailed view of wisdom as life in accordance with nature. The +toic sage never errs, he

never incorrectly values the goods of fortune, he never suffers from pathological emotions, and he always remains tran.uil. 3is happiness is completely inviolable since everything he does and everything he e,periences is precisely as it should be4 and crucially, he knows this to be true. %ven though the +toics were e,tremely reluctant to admit that anyone had so far achieved this e,traordinary virtue, they nonetheless insisted that it was a real possibility (Luc% &;), 'usc% .)&, +eneca (p% ; .&, # 9.&"", =B !.9&'. As a dialectician, $arneades carefully e,amined this conception of the sage. +ometimes he argued, contrary to the +toic view, that the sage would in fact assent to non7kataleptic impressions and thus that he was liable to error (Buc. (!'4 for he might form opinions even in the absence of katalepsis (Buc. !<'. #ut he also apparently argued against the view that the sage will hold mere opinions in the absence of katalepsis (Luc% && '. Presumably he didn't himself endorse either position since the issue that had to be decided first was whether katalepsis was even possible. ?n other words, if certainty is possible, then of course the sage should not settle for mere opinion. #ut if it is not possible, then perhaps he will be entitled to hold mere opinions, provided they are thoroughly e,amined and considered.

iv. >n epistemology


Fust as $arneades generaliHed his skeptical attack on ethical theories, he also argued against all of his predecessors' epistemological theories (# !.&)9'. The main task of 3ellenistic epistemology was to determine the criterion (standard, measure or test' of truth. ?f the criterion of truth is taken to be a sort of sense7impression, as in the +toic theory, then we will not be able to discover any such impression that could not in principle appear true to the most e,pertly trained and sensitive perceiver and yet still be false (# !.&(&7(), see Arcesilaus' 'Attack on the +toics' above'. #ut if we can discover no criterial sense7impression, then neither will the faculty of reason alone be able to provide us with a criterion, insofar as we accept the empiricist view (common among 3ellenistic philosophers' that nothing can be 2udged by the mind that hasn't first entered by the senses. /e have no evidence to suggest that $arneades also argued against a rationalist, or a priori approach to the criterion.

v. Practical criterion- to pithanon


According to +e,tus, after arguing against all the available epistemological theories, $arneades himself needed to advance a criterion for the conduct of life and the attainment of happiness (0 !.&(('. +e,tus does not tell us why it was necessary for $arneades to do so, but it was probably for the same reason that Arcesilaus had presented his practical criterion7namely, in response to the ob2ection that if there were no epistemic grounds on which to prefer one impression over another then, despite all appearances, we cannot

rationally govern our choices. Thus, $arneades e,pounded his practical criterion, to pithanon% 6irst he noted that every sense impression e,ists in two distinct relations- one relative to the ob2ect from which it comes, the EimpressorE, and the other relative to the perceiver. The first relation determines what we ordinarily think of as truth- does the impression correspond to its ob2ect or not@ The second relation determines plausibility- is the impression convincing to the perceiver or not@ Aather than relying on the first relation, $arneades adopted the convincing impression 8pithan phantasia: as the criterion of truth, even though there will be occasions on which it fails to accurately represent its ob2ect. Iet, he apparently thought that these occasions are rare and so they do not provide a good reason for distrusting the convincing impressions. 6or such impressions are reliable for the most part, and in actual practice, life is regulated by what holds for the most part (# !.&((7!), B+ (9='. +e,tus also reports the refinements $arneades made to his criterion. ?f we are considering whether we should accept some impression as true, we presumably have already found it to be convincing, but we should also consider how well it coheres with other relevant impressions and then thoroughly e,amine it further as if we were cross7e,amining a witness. The amount of e,amination that a convincing impression re.uires is a function of its importance to us. ?n insignificant matters we make use of the merely convincing impression, but in weighty matters, especially those having to do with happiness, we should only rely on the convincing impressions that have been thoroughly e,plored (# !.&!(7<;'. $icero translates $arneades' pithanon with the Batin terms probabile and veri simile, and he claims that this criterion is to be employed both in everyday life and in the Academic dialectical practice of arguing for and against philosophical views (Luc% " , see also "ontr%Ac% . (, and Glucker 8&99):'. The novel feature of this criterion is that it does not guarantee that whatever is in accordance with it is true. #ut if it is to play the dialectical role e,plicitly specified by $icero and suggested by +e,tus' report, then it must have some connection with truth. This is especially clear in the case of sense7impressions- the benefit of thoroughly e,amining sense7impressions is that we may rule out the deceptive ones and accept the accurate ones. And we may make a similar case, as $icero does, for the dialectical e,amination of philosophical views. A ma2or difficulty in interpreting $arneades' pithanon in this way is that it re.uires some e,planation for how we are able to identify what resembles the truth (veri simile' without being able to identify the truth itself (Luc% " 7""'.

vi. =ialectical skeptic or fallibilist@


%ven if the fallibilist interpretation of $arneades' criterion is correct, it remains a further issue whether he actually endorsed his criterion himself, or whether he merely developed it dialectically as a possible view. ?ndeed, even $arneades' student $litomachus was unable to determine what, if anything, $arneades endorsed (Luc% &"9, see also +triker

8&9<*5&99(:'. A number of difficulties arise if he did endorse his criterion. 6irst, $arneades argued that there is absolutely no criterion of truth (# !.&)9' and that would presumably include to pithanon% +econd, $litomachus claims that $arneades endured a nearly 3erculean labor Ewhen he cast assent out of our minds, like a wild and savage beast, that is mere opinion and thoughtlessnessE (Luc% &*<'. Thus it would seem to be inconsistent for him to accept a moderate, fallible form of assent if it leads to holding opinions. /e may more simply deal with $arneades' criterion by noting that sometimes he argued so Healously in support of some view that people reasonably, but incorrectly, assumed that he accepted it himself (Luc% !<, Fin% ). *'. Thus we may say that $arneades only advanced views dialectically but remained uncommitted to any of them. 3is criterion in this case would be the disappointing conse.uence of +toic epistemological commitments7 disappointing (as in the case with the dialectical reading of Arcesilaus' eulogon' because the +toics believed these same commitments led to a much more robust criterion. >n the other hand, $icero endorses a fallibilist interpretation of to pithanon which he seems to think was also endorsed by $arneades himself. This interpretation was developed by another of $arneades' students, 0etrodorus, and by $icero's teacher, Philo. /e also have evidence that $arneades made an important distinction between assent and approval that he may have appealed to in this conte,t (Buc. &*;, see #ett 8&99*:'. 3e limits assent to the mental event of taking a proposition to be true and adopts the term 'approval' for the more modest mental event of taking a proposition to be convincing but without making any commitment to its truth. ?f this distinction is viable it would allow $arneades to approve of his epistemological criterion without committing himself at any deeper theoretical level. ?n other words $arneades could appeal to his criterion for his very adoption of that criterion- it is pithanon but not certain that to pithanon is the criterion for determining what we should approve of. $icero claims that $arneades made 2ust this sort of move in the case of his re2ection of the possibility of +toic katalepsis- it is probabile () pithanon', but not certain, that katalepsis is not possible (Luc% &&*, see Thorsrud 8 ** :'.
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c. Philo and Antiochus


According to +e,tus %mpiricus, most people divide the Academy into three periods- the first, the so7called >ld Academy, is Plato's4 the second is the 0iddle Academy of Arcesilaus4 and the third is the 1ew Academy of $arneades. #ut, he remarks, some also add a fourth Academy, that of Philo, and a fifth Academy, Antiochus' ( * &. *'. Philo was head of the Academy from about &&* to !9 #.$.%. 3is interpretation of Academic skepticism as a mitigated form that permits tentative approval of the view that survives the most dialectical scrutiny is recorded and e,amined in $icero's Academica, and in the earlier version of this dialogue, the Lucullus% The Lucullus is 2ust one of the two books that constituted the earlier version. The second book, now lost was called "atulus, after one of the main speakers. $icero later revised these books, dividing them into four4 but

only part of the first of those four, what is usually referred to as the Academica posteriora, has survived. 1evertheless, we have enough of these books to get a pretty good sense of the whole work (see Griffin 8&99!:, 0ansfeld 8&99!:'. Philo apparently claimed that some sense7impressions very well may be true but that we nonetheless have no reliable way to determine which ones these are (Luc% &&&, see also ";'. +imilarly, +e,tus attributes to Philo the view that Eas far the +toic standard (i.e. apprehensive appearance 8D kataleptic impression:' is concerned, ob2ects are inapprehensible, but as far as the nature of the ob2ects themselves is concerned they are apprehensibleE ( * &. "), translated by Annas and #arnes'. 3e may have made these remarks in order to underwrite the Academic practice of accepting certain views as resembling the truth4 for there must be some truth in the first place7even if we don't have access to it7in order for something to resemble it. Jnder the pressure of +toic ob2ections to his fallibilist epistemology Philo apparently made some controversial innovations in Academic philosophy. $icero refers to these innovations but doesn't discuss them in any detail (Luc% &&7& ', nor did he accept them himself, preferring Philo's earlier view of the Academy and the dialectical practices of $arneades. Philo's innovation may have been to commit himself to the metaphysical claim that some impressions are indeed true by providing arguments to that effect. +o rather than rely on the likelihood that some impressions are true he may have sought to establish this more firmly. 3e then may have lowered the standard for knowledge by giving up the internalist re.uirement that one be able to identify which impressions are true and adopted instead the e,ternalist position that 2ust having true impressions, as long as they have the right causal history, is enough for one to have knowledge (see 3ankinson 8&99!: for this interpretation, see also Tarrant 8&9<): and #rittain 8 **&:'. After Philo, Antiochus (c. &"* to c. (< #.$.%.' led the Academy decidedly back to a form of dogmatism. 3e claimed that the +toisc and Peripatetics had more accurately understood Plato and thus he sought to revive these views, including primarily +toic epistemology and ethics, in his Academy ($icero e,amines Antiochus' views in de Finibus ). Glucker 8&9!<: is a groundbreaking study of Antiochus.'.
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d. $icero
$icero was a lifelong student and practitioner of Academic philosophy and his philosophical dialogues are among the richest sources of information about the skeptical Academy. Although he claims to be a mere reporter of other philosophers' views (Att% & .) ."', he went to some trouble in arranging these views in dialogue form and most importantly in supplying his own words to e,press them. ?n some cases he coined the words he needed thereby teaching philosophy to speak Batin. 3is philosophical coinages7 e.g. essentia, +ualitas, beatitudo7have left a lasting imprint on /estern philosophy.

3e is generally not considered to be an original thinker but it is difficult to determine the e,tent to which this is true since practically none of the books he relied on have survived and so we do not know how much, or whether, he modified the views he presented. 1evertheless, despite .uestions of originality, his dialogues e,press a humane and intelligent view of life. Plutarch, in his biography, claims that $icero often asked his friends to call him a philosopher because he had chosen philosophy as his work, but merely used oratory to achieve his political ends (Life of "icero " .(, $olish 8&9<): is a comprehensive survey of $icero's philosophical dialogues, so too 0acKendrick 8&9<9:, and see Powell 8&99): for more recent essays on $icero's philosophy'.
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3. Pyrrhonian Skepticism
Pyrrho of %lis (c. "(* to c. !* #$%', the founder of Pyrrhonian skepticism, is a shadowy figure who wrote nothing himself. /hat little we know of him comes, for the most part, from fragments of his pupil Timon's poems and from =iogenes Baertius' biography (9.(&7 &*<' which is based on a book by Antigonus of $arystus, an associate of Timon. There seem to have been no more disciples of Pyrrho after Timon, but much later in the &st $entury #.$.%., Aenesidemus proposed a skeptical view that he claimed to be Pyrrhonian. Bater still in the nd $entury $.%., +e,tus %mpiricus recorded a battery of skeptical arguments aimed at all contemporary philosophical views. As with Aenesidemus, +e,tus claimed Pyrrho as the founder, or at least inspiration, for the skepticism he reports. The content of these skeptical views, the nature of Pyrrho's influence, and the relations between succeeding stages of Pyrrhonism are controversial topics.
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a. Pyrrho and Timon


The anecdotal evidence for Pyrrho tends to be sensational. =iogenes reports, for e,ample, that Pyrrho mistrusted his senses to such an e,tent that he would have fallen off cliffs or been run over by carts and savaged by dogs had his friends not followed close by (9.( '. 3e was allegedly indifferent to certain norms of social behavior, taking animals to market, washing a pig and even cleaning the house himself (9.(('. 6or the most part we find his indifference presented as a positive characteristic. 6or e,ample, while on a ship in the midst of a terrible storm he was able to maintain a state of tran.uility (9.(<'. +imilarly, Timon presents Pyrrho as having reached a godlike state of calm, having escaped servitude to mere opinion (9.(;7), see also the fragments of Timon's prose works, as recorded by Aristocles, B+ A and #'. 3e was also held in such high regard by his native city that he was appointed as high priest and for his sake they made all philosophers e,empt from ta,ation (9.(;'. /e also find a tantaliHing report of a 2ourney to ?ndia where Pyrrho mingled with, and presumably learned from, certain naked sophists and magi (9.(&, the connection with ?ndian #uddhism is e,plored by 6lintoff 8&9<*:'.

Generally, the anecdotal evidence in =iogenes, and elsewhere, is unreliable, or at least highly suspect. +uch reports are more likely colorful inventions of later authors attributed to Pyrrho to illustrate, or caricature, some part of his philosophical view. 1evertheless, he is consistently portrayed as being remarkably calm due to his lack of opinion, so we may cautiously accept such accounts. The most important testimony to the nature of Pyrrho's skepticism comes from Aristocles, a Peripatetic philosopher of the nd $entury $.%.?t is supremely necessary to investigate our own capacity for knowledge. 6or if we are so constituted that we know nothing, there is no need to continue en.uiry into other things. Among the ancients too there have been people who made this pronouncement, and Aristotle has argued against them. Pyrrho of %lis was also a powerful spokesman of such a position. 3e himself has left nothing in writing, but his pupil Timon says that whoever wants to be happy must consider these three .uestions- first, how are things by nature@ +econdly, what attitude should we adopt towards them@ Thirdly, what will be the outcome for those who have this attitude@ According to Timon, Pyrrho declared that 8&: things are e.ually indifferent, unmeasurable and inarbitrable. 6or this reason 8 : neither our sensations nor our opinions tell us truths or falsehoods. Therefore, for this reason we should not put our trust in them one bit, but we should be unopinionated, uncommitted and unwavering, saying concerning each individual thing that it no more is than is not, or it both is and is not, or it neither is nor is not. 8": The outcome for those who actually adopt this attitude, says Timon, will be first speechlessness, and then freedom from disturbance . . . (Aristocles apud %usebius, raeparatio evangelica &;.&<.&7), translated by Bong and +edley, &6'. Bet us consider Pyrrho's .uestions and answers in order. 6irst, what are things like by nature@ This sounds like a straightforward metaphysical .uestion about the way the world is, independent of our perceptions. ?f so, we should e,pect Pyrrho's answer, 8&: that things are e.ually indifferent, unmeasurable and inarbitrable, to be a metaphysical statement. #ut this will lead to difficulties, for how can Pyrrho arrive at the apparently definite proclamation that things are indefinite@ ?.e. doesn't his metaphysical statement refute itself by implicitly telling us that things are decidedly indeterminate@ ?f we take this view we may defend Pyrrho by allowing his claim to be e,empt from its own scope7 so we can determine only this much- every property of every thing is indeterminate (see #ett 8 ***: for this defense'. Alternatively, we may allow Pyrrho to embrace the apparent inconsistency and assert that his claim is itself neither true nor false, but is inarbitrable. The former option seems preferable insofar as the latter leaves Pyrrho with no definite assertion whatsoever and it thus becomes unclear how he could draw the inferences he does from 8&: to 8 :. >n the other hand, we may seek to avoid these difficulties by interpreting Pyrrho's first answer as epistemological. After all, the predicates he uses suggest an epistemological claim is being made. And further, Aristocles introduces this passage by noting that we must investigate our capacity for knowledge and he claims that Pyrrho was a spokesman for the view that we know nothing. #ett 8 ***: argues against the epistemological

reading on the grounds that it doesn't make good sense of the passage as it stands. 6or if we assume the epistemological reading of 8&:, that we are unable to determine the natures of things, then it would be pointless to infer from that that 8 : our senses lie. ?t would make much more sense to reverse the inference- one might reasonably argue that our senses lie and thus we are unable to determine the natures of things. +ome have proposed emending the te,t from 'for this reason (dia touto'' to 'on account of the fact that (dia to'' to capture this reversal of the inference. #ut if we read the te,t as it stands, we may still e,plain Aristocles' epistemological focus by pointing out that if 8&: things are indeterminate, then the epistemological skepticism will be a conse.uence- things are indeterminable% +econd, in what way ought we to be disposed towards things@ +ince things are indeterminate (assuming the metaphysical reading' then no assertion will be true, but neither will any assertion be false. +o we should not have any opinion about the truth or falsity of any statement (with the e,ception perhaps of these meta7level skeptical assertions'. ?nstead, we should only say and think that something no more is than is not, or both is and is not, or neither is nor is not, because in fact that's the way things are. +o for e,ample, having accepted 8&: (and assuming the predicative reading of 'is' in 8 :', ? will no longer believe that this book is red, but neither will ? believe that it is not red. The book is no more red than not7red, or similarly, it is as much red as not7red. Third, what will be the result for those who are so disposed@ The first result is speechlessness (literally, not saying anything'7but this is odd given that we are encouraged to adopt a form of speech in 8 :. Perhaps speechlessness follows after initially saying only that things are no more this than that, etc.4 then finally, freedom from disturbance follows. Presumably, the recognition that things are no more to be sought after than not sought after is instrumental in producing tran.uility, for if nothing is intrinsically good or bad, we have no reason to ever be distressed, or to be e,uberantly 2oyful. #ut then it seems we would not be able to even choose one thing over another. Pyrrho's tran.uility thus begins to look like a kind of paralysis and this is probably what prompted some of the sensational anecdotes. =iogenes notes, however, that according to Aenesidemus, Pyrrho e,ercised foresight in his day7to7day activities, and that he lived to be ninety (9.( '. +o it seems his tran.uility did not paralyHe him after all. This may be either because Pyrrho (or Timon' was disingenuous about what he was up to intellectually, or more charitably because he followed appearances (9.&*(' without ever committing himself to the truth or falsity of what appeared. (+ee '+e,tus on the skeptical life' below for further discussion'.
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b. Aenesidemus
/e know practically nothing about Aenesidemus e,cept that he lived sometime in the &st $entury #.$.%., and that he dedicated one of his written works to a Bucius Tubero, a friend of $icero's who was also a member of the Academy. This has led most scholars to

suppose that Aenesidemus was a member of the Academy, probably during the period of Philo's leadership, and that his revival of Pyrrhonian skepticism was probably a reaction to Philo's tendency towards fallibilism. Although this is plausible, it makes the fact that $icero never mentions him .uite puHHling.

i. Aevival of Pyrrhonism
Aenesidemus' Pyrrhonian =iscourses ( !rrhoneia', like the rest of his works, have not survived, but they are summariHed by a ninth century #yHantine patriarch, Photius, who is remarkable in his own right. ?n his ,ibliothk () ,ib% ', he summariHed <* books, including the !rrhoneia, apparently from memory. ?t is clear from his summary that he thinks very little of Aenesidemus' work. This is due to his view that Aenesidemus' skepticism makes no contribution to $hristian dogma and drives from our minds the instinctive tenets of faith (,ib% &!*b"97;*'. 1evertheless, a comparison of his summaries with the original te,ts that have survived reveal that Photius is a generally reliable source (/ilson 8&99;:'. +o despite his assessment of Aenesidemus' skepticism, the consensus is that he provides an accurate summary of the !rrhoneia% The proper interpretation of that summary, however, is disputed. Aenesidemus was a member of Plato's Academy, apparently during the period of Philo's leadership. Growing dissatisfied with what he considered the dogmatism of the Academy, he sought to revitaliHe skepticism by moving back to a purer form inspired by Pyrrho. 3is specific complaint against his contemporary Academics was that they confidently affirm some things, even +toic beliefs, and unambiguously deny other things. ?n other words, the Academics, in Aenesidemus' view, were insufficiently impressed by our epistemic limitations. 3is alternative was to 'determine nothing', not even the claim that he determines nothing. ?nstead, the Pyrrhonist says that things are no more one way than another. This form of speech is ambiguous (in a positive sense, from Aenesidemus' perspective' since it neither denies nor asserts anything unconditionally. ?n other words, the Pyrrhonist will only assert that some property belongs to some ob2ect relative to some observer or relative to some set of circumstances. Thus, he will conditionally affirm some things but he will absolutely deny that any property belongs to anything in every possible circumstance. This seems to be what Aenesidemus meant by 'determining nothing', for his relativiHed assertions say nothing definite about the nature of the ob2ect in .uestion. +uch statements take the form- it is not the case that C is by nature 6. This is a simple denial that C is always and invariably 6, though of course C may be 6 in some cases. #ut such statements are importantly different from those of the form- C is by nature not76. 6or these sorts of statements affirm that C is invariably not76 and that there can be no cases of C that e,hibit the property 6. The only acceptable form of e,pression for Aenesidemus then seems to be statements that may sometimes be false (+ee /oddruff 8&9<<: for this interpretation, also #ett ***'.

ii. The Ten 0odes


The kinds of conclusion that Aenesidemus countenanced as a Pyrrhonist can more clearly be seen by considering the kinds of arguments he advanced to reach them. 3e apparently produced a set of skeptical argument forms, or modes, for the purpose of refuting dogmatic claims regarding the natures of things. +e,tus %mpiricus discusses one such group, the Ten 0odes, in some detail ( * &.")7&(", # !.";), see also =iogenes Baertius' account of the Ten 0odes at 9.!97<<, and the partial account in Philo of Ale,andria, On &runkenness &(97 *), and see Annas and #arnes 8&9<): for detailed and critical discussion of all ten modes'. The first mode is designed to show that it is not reasonable to suppose that the way the world appears to us humans is more accurate than the incompatible ways it appears to other animals. This will force us to suspend 2udgment on the .uestion of how these things are by nature, in and of themselves, insofar as we have no rational grounds on which to prefer our appearances and insofar as we are not willing to accept that something can have incompatible properties by nature. ?f, for e,ample, manure appears repulsive to humans and delightful to dogs, weare unable to say that it really is, in its nature, either repulsive or delightful, or both repulsive and delightful. ?t is no more delightful than not7 delightful, and no more repulsive than not7repulsive, (again, in its nature'. Fust as the world appears in incompatible ways to members of different species, so too does it appear incompatibly to members of the same species. Thus, the second mode targets the endless disagreements among dogmatists. #ut once again, we will find no rational ground to prefer our own view of things, for if an interested party makes himself 2udge, we should be suspicious of the 2udgment he reaches, and not accept it. The third mode continues the line of reasoning developed in the first two. Fust as the world appears in incompatible ways to different people, it also appears incompatibly to the different senses of one and the same person. +o, for e,ample, painted ob2ects seem to have spatial dimensions that are not revealed to our sense of touch. +imilarly, perfume is pleasant to the nose but disgusting to the tongue. Thus, perfume is no more pleasant than not7pleasant. The fourth mode shows that differences in the emotional or physical state of the perceiver affects his perception of the world. #eing in love, calm and warm, one will e,perience the cold wind that comes in with his beloved .uite differently than if he is angry and cold. /e are unable to ad2udicate between these incompatible e,periences of the cold wind because we have no rational grounds on which to prefer our e,perience in one set of circumstances to our e,perience in another. >ne might say that we should give preference to the e,periences of those who are healthy, sane and calm as that is our natural state. #ut in response, we may employ the second mode to challenge the notion of a single, healthy condition that is universally applicable.

The fifth mode shows that differences in location and position of an observed ob2ect relative to the observer will greatly affect the way the ob2ect appears. 3ere we find the oar that appears bent in water, the round tower that appears s.uare from a distance, and the pigeon's neck that changes color as the pigeon moves. These features are independent of the observer in a way that the first four modes are not. #ut similar to the first four, in each case we are left without any rational grounds on which to prefer some particular location or position over another. /hy should we suppose, for e,ample, that the pigeon's neck is really green rather than blue@ And if we should propose some proof, or theory, in support of it being really blue, we will have to face the skeptic's demand for further 2ustification of that theory, which will set off an infinite regress. The si,th mode claims that nothing can be e,perienced in its simple purity but is always e,perienced as mi,ed together with other things, either internally in its composition or e,ternally in the medium in which it is perceived. This being the case, we are unable to ever e,perience the nature of things, and thus are unable to ever say what that nature is. The seventh mode appeals to the way different effects are produced by altering the .uantity and proportions of things. 6or e,ample, too much wine is debilitating but the right amount is fortifying. +imilarly, a pile of sand appears smooth, but individual grains appear rough. Thus, we are led to conclude that wine is no more debilitating than fortifying and sand is no more smooth than rough, in their natures. The eighth mode, from relativity, is a paradigm for the whole set of modes. ?t seeks to show, in general, that something appears to have the property 6 only relative to certain features of the perceiving sub2ect or relative to certain features of the ob2ect. And, once again, insofar as we are unable to prefer one set of circumstances to another with respect to the nature of the ob2ect, we must suspend 2udgment about those natures. The ninth modes points out that the fre.uency of encountering a thing affects the way that thing appears to us. ?f we see something that we believe to be rare it will appear more valuable. And when we encounter some beautiful thing for the first time it will seem more beautiful or striking than it appears after we become familiar with it. Thus, we must conclude, for e,ample, that a diamond is no more valuable than worthless. 6inally, the tenth mode, which bears on ethics, appeals to differences in customs and law, and in general, to differences in the ways we evaluate the world. 6or some, homose,uality is acceptable and good, and to others it is unacceptable and bad. ?n and of itself, homose,uality is neither good nor bad, but only relative to some way of evaluating the world. And again, since we are unable to prefer one set of values to another, we are led to the conclusion that we must suspend 2udgment, this time with respect to the intrinsic value of things. ?n each of these modes, Aenesidemus seems to be advancing a sort of relativism- we may only say that some ob2ect C has property 6 relative to some observer or set of circumstances, and not absolutely. Thus his skepticism is directed e,clusively at a version of %ssentialism4 in this case, the view that some ob2ect has property 6 in any and every

circumstance. A further .uestion is whether Aenesidemus intends his attack on %ssentialism to be ontological or epistemological. ?f it is epistemological, then he is claiming that we simply cannot know what the nature or essence of some thing is, or even whether it has one. This seems most likely to have been Aenesidemus' position since Photius' summary begins with the remark that the overall aim of the !rrhoneia is to show that there is no firm basis for cognition. +imilarly, the modes seem to be e,clusively epistemological insofar as they compel us to suspend 2udgment4 they are clearly designed to force the recognition that no perspective can be rationally preferred to any other with respect to real natures, or essences. #y contrast, the ontological view that there are no essences, is not compatible with suspending 2udgment on the .uestion.

iii. Tran.uility
/e do not have enough evidence to determine precisely why Aenesidemus found inspiration in Pyrrho. >ne important point, however, is that they both promote a connection between tran.uility and an acceptance of our epistemic limitations (see #ett 8 ***: for an elaboration of this view'. =iogenes Baertius attributes the view to both Anesidemus and the followers of Timon that as a result of suspending 2udgment, freedom from disturbance (atara-ia' will follow as a shadow (=B 9.&*!7<'. +imilarly, Photius reports Aenesidemus' view that those who follow the philosophy of Pyrrho will be happy, whereas by contrast, the dogmatists will wear themselves out in futile and ceaseless theoriHing (,ib% &(9b& 7"*, B+ !&$'. Although there seem to be important differences in what Pyrrho and Aenesidemus understood by our epistemic limitations, they both promoted tran.uility as the goal, or at least end product. ?n general terms the idea is clear enough- the way to a happy, tran.uil e,istence is to live in accordance with how things seem, including especially our evaluative impressions of the world. Aather than trying to uncover some hidden reality, we should accept our limitations, operate in accordance with custom and habit, and not be disturbed by what we cannot know (see +triker 8&99*5&99(:'.
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c. +e,tus %mpiricus
/e know very little about +e,tus %mpiricus, aside from the fact that he was a physician. 3e may have been alive as early as the nd $entury $.%. or as late as the "rd $entury $.%. /e cannot be certain as to where he lived, or where he practiced medicine, or where he taught, if indeed he did teach. ?n addition to his philosophical books, he also wrote some medical treatises (referred to at # !. * , &.(&' which are no longer e,tant. There are three philosophical works that have survived. Two of these works are grouped together under the general heading, Adversus #athematikos7which may be translated as Against the Bearned, or Against the Professors, i.e. those who profess to know something worth teaching. This grouping is potentially misleading as the first group of si, books (chapters, by current standards' are complete and form a self7contained whole. ?n fact

+e,tus refers to them with the title .keptical 'reatises% %ach of these books target some specific sub2ect in which people profess to be e,perts, thus- grammar, rhetoric, mathematics, geometry, astrology and music. These are referred to as # & through (, respectively. There are five additional books in the second set grouped under the heading Adversus #athematikos: two books containing arguments against the Bogicians (0 !, <', two books against the Physicists (# 9, &*', and one book against the %thicists (0 &&'. This set of books is apparently incomplete since the opening of # ! refers back to a general outline of skepticism that is in none of the e,tant books of #% The third work is the Outlines of !rrhonism, in three books. The first book provides an outline summary of Pyrrhonian skepticism and would correspond to the missing portion of #% #ooks and " provide arguments against the Bogicians, Physicists and %thicists, corresponding to # ! through &&. The discussion in * tends to be much more concise and carefully worded, though there is greater detail and development of many of the same arguments in #% The nature of the relation between these three works is much disputed, especially since the view presented in * seems to be incompatible with large portions of # (see #ett 8&99!:'. The following discussion is limited to the views presented in *%

i. General Account of +kepticism


+e,tus begins his overview of Pyrrhonian skepticism by distinguishing three fundamental types of philosopher- dogmatists, who believe they have discovered the truth4 Academics (negative dogmatists', who believe the truth cannot be discovered4 and skeptics, who continue to investigate, believing neither that anyone has so far discovered the truth nor that it is impossible to do so. Although his characteriHation of Academics is probably polemical and unfair, the general distinctions he makes are important. +e,tus understands the skeptic, at least nominally as Pyrrho and Aenesidemus do, as one who by suspending 2udgment determines nothing, and en2oys tran.uility as a result. #ut, as we will see, his conception of suspending 2udgment is considerably different from his predecessors'.

ii. The path to skepticism


According to +e,tus, one does not start out as a skeptic, but rather stumbles on to it. ?nitially, one becomes troubled by the kinds of disagreements focused on in Aenesidemus' modes and seeks to determine which appearances accurately represent the world and which e,planations accurately reveal the causal histories of events. The motivation for figuring things out, +e,tus asserts, is to become tran.uil, i.e. to remove the disturbance that results from confronting incompatible views of the world. As the proto7

skeptic attempts to sort out the evidence and discover the privileged perspectiveor the correct theory, he finds that for each account that purports to establish something true about the world there is another, e.ually convincing account, that purports to establish an opposed and incompatible view of the same thing. #eing faced with this e.uipollence, he is unable to assent to either of the opposed accounts and thereby suspends 2udgment. This, of course, is not what he set out to do. #ut by virtue of his intellectual integrity, he is simply not able to arrive at a conclusion and so he finds himself without any definite view. /hat he also finds is that the tran.uility that he originally thought would come only by arriving at the truth, follows upon his suspended 2udgment as a shadow follows a body. +e,tus provides a vivid story to illustrate this process. A certain painter, Apelles, was trying to represent foam on the mouth of the horse he was painting. #ut each time he applied the paint he failed to get the desired effect. Growing frustrated, he flung the sponge, on which he had been wiping off the paint, at the picture, inadvertently producing the effect he had been struggling to achieve ( * &. <7 9'. The analogous point in the case of seeking the truth is that the desired tran.uility only comes indirectly, not by giving up the pursuit of truth, but rather by giving up the e,pectation that we must ac.uire truth to get tran.uility. ?t is a strikingly Gen7like point- one cannot intentionally ac.uire a peaceful, tran.uil state but must let it happen as a result of giving up the struggle. #ut again, giving up the struggle for the skeptic does not mean giving up the pursuit of truth. The skeptic continues to investigate in order to protect himself against the deceptions and seductions of reason that lead to our holding definite views. Arriving at definite views is not merely a matter of intellectual dishonesty, +e,tus thinks4 more importantly, it is the main source of all psychological disturbance. 6or those who believe that things are good or bad by nature, are perpetually troubled. /hen they lack what they believe to be good their lives must seem seriously deficient if not outright miserable, and they struggle as much as possible to ac.uire those things. #ut when they finally have what they believe to be good, they spend untold effort in maintaining and preserving those things and live in fear of losing them ( * &. !'. +e,tus' diagnosis is not limited to evaluative beliefs, however. This is clear by virtue of the fact that he provides e,tensive arguments against physical and logical (broadly speaking, scientific and epistemological' theories also. 3ow, then, do such beliefs contribute to the psychological disturbances that +e,tus seeks to eliminate@ The most plausible reply is that any such belief that we find +e,tus arguing against in * is one that will inevitably contribute to one's evaluations of the world and thus will contribute to the intense strivings that characteriHe disturbance. An e,amination of a sample of the logical and physical theses that +e,tus' discusses bears this out. 0any of these beliefs played foundational roles in the %picurean or +toic systems, and thus were employed to establish ethical and evaluative beliefs. #elieving that the physical world is composed of invisible atoms, for e,ample, would not, by itself, produce any disturbance since we must draw inferences from this belief in order for it to have any significance for us with respect to choice and avoidance. +o it is more appropriate to look past the disturbance that may be produced by individual, isolated beliefs, and consider instead the effect of accepting a

system of interrelated, mutually supporting dogmatic claims.

iii. The 0odes of Agrippa


As a supplement to the Ten 0odes of Aenesidemus (as well as his %ight 0odes aimed at causal e,planations, see * &.&<*7<), and 3ankinson 8&99<:', +e,tus offers a set of 6ive 0odes ( * &.&(;7!!' and Two 0odes ( * &.&!<7!9' employed by 'more recent skeptics'. /e may gather from =iogenes (9.<<' that the more recent skeptic referred to is Agrippa. ?t is important to point out that +e,tus merely reports these modes, he does not endorse them at a theoretical level. That is, he does not claim that they possess any sort of logical standing, e.g. that they are guaranteed to reveal a flaw in dogmatic positions, or that they represent some ideal form of reasoning. ?nstead, we should think of these modes as part of the general account of skepticism, with which the skeptic's practice coheres ( * &.&(7&!'. ?n other words, these modes simply describe the way +e,tus and his fellow skeptics behave dialectically. Agrippa's 6ive 0odes relies on the prevalence of dispute and repeats the main theme of Aenesidemus' 0odes- we are fre.uently faced with dissenting opinions regarding the same matter and yet we have no ade.uate grounds on which to prefer one view over another. +hould a dogmatist offer an account of such grounds, the skeptic may then re.uest further 2ustification, thereby setting off an infinite regress. And presumably, we should not be willing to accept an e,planation that is never complete, i.e. one that re.uires further e,plaining itself. +hould the dogmatist try to put a stop to the regress by means of a hypothesis, the skeptic will refuse to accept the claim without proof, perhaps citing alternative, incompatible hypotheses. And finally, the skeptic will refuse to allow the dogmatist to support his e,planation by what he is supposed to be e,plaining, disallowing any circular reasoning. And of course the skeptic may also avail himself of the observation that what is being e,plained only appears as it does relative to some relevant conditions, and thus, contrary to the dogmatist's presumption, there is no one thing to be e,plained in the first place (see #arnes 8&99*:'.

iv. +kepticism versus relativism


+e,tus employs these skeptical modes towards .uite a different goal from Aenesidemus'. Aenesidemus, as we have seen, countenances relativistic assertions of the form, C is no more 6 than not 6. This is to say that although C is not really, in its nature, 6, it is still genuinely 6 in some particular circumstance. And it is acceptable for the Aenesidemean skeptic to believe that this is the case. #ut for +e,tus, the skeptical refrain, '? determine nothing' e,cludes relativistic beliefs as well. ?t is not acceptable for +e,tus to believe that C is 6, even with relativistic disclaimers. ?nstead, +e,tus would have us refrain from believing even that C is no more 6 than not76. Thus, suspension of 2udgment e,tends farther for +e,tus than it does for Aenesidemus.

v. The skeptical life


+o, skepticism is an ability to discover opposed arguments of e.ual persuasive force, the practice of which leads first to suspension of 2udgment and afterwards, fortuitously, to tran.uility. This makes +e,tus' version of Pyrrhonian skepticism dramatically different from other /estern philosophical positions, for it is a practice or activity rather than a set of doctrines. ?ndeed, insofar as the skeptic is supposed to live without belief (ado-ast/s0, he could not consistently endorse any philosophical doctrine. #ut how is it possible to live without beliefs@ The short answer is that one may simply follow appearances and withhold 2udgment as to whether the world really is as it appears. This seems plausible with respect to physical perceptions, but appearances for +e,tus include evaluations, and this creates a complication. 6or how can the skeptic say Ethis appears good (or bad' to me, but ? don't believe that it is really good or badE@ ?t seems that there is no difference between evaluative appearances and evaluative beliefs. >ne possible response to this problem is to say that +e,tus only targets sophisticated, philosophical theories about value, or about physics or logic, but allows everyday attitudes and beliefs to stand. >n this view, skepticism is a therapy designed to cure the disease of academics and theoreticians. #ut it seems that +e,tus intends his philosophical therapy to be .uite widely applicable. The skeptical life, as he presents it, is an achievement and not merely the recovering of a native innocence lost to philosophical speculation. (+ee #urnyeat and 6rede 8&99!:, #rennan 8&999: for the debate regarding what the skeptic is supposed to suspend 2udgment about.' Any answer to the .uestion about how the skeptic may live without beliefs will depend on what sort of beliefs we think the skeptic avoids. 1evertheless, an elaboration on living in accordance with appearances comes in the form of the fourfold observances. Aather than investigate the best way to live or even what to do in some particular circumstance, +e,tus remarks that the skeptic will guide his actions by (&' nature, ( ' necessitation by feelings, ("' laws and customs, and (;' kinds of e,pertise ( * &. "7 ;'. 1ature provides us with the capacity for perception and thought, and we may use these capacities insofar as they don't lead us to dogmatic belief. +imilarly, hunger and thirst will drive us towards food and drink without our having to form any e,plicit beliefs regarding those physical sensations. >ne need not accept any nutritional theories to ade.uately and appropriately respond to hunger and thirst. Baws and customs will inform us of the appropriate evaluations of things. /e need not actually believe that the gods e,ist and that they are benevolent to take part in religious ceremonies or even to act in a manner that is (or at least appears' pious. #ut note that the skeptic will neither believe that the gods e,ist nor that they do not e,ist7he is neither a theist nor an atheist, but agnostic in a very robust sense. And finally, the skeptic may practice some trade or profession without accepting any theories regarding his practice. 6or e,ample, a carpenter need not have any theoretical or geometrical views about doors in order to be skillful at hanging them. +imilarly, a doctor need not accept any physiological theories to successfully heal his

patients. The further .uestion, recalling the dispute e,plored in #urnyeat and 6rede 8&99!:, is whether the skeptic merely avoids sophisticated, theoretical beliefs in employing these observances, or whether he avoids all beliefs whatsoever.
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4. Skepticism and the Examined i!e


A unifying feature of the varieties of ancient skepticism is that they are all concerned with promoting, in some manner of speaking, the benefits of recogniHing our epistemic limitations. Thus, ancient skeptics nearly always have something to say about how one may live, and indeed live well, in the absence of knowledge. The fallibilism that developed in Plato's Academy should be seen in this light. Aather than forego the potential benefits of an e,amination aimed at ac.uiring better beliefs, the later Academics opted for a less ambitious criterion, one that would give them merely reliable beliefs. 1onetheless, they maintained a thoroughly skeptical attitude towards the possibility of attaining certainty, but without claiming to have conclusively ruled it out. The more radical skepticism that we find in +e,tus' Outlines of !rrhonism suggests a move in a different direction. Aather than e,plain how or why we should trust the skeptical employment of reason, +e,tus avoids the problem altogether by, in effect, refusing to answer. ?nstead, he would suggest that we consider the reasons in support of some particular answer and the reasons opposed in accordance with the skeptical ability so that we may regain tran.uility.
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". Greek and atin texts# commentaries# and trans$ations


GeneralBong and +edley, eds. (&9<!', 'he *ellenistic hilosophers, ($ambridge$ambridge Jniversity Press', is a good place to start. These volumes contain selections from the primary sources grouped by topic. +ee volume &, sections (<7 ! and the following commentaries (pp. ;"<7;<<' for readings on Academic and Pyrrhonian skepticism, and sections &7" with commentaries (pp. &"7 ;' for readings on Pyrrho. Lolume contains the original Greek and Batin te,ts corresponding to the translations in volume &. ?nwood and Gerson, eds. (&9<<', *ellenistic hilosoph!: 1ntroductor! 2eadings, ?ndianapolis- 3ackett', also contains translated selections from the primary sources for Academic and Pyrrhonian skepticism.

Annas and #arnes, eds. (&9<)', 'he #odes Of .cepticism, ($ambridge$ambridge Jniversity Press', is a very useful arrangement and translation of the te,ts that discuss the different varieties of Pyrrhonian argumentation. 6or the Greek edition of Photius' summary of Aenesidem%s# see A. 3enry, ed. (&9( ', hotius: ,iblioth+ue, Tome ???, (Paris'. 6or a very readable translation, informative introduction and notes, see 1.G. /ilson (&99;', hotius: 'he ,ibliotheca, (Bondon=uckworth'. There have been some recently updated and much improved translations and commentaries on Sext%s Empiric%s. Annas, F. and F. #arnes (&99;', .e-tus (mpiricus: Outlines of .cepticism, ($ambridge- $ambridge Jniversity Press. #ett, A. (&99!', .e-tus (mpiricus: Against the (thicists (Adversus #athematikos 310, (>,ford- >,ford Jniversity Press'. #lank, =. (&99<', .e-tus (mpiricus: Against the 4rammarians (Adversus #athematikos 10, (>,ford- >,ford Jniversity Press'. Greaves, =.=. (&9<(', .e-tus (mpiricus: Against the #usicians (Adversus #athematikos 510, (Bincoln- Jniversity of 1ebraska Press'. 0ates, #. (&99(', 'he .keptic 6a!: .e-tus (mpiricus7s Outlines of !rrhonism, Translated with ?ntroduction and $ommentary, (>,ford- >,ford Jniversity Press'. 0any of the primary te,ts can be found in the Boeb series, which contains facing pages of te,t in the original language and translation. Among the most important are (all published by 3arvard Jniversity Press'#ury, A.G. (&9""', trans., .e-tus (mpiricus: Outlines of !rrhonism% MMMM. (&9")', trans., .e-tus (mpiricus: Against the Logicians MMMM. (&9"(', trans., .e-tus (mpiricus: Against the h!sicists, Against the (thicists% MMMM. (&9;9', trans., .e-tus (mpiricus: Against the rofessors% 3icks, A.=. (&9 )', trans., &iogenes Laertius: Lives of (minent hilosophers, vols. & and . Aackham, 3. (&9""', trans., "icero: &e Natura &eorum, Academica% MMMM. (&9&;', trans., "icero: &e Finibus ,onorum et #alorum%

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&. Se$ect 'i'$io(raphy o! secondary $iterat%re


Annas, F., (&99(', '+cepticism, >ld and 1ew', in 0. 6rede and G. +triker, eds., 2ationalit! in 4reek 'hought, (>,ford- $larendon'. MMMM. (&99"', 'he #oralit! of *appiness, (>,ford- >,ford Jniversity Press'. MMMM. (&99 ', 'Plato the +ceptic', in F. Klagge and 1. +mith, eds., O-ford .tudies in Ancient hilosoph!, +upp. Lol., ;"7! . MMMM. (&99*', '+toic %pistemology', in +. %verson, ed., (pistemolog!, ($ambridge$ambridge Jniversity Press'. MMMM. (&9<(', '=oing /ithout >b2ective Lalues- Ancient and 0odern +trategies', in 0. +chofield, et. al., eds., Norms of Nature ($ambridge- $ambridge Jniversity Press'. #arnes, F. (&99*', 'he 'oils of .cepticism, ($ambridge- $ambridge Jniversity Press'. #ett, A. ( ***', !rrho, his antecedents, and his legac!, (>,ford- >,ford Jniversity Press'. MMMM. (&99*', '$arneades' =istinction #etween Approval and Assent', #onist !".&- "7 *. MMMM. (&99"', '+cepticism and %veryday Attitudes in Ancient and 0odern Philosophy', #etaphilosoph! ;.;- "("7<&. MMMM. (&9<9', '$arneades' pithanon: A Aeappraisal of its Aole and +tatus', O-ford .tudies in Ancient hilosoph! !- )979;. #rennan, T. (&999', (thics and (pistemolog! in .e-tus (mpiricus, (1ew Iork- Garland'. #rittain, $. ( **&', hilo of Larissa, (>,ford- >,ford Jniversity Press'. #urnyeat, 0. (&9<;', 'The +ceptic in his Place and Time', in Aorty, +chneewind and +kinner, eds., hilosoph! in *istor!, ($ambridge- $ambridge Jniversity Press', )7);, reprinted in #urnyeat and 6rede, eds. (&99!'. #urnyeat, 0. and 0. 6rede, %ds. (&99!', 'he Original .ceptics: A "ontrovers!, (?ndianapolis- 3ackett'. #urnyeat, 0., %d. (&9<"', 'he .keptical 'radition, (#erkeley- Jniversity of $alifornia Press'.

$olish, 0. (&9<)', 'he .toic 'radition From Anti+uit! to the (arl! #iddle Ages, vol. &, (Beiden- #rill'. $ouissin, P. (&9 9', 'Be +toicisme de la nouvelle Academie', 2evue d7historie de la philosophie "- ;&7!(, tr. by Fennifer #arnes and 0. #urnyeat as 'The +toicism of the 1ew Academy', in 0. #urnyeat, %d. (&9<"' "&7(". 6lintoff, %. (&9<*', 'Pyrrho and ?ndia', hronesis )- <<7&*<. 6ogelin, A. (&99;', !rrhonian 2eflections on 8nowledge and 9ustification, (>,ford>,ford Jniversity Press'. 6rede, =. (&99(' '3ow +ceptical /ere the Academic +ceptics@', in A.3. Popkin, ed., .cepticism in the *istor! of hilosoph!: A an:American &ialogue, &7 (, (=ordrechtKluwer Academic'. 6rede, 0. (&9<!', (ssa!s in Ancient hilosoph!, (0inneapolis- Jniversity of 0innesota Press'. MMMM. (&9<"5&9<!', '+toics and +keptics on $lear and =istinct ?mpressions' in 0. #urnyeat, ed., (&9<"', reprinted in 6rede (&9<!', &)&7!<. Griffin, 0. (&99!', 'The $omposition of the Academica: 0otives and Lersions' in ?nwood and 0ansfeld, eds. (&99!', &7"). Glucker, F. (&99)', 7 robabile, 5eri .imile, and Aelated Terms', in F.G.6. Powell, ed., "icero the hilosopher: 'welve apers, (>,ford- >,ford Jniversity Press'. MMMM. (&9!<', Antiochus and the Late Academ!, (Gottingen- Landenhoeck und Auprecht'. 3ankinson, A.F. (&99<', "ause and (-planation in Ancient 4reek 'hought, (>,ford>,ford Jniversity Press'. MMMM. (&99!', '1atural $riteria and the Transparency of Fudgement- Antiochus, Philo and Galen on %pistemological Fustification', in #. ?nwood and F. 0ansfeld, %ds. (&99!', &(&7 &(. MMMM. (&99)', 'he .ceptics, (Bondon- Aoutledge'. ?nwood, #., and F. 0ansfeld, %ds. (&99!', Assent and Argument: .tudies in "icero7s Academic ,ooks, (Beiden- #rill'. Bong, A.A. (&9!;', *ellenistic hilosoph!: .toics, (picureans and .ceptics, (#erkeleyJniversity of $alifornia Press'. MMMM. (&9<(', '=iogenes Baertius' Bife of Arcesilaus', (lenchos !- ;" 7;9.

MMMM. (&9<<', '+ocrates in 3ellenistic Philosophy', "lassical ;uarterl! "<- &)*7!&. 0acKendrick, P. (&9<9', 'he hilosophical ,ooks of "icero, (1ew Iork- +t. 0artin's Press'. 0aconi, 3. (&9<<', 7Nova non philosophandi philosophia: A review of Anna 0aria ?oppolo, Opinione e .cien<a7, O-ford .tudies in Ancient hilosoph! (- "&7 )". 0ansfeld, F. (&99!', 'Philo and Antiochus in the Bost "atulus7, #nemos!ne )*.&- ;)7!;. Popkin, A. (&9!9', 'he *istor! of .cepticism from (rasmus to .pino<a, (#erkeleyJniversity of $alifornia Press'. Powell, F.G.6. (&99)', "icero the hilosopher: 'welve apers, (>,ford- >,ford Jniversity Press'. +chmitt, $. (&9! ', "icero .cepticus, (The 3ague- 1i2hoff'. +hields, $. (&99;', '+ocrates Among the +ceptics', in P. Lander /aerdt, %d. (&99;', 'he .ocratic #ovement, (?thaca- $ornell Jniversity Press'. +ihvola, F., ed. ( ***', Ancient .cepticism and the .ceptical 'radition, (3elsinki Philosophical +ociety of 6inland'. +triker, G. (&99(', (ssa!s on *ellenistic (pistemolog! and (thics, ($ambridge$ambridge Jniversity Press'. MMMM. (&99*5&99(', 7Atara-ia: 3appiness as Tran.uility' 0onist !"- 9!7&&*, repr. in +triker (&99(', &<"7&9). MMMM. (&9<&5&99(', 'Jber den Jnterschied Hwischen den Pyrrhoneern und den Akademikern', hronesis (- &)"7!&, repr. and transl. by 0.0. Bee as '>n the =ifference #etween the Pyrrhonists and the Academics' in +triker (&99(', &")7;9. MMMM. (&9<*5&99(', '+ceptical +trategies', in 0. +chofield, 0. #urnyeat, and F. #arnes, %ds. (&9<*', &oubt and &ogmatism, );7<", repr. in +triker (&99(', 9 7&&). Tarrant, 3. (&9<)', .cepticism or latonism: the hilosoph! of the =th Academ!, ($ambridge- $ambridge Jniversity Press'. Thorsrud, 3. ( ** ', '$icero on 3is Academic Predecessors- the 6allibilism of Arcesilaus and $arneades', 9ournal of the *istor! of hilosoph! ;*- &7&<. /oodruff , P. (&9<<', 'Aporetic Pyrrhonism', O-ford .tudies in Ancient hilosoph! (&"97(<.

MMMM. (&9<(', 'The +keptical +ide of Plato's 0ethod', 2evue 1nternational de hilosophie &)(7)!- 7"!.
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