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"It may also be objected that my opening remark about the appealing character of Pyrrhonism is wrong or surprising, given that it is not possible for anyone to think that the stance I have presented is attractive and worth adopting. For instance, not only does the Skeptic not promise that the suspensive attitude will certainly make possible the attainment of ataraxia, but he does not even regard this as an aim that is intrinsic to his philosophy. To this objection, I would first reply that the appeal of Skepticism seems to lie in the sort of radical changes that this philosophy may entail in a person’s life. For, if adopted, the cautious Pyrrhonean attitude will prevent one from making rash judgments about any topic that one has not examined or found final answers to, which in turn will prevent one from acting hastily. Another profound change consists in the fact that, even if at some point the Skeptic broke some of the most important moral rules of the society to which he belongs, he would perhaps experience some kind of discomfort, but he would not believe that he has done something objectively wrong. This would free him from the shame and remorse that those who believe that such an action is morally incorrect would experience in the same situation. In sum, the Pyrrhonean philosophy would produce, if adopted, profound changes in a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions; changes that at first glance seem to be beneficial. But secondly, I think that whether or not Pyrrhonism is an appealing philosophy cannot in the end be determined a priori. For it depends on whether one values such attitudes as caution, open-mindedness, and intellectual modesty; or, if one does, on whether these attitudes are preferred to, for example, the sense of assurance that one may experience when espousing philosophic systems or religious beliefs. This is why my opening comment was just that Pyrrhonism may still be found attractive and worth adopting."

What do you think? For instance, should I set "But secondly,..." in a separate paragraph?

Best,

Sextus
Regular Member731
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
Honestly, if it were mine, I would break it into about four paragraphs. This is heavy reading of rich content, and the reader needs to absorb it in smaller chunks.

My breaks: at To this objection, In sum, and But secondly... and/or maybe at Another profound change.

But that may well be just my style-- I like to keep the reader awake, and a paragraph break is like a nudge to sit up and take a look around to see where you are.

This reads as if it were the text of a lecture; is that the case?
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Thanks for your reply.

It's the text of a paper that was accepted for publication. This is why I'm trying to revise its style and grammar.

Regards,

Sextus
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
I've tried to modify my original version this way:

"Before concluding, I wish to look at two possible objections to my position. First of all, it could be argued that the emphasis I put on the distinction between defining and non-defining characteristics of Pyrrhonism is itself foreign to the Pyrrhonean spirit, since the Skeptic would refrain from theorizing about the real nature of his ajgwghv. I think this objection would overlook two facts.

First, the first book of PH is devoted to an account of the Skeptical attitude: Sextus carefully defines and describes the skevyi", and emphasizes the differences between Pyrrhonism and neighboring philosophies. Of course, this account should be interpreted as no more than a report of how things appear to Sextus at the moment he is describing them (PH i 4), but this does not make it less true that he gives a careful explanation of the character of his Skepticism and makes clear what his stance is not.

Second, even if one accepts that from the Skeptic’s point of view the distinction in question is completely futile, I do not think this should prevent an interpreter with an interest in understanding the Pyrrhonean outlook from trying to determine what defines it. In my view, the significance of such a distinction lies above all in that it shows that neither the search for and the attainment of ajtaraxiva nor the adoption of a philanthropic outlook can be taken as touchstones for determining whether some present-day thinker may be considered a Pyrrhonist. Hence, if a person adopts a first and a second-level ejpochv, and restricts his utterances to the realm of his appearances, he may be deemed a Pyrrhonist.

The second objection is that my opening remark about the appeal of Pyrrhonism is wrong or surprising, given that it is not possible to think that this philosophy is attractive and worth adopting. For instance, not only does the Skeptic not promise that the suspensive attitude will make possible the attainment of ajtaraxiva, but he does not even regard this as an aim intrinsic to his philosophy.

To this objection, I would first reply that the appeal of Skepticism lies in the sort of radical changes that this philosophy may entail in one’s life. If adopted, the cautious Pyrrhonean attitude prevents one from making rash judgments about any topic that one has not examined or found final answers to. This in turn prevents one from acting hastily. Also, even if at some point the Skeptic were to break some of the most important moral rules of the society to which he belongs, he would perhaps experience some discomfort, but he would not believe that he has done something objectively wrong. This would free him from the anguish suffered by those who believe that such an action is morally wrong. In sum, the Pyrrhonean philosophy produces, if adopted, profound changes in a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions; changes that at first glance seem to be beneficial.

However, I recognize that whether or not Pyrrhonism is an appealing philosophy cannot in the end be determined a priori. Such a determination depends on whether one values such attitudes as caution, open-mindedness, and intellectual modesty; or, if one does, on whether these attitudes are preferred to the sense of assurance that one may experience when espousing, for instance, philosophic systems or religious beliefs. This is why my opening comment was merely that Pyrrhonism may still be found attractive and worth adopting."

Sextus
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
I may not be your best reader, but I find a problem with the 'first' and 'second' references here.

In the first sentence of the first paragraph, you mention two objections, the first of which you appear to immediately address. The last sentence of the first paragraph mentions two facts, which appear to be addressed separately in the next two paragraphs. These two paragraphs appear to be related to the first objection. In the next paragraph,the second objection is defined, then addressed in the paragraph that follows. Maybe, the two paragraphs detailing the two facts could be indented. Or, there could be a better delineation of first objection, second objection, first fact of the first objection, and second fact of the first objection.

(Have I read the sequence properly?)

Also, I suggest the following punctuation change (because your semi-colon is not followed by an independent clause):

'...if adopted, profound changes in a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions[--] changes that at first glance seem to be beneficial.'

Senior Member2,788
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You're completely right. I've separated the paragraphs because I've been criticized because of not doing it. I think I could set everything in two paragraphs, each one addressing one objection and the corresponding replies. Sth like this:

"Before concluding, I wish to look at two possible objections to my position. First of all, it could be argued that the emphasis I put on the distinction between defining and non-defining characteristics of Pyrrhonism is itself foreign to the Pyrrhonean spirit, since the Skeptic would refrain from theorizing about the real nature of his ajgwghv. I think this objection would overlook two facts. First, the first book of PH is devoted to an account of the Skeptical attitude: Sextus carefully defines and describes the skevyi", and emphasizes the differences between Pyrrhonism and neighboring philosophies. Of course, this account should be interpreted as no more than a report of how things appear to Sextus at the moment he is describing them (PH i 4), but this does not make it less true that he gives a careful explanation of the character of his Skepticism and makes clear what his stance is not. Second, even if one accepts that from the Skeptic’s point of view the distinction in question is completely futile, I do not think this should prevent an interpreter with an interest in understanding the Pyrrhonean outlook from trying to determine what defines it. In my view, the significance of such a distinction lies above all in that it shows that neither the search for and the attainment of ajtaraxiva nor the adoption of a philanthropic outlook can be taken as touchstones for determining whether some present-day thinker may be considered a Pyrrhonist. Hence, if a person adopts a first and a second-level ejpochv, and restricts his utterances to the realm of his appearances, he may be deemed a Pyrrhonist.

The second objection is that my opening remark about the appeal of Pyrrhonism is wrong or surprising, given that it is not possible to think that this philosophy is attractive and worth adopting. For instance, not only does the Skeptic not promise that the suspensive attitude will make possible the attainment of ajtaraxiva, but he does not even regard this as an aim intrinsic to his philosophy. To this objection, I would first reply that the appeal of Skepticism lies in the sort of radical changes that this philosophy may entail in one’s life. If adopted, the cautious Pyrrhonean attitude prevents one from making rash judgments about any topic that one has not examined or found final answers to. This in turn prevents one from acting hastily. Also, even if at some point the Skeptic were to break some of the most important moral rules of the society to which he belongs, he would perhaps experience some discomfort, but he would not believe that he has done something objectively wrong. This would free him from the anguish suffered by those who believe that such an action is morally wrong. In sum, the Pyrrhonean philosophy produces, if adopted, profound changes in a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions – changes that at first glance seem to be beneficial. However, I recognize that whether or not Pyrrhonism is an appealing philosophy cannot in the end be determined a priori. Such a determination depends on whether one values such attitudes as caution, open-mindedness, and intellectual modesty; or, if one does, on whether these attitudes are preferred to the sense of assurance that one may experience when espousing, for instance, philosophic systems or religious beliefs. This is why my opening comment was merely that Pyrrhonism may still be found attractive and worth adopting."

Sextus
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
Two paragraphs is an improvement, I think, but I see an additional change (for the sake of parallelism):

The first objection is that the emphasis I put...

The second objection is that my opening remark about...

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Yes, indeed, that would make things much clearer. A note: Could I just say "The first is that the emphasis..."?, because otherwise I'd have: "Before concluding, I wish to look at two possible objections to my position. The first objection is that the emphasis I put on the distinction between ..."

Or perhaps it doesn't matter.

Sextus
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
I suppose you could write:

'The first is that...'

'The second (objection), is that...'
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