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Hi MrP, it's been a while. I'm finishing a review and I've got some doubts:

1) "Hence, Sextus does not rule out the possibility of ever deciding the conflicts of appearances, as Heraclitus does."

2) "Despite the previous criticisms, I recognize that Polito’s book is a most valuable contribution to the study not only of Aenesidemus’ so-called Heracliteanism, but also of his own form of Scepticism."

3) "There, after indicating that these philosophies differ because “Heraclitus makes dogmatic claims about many non-evident matters” whereas the Sceptics do not, Sextus points out that “Aenesidemus and his followers used to say that the Sceptical way of thought is a road towards the philosophy of Heraclitus, because contraries appearing with regard to the same thing precedes contraries existing with regard to the same thing” (PH I 210). In the remainder of the chapter Sextus explains why it is absurd to make such a claim. Thus, we have Aenesidemus, who is presented by Sextus and other sources as a Pyrrhonist, maintaining that Scepticism is a route to the philosophy of a thinker who, as Sextus insists, is utterly dogmatic."

4) "The book is for specialists who are well acquainted with the ancient texts on Pyrrhonism."

5) "In the introduction, Polito reviews and rejects the various interpretations that have been put forward to account for the problematic texts on Aenesidemus’ relation to Heraclitus, but retains a key thesis found in some scholars: in saying that Pyrrhonism is a road towards Heracliteanism Aenesidemus is just offering an exegesis of Heraclitus’ thought."

6) "With regard to Polito’s first remark, it must be said that Sextus’ point is perfectly sound, since it is unreasonable to claim that a stance can help to understand another when they are radically incompatible, as is the case with the Sceptical and Heraclitean philosophies."

Cheers, Sextus
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Hello Sextus, a cheery good evening to you.

I've only just seen your post – will think it over and reply tomorrow.

See you,

MrP
Hello Sextus, I made it at last...

1) "Hence, Sextus does not rule out the possibility of ever deciding the conflicts of appearances, as Heraclitus does."

— I'm not sure that 'ever' adds anything here; I'd probably leave it out.

2) "Despite the previous criticisms, I recognize that Polito’s book is a most valuable contribution to the study not only of Aenesidemus’ so-called Heracliteanism, but also of his own form of Scepticism."

— fine!

3) "There, after indicating that these philosophies differ because “Heraclitus makes dogmatic claims about many non-evident matters” whereas the Sceptics do not, Sextus points out that “Aenesidemus and his followers used to say that the Sceptical way of thought is a road towards the philosophy of Heraclitus, because the appearance of contraries with regard to the same thing precedes the existence of contraries with regard to the same thing” [though I'm not sure I understand this - could you explain?] (PH I 210). In the remainder of the chapter Sextus explains why it is absurd to make such a claim.

Thus Aenesidemus, who is presented by Sextus and other sources as a Pyrrhonist, maintains that Scepticism is a route to the philosophy of a thinker who (as Sextus insists) is utterly dogmatic."

4) "The book is for specialists who are well acquainted with the ancient texts on Pyrrhonism."

— fine.

5) "In the introduction, Polito reviews and rejects the various interpretations that have been put forward to account for the problematic texts on Aenesidemus’ relation to Heraclitus, but retains a key thesis found in some scholars: that by saying that Pyrrhonism is a road towards Heracliteanism, Aenesidemus is merely offering an exegesis of Heraclitus’ thought."

6) "With regard to Polito’s first remark, it must be said that Sextus’ point is perfectly sound, since it is unreasonable to claim that one stance can help us to understand another when they are radically incompatible, as is the case with the Sceptical and Heraclitean philosophies."

See you,

MrP
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Thanks MrP. I have a couple of remarks and two new questions.

1) "Hence, Sextus does not rule out the possibility of ever deciding the conflicts of appearances, as Heraclitus does." — I'm not sure that 'ever' adds anything here; I'd probably leave it out."

Perhaps I could say "of eventually deciding..."

2) "There, after indicating that these philosophies differ because “Heraclitus makes dogmatic claims about many non-evident matters” whereas the Sceptics do not, Sextus points out that “Aenesidemus and his followers used to say that the Sceptical way of thought is a road towards the philosophy of Heraclitus, because the appearance of contraries with regard to the same thing precedes the existence of contraries with regard to the same thing” [though I'm not sure I understand this - could you explain?] (PH I 210). In the remainder of the chapter Sextus explains why it is absurd to make such a claim."

It's a little complicated. The Greek uses an article before a clause with infinitive.The sentence is proêgetai toû tanantia peri to auto huparchein to tanantia peri to auto phainesthai. In Spanish one could show almost the same thing by saying "el que los contrarios aparecen con respecto a lo mismo precede al que los contrarios existen con respecto a lo mismo." In English the translators usually add something: "the notion (the thesis, the idea) that contraries appear ... precedes the notion that contraries exist..." But there's a translator who tried to preserve the idea of the Greek and wrote: "..., since opposites appearing to be the case about the same thing leads into opposites being the case about the same thing".

3) "Though Polito's interpretation is not novel, his approach is still new, in that he proposes to offer a more comprehensive and consistent account of all the relevant texts, showing that there are Sceptical ideas beneath some of the doctrines Aenesidemus ascribes to Heraclitus".

4) "After the conclusion, where Polito summarizes the results of his investigation and relates them to the status quaestionis, are two appendices".

Should I rather say "there are two appendices"?

Thanks,

Sextus
Hello Sextus

I have another doubt about the wording here:
1) "Hence, Sextus does not rule out the possibility of ever deciding the conflicts of appearances, as Heraclitus does." — I'm not sure that 'ever' adds anything here; I'd probably leave it out."

Perhaps I could say "of eventually deciding..."

'Deciding the conflicts' now doesn't sound quite right. Maybe:

"Hence, Sextus does not rule out the possibility of eventually deciding the question of conflicting appearances, as Heraclitus does."

Or does that move a little away from your intended meaning?

MrP

2) "There, after indicating that these philosophies differ because “Heraclitus makes dogmatic claims about many non-evident matters” whereas the Sceptics do not, Sextus points out that “Aenesidemus and his followers used to say that the Sceptical way of thought is a road towards the philosophy of Heraclitus, because the appearance of contraries with regard to the same thing precedes the existence of contraries with regard to the same thing” [though I'm not sure I understand this - could you explain?] (PH I 210). In the remainder of the chapter Sextus explains why it is absurd to make such a claim."

It's a little complicated. The Greek uses an article before a clause with infinitive.The sentence is proêgetai toû tanantia peri to auto huparchein to tanantia peri to auto phainesthai. In Spanish one could show almost the same thing by saying "el que los contrarios aparecen con respecto a lo mismo precede al que los contrarios existen con respecto a lo mismo." In English the translators usually add something: "the notion (the thesis, the idea) that contraries appear ... precedes the notion that contraries exist..." But there's a translator who tried to preserve the idea of the Greek and wrote: "..., since opposites appearing to be the case about the same thing leads into opposites being the case about the same thing".

I'm struggling to grasp the meaning here. I note that ta proêgoumena can mean 'premisses' or 'initial data'. Can we then take proêgetai in the sense 'implies'? If so, this would be my interpretation of the sentence:

"If opposing notions about X appear to be valid, then opposing notions about X are valid."

Does that match your interpretation?

MrP

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I could perhaps say "of eventually deciding among (between? it's more than one) conflicting appearances", or "of eventually resolving the conflicts of appearances".

Sextus
I think that in this case the verb means either "to precede" or "to lead". The idea for Sextus is that "Aenesidemus says that Scepticism is a route to Heracliteanism, because the <fact> that contraries appear with regard to the same thing precedes (or leads to) the <thesis> that contraries exist with regard to the same thing". That is to say, from the phenomenological level one moves into the level of the nature of things: one and the same thing strikes us with opposite appearances, and Aenesidemus thinks this is a precondition to saying that one and the same thing really possesses opposite properties.
SextusI could perhaps say "of eventually deciding among (between? it's more than one) conflicting appearances", or "of eventually resolving the conflicts of appearances".

Sextus

Yes, 'resolving' would do it. Do you need 'conflict' in the plural? (Yes, I suppose you do.)

MrP
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