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1) “I take this to mean that the attainment of ataraxia has at least so far occurred only when the Skeptics have adopted total epoche. Of course, the Pyrrhonist cannot rule out the possibility that others will attain that state of mind by suspending judgment only about some beliefs, but given his past experience, it appears to him that unperturbedness will be attained only when universal suspension of judgment is adopted.”

2) “It does not seem possible to resolve this difficulty by arguing that the disturbance experienced by the future Skeptic was in reality the result of his search for the truth, since the full-fledged Skeptic does not rule out the possibility of discovering it, but continues with his investigation.”

3) “From this we conclude that, if what is productive of bad is bad and to be shunned, and if confidence that these things are by nature good and those bad produces perturbations, then to hypothesize and be convinced that anything is bad or good relative to its nature is something bad and to be shunned.”

This is a translation of a Greek passage. I’m not sure if one can use the plural “perturbations” or if in English it’s better to say “perturbation”.

4) “Secondly, Sextus seems to believe that the core component of human happiness is unperturbedness in matters of opinion, and that this state of mind is hence by nature good or to be pursued. He also seems to believe that there exists a causal link between ataraxia and epoche, which makes the latter a desirable state. In what follows I shall attempt to show that Sextus does not really hold any of the beliefs mentioned. I shall analyze PH and AD separately, beginning with the first.”

5) “As regards the supposed causal link between epoche and ataraxia, it is clear that what Sextus seeks to show by his use of the expression tychikos at PH i 26 and 29 is that the Skeptic does not assert that there is such a kind of connection.”

Is it ok to say “by his use…”?

6) “Sextus is just restricting himself to describing what has hitherto occurred to him, without affirming or denying that there exists a causal relation between both states.”

“An element that seems to indicate that Sextus believes that there is a causal relation between suspension and unperturbedness is the image of a shadow following a body presented at PH i 29, since the connection in question is not at all fortuitous.”

“If this is correct, here too Sextus is expressing himself in a way that allows him to avoid any assertion about the relation between suspension of judgment and unperturbedness.”

“This passage is relevant both to the present issue and to the previous question of the relation between epoche and ataraxia.”

In these sentences, I’m not sure if I shouldn’t use “relationship” instead of “relation”.

7) “The same kind of cautious terminology is found at PH i 31, where it is said that ‘unperturbedness follows suspension of judgment about all things’, and at PH i 205, where Sextus observes that unperturbedness ‘supervenes on suspension of judgment about all things’.”

8) “Thus, it seems that we must not put the emphasis on the fact that a shadow always and necessarily follows a body when the body blocks light, but on the fact that in this circumstance there is a close connection between them.”

Is it ok to use the singular “circumstance” or should I employ the plural?

9) “On the other hand, if the Skeptic does not believe that there is a necessary link between withholding one’s assent from all assertions and being unperturbed, then –one may reasonably infer– neither does he believe that there is a necessary connection between giving one’s assent to some assertion(s) and being perturbed.”

10) “Sextus points out that Arcesilaus ‘also says that partial suspensions of judgment are good and partial assents bad. Unless someone said that we say these things in accordance with what appears to us and not affirmatively, whereas he <says them> in reference to their nature, so that he says that suspension of judgment is a good thing and assent a bad thing.’”

Most of this sentence is a translation of a Greek passage. I’m not sure if ‘Unless’ is correctly used here. I mean, if I can use it at the beginning of the sentence.

11) “However, the interpretation of the Skeptic’s private good put forward by McPherran seems to be supported by AD v 89”.

Should I rather use ‘interpretation … advanced”?

12) “I hope that the examination of PH and AD has shown that Sextus has no doctrinal commitments, but restricts himself to describing the way things have so far appeared to him. This is not do deny that when in passages where he does not seem to be arguing dialectically Sextus talks about ataraxia and tarache, and their relation to suspension of judgment and the holding of beliefs, he sometimes expresses himself in an apparently dogmatic way; but this is not strange or difficult to explain.”

13) “The purpose of this section is to determine whether the quest for, and the attainment of, ataraxia in matters of belief must be deemed essential to Pyrrhonism. These two aspects must be discriminated for two reasons. On the one hand, even if we arrived at the conclusion that, to be considered a Skeptic, ataraxia does not have to be one’s aim, it could still be the case that, to be considered a Skeptic, one must be able to attain this state of mind after suspending judgment. On the other hand, it might be the case that, even if the Skeptic did not think that the failure to achieve ataraxia prevents one from being a Pyrrhonist, he would still consider that ataraxia is a goal essential to his stance.”

14) “Contrary to this view, I believe that the Skeptic considers that the choice of unperturbedness in matters of belief as his aim rests upon fortuitous circumstances and factors, such as his social, cultural, and philosophical background, and hence that the quest for that state is not intrinsic to his Skepticism.”

Thanks,

Sextus
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Comments  
1) Fine.

2) It seems fine grammatically; but I don't quite follow the sense.

3) “From this we conclude that, if what is productive of bad is bad and to be shunned, and if confidence that these things are by nature good and those bad produces perturbations, then to hypothesize and be convinced that anything is bad or good relative to its nature is something bad and to be shunned.”

I think "perturbation" would be better here.

Maybe "bad or good in itself".

(Not a grammatical point; but it seems to me that if "being convinced that anything is bad or good relative to its nature is something bad and to be shunned", then being convinced that "being convinced that anything is bad or good relative to its nature" and therefore bad and to be shunned is also something bad and to be shunned.)

4) OK.

5) Yes, fine.

Back later...

MrP
Hi, thanks for the answers.

Maybe "bad or good in itself".

Yes, this sounds better, but it's a translation, so I tried to keep what the Greek says. Anyway, is "relative to its nature" grammatically correct, and understandable?

(Not a grammatical point; but it seems to me that if "being convinced that anything is bad or good relative to its nature is something bad and to be shunned", then being convinced that "being convinced that anything is bad or good relative to its nature" and therefore bad and to be shunned is also something bad and to be shunned.)

Yes, you're right. This point is dealt with in the paper.

Regarding 2), which you didn't find clear enough, I take the freedom to copy the whole paragraph:

"The first thing to be noted about Sextus’ account is that, whereas the texts quoted at the beginning of this section said that the state of mental perturbation was induced by the anomalies the future Skeptic found in things, we are now told that this state is the result of the holding of beliefs. This is not necessarily problematic, since it may appear to the Skeptic that the state of mental disturbance is induced by those two factors. What does seem to give rise to a serious difficulty is the fact that, even when the Skeptic finds himself in a state of unperturbedness with regard to matters of opinion, the anomalies have not disappeared at all. It does not seem possible to resolve this difficulty by arguing that the disturbance experienced by the future Skeptic was in reality the result of his search for the truth, since the full-fledged Skeptic does not rule out the possibility of discovering it, but continues with his investigation (PH i 1–3). Nevertheless, there still remains a crucial difference: unlike the future Skeptic, the mature Skeptic does not keep on investigating with the conviction or belief that there certainly is a truth to be found. At any rate, the difficulty in question would not have worried Sextus, since he would have argued that that is just the way things have happened to him and that he is limiting himself to describing it, without trying to construct a theory purporting to give a rational explanation of what has occurred."

Sextus
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<is "relative to its nature" grammatically correct, and understandable>

I'm not sure it's entirely idiomatic; would "by nature" fit?

I still find #2 slightly difficult; but I think that's me, rather than your paper. I'll look at it again in the morning.

MrP
6. I would myself use "relationship"; but I'm not a specialist. I may be missing a nuance.

7. OK.

8. I'm not sure about "circumstance" here. "Situation"?

9. What about "unperturbed, then one may reasonably infer that neither..."?

10. I'm not sure what the meaning of "unless" would be here. "The only exception would be if"?

MrP
11. "Put forward" seems fine to me; though "advanced" is fine too!

12) Maybe: “I hope that the examination of PH and AD has shown that Sextus has no doctrinal commitments, but restricts himself to describing the way things have so far appeared to him. This is not to deny that, where Sextus does not seem to be arguing dialectically, and talks about a. and t. and their relationship with s. of j. and the holding of beliefs, he s.t. expresses himself etc"

13) Yes, I think that's ok.

14) Maybe "as his goal".

MrP
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MrPedanticI still find #2 slightly difficult; but I think that's me, rather than your paper. I'll look at it again in the morning.

Perhaps I could say this:

"It does not seem possible to resolve this difficulty by arguing that the disturbance experienced by the future Skeptic was in reality the result of his search for truth, since the full-fledged Skeptic does not give up this search (see PH i 1–3)."

Sextus
MrPedantic10. I'm not sure what the meaning of "unless" would be here. "The only exception would be if"?

What about:

“Sextus points out that Arcesilaus ‘also says that partial suspensions of judgment are good and partial assents bad. Except that someone might say that we say these things in accordance with what appears to us and not affirmatively, whereas he <says them> in reference to their nature, so that he says that suspension of judgment is a good thing and assent a bad thing.’”

Sextus
Sextus
MrPedantic
I still find #2 slightly difficult; but I think that's me, rather than your paper. I'll look at it again in the morning.

Perhaps I could say this:

"It does not seem possible to resolve this difficulty by arguing that the disturbance experienced by the future Skeptic was in reality the result of his search for truth, since the full-fledged Skeptic does not give up this search (see PH i 1–3)."

Sextus

That's perfectly clear from the point of view of grammar. I still don't quite follow the argument in the full paragraph; but I think that's because I'm not familiar with the material.

MrP
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