Essay IV. the ethics of belief and inquiry

One of the arguments used by the Academic sceptics of ancient times, to force general suspension of judgment upon the Stoics, ran as follows: (1) Any proposition, however certain it may seem, may in fact be false; (2) the wise man (according to the Stoics) will not assert dogmatically anything that may be false;[Note ] therefore (3) we should not affirm anything. Premiss 1 is fallibilism, which to me seems true, and 2 is a proposition of ethics which to me seems false but harmless, if I understand it correctly. If "assert dogmatically" means assert in a way that implicitly denies the possibility of being mistaken then perhaps 2 is true. But if it means something like "say is true, and ask others to believe", then it seems false, since there seems nothing wrong with asserting, in that sense, something that seems true even if there is some possibility of mistake. Still, in that sense 2 is harmless, since it would allow us to say that something seems true, or seems probable, and would allow us to act on such probabilities.
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