Sextus Empiricus and Greek Scepticism
by Mary Mills Patrick
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The General Method of Scepticism.

Since we have said that [Greek: ataraxia] follows the suspension 31 of judgment in regard to everything, it behooves us to explain how the suspension of judgment takes place. Speaking in general it takes place through placing things in opposition to each other. We either place phenomena in opposition to phenomena, or the intellectual in opposition to the intellectual, or reciprocally. For example, we place 32 phenomena in opposition to phenomena when we say that this tower appears round from a distance but square near by; the intellectual in opposition to the intellectual, when to the one who from the order of the heavens builds a tower of reasoning to prove that a providence exists, we oppose the fact that adversity often falls to the good and prosperity to the evil, and that therefore we draw the conclusion that there is no providence. The intellectual is placed in opposition to 33 phenomena, as when Anaxagoras opposed the fact that snow is white, by saying that snow is frozen water, and, as water is black, snow must also be black. Likewise we sometimes place the present in opposition to the present, similarly to the above-mentioned cases, and sometimes also the present in opposition to the past or the future. As for example, when someone proposes an argument to us that we cannot refute, we say to him, "Before the founder of the sect to which you belong 34 was born, the argument which you propose in accordance with it had not appeared as a valid argument, but was dormant in nature, so in the same way it is possible that its refutation also exists in nature, but has not yet appeared to us, so that it is not at all necessary for us to agree with an argument that now seems to be strong." In order to make it clearer to us what 35 we mean by these oppositions, I will proceed to give the Tropes ([Greek: tropoi]), through which the suspension of judgment is produced, without asserting anything about their meaning or their number, because they may be unsound, or there may be more than I shall enumerate.


The Ten Tropes.

Certain Tropes were commonly handed down by the older Sceptics, 36 by means of which [Greek: epoche] seems to take place. They are ten in number, and are called synonymously [Greek: logoi] and [Greek: tropoi]. They are these: The first is based upon the differences in animals; the second upon the differences in men; the third upon the difference in the constitution of the organs of sense; the fourth upon circumstances; the fifth upon position, distance, and place; the sixth upon mixtures; the seventh upon the quantity and constitution of objects; the eighth upon relation; the ninth upon frequency or rarity of 37 occurences; the tenth upon systems, customs, laws, mythical beliefs, and dogmatic opinions. We make this order ourselves. 38 These Tropes come under three general heads: the standpoint of the judge, the standpoint of the thing judged, and the standpoint of both together. Under the standpoint of the judge come the first four, for the judge is either an animal, or a man, or a sense, and exists under certain circumstances. Under the standpoint of that which is judged, come the seventh and the tenth. Under the one composed of both together, come the fifth and the sixth, the eighth and the ninth. Again, these three divisions are included under the Trope of relation, because 39 that is the most general one; it includes the three special divisions, and these in turn include the ten. We say these things in regard to their probable number, and we proceed in the following chapter to speak of their meaning.


The first Trope, we said, is the one based upon the 40 differences in animals, and according to this Trope, different animals do not get the same ideas of the same objects through the senses. This we conclude from the different origin of the animals, and also from the difference in the constitution of their bodies. In regard to the difference in origin, some animals originate without mixture of the sexes, while others originate through sexual intercourse. Of those which 41 originate without intercourse of the sexes, some come from fire, as the little animals which appear in the chimneys, others from stagnant water, as musquitoes, others from fermented wine, as the stinging ants, others from the earth, others from the mud, like the frogs, others from slime, as the worms, others from donkeys, as the beetles, others from cabbage, as caterpillars, others from fruit, as the gall insect from the wild figs, others from putrified animals, as bees from bulls, and wasps from horses. Again, of those originating from intercourse of the 42 sexes, some come from animals of the same kind, as in most cases, and others from those of different kinds, as mules. Again, of animals in general, some are born alive, as men, others from eggs, as birds, and others are born a lump of flesh, as bears. It is probable therefore, that the inequalities and 43 differences in origin cause great antipathies in the animals, and the result is incompatibility, discord, and conflict between the sensations of the different animals. Again, the differences in the principal parts of the body, especially in those 44 fitted by nature to judge and to perceive, may cause the greatest differences in their ideas of objects, according to the differences in the animals themselves. As for example, those who have the jaundice call that yellow which appears to us white, and those who have bloodshot eyes call it blood-red. Accordingly, as some animals have yellow eyes, and others blood-shot ones, and still others whitish ones, and others eyes of other colors, it is probable, I think, that they have a different perception of colors. Furthermore, when we look steadily at the sun for a long time, and then look down at a 45 book, the letters seem to us gold colored, and dance around. Now some animals have by nature a lustre in their eyes, and these emit a fine and sparkling light so that they see at night, and we may reasonably suppose that external things do not appear the same to them as to us. Jugglers by lightly rubbing the wick 46 of the lamp with metal rust, or with the dark yellow fluid of the sepia, make those who are present appear now copper-colored and now black, according to the amount of the mixture used; if this be so it is much more reasonable to suppose that because of the mixture of different fluids in the eyes of animals, their ideas of objects would be different. Furthermore, when we 47 press the eye on the side, the figures, forms and sizes of things seen appear elongated and narrow. It is therefore probable that such animals as have the pupil oblique and long, as goats, cats, and similar animals, have ideas different from those of the animals which have a round pupil. Mirrors according to their different construction, sometimes show the external 48 object smaller than reality, as concave ones, and sometimes long and narrow, as the convex ones do; others show the head of the one looking into it down, and the feet up. As some of the vessels around the eye fall entirely outside the eye, on 49 account of their protuberance, while others are more sunken, and still others are placed in an even surface, it is probable that for this reason also the ideas vary, and dogs, fishes, lions, men, and grasshoppers do not see the same things, either of the same size, or of similar form, but according to the impression on the organ of sight of each animal respectively. The same thing is true in regard to the other senses; for how can it 50 be said that shell-fish, birds of prey, animals covered with spines, those with feathers and those with scales would be affected in the same way by the sense of touch? and how can the sense of hearing perceive alike in animals which have the narrowest auditory passages, and in those that are furnished with the widest, or in those with hairy ears and those with smooth ones? For we, even, hear differently when we partially stop up the ears, from what we do when we use them naturally. The sense of smell also varies according to differences in 51 animals, since even our sense of smell is affected when we have taken cold and the phlegm is too abundant, and also when parts around our head are flooded with too much blood, for we then avoid odors that seem agreeable to others, and feel as if we were injured by them. Since also some of the animals are moist by nature and full of secretions, and others are very full of blood, and still others have either yellow or black bile prevalent and abundant, it is reasonable because of this to think that odorous things appear different to each one of them. And it is the same in regard to things of taste, as some 52 animals have the tongue rough and dry and others very moist. We too, when we have a dry tongue in fever, think that whatever we take is gritty, bad tasting, or bitter; and this we experience because of the varying degrees of the humors that are said to be in us. Since, then, different animals have different organs for taste, and a greater or less amount of the various humors, it can well be that they form different ideas of the same objects as regards their taste. For just as the same food on being 53 absorbed becomes in some places veins, in other places arteries, and in other places bones, nerves, or other tissues, showing different power according to the difference of the parts receiving it; just as the same water absorbed by the trees becomes in some places bark, in other places branches, and in other places fruit, perhaps a fig or a pomegranate, or something else; just as the breath of the musician, one and the same 54 when blown into the flute, becomes sometimes a high tone and sometimes a low one, and the same pressure of the hand upon the lyre sometimes causes a deep tone and sometimes a high tone, so it is natural to suppose that external objects are regarded differently according to the different constitution of the animals which perceive them. We may see this more clearly in 55 the things that are sought for and avoided by animals. For example, myrrh appears very agreeable to men and intolerable to beetles and bees. Oil also, which is useful to men, destroys wasps and bees if sprinkled on them; and sea-water, while it is unpleasant and poisonous to men if they drink it, is most agreeable and sweet to fishes. Swine also prefer to wash in vile filth rather than in pure clean water. Furthermore, some 56 animals eat grass and some eat herbs; some live in the woods, others eat seeds; some are carnivorous, and others lactivorous; some enjoy putrified food, and others fresh food; some raw food and others that which is prepared by cooking; and in general that which is agreeable to some is disagreeable and fatal to others, and should be avoided by them. Thus hemlock makes the 57 quail fat, and henbane the hogs, and these, as it is known, enjoy eating lizards; deer also eat poisonous animals, and swallows, the cantharidae. Moreover, ants and flying ants, when swallowed by men, cause discomfort and colic; but the bear, on the contrary, whatever sickness he may have, becomes stronger by devouring them. The viper is benumbed if one twig of the oak 58 touches it, as is also the bat by a leaf of the plane-tree. The elephant flees before the ram, and the lion before the cock, and seals from the rattling of beans that are being pounded, and the tiger from the sound of the drum. Many other examples could be given, but that we may not seem to dwell longer than is necessary on this subject, we conclude by saying that since the same things are pleasant to some and unpleasant to others, and the pleasure and displeasure depend on the ideas, it must be that different animals have different ideas of objects. And since the same things appear different according to the 59 difference in the animals, it will be possible for us to say how the external object appears to us, but as to how it is in reality we shall suspend our judgment. For we cannot ourselves judge between our own ideas and those of other animals, being ourselves involved in the difference, and therefore much more in need of being judged than being ourselves able to judge. And furthermore, we cannot give the preference to our own mental 60 representations over those of other animals, either without evidence or with evidence, for besides the fact that perhaps there is no evidence, as we shall show, the evidence so called will be either manifest to us or not. If it is not manifest to us, then we cannot accept it with conviction; if it is manifest to us, since the question is in regard to what is manifest to animals, and we use as evidence that which is manifest to us who are animals, then it is to be questioned if it is true as it is manifest to us. It is absurd, however, to try to base the 61 questionable on the questionable, because the same thing is to be believed and not to be believed, which is certainly impossible. The evidence is to be believed in so far as it will furnish a proof, and disbelieved in so far as it is itself to be proved. We shall therefore have no evidence according to which we can give preference to our own ideas over those of so-called irrational animals. Since therefore ideas differ according to the difference in animals, and it is impossible to judge them, it is necessary to suspend the judgment in regard to external objects.

Have the So-called Irrational Animals Reason?

We continue the comparison of the so-called irrational animals 62 with man, although it is needless to do so, for in truth we do not refuse to hold up to ridicule the conceited and bragging Dogmatics, after having given the practical arguments. Now most 63 of our number were accustomed to compare all the irrational animals together with man, but because the Dogmatics playing upon words say that the comparison is unequal, we carry our ridicule farther, although it is most superfluous to do so, and fix the discussion on one animal, as the dog, if it suits you, which seems to be the most contemptible animal; for we shall even then find that animals, about which we are speaking, are not inferior to us in respect to the trustworthiness of their perceptions. Now the Dogmatics grant that this animal is 64 superior to us in sense perception, for he perceives better through smell than we, as by this sense he tracks wild animals that he cannot see, and he sees them quicker with his eyes than we do, and he perceives them more acutely by hearing. Let us also consider reasoning, which is of two kinds, reasoning in 65 thought and in speech. Let us look first to that of thought. This kind of reasoning, judging from the teachings of those Dogmatics who are now our greatest opponents, those of the Stoa, seems to fluctuate between the following things: the choice of the familiar, and avoidance of the alien; the knowledge of the arts that lead to this choice; and the comprehension of those virtues that belong to the individual nature, as regards the feelings. The dog then, upon whom it was decided to fix the argument as an example, makes a choice of things suitable to 66 him, and avoids those that are harmful, for he hunts for food, but draws back when the whip is lifted up; he possesses also an art by which he procures the things that are suitable for him, the art of hunting. He is not also without virtue; since the 67 true nature of justice is to give to every one according to his merit, as the dog wags his tail to those who belong to the family, and to those who behave well to him, guards them, and keeps off strangers and evil doers, he is surely not without justice. Now if he has this virtue, since the virtues follow 68 each other in turn, he has the other virtues also, which the wise men say, most men do not possess. We see the dog also brave in warding off attacks, and sagacious, as Homer testified when he represented Odysseus as unrecognised by all in his house, and recognised only by Argos, because the dog was not deceived by the physical change in the man, and had not lost the [Greek: phantasia kataleptike] which he proved that he had kept better than the men had. But according to Chrysippus even, who most 69 attacked the irrational animals, the dog takes a part in the dialectic about which so much is said. At any rate, the man above referred to said that the dog follows the fifth of the several non-apodictic syllogisms, for when he comes to a meeting of three roads, after seeking the scent in the two roads, through which his prey has not passed, he presses forward quickly in the third without scenting it. For the dog reasons in this way, potentially said the man of olden time; the animal passed through this, or this, or this; it was neither through this nor this, therefore it was through this. The dog also understands his own sufferings and mitigates them. As soon as 70 a sharp stick is thrust into him, he sets out to remove it, by rubbing his foot on the ground, as also with his teeth; and if ever he has a wound anywhere, for the reason that uncleansed wounds are difficult to cure, and those that are cleansed are easily cured, he gently wipes off the collected matter; and 71 he observes the Hippocratic advice exceedingly well, for since quiet is a relief for the foot, if he has ever a wound in the foot, he lifts it up, and keeps it undisturbed as much as possible. When he is troubled by disturbing humours, he eats grass, with which he vomits up that which was unfitting, and recovers. Since therefore it has been shown that the animal 72 that we fixed the argument upon for the sake of an example, chooses that which is suitable for him, and avoids what is harmful, and that he has an art by which he provides what is suitable, and that he comprehends his own sufferings and mitigates them, and that he is not without virtue, things in which perfection of reasoning in thought consists, so according to this it would seem that the dog has reached perfection. It is for this reason, it appears to me, that some philosophers have honoured themselves with the name of this animal. In regard to reasoning in speech, it is not necessary at present to bring 73 the matter in question. For some of the Dogmatics, even, have put this aside, as opposing the acquisition of virtue, for which reason they practiced silence when studying. Besides, let it be supposed that a man is dumb, no one would say that he is consequently irrational. However, aside from this, we see after all, that animals, about which we are speaking, do produce human sounds, as the jay and some others. Aside from this also, even if we do not understand the sounds of the so-called irrational 74 irrational animals, it is not at all unlikely that they converse, and that we do not understand their conversation. For when we hear the language of foreigners, we do not understand but it all seems like one sound to us. Furthermore, we hear dogs giving out one kind of sound when they are resisting someone, 75 and another sound when they howl, and another when they are beaten, and a different kind when they wag their tails, and generally speaking, if one examines into this, he will find a great difference in the sounds of this and other animals under different circumstances; so that in all likelihood, it may be said that the so-called irrational animals partake also in spoken language. If then, they are not inferior to men in the 76 accuracy of their perceptions, nor in reasoning in thought, nor in reasoning by speech, as it is superfluous to say, then they are not more untrustworthy than we are, it seems to me, in regard to their ideas. Perhaps it would be possible to prove this, should we direct the argument to each of the irrational 77 animals in turn. As for example, who would not say that the birds are distinguished for shrewdness, and make use of articulate speech? for they not only know the present but the future, and this they augur to those that are able to understand it, audibly as well as in other ways. I have made this comparison superfluously, as I pointed out above, as I think 78 I had sufficiently shown before, that we cannot consider our own ideas superior to those of the irrational animals. In short, if the irrational animals are not more untrustworthy than we in regard to the judgment of their ideas, and the ideas are different according to the difference in the animals, I shall be able to say how each object appears to me, but in regard to what it is by nature I shall be obliged to suspend my judgment.


Such is the first Trope of [Greek: epoche]. The second, we said 79 above, is based upon the differences in men. For even if one assent to the hypothesis that men are more trustworthy than the irrational animals, we shall find that doubt arises as soon as we consider our own differences. For since man is said to be composed of two things, soul and body, we differ from each other in respect to both of these things; for example, as regards the body, we differ both in form and personal peculiarities. For the 80 body of a Scythian differs from the body of an Indian in form, the difference resulting, it is said, from the different control of the humors. According to different control of the humors, differences in ideas arise also, as we represented under the first Trope. For this reason there is certainly a great difference among men in the choice and avoidance of external things. The Indians delight in different things from our own people, and the enjoyment of different things is a sign that different ideas are received of the external objects. We differ 81 in personal peculiarities, as some digest beef better than the little fish from rocky places, and some are affected with purging by the weak wine of Lesbos. There was, they say, an old woman in Attica who could drink thirty drachmas of hemlock without danger, and Lysis took four drachmas of opium unhurt, and Demophon, Alexander's table waiter, shivered when he was 82 in the sun or in a hot bath, and felt warm in the shade; Athenagoras also, from Argos, did not suffer harm if stung by scorpions and venomous spiders; the so-called Psylli were not injured when bitten by snakes or by the aspis, and the Tentyrites among the Egyptians are not harmed by the crocodiles around them; those also of the Ethiopians who live on the 83 Hydaspes river, opposite Meroe, eat scorpions and serpents, and similar things without danger; Rufinus in Chalcis could drink hellebore without vomiting or purging, and he enjoyed and digested it as something to which he was accustomed; Chrysermos, the Herophilian, ran the risk of stomach-ache if he ever took 84 pepper, and Soterichus, the surgeon, was seized by purging if he perceived the odor of roasting shad; Andron, the Argive, was so free from thirst that he could travel even through the waterless Libya without looking for a drink; Tiberius, the emperor, saw in the dark, and Aristotle tells the story of a certain Thracian, who thought that he saw the figure of a man always going before him as a guide. While therefore such a difference exists in men 85 in regard to the body, and we must be satisfied with referring to a few only of the many examples given by the Dogmatics, it is probable that men also differ from each other in respect to the soul itself, for the body is a kind of type of the soul, as the physiognomical craft also shows. The best example of the numerous and infinite differences of opinion among men is the contradiction in the sayings of the Dogmatics, not only about other things, but about what it is well to seek and to avoid. The poets have also fittingly spoken about 86 this, for Pindar said—

"One delights in getting honors and crowns through storm-footed horses, Another in passing life in rooms rich in gold, Another still, safe travelling enjoys, in a swift ship, on a wave of the sea."

And the poet says—

"One man enjoys this, another enjoys that."

The tragedies also abound in such expressions, for instance, it is said—

"If to all, the same were good and wise, Quarrels and disputes among men would not have been."

And again—

"It is awful indeed, that the same thing some mortals should please, And by others be hated."

Since therefore the choice and the avoidance of things, 87 depends on the pleasure and displeasure which they give, and the pleasure and displeasure have their seat in perception and ideas, when some choose the things that others avoid, it is logical for us to conclude that they are not acted upon similarly by the same things, for otherwise they would have chosen or avoided alike. Now if the same things act upon different men differently, on account of the difference in the men, for this cause also suspension of the judgment may reasonably be introduced, and we may perhaps say how each object appears to us, and what its individual differences are, but we shall not be able to declare what it is as to the nature of its essence. For we must either believe all men or some men; but 88 to believe all is to undertake an impossibility, and to accept things that are in opposition to each other. If we believe some only, let someone tell us with whom to agree, for the Platonist would say with Plato, the Epicurean with Epicurus, and others would advise in a corresponding manner; and so as they disagree, with no one to decide, they bring us round again to the suspension of judgment. Furthermore, he who tells us to agree 89 with the majority proposes something childish, as no one could go to all men and find out what pleases the majority, for it is possible that in some nations which we do not know the things which to us are rare are common to the majority, and those things which happen commonly to us are rare. As for example, it might happen that the majority should not suffer when bitten by venomous spiders, or that they should seldom feel pain, or have other personal peculiarities similar to those spoken of above. It is necessary therefore to suspend the judgment on account of the differences in men.


While, however, the Dogmatics are conceited enough to think 90 that they should be preferred to other men in the judgement of things, we know that their claim is absurd, for they themselves form a part of the disagreement; and if they give themselves preference in this way in the judgment of phenomena, they beg the question before they begin the judgment, as they trust the judgment to themselves. Nevertheless, in order that we should 91 reach the result of the suspension of judgment by limiting the argument to one man, one who for example they deem to be wise, let us take up the third Trope. This is the one that is based upon differences in perception. That the perceptions 92 differ from each other is evident. For example, paintings seem to have hollows and prominences to the sense of sight, but not to the sense of touch, and honey to the tongue of some people appears pleasant, but unpleasant to the eyes; therefore it is impossible to say whether it is really pleasant or unpleasant. In regard to myrrh it is the same, for it delights the sense of smell, but disgusts the sense of taste. Also in regard to 93 euphorbium, since it is harmful to the eyes and harmless to all the rest of the body, we are not able to say whether it is really harmless to bodies or not, as far as its own nature is concerned. Rain-water, too, is useful to the eyes, but it makes the trachea and the lungs rough, just as oil does, although it soothes the skin; and the sea-torpedo placed on the extremities makes them numb, but is harmless when placed on the rest of the body. Wherefore we cannot say what each of these things is by nature. It is possible only to say how it appears each time. We 94 could cite more examples than these, but in order not to spend too long in laying out the plan of this book we shall simply say the following: Each of the phenomena perceived by us seems to present itself in many forms, as the apple, smooth, fragrant, sweet, yellow. Now it is not known whether it has in reality only those qualities which appear to us, or if it has only one quality, but appears different on account of the different constitution of the sense organs, or if it has more qualities than appear to us, but some of them do not affect us. That it has only one quality might be concluded from what we 95 have said about the food distributed in bodies, and the water distributed in trees, and the breath in the flute and syrinx, and in similar instruments; for it is possible that the apple also has only one quality, but appears different on account of the difference in the sense organs by which it is perceived. On 96 the other hand, that the apple has more qualities than those that appear to us, can be argued in this way: Let us imagine someone born with the sense of touch, of smell, and of taste, but neither hearing nor seeing. He will then assume that neither anything visible nor anything audible exists at all, but only the three kinds of qualities which he can apprehend. It is 97 possible then that as we have only the five senses, we apprehend only those qualities of the apple which we are able to grasp, but it may be supposed that other qualities exist which would affect other sense organs if we possessed them; as it is, we do not feel the sensations which would be felt through them. But 98 nature, one will say, has brought the senses into harmony with the objects to be perceived. What kind of nature? Among the Dogmatics a great difference of opinion reigns about the real existence of nature anyway; for he who decides whether there is a nature or not, if he is an uneducated man, would be according to them untrustworthy; if he is a philosopher, he is a part of the disagreement, and is himself to be judged, but is not a judge. In short, if it is possible that only those qualities 99 exist in the apple which we seem to perceive, or that more than these are there, or that not even those which we perceive exist, it will be unknown to us what kind of a thing the apple is. The same argument holds for other objects of perception. If, however, the senses do not comprehend the external world, the intellect cannot comprehend it either, so that for this reason also it will appear that the suspension of judgment follows in regard to external objects.


In order to attain to [Greek: epoche] by fixing the argument on 100 each separate sense, or even by putting aside the senses altogether, we take up the fourth Trope of [Greek: epoche]. This is the one based upon circumstances, and by circumstances we mean conditions. This Trope comes under consideration, we may say, with regard to conditions that are according to nature, or contrary to nature; such as waking or sleeping, the age of life, moving or keeping still, hating or loving, need or satiety, drunkenness or sobriety, predispositions, being courageous or afraid, sorrowing or rejoicing. For example, things appear 101 different as they are according to nature, or contrary to it; as for instance, the insane and those inspired by a god, think that they hear gods, while we do not; in like manner they often say that they perceive the odor of storax or frankincense, or the like, and many other things which we do not perceive. Water, also, that seems lukewarm to us, if poured over places that are inflamed, will feel hot, and a garment that appears orange-coloured to those that have blood-shot eyes, would not look so to me, and the same honey appears sweet to me, but bitter to those who have the jaundice. If one should say 102 that those who are not in a natural state have unusual ideas of objects, because of the intermingling of certain humors, then one must also say, that it may be that objects which are really what they seem to be to those who are in an unnatural condition, appear different to those who are in health, for even those who are in health have humors that are mixed with each other. For to 103 give to one kind of fluid a power to change objects, and not to another kind, is a fiction of the mind; for just as those who are in health are in a condition that is natural to those who are in health, and contrary to the nature of those who are not in health, so also those who are not in health, are in a condition contrary to the nature of those in health, but natural to those not in health, and we must therefore believe that they also are in some respect in a natural condition. Furthermore, 104 in sleep or in waking, the ideas are different, because we do not see things in the same way when we are awake as we do in sleep; neither do we see them in the same way in sleep as we do when awake, so that the existence or non-existence of these things is not absolute, but relative, that is in relation to a sleeping or waking condition. It is therefore probable that we see those things in sleep which in a waking condition do not exist, but they are not altogether non-existent, for they exist in sleep, just as those things which exist when we are awake, exist, although they do not exist in sleep. Furthermore, things 105 present themselves differently according to the age of life, for the same air seems cold to the aged, but temperate to those in their prime, and the same color appears dim to those who are old, and bright to those in their prime, and likewise the same tone seems faint to the former, and audible to the latter. People in different ages are also differently disposed 106 towards things to be chosen or avoided; children, for example, are very fond of balls and hoops, while those in their prime prefer other things, and the old still others, from which it follows that the ideas in regard to the same objects differ in different periods of life. Furthermore, things appear different 107 in a condition of motion and rest, since that which we see at rest when we are still, seems to move when we are sailing by it. There are also differences which depend on liking or 108 disliking, as some detest swine flesh exceedingly, but others eat it with pleasure. As Menander said—

"O how his face appears Since he became such a man! What a creature! Doing no injustice would make us also beautiful."

Many also that love ugly women consider them very beautiful Furthermore, there are differences which depend on hunger or 109 satiety, as the same food seems agreeable to those who are hungry, and disagreeable to those who are satisfied. There are also differences depending on drunkenness and sobriety, as that which we consider ugly when we are sober does not appear ugly to us when we are drunk. Again, there are differences depending 110 on predispositions, as the same wine appears sourish to those who have previously eaten dates or dried figs, but agreeable to those who have taken nuts or chickpeas; the vestibule of the bath warms those who enter from without, but cools those who go out, if they rest in it. Furthermore, there are differences 111 depending on being afraid or courageous, as the same thing seems fearful and terrible to the coward, but in no wise so to him who is brave. There are differences, also, depending on being sad or joyful, as the same things are unpleasant to the sad, but pleasant to the joyful. Since therefore the 112 anomalies depending on conditions are so great, and since men are in different conditions at different times, it is perhaps easy to say how each object appears to each man, but not so of what kind it is, because the anomaly is not of a kind to be judged. For he who would pass judgment upon this is either in some one of the conditions mentioned above, or is in absolutely no condition whatever; but to say that he is in no condition at all, as, for example, that he is neither in health nor in illness, that he is neither moving nor quiet, that he is not of any age, and also that he is free from the other conditions, is wholly absurd. But if he judges the ideas while he is in any 113 condition whatever, he is a part of the contradiction, and, besides, he is no genuine critic of external objects, because he is confused by the condition in which he finds himself. Therefore neither can the one who is awake compare the ideas of those who are asleep with those who are awake, nor can he who is in health compare the ideas of the sick with those of the well; for we believe more in the things that are present, and affecting us at present, than in the things not present. In 114 another way, the anomaly in such ideas is impossible to be judged, for whoever prefers one idea to another, and one condition to another, does this either without a criterion and a proof, or with a criterion and a proof; but he can do this neither without them, for he would then be untrustworthy, nor with them; for if he judges ideas, he judges them wholly by a criterion, and he will say that this criterion is either true or false. But if it is false, he will be untrustworthy; if, on 115 the contrary, he says that it is true, he will say that the criterion is true either without proof or with proof. If without proof, he will be untrustworthy; if he says that it is true with proof, it is certainly necessary that the proof be true, or he will be untrustworthy. Now will he say that the proof which he has accepted for the accrediting of the criterion is true, having judged it, or without having judged it? If he says so 116 without judging it, he will be untrustworthy; if he has judged it, it is evident that he will say that he has judged according to some criterion, and we must seek a proof for this criterion, and for that proof a criterion. For the proof always needs a criterion to establish it, and the criterion needs a proof that it may be shown to be true; and a proof can neither be sound without a pre-existing criterion that is true, nor a criterion true without a proof that is shown beforehand to be trustworthy. And so both the criterion and the proof are thrown into the 117 circulus in probando, by which it is found that they are both of them untrustworthy, for as each looks for proof from the other, each is as untrustworthy as the other. Since then one cannot prefer one idea to another, either without a proof and a criterion or with them, the ideas that differ according to different conditions cannot be judged, so that the suspension of judgment in regard to the nature of external objects follows through this Trope also.


The fifth Trope is that based upon position, distance, and 118 place, for, according to each of these, the same things appear different, as for example, the same arcade seen from either end appears curtailed, but from the middle it looks symmetrical on every side; and the same ship appears small and motionless from afar, and large and in motion near by, and the same tower appears round from a distance, but square near by. So much for distance. Now in reference to place, we say that the light 119 of the lamp appears dim in the sun, but bright in the dark; and the same rudder appears broken in the sea, but straight out of it; and the egg in the bird is soft, but in the air hard; and the lyngurion is a fluid in the lynx, but is hard in the air; and the coral is soft in the sea, but hard in the air; and a tone of voice appears different produced by a syrinx, and by a flute, and different simply in the air. Also in reference to 120 position, the same picture leaned back appears smooth, and leaned forward a little seems to have hollows and protuberances, and the necks of doves appear different in color according to the difference in inclination. Since then all phenomena are 121 seen in relation to place, distance, and position, each of which relation makes a great difference with the idea, as we have mentioned, we shall be obliged by this Trope also to come to the suspension of judgment. For he who wishes to give preference to certain ones of these ideas will attempt the impossible. For if 122 he simply makes the decision without proof he will be untrustworthy. If, however, he wishes to make use of a proof, should he say that the proof is false, he contradicts himself, but if he declares the proof to be true, proof of its proof will be demanded of him, and another proof for that, which proof also must be true, and so on to the regressus in infinitum. It is impossible, however, to present proofs in infinitum, so 123 that one will not be able to prove that one idea is to be preferred to another. Since then one cannot either without proof or with proof judge the ideas in question, the suspension of judgment results, and how each thing appears according to this or that position, or this or that distance, or this or that place, we perhaps are able to say, but what it really is it is impossible to declare, for the reasons which we have mentioned.


The sixth Trope is the one based upon mixtures, according to 124 which we conclude that since no object presents itself alone, but always together with something else, it is perhaps possible to say of what nature the mixture is, of the thing itself, and of that with which it is seen, but of what sort the external object really is we shall not be able to say. Now it is evident, I think, that nothing from without is known to us by itself, but always with something else, and that because of this fact it appears different. The color of our skin, for example, is 125 different seen in warm air from what it is in cold, and we could not say what our color really is, only what it is when viewed under each of these conditions. The same sound appears different in rare air from what it is in dense, and aromas are more overpowering in the warm bath and in the sun than they are in the cold air, and a body surrounded by water is light, but by air heavy. Leaving aside, however, outer mixtures, our eyes 126 have inside of them coatings and humors. Since then visible things are not seen without these, they will not be accurately comprehended, for it is the mixture that we perceive, and for this reason those who have the jaundice see everything yellow, and those with bloodshot eyes bloody. Since the same sound appears different in broad open places from what it does in narrow and winding ones, and different in pure air and in impure, it is probable that we do not perceive the tones unmixed; for the ears have narrow winding passages filled with vaporous secretions, which it is said gather from places around the head. Since also there are substances present in the 127 nostrils and in the seat of the sense of taste, we perceive the things smelled and the things tasted in connection with them, and not unmixed. So that because of mixture the senses do not perceive accurately what the external objects are. The intellect 128 even does not do this, chiefly because its guides, the senses, make mistakes, and perhaps it itself adds a certain special mixture to those messages communicated by the senses; for in each place where the Dogmatics think that the ruling faculty is situated, we see that certain humors are present, whether one would locate it in the region of the brain, in the region of the heart, or somewhere else. Since therefore according to this Trope also, we see that we cannot say anything regarding the nature of external objects, we are obliged to suspend our judgment.


The seventh Trope is the one which, as we said, is based 129 upon the quantity and constitution of objects, constitution commonly meaning composition. And it is evident that we are obliged to suspend our judgment according to this Trope also in regard to the nature of things. As for example, filings from the horn of the goat appear white when they are seen separately and without being put together; put together, however, in the form of a horn, they look black. And the parts of silver, the filings that is, by themselves appear black, but as a whole appear white; and parts of the Taenarus stone look white when ground, but in the whole stone appear yellow; grains of sand 130 scattered apart from each other appear to be rough, but put together in a heap, they produce a soft feeling; hellebore taken fine and downy, causes choking, but it no longer does so when taken coarse; wine also taken moderately strengthens us, but 131 when taken in excess relaxes the body; food similarly, has a different effect according to the quantity, at least, it often disturbs the body when too much is taken, causing dyspepsia and discharge. We shall be able here also to say of what kind 132 the cutting from the horn is, and what many cuttings put together are, of what kind a filing of silver is, and what many of them put together are, of what kind the tiny Taenarus stone, and what one composed of many small ones is, and in regard to the grains of sand, and the hellebore, and the wine, and the food, what they are in relation, but no longer the nature of the thing by itself, because of the anomaly in the ideas which we have of things, according to the way in which they are put together. In general it appears that useful things become 133 harmful when an intemperate use is made of them, and things that seem harmful when taken in excess, are not injurious in a small quantity. What we see in the effect of medicines witnesses especially to this fact, as an exact mixture of simple remedies makes a compound which is helpful, but sometimes when a very small inclination of the balance is overlooked, the medicine is not only not helpful, but very harmful, and often poisonous. So 134 the argument based upon the quantity and constitution of objects, puts in confusion the existence of external objects. Therefore this Trope naturally leads us to suspend our judgment, as we are not able to declare exactly the nature of external objects.


The eighth Trope is the one based upon relation, from which 135 we conclude to suspend our judgment as to what things are absolutely, in their nature, since every thing is in relation to something else. And we must bear in mind that we use the word is incorrectly, in place of appears, meaning to say, every thing appears to be in relation. This is said, however, with two meanings: first, that every thing is in relation to the one who judges, for the external object, i.e. the thing judged, appears to be in relation to the judge; the other way is that every thing is in relation to the things considered together with it, as the relation of the right hand to the left. But we 136 came to the conclusion above, that every thing is in relation to something, as for example, to the one judging; each thing appears in relation to this or that animal, and this or that man, and this or that sense, and in certain circumstances; as regards things considered together, also, each thing appears in relation to this or that mixture, and this or that Trope, and this or that composition, quantity and place. And in another way it is possible to conclude that every thing is in relation 137 to something, as follows: does the being in difference differ from the being in relation, or not? If it does not differ, then it is the same as relation; if it does differ, since every thing which differs is in some relation, for it is said to be in relation to that from which it differs, those things which are in a difference are in a relation to something. Now according 138 to the Dogmatics, some beings belong to the highest genera, others to the lowest species, and others to both genera and species at the same time; all of these are in relation to something, therefore every thing is in relation to something. Furthermore, among things, some things are manifest, and others are hidden, as the Dogmatics themselves say, and the things that make themselves known to us are the phenomena, and the things that are made known to us by the phenomena are the hidden things, for according to the Dogmatics, the phenomena are the outward appearance of the unknown; then that which makes known, and that which is made known, are in relation to something; every thing, therefore, is in relation to something. In 139 addition to this, some things are similar to each other, and others are dissimilar, some are equal, and others are unequal. Now these things are in relation to something, therefore every thing is in relation to something, and whoever says that every thing is not in relation to something, himself establishes the fact that every thing is in relation to something, for even in saying that every thing is not in relation to something, he 140 proves it in reference to us, and not in general, by his objections to us. In short, as we have shown that every thing is in relation to something, it is then evident that we shall not be able to say exactly what each object is by nature, but what it appears to be like in relation to something else. It follows from this, that we must suspend our judgment regarding the nature of things.


In regard to the Trope based on the frequency and rarity of 141 events, which we call the ninth of the series, we give the following explanation: The sun is certainly a much more astonishing thing than a comet, but because we see the sun continually and the comet rarely we are so much astonished at the comet that it even seems an omen, while we are not at all astonished at the sun. If, however, we should imagine the sun appearing at rare intervals, and at rare intervals setting, in the first instance suddenly lighting up all things, and in the second casting everything into shade, we should see great astonishment at the sight. An earthquake, too, does not trouble 142 those who experience it for the first time in the same manner as those who have become accustomed to it. How great the astonishment of a man who beholds the sea for the first time! And the beauty of the human body, seen suddenly for the first time, moves us more than if we are accustomed to seeing it. That which is rare seems valuable, while things that are familiar 143 and easily obtained seem by no means so. If, for example, we should imagine water as rare, of how much greater value would it seem than all other valuable things! or if we imagine gold as simply thrown about on the ground in large quantities like stones, to whom do we think it would be valuable, or by whom would it be hoarded, as it is now? Since then the same things according to the frequency or rarity that they are met with seem to be now valuable and now not so, we conclude that it may be that we shall be able to say what kind of a thing each of 144 them appears to be according to the frequency or rarity with which it occurs, but we are not able to say what each external object is absolutely. Therefore, according to this Trope also, we suspend our judgment regarding these things.


The tenth Trope is the one principally connected with 145 morals, relating to schools, customs, laws, mythical beliefs, and dogmatic opinions. Now a school is a choice of a manner of life, or of something held by one or many, as for example the school of Diogenes or the Laconians. A law is a written 146 contract among citizens, the transgressor of which is punished. A custom or habit, for there is no difference, is a common acceptance of a certain thing by many, the deviator from which is in no wise punished. For example, it is a law not to commit adultery, and it is a custom with us [Greek: to me demosia gynaiki mignusthai]. A mythical belief is a tradition 147 regarding things which never took place, but were invented, as among others, the tales about Cronus, for many are led to believe them. A dogmatic opinion is the acceptance of something that seems to be established by a course of reasoning, or by some proof, as for example, that atoms are elements of things, and that they are either homogeneous, or infinitesimal, or of some other description. Now we place each of these things sometimes in opposition to itself, and sometimes in opposition to each one of the others. For example, we place a custom in 148 opposition to a custom thus: some of the Ethiopians tattoo new-born children, but we do not, and the Persians think it is seemly to have a garment of many colors and reaching to the feet, but we think it not so. The Indians [Greek: tais gynaixi deomosia mignyntai] but most of the other nations consider it a shame. We place a law in opposition to a law in this way: 149 among the Romans he who renounces his paternal inheritance does not pay his father's debts, but among the Rhodians he pays them in any case; and among the Tauri in Scythia it was a law to offer strangers in sacrifice to Artemis, but with us it is forbidden to kill a man near a temple. We place a school in 150 opposition to a school when we oppose the school of Diogenes to that of Aristippus, or that of the Laconians to that of the Italians. We place a mythical belief in opposition to a mythical belief, as by some traditions Jupiter is said to be the father of men and gods, and by others Oceanus, as we say—

"Oceanus father of the gods, and Tethys the mother."

We place dogmatic opinions in opposition to each other, when 151 we say that some declare that there is only one element, but others that they are infinite in number, and some that the soul is mortal, others that it is immortal; and some say that our affairs are directed by the providence of the gods, but others that there is no providence. We place custom in opposition 152 to other things, as for example to a law, when we say that among the Persians it is the custom to practice [Greek: arrenomixiai], but among the Romans it is forbidden by law to do it; by us adultery is forbidden, but among the Massagetae indifference in this respect is allowed by custom, as Eudoxos of Cnidus relates in the first part of his book of travels; among us it is forbidden [Greek: metrasi mignusthai], but among the Persians it is the custom by preference to marry so; the Egyptians marry sisters also, which among us is forbidden by law. Further, 153 we place a custom in opposition to a school, when we say that most men [Greek: anachorountes mignuontai tais heauton gunaixin, ho de Krates te Hipparchia demosia], and Diogenes went around with one shoulder bare, but we go around with our customary clothes. We place a custom in opposition to a mythical 154 belief, as when the myths say that Cronus ate his own children, while with us it is the custom to take care of our children; and among us it is the custom to venerate the gods as good, and not liable to evil, but they are described by the poets as being wounded, and also as being jealous of each other. We place a custom in opposition to a dogmatic opinion when we say that 155 it is a custom with us to seek good things from the gods, but that Epicurus says that the divine pays no heed to us; Aristippus also held it to be a matter of indifference to wear a woman's robe, but we consider it shameful. We place a school in opposition to a law, as according to the law it is not allowed 156 to beat a free and noble born man, but the wrestlers and boxers strike each other according to the teaching of their manner of life, and although murder is forbidden, the gladiators kill each other for the same reason. We place a mythical 157 belief in opposition to a school when we say that, although the myths say of Hercules that in company with Omphale—

"He carded wool, and bore servitude,"

and did things that not even an ordinary good man would have done, yet Hercules' theory of life was noble. We place a 158 mythical belief in opposition to a dogmatic opinion when we say that athletes seeking after glory as a good, enter for its sake upon a laborious profession, but many philosophers, on the other hand, teach that glory is worthless. We place law in opposition to mythical belief when we say the poets 159 represent the gods as working adultery and sin, but among us the law forbids those things. We place law in opposition to dogmatic opinion when we say that the followers of Chrysippus hold 160 that it is a matter of indifference to marry one's mother or sister, but the law forbids these things. We place a mythical belief in opposition to a dogmatic opinion when we say that 161 the poets represent Jupiter as descending and holding intercourse with mortal women, but the Dogmatics think this was impossible; also that the poet says that Jupiter, on account 162 of his sorrow for Sarpedon, rained drops of blood upon the earth, but it is a dogma of the philosophers that the divine is exempt from suffering; and they deny the myth of the horse-centaurs, giving us the horse-centaur as an example of non-existence. Now we could give many other examples of each 163 of the antitheses mentioned above, but for a brief argument, these are sufficient. Since, however, such anomaly of things is shown by this Trope also, we shall not be able to say what objects are by nature, but only what each thing appears to be like, according to this or that school, or this or that law, or this or that custom, or according to each of the other conditions. Therefore, by this Trope also, we must suspend our judgment in regard to the nature of external objects. Thus we arrive at [Greek: epoche] through the ten Tropes.


The Five Tropes.

The later Sceptics, however, teach the following five Tropes 164 of [Greek: epoche]: first, the one based upon contradiction; second, the regressus in infinitum; third, relation; fourth, the hypothetical; fifth, the circulus in probando. The one 165 based upon contradiction is the one from which we find, that in reference to the thing put before us for investigation, a position has been developed which is impossible to be judged, either practically, or theoretically, and therefore, as we are not able to either accept or reject anything, we end in suspending the judgment. The one based upon the regressus 166 in infinitum is that in which we say that the proof brought forward for the thing set before us calls for another proof, and that one another, and so on to infinity, so that, not having anything from which to begin the reasoning, the suspension of judgment follows. The one based upon relation, as we have 167 said before, is that one in which the object appears of this kind or that kind, as related to the judge and to the things regarded together with it, but we suspend our judgment as to what it is in reality. The one based upon hypothesis is 168 illustrated by the Dogmatics, when in the regressus in infinitum they begin from something that they do not found on reason, but which they simply take for granted without proof. The Trope, circulus in probando, arises when the thing 169 which ought to prove the thing sought for, needs to be sustained by the thing sought for, and as we are unable to take the one for the proof of the other, we suspend our judgment in regard to both. Now we shall briefly show that it is possible to refer every thing under investigation to one or another of these Tropes, as follows: the thing before us is either sensible or intellectual; difference of opinion exists, however, as to what it is in itself, for some say that only the things of sense 170 are true, others, only those belonging to the understanding, and others say that some things of sense, and some of thought, are true. Now, will it be said that this difference of opinion can be judged or cannot be judged? If it cannot be judged, then we have the result necessarily of suspension of judgment, because it is impossible to express opinion in regard to things about which a difference of opinion exists which cannot be judged. If it can be judged, then we ask how it is to be judged? For 171 example, the sensible, for we shall limit the argument first to this—Is it to be judged by sensible or by intellectual standards? For if it is to be judged by a sensible one, since we are in doubt about the sensible, that will also need something else to sustain it; and if that proof is also something sensible, something else will again be necessary to prove it, and so on in infinitum. If, on the contrary, the sensible must be judged by something intellectual, as there is disagreement 172 in regard to the intellectual, this intellectual thing will require also judgment and proof. Now, how is it to be proved? If by something intellectual, it will likewise be thrown into infinitum; if by something sensible, as the intellectual has been taken for the proof of the sensible, and the sensible has been taken for that of the intellectual, the circulus in probando is introduced. If, however, in order to escape 173 from this, the one who is speaking to us expects us to take something for granted which has not been proved, in order to prove what follows, the hypothetical Trope is introduced, which provides no way of escape. For if the one who makes the hypothesis is worthy of confidence, we should in every case be no less worthy of confidence in making a contrary hypothesis. If the one who makes the assumption assumes something true, he makes it suspicious by using it as a hypothesis, and not as an established fact; if it is false, the foundation of the reasoning is unsound. If a hypothesis is any help towards a 174 trustworthy result, let the thing in question itself be assumed, and not something else, by which, forsooth, one would establish the thing under discussion. If it is absurd to assume the thing questioned, it is also absurd to assume that upon which it rests. That all things belonging to the senses are also in 175 relation to something else is evident, because they are in relation to those who perceive them. It is clear then, that whatever thing of sense is brought before us, it may be easily referred to one of the five Tropes. And we come to a similar conclusion in regard to intellectual things. For if it should be said that there is a difference of opinion regarding them which cannot be judged, it will be granted that we must suspend the judgment concerning it. In case the difference of opinion 176 can be judged, if it is judged through anything intellectual, we fall into the regressus in infinitum, and if through anything sensible into the circulus in probando; for, as the sensible is again subject to difference of opinion, and cannot be judged by the sensible on account of the regressus in infinitum, it will have need of the intellectual, just as the intellectual has need of the sensible. But he who accepts anything which is hypothetical again is absurd. Intellectual things stand also 177 in relation, because the form in which they are expressed depends on the mind of the thinker, and, if they were in reality exactly as they are described, there would not have been any difference of opinion about them. Therefore the intellectual also is brought under the five Tropes, and consequently it is necessary to suspend the judgment altogether with regard to every thing that is brought before us. Such are the five Tropes taught by the later Sceptics. They set them forth, not to throw out the ten Tropes, but in order to put to shame the audacity of the Dogmatics in a variety of ways, by these Tropes as well as by those.


The Two Tropes.

Two other Tropes of [Greek: epoche] are also taught. For as it 178 appears that everything that is comprehended is either comprehended through itself or through something else, it is thought that this fact introduces doubt in regard to all things. And that nothing can be understood through itself is evident, it is said, from the disagreement which exists altogether among the physicists in regard to sensible and intellectual things. I mean, of course, a disagreement which cannot be judged, as we are not able to use a sensible or an intellectual criterion in judging it, for everything that we would take has a part in the disagreement, and is untrustworthy. Nor is it conceded that anything can be comprehended through something else; for if 179 a thing is comprehended through something, that must always in turn be comprehended through something else, and the regressus in infinitum or the circulus in probando follow. If, on the contrary, a thing is comprehended through something that one wishes to use as if it had been comprehended through itself, this is opposed to the fact that nothing can be comprehended through itself, according to what we have said. We do not know how that which contradicts itself can be comprehended, either through itself or through something else, as no criterion of the truth or of comprehension appears, and signs without proof would be rejected, as we shall see in the next book. So much will suffice for the present about suspension of judgment.


What are the Tropes for the overturning of Aetiology?

In the same manner as we teach the Tropes of [Greek: epoche], 180 some set forth Tropes through which we oppose the Dogmatics, by expressing doubt in regard to the aetiology of which they are especially proud. So Aenesidemus teaches eight Tropes, by which he thinks that he can prove all the dogmatic aetiology useless. The first of these Tropes, he said, relates to the character 181 of aetiology in general, which does not give incontestable testimony in regard to phenomena, because it treats of unseen things. The second Trope states that although abundant resources exist by which to investigate the cause of a thing in question, some Dogmatics investigate it in one way only. The third Trope 182 states that the Dogmatics assign causes which do not show any order for things which have taken place in an orderly manner. The fourth Trope states that the Dogmatics, accepting phenomena as they take place, think that they also understand how unseen things take place, although perhaps the unseen things have taken place in the same way as the phenomena, and perhaps in some other way peculiar to themselves. The fifth Trope states 183 that they all, so to speak, assign causes according to their own hypotheses about the elements, but not according to any commonly accepted methods. The sixth states that they often explain things investigated according to their own hypotheses, but ignore opposing hypotheses which have equal probability. The seventh states that they often give reasons for things that 184 not only conflict with phenomena, but also with their own hypotheses. The eighth states that although that which seems manifest, and that which is to be investigated, are often equally inscrutable, they build up a theory from the one about the other, although both are equally inscrutable. It is not impossible, Aenesidemus said also, that some Dogmatics 185 should fail in their theories of causality from other combinations of reasons deducible from the Tropes given above. Perhaps also the five Tropes of [Greek: epoche] are sufficient to refute aetiology, for he who proposes a cause will propose one which is either in harmony with all the sects of philosophy, with Scepticism, and with phenomena, or one that is not. Perhaps, however, it is not possible that a cause should be in harmony with them, for phenomena and unknown things altogether disagree with each other. If it is not in harmony with them, the reason of this will also be demanded of the one who proposed 186 it; and if he accepts a phenomenon as the cause of a phenomenon, or something unknown as the cause of the unknown, he will be thrown into the regressus in infinitum; if he uses one cause to account for another one, into the circulus in probando; but if he stops anywhere, he will either say that the cause that he proposes holds good so far as regards the things that have been said, and introduce relation, abolishing an absolute standpoint; or if he accepts anything by hypothesis, he will be attacked by us. Therefore it is perhaps possible to put the temerity of the Dogmatics to shame in aetiology by these Tropes.


The Sceptical Formulae.

When we use any one of these Tropes, or the Tropes of 187 [Greek: epoche], we employ with them certain formulae which show the Sceptical method and our own feeling, as for instance, the sayings, "No more," "One must determine nothing," and certain others. It is fitting therefore to treat of these in this place. Let us begin with "No more."


The Formula "No more."

We sometimes express this as I have given it, and sometimes 188 thus, "Nothing more." For we do not accept the "No more," as some understand it, for the examination of the special, and "Nothing more" for that of the general, but we use "No more" and "Nothing more" without any difference, and we shall at present treat of them as one and the same expression. Now this formula is defective, for as when we say a double one we really mean a double garment, and when we say a broad one we really mean a broad road; so when we say "No more" we mean really no more than this, or in every way the same. But some of the Sceptics use 189 instead of the interrogation "No?" the interrogation "What, this rather than this?" using the word "what" in the sense of "what is the reason," so that the formula means, "What is the reason for this rather than for this?" It is a customary thing, however, to use an interrogation instead of a statement, as "Who of the mortals does not know the wife of Jupiter?" and also to use a statement instead of an interrogation, as "I seek where Dion dwells," and "I ask why one should admire a poet." The word "what" is also used instead of "what for" by Menander—"(For) what did I remain behind?" The formula "Not more this than this" expresses our own condition of mind, and signifies that 190 because of the equality of the things that are opposed to each other we finally attain to a state of equilibrium of soul. We mean by equality that equality which appears to us as probable, by things placed in opposition to each other we mean simply things which conflict with each other, and by a state of equilibrium we mean a state in which we do not assent to one thing more than to another. Even if the formula "Nothing 191 more" seems to express assent or denial, we do not use it so, but we use it loosely, and not with accuracy, either instead of an interrogation or instead of saying, "I do not know to which of these I would assent, and to which I would not." What lies before us is to express what appears to us, but we are indifferent to the words by which we express it. This must be understood, however, that we use the formula "Nothing more" without affirming in regard to it that it is wholly sure and true, but we present it as it appears to us.



We explain Aphasia as follows: The word [Greek: phasis] is used 192 in two ways, having a general and a special signification. According to the general signification, it expresses affirmation or negation, as "It is day" or "It is not day"; according to the special signification, it expresses an affirmation only, and negations are not called [Greek: phaseis]. Now Aphasia is the opposite of [Greek: phasis] in its general signification, which, as we said, comprises both affirmation and negation. It follows that Aphasia is a condition of mind, according to which we say that we neither affirm nor deny anything. It is evident from this that we do not understand by Aphasia something that 193 inevitably results from the nature of things, but we mean that we now find ourselves in the condition of mind expressed by it in regard to the things that are under investigation. It is necessary to remember that we do not say that we affirm or deny any of those things that are dogmatically stated in regard to the unknown, for we yield assent only to those things which affect our feelings and oblige us to assent to them.


"Perhaps," and "It is possible," and "It may be."

The formulae "Perhaps," and "Perhaps not," and "It is 194 possible," and "It is not possible," and "It may be," and "It may not be," we use instead of "Perhaps it is," and "Perhaps it is not," and "It is possible that it is," and "It is possible that it is not," and "It may be that it is," and "It may be that it is not." That is, we use the formula "It is not possible" for the sake of brevity, instead of saying "It is not possible to be," and "It may not be" instead of "It may not be that it is," and "Perhaps not" instead of "Perhaps it is not." Again, we do not here dispute about words, neither do we question if the 195 formulae mean these things absolutely, but we use them loosely, as I said before. Yet I think it is evident that these formulae express Aphasia. For certainly the formula "Perhaps it is" really includes that which seems to contradict it, i.e. the formula "Perhaps it is not," because it does not affirm in in regard to anything that it is really so. It is the same also in regard to the others.


[Greek: epoche] or the Suspension of Judgment.

When I say that I suspend my judgment, I mean that I cannot 196 say which of those things presented should be believed, and which should not be believed, showing that things appear equal to me in respect to trustworthiness and untrustworthiness. Now we do not affirm that they are equal, but we state what appears to us in regard to them at the time when they present themselves to us. [Greek: epoche] means the holding back of the opinion, so as neither to affirm nor deny anything because of the equality of the things in question.


The Formula "I determine Nothing."

In regard to the formula "I determine nothing," we say the 197 following: By "determine" we mean, not simply to speak, but to give assent to an affirmation with regard to some unknown thing. For it will soon be found that the Sceptic determines nothing, not even the formula "I determine nothing," for this formula is not a dogmatic opinion, that is an assent to something unknown, but an expression declaring what our condition of mind is. When, for example, the Sceptic says, "I determine nothing," he means this: "According to my present feeling I can assert or deny nothing dogmatically regarding the things under investigation," and in saying this he expresses what appears to him in reference to the things under discussion. He does not express himself positively, but he states what he feels.


The Formula "Every thing is Undetermined."

The expression "Indetermination" furthermore shows a state 198 of mind in which we neither deny nor affirm positively anything regarding things that are investigated in a dogmatic way, that is the things that are unknown. When then the Sceptic says "Every thing is undetermined," he uses "is undetermined," in the sense of "it appears undetermined to him." The words "every thing" do not mean all existences, but those that he has examined of the unknown things that are investigated by the Dogmatists. By "undetermined," he means that there is no preference in the things that are placed in opposition to each other, or that they simply conflict with each other in respect to trustworthiness or untrustworthiness. And as the one who 199 says "I am walking" really means "It is I that am walking," so he who says "Every thing is undetermined" means at the same time, according to our teachings, "as far as I am concerned," or "as it appears to me," as if he were saying "As far as I have examined the things that are under investigation in a dogmatic manner, it appears to me that no one of them excels the one which conflicts with it in trustworthiness or untrustworthiness."


The Formula "Every thing is Incomprehensible."

We treat the formula "Every thing is incomprehensible" in 200 the same way. For "every thing" we interpret in the same way as above, and we supply the words "to me" so that what we say is this: "As far as I have inspected the unknown things which are dogmatically examined, it appears to me that every thing is incomprehensible." This is not, however, to affirm that the things which are examined by the Dogmatists are of such a nature as to be necessarily incomprehensible, but one expresses his own feeling in saying "I see that I have not thus far comprehended any of those things because of the equilibrium of the things that are placed in opposition to each other." Whence it seems to me that every thing that has been brought forward to dispute our formulae has fallen wide of the mark.


The Formulae "I do not comprehend" and "I do not understand."

The formulae "I do not comprehend" and "I do not understand" 201 show a condition of mind in which the Sceptic stands aloof for the present from asserting or denying anything in regard to the unknown things under investigation, as is evident from what we said before about the other formulae.


The Formula "To place an equal Statement in opposition to every Statement."

Furthermore, when we say "Every statement may have an equal 202 statement placed in opposition to it," by "every," we mean all the statements that we have examined; we do not use the word "statement" simply, but for a statement which seeks to prove something dogmatically about things that are unknown, and not at all one that shows a process of reasoning from premises and conclusions, but something which is put together in any sort of way. We use the word "equal" in reference to trustworthiness or untrustworthiness. "Is placed in opposition" we use instead of the common expression "to conflict with," and we supply "as it appears to me." When therefore one says, "It seems to me 203 that every statement which I have examined, which proves something dogmatically, may have another statement placed in opposition to it which also proves something dogmatically, and which is equal to it in trustworthiness and untrustworthiness," this is not asserted dogmatically, but is an expression of human feeling as it appears to the one who feels it. Some Sceptics 204 express the formula as follows: "Every statement should have an equal one placed in opposition to it," demanding it authoritatively thus: "Let us place in opposition to every statement that proves something dogmatically another conflicting statement which also seeks to prove something dogmatically, and is equal to it in trustworthiness and untrustworthiness." Naturally this is directed to the Sceptics, but the infinitive should be used instead of the imperative, that is, "to oppose" instead of "let us oppose." This formula is recommended to the 205 Sceptic, lest he should be deceived by the Dogmatists and give up his investigations, and rashly fail of the [Greek: ataraxia] which is thought to accompany [Greek: epoche] in regard to everything, as we have explained above.


General Observations on the Formulae of the Sceptics.

We have treated of a sufficient number of these formulae for 206 an outline, especially since what we have said about those mentioned applies also to others that we have omitted. In regard to all the Sceptical formulae, it must be understood in advance that we do not affirm them to be absolutely true, because we say that they can even refute themselves, since they are themselves included in those things to which they refer, just as cathartic medicines not only purge the body of humors, but carry off themselves with the humors. We say then that we use these 207 formulae, not as literally making known the things for which they are used, but loosely, and if one wishes, inaccurately. It is not fitting for the Sceptic to dispute about words, especially as it contributes to our purpose to say that these formulae have no absolute meaning; their meaning is a relative one, that is, relative to the Sceptics. Besides, it is to be 208 remembered that we do not say them about all things in general, but about the unknown, and things that are dogmatically investigated, and that we say what appears to us, and that we do not express ourselves decidedly about the nature of external objects. By this means I think that every sophism brought against the Sceptical formulae can be overturned. We have now 209 shown the character of Scepticism by examining its idea, its parts, its criterion and aim, and also the Tropes of [Greek: epoche], and by treating of the Sceptical formulae. We think it therefore appropriate to enter briefly into the distinction between Scepticism and the nearly related schools of philosophy in order to more clearly understand the Sceptical School. We will begin with the philosophy of Heraclitus.


In what does the Sceptical School differ from the Philosophy of Heraclitus?

Now that this school differs from ours is evident, for 210 Heraclitus expresses himself about many unknown things dogmatically, which we do not, as has been said. Aenesidemus and his followers said that the Sceptical School is the way to the philosophy of Heraclitus. They gave as a reason for this that the statement that contradictory predicates appear to be applicable to the same thing, leads the way to the statement that contradictory predicates are in reality applicable to the same thing; and as the Sceptics say that contradictory predicates appear to be applicable to the same thing, the Heraclitans proceed from this to the doctrine that such predicates are in reality applicable. We reply to this that the statement that contradictory predicates appear to be applicable to the same thing is not a dogma of the Sceptics, but is a fact that presents itself not only to the Sceptics, but to other philosophers, and to all men. No one, for instance, would 211 venture to say that honey does not taste sweet to those in health, and bitter to those who have the jaundice, so that the Heraclitans start from a preconception common to all men, as do we also, and perhaps the other schools of philosophy likewise. If, however, they had attributed the origin of the statement that contradictory predicates are present in the same thing to any of the Sceptical teachings, as, for example, to the formula "Every thing is incomprehensible," or "I determine nothing," or any of the other similar ones, it may be that which they say would follow; but since they start from that which is a common experience, not only to us, but to other philosophers, and in life, why should one say that our school is a path to the philosophy of Heraclitus more than any of the other schools of philosophy, or than life itself, as we all make use of the same subject matter? On the other hand, the Sceptical School may not 212 only fail to help towards the knowledge of the philosophy of Heraclitus, but may even hinder it! For the Sceptic attacks all the dogmas of Heraclitus as having been rashly given, and opposes on the one hand the doctrine of conflagration, and on the other, the doctrine that contradictory predicates in reality apply to the same thing, and in regard to every dogma of Heraclitus he scorns his dogmatic rashness, and then, in the manner that I have before referred to, adduces the formulae "I do not understand" and "I determine nothing," which conflict with the Heraclitan doctrines. It is absurd to say that this conflicting school is a path to the very sect with which it conflicts. It is then absurd to say that the Sceptical School is a path to the philosophy of Heraclitus.


In what does the Sceptical School differ from the Philosophy of Democritus?

The philosophy of Democritus is also said to have community 213 with Scepticism, because it seems to use the same matter that we do. For, from the fact that honey seems sweet to some and bitter to others, Democritus reasons, it is said, that honey is neither sweet nor bitter, and therefore he accords with the formula "No more," which is a formula of the Sceptics. But the Sceptics and the Democritans use the formula "No more" differently from each other, for they emphasise the negation in the expression, but we, the not knowing whether both of the phenomena exist or neither one, and so we differ in this respect. The distinction, however, becomes most evident when Democritus says that 214 atoms and empty space are real, for by real he means existing in reality. Now, although he begins with the anomaly in phenomena, yet, since he says that atoms and empty space really exist, it is superfluous, I think, even to say that he differs from us.


In what does Scepticism differ from the Cyrenaic Philosophy?

Some say that the Cyrenaic School is the same as the 215 Sceptical, because that school also claims to comprehend only conditions of mind. It differs, however, from it, because, while the former makes pleasure and the gentle motion of the flesh its aim, we make [Greek: ataraxia] ours, and this is opposed to the aim of their school. For whether pleasure is present or not, confusion awaits him who maintains that pleasure is an aim, as I have shown in what I said about the aim. And then, in addition, we suspend our judgment as far as the reasoning with regard to external objects is concerned, but the Cyrenaics pronounce the nature of these inscrutable.


In what does Scepticism differ from the Philosophy of Protagoras?

Protagoras makes man the measure of all things, of things 216 that are that they are, and things that are not that they are not, meaning by measure, criterion, and by things, events, that is to say really, man is the criterion for all events, of things that are that they are, and of things that are not that they are not. And for that reason he accepts only the phenomena that appear to each man, and thus he introduces relation. Therefore 217 he seems to have community with the Pyrrhoneans. He differs, however, from them, and we shall see the difference after we have somewhat explained how things seemed to Protagoras. He says, for example, that matter is fluid, and as it flows, additions are constantly made in the place of that which is carried away; the perceptions also are arranged anew and changed, according to the age and according to other conditions of the body. He says also, that the reasons of all phenomena 218 are present in matter, so that matter can be all that it appears to be to all men as far as its power is concerned. Men, however, apprehend differently at different times, according to the different conditions that they are in; for he that is in a natural condition will apprehend those qualities in matter that can appear to those who are in a natural condition, while on 219 the contrary, those who are in an unnatural condition will apprehend those qualities that can appear to the abnormal. Furthermore, the same reasoning would hold true in regard to differences in age, to sleeping and waking, and each of the other different conditions. Therefore man becomes the criterion of things that are, for all things that appear to men exist for men, and those things that do not appear to any one among men do not exist. We see that he dogmatises in saying that matter is fluid, and also in saying that the reasons for all phenomena have their foundation in matter, while these things are unknown, and to us are things regarding which we suspend our judgment.


In what does Scepticism differ from the Academic Philosophy?

Some say further that the Academic philosophy is the same as 220 Scepticism, therefore it seems appropriate to me to treat of that also. There have been, as the most say, three Academies—the most ancient one, that of Plato and his followers; the second and middle one, that of Arcesilaus and his followers, Arcesilaus being the pupil of Polemo; the third and new Academy, that of Carneades and Clitomachus and their followers; some add also a fourth, that of Philo and Charmides, and their followers; and some count even a fifth, that of Antiochus and his followers. Beginning then from the old Academy, let us consider the difference between the schools of philosophy mentioned. Now some have said that Plato was a 221 Dogmatic, others that he was a Sceptic, and others that he was in some things a Sceptic and in some things a Dogmatic. For in the fencing dialogues, where Socrates is introduced as either making sport of someone or contending against the Sophists, Plato has, they say, a fencing and sceptical character, but he is dogmatic when he expresses himself seriously, either through Socrates or Timaeus or any such person. In regard to those 222 who say that he is a Dogmatic, or a Dogmatic in some things and a Sceptic in others, it would be superfluous, it seems to me, to speak now, for they themselves grant that he is different from us. The question as to whether he was really a Sceptic or not we treat more fully in the Memoranda, but here we state briefly that according to Menodotus and Aenesidemus (for these especially defended this position) Plato dogmatises when he expresses himself regarding ideas, and regarding the existence of Providence, and when he states that the virtuous life is more to be chosen than the one of vice. If he assents to these things as true, he dogmatises; or even if he accepts them as more probable than otherwise he departs from the sceptical character, since he gives a preference to one thing above another in trustworthiness or untrustworthiness; for how foreign this is to us is evident from what we have said before. Even if when he 223 performs mental gymnastics, as they say, he expresses some things sceptically, he is not because of this a Sceptic. For he who dogmatises about one thing, or, in short, gives preference to one mental image over another in trustworthiness or untrustworthiness in respect to anything that is unknown, is a Dogmatic in character, as Timon shows by what he said of Xenophanes. For after having praised Xenophanes in many 224 things, and even after having dedicated his Satires to him, he made him mourn and say—

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