The first Ukrainian translation of the classic work of ancient skepticism, Sextus Empiricus’ Outlines of Pyrrhonism, made by D. of Sc. Philology Lesia Zvonska under the scientific editorship of Dr. of Sc. in Philosophy. Oleg Khoma.
Throughout history philosophers have sought to define, understand, and delineate concepts important to human well-being. One such concept is "knowledge." Many philosophers believed that absolute, certain knowledge, is possible--that the physical world and ideas formulated about it could be given solid foundation unaffected by the varieties of mere opinion. Sextus Empiricus stands as an example of the "skeptic" school of thought whose members believed that knowledge was either unattainable or, if a genuine possibility, the conditions necessary to achieve it were (...) next to impossible to satisfy. In other words, in the absence of complete knowledge, one must make do with the information provided by an imperfect world and conveyed to the mind through sense impressions that can often deceive us. Throughout his life Sextus Empiricus entered into intellectual combat with those who confidently claimed to possess indubitable knowledge. For skeptics, the best one can hope to achieve is a reasonable suspension of judgment--remaining ever mindful that claims to knowledge require careful scrutiny, thoughtful analysis, and critical review if we are to prevent ourselves and others from plunging headlong into mistaken notions. (shrink)
By far the most detailed surviving examination by any ancient Greek sceptic of epistemology and logic, this work critically reviews the pretensions of non-sceptical philosophers, to have discovered methods for determining the truth, either through direct observation or by inference from the observed to the unobserved. A fine example of the Pyrrhonist sceptical method at work, it also provides extensive information about the ideas of other Greek thinkers, which in many instances, are poorly preserved in other sources.
Outlines of Scepticism, by the Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus, is a work of major importance. It is the fullest extant account of ancient Scepticism, and also one of our most copious sources of information about the other Hellenistic philosophies. Moreover, the rediscovery of Sextus in the sixteenth century brought about a revolution in philosophy. Anyone interested in the history of philosophy must have at least an acquaintance with Sextus, and for students of Hellenistic philosophy his writings are indispensable. Julia Annas (...) and Jonathan Barnes provide an accurate and readable English translation of the Outlines, with a short introduction and brief annotation. (shrink)
Sextus’s arguments against ethical theories are shorter and more general than those he brings against the other two parts of ancient philosophy, logic and physics. Until recently this part of his work, in Outlines of Pyrrhonism III and Adversus Mathematicos XI has been comparatively neglected. Now, as well as the splendidly scholarly book by Emidio Spinelli, Sesto Empirico: Contro Gli Etici we have Richard Bett’s translation with commentary in the Clarendon Later Ancient Philosophers series. Both books make Sextus’s sometimes elusive (...) work far more available and usable to the modern reader. (shrink)
R. G. Bury’s translations of Sextus Empiricus for the Loeb Library have served English language readers well, but new translations, taking account of advances in scholarship since Bury’s day, have long been needed. We now have two new English versions of the Outlines of Pyrrhonism. They take different and in some ways complementary approaches to the task.
About Sextus Sextus Empiricus is one of the most important ancient philosophical writers after Plato and Aristotle. His writings are our main source for the doctrines and arguments of Scepticism. He probably lived in the second century AD. Eleven books of his writings have survived, covering logic, physics, ethics, and numerous more specialized fields. About Against the Ethicists In this unjustly neglected and misunderstood work Sextus sets out a distinctive Sceptic position in ethics. He discusses the concepts good and bad, (...) and puts forward the sceptical argument that nothing is either good or bad by nature or intrinsically or invariably, but only relatively to persons and/or to circumstances. He then argues that the sceptic is better off than the non-sceptic. In the latter part of the book, Sextus attacks the Stoic view that there is such a thing as a `skill for life'. About this edition This volume contains a translation of Against the Ethicists in clear modern English, together with an introduction and a detailed commentary. Those who have discussed this work in the past have tended to underestimate it, often regarding its main position as essentially the same as that of Sextus' better-known Outlines of Pyrrhonism. Richard Bett shows that Against the Ethicists represents quite a distinct and coherent philosophical outlook, associated with a phase of Scepticism earlier than Sextus himself, an outlook of which little other evidence survives. (shrink)
This volume contains a translation into clear modern English of an unjustly neglected work by Sextus Empiricus, together with introduction and extensive commentary. Sextus is our main source for the doctrines and arguments of ancient Scepticism; in Against the Ethicists he sets out a distinctive Sceptic position in ethics.
David Blank presents a new translation into clear modern English of a key treatise by one of the greatest of ancient philosophers, together with the first ever commentary on this work. Sextus Empiricus' Against the Grammarians is a polemical attack on ancient Greek ideas about grammar, and provides one of the best examples of sustained Sceptical reasoning.