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Sextus Empiricus' Style Of Writing

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Chapter Summary

For, at variance with the 'official' Pyrrhonian attitude of universal suspension of judgment, a number of passages of Adversus Mathematicos (AM) XI ascribes to the Pyrrhonist both a type of negative dogmatism and a form of realism, which together amount to what may be called 'moderate ethical realism'. This chapter determines whether Sextus does embrace such a position in AM XI. It first examines Sextus' treatment of the ethical part of philosophy. It then presents the views of the scholars who have examined the skepticism defended in the book Outlines of Pyrrhonism (PH). The chapter shows that the tension between negative dogmatism and agnostic skepticism in AM XI is much stronger than Bett claims. It also argues at length that there is no real reason for affirming that Sextus embraces in that book a form of ethical realism. Finally, it presents the main points of author's interpretation of the skepticism.

Keywords: AM XI; moderate ethical realism; negative dogmatism; Outlines of Pyrrhonism (PH); Pyrrhonist; Sextus; skepticism



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