Sextus on Ataraxia Revisited

Ancient Philosophy 40 (2):435-452 (2020)
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Abstract

My purpose in this article is to revisit an issue concerning the state of undisturbedness or tranquility (ἀταραξία) in ancient Pyrrhonism as this skeptical stance is depicted in Sextus Empiricus’s extant works. The issue in question is whether both the pursuit and the attainment of undisturbedness in matters of opinion should be regarded as defining features of Pyrrhonism not merely from a systematic standpoint that examines Pyrrhonism as a kind of philosophy, but mainly according to Sextus’s own account of that skeptical stance. In exploring this issue, I will develop an interpretation defended in previous work, responding to some objections, discussing alternative interpretations, offering further textual support, and putting forward new arguments. It is my contention that examining whether both the pursuit and the attainment of undisturbedness in matters of opinion are essential to Pyrrhonism will make it possible to gain a more accurate understanding of this brand of skepticism.

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Citations of this work

Can the Skeptic Search for Truth?Diego E. Machuca - 2021 - Elenchos: Rivista di Studi Sul Pensiero Antico 42 (2):321–349.
ACTing as a Pyrrhonist.Josef Mattes - 2022 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 12 (2):101-125.

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References found in this work

Agrippan Pyrrhonism and the Challenge of Disagreement.Diego E. Machuca - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Research 40:23-39.
Sources of Doxastic Disturbance in Sextus Empiricus.Diego E. Machuca - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 56:193–214.
Ancient Skepticism: Pyrrhonism.Diego E. Machuca - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (4):246-258.

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