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The Cyrenaics Vs. The Pyrrhonists On Knowledge Of Appearances

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Chapter Summary

Sextus points out two important differences between the Cyrenaics and the skeptic. First, he says, the Cyrenaics posit pleasure as the end, whereas the skeptic aims at tranquility, and does so in a way that involves no commitment to tranquility being by nature good. Second, the Cyrenaics state that the "external existing things" cannot be apprehended, thusmaking them?epistemological negative dogmatists' instead of true skeptics. This chapter argues that, even though many considerations seem to point to the difference between the two being merely verbal, there actually is a significant difference between their positions, and that uncovering it will help us to increase our understanding of both the Cyrenaics and the Pyrrhonists. It gives the arguments for why we should think that the Cyrenaic and Pyrrhonist positions do not differ significantly. Finally, it rebuts these arguments and shows why there are important differences between the two.

Keywords: Cyrenaics; epistemological negative dogmatists; Pyrrhonists; sextus; true skeptics



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