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Hi Clive, some of the remarks you made in one of my previous thread have made me think about whether I should use commas in the following examples:

1) "My second purpose is to determine whether the Pyrrhonist’s quest for, and attainment of, ataraxia and his philanthropia are, as has been generally thought, essential aspects of his stance."

2) "There is another crucial text, probably the most important, that should remove all appearance of dogmatism from the exposition of the Skeptic’s quest for, and attainment of, ataraxia made in PH i and iii."

3) "The purpose of this section is to determine whether the quest for, and the attainment of, ataraxia in matters of belief should be deemed essential to Pyrrhonism."

In this case, I'm referring to the quest for ataraxia and the attainment of ataraxia as two different things; and I'm gonna emphasize this point in the section in question.

4) "It seems to follow from this that both the quest for, and the attainment of, ataraxia are essential to the Pyrrhonean philosophy."

5) "The second text is found at AM i 6, where, as was noted before, there is no mention of the Skeptic’s quest for, and attainment of, unperturbedness in the story of his philosophical journey."

6) "Certainly PH i 232–233 cannot be taken as conclusive evidence that the quest for, and the attainment of, ataraxia are not essential to Pyrrhonism."

7) "I find this omission at the very least suggestive, since if the search for, or the attainment of, ataraxia were inherent in Pyrrhonism, one would certainly expect Sextus to mention them in the present passage".

8) "I shall begin by analyzing Sextus Empiricus’ exposition of the Skeptic’s search for, and attainment of, unperturbedness with the object of showing that he is consistently Pyrrhonean".

9) "In what follows I shall attempt to show that Sextus does not regard the search for, and the attainment of, ataraxia in matters of belief as essential to his Skepticism."

10) "Even if at times the tone and the terminology employed by Sextus seem to point to the contrary, the Skeptic’s search for, and attainment of, ataraxia and his philanthropic therapy do not commit him to any belief."

Thanks,

Sextus
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Hi Sextus,

I forget what I said, but I hope it was something like this. Generally speaking, a comma represents a pause, for breath. The pause in speaking, and the comma in writing, should be timed to help clarify meaning by giving some separation to thoughts and ideas, where such separation is warranted. The trend is to use fewer commas, and shorter sentences, than in the past. Compare Dickens.

With that in mind, here are a few comments.

Clive

. . . whether I should use commas in the following examples:

1) "My second purpose is to determine whether the Pyrrhonist’s quest for, and attainment of, ataraxia and his philanthropia are, as has been generally thought, essential aspects of his stance." OK

2) "There is another crucial text, probably the most important, that should remove all appearance of dogmatism from the exposition of the Skeptic’s quest for, and attainment of, ataraxia made in PH i and iii." I don't really feel that the cooaaas are needed here, although they are not wrong. I do wonder about the phrase made in PH i and iii. What does it qualify? I wonder if it should be preceded by a comma?

3) "The purpose of this section is to determine whether the quest for, and the attainment of, ataraxia in matters of belief should be deemed essential to Pyrrhonism."

In this case, I'm referring to the quest for ataraxia and the attainment of ataraxia as two different things; and I'm gonna emphasize this point in the section in question. OK

4) "It seems to follow from this that both the quest for, and the attainment of, ataraxia are essential to the Pyrrhonean philosophy." Again, I wonder if commas are needed?

5) "The second text is found at AM i 6, where, as was noted before, there is no mention of the Skeptic’s quest for, and attainment of, unperturbedness in the story of his philosophical journey." The commas aren't wrong, but. You might omit the one after 6, and those before and after 'and attainment of'.

6) "Certainly PH i 232–233 cannot be taken as conclusive evidence that the quest for, and the attainment of, ataraxia are not essential to Pyrrhonism." OK, given your comment in 3 above.

7) "I find this omission at the very least suggestive, since if the search for, or the attainment of, ataraxia were inherent in Pyrrhonism, one would certainly expect Sextus to mention them in the present passage".OK

8) "I shall begin by analyzing Sextus Empiricus’ exposition of the Skeptic’s search for, and attainment of, unperturbedness with the object of showing that he is consistently Pyrrhonean". Again, you could omit them from the 'attainmnet phrase'. I'd consider putting one before 'with the object of'.

9) "In what follows I shall attempt to show that Sextus does not regard the search for, and the attainment of, ataraxia in matters of belief as essential to his Skepticism." I'd put one I'd consider putting one before 'with the object of'..

10) "Even if at times the tone and the terminology employed by Sextus seem to point to the contrary, the Skeptic’s search for, and attainment of, ataraxia and his philanthropic therapy do not commit him to any belief." OK
Thanks a lot for the answers and explanation, Clive. I've got a couple of remarks.

2) "There is another crucial text, probably the most important, that should remove all appearance of dogmatism from the exposition of the Skeptic’s quest for, and attainment of, ataraxia made in PH i and iii." I don't really feel that the cooaaas are needed here, although they are not wrong. I do wonder about the phrase made in PH i and iii. What does it qualify? I wonder if it should be preceded by a comma?

"Made in PH i and iii" qualifies "the exposition of the Skeptic’s quest for and attainment of ataraxia". This is why I thought it wasn't necessary to write a comma before it.

8) "I shall begin by analyzing Sextus Empiricus’ exposition of the Skeptic’s search for, and attainment of, unperturbedness with the object of showing that he is consistently Pyrrhonean". Again, you could omit them from the 'attainmnet phrase'. I'd consider putting one before 'with the object of'.

In this case, it seems to me that putting a comma before 'with the object of' kind of stops the flow of the sentence. But it's just an impression and I'm not sure about this.

9) "In what follows I shall attempt to show that Sextus does not regard the search for, and the attainment of, ataraxia in matters of belief as essential to his Skepticism." I'd put one I'd consider putting one before 'with the object of'..

In this case, I think there was some confusion between 8) and 9). Also, it seems to me that the commas are ok, since I'm referring to the two aspects again, as in 3).

A final note: the reason why I had put commas in 'the quest for, and attainment of, ataraxia' is that we've got two different things (so to speak) related to ataraxia, and that they don't have the same preposition. I mean, it is not 'the quest and attainment of ataraxia'. But probably this cannot be considered a grammatical rule.

Cheers,

Sextus
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Hi,

A few further remarks.

Clive

2) "There is another crucial text, probably the most important, that should remove all appearance of dogmatism from the exposition of the Skeptic’s quest for, and attainment of, ataraxia made in PH i and iii." I don't really feel that the cooaaas are needed here, although they are not wrong. I do wonder about the phrase made in PH i and iii. What does it qualify? I wonder if it should be preceded by a comma?

"Made in PH i and iii" qualifies "the exposition of the Skeptic’s quest for and attainment of ataraxia". This is why I thought it wasn't necessary to write a comma before it. I'd prefer to say '. . . from the exposition, made in PH i and iii, of the Skeptic’s quest for,and attainment of ataraxia." Also, I'd prefer to say 'performed' or 'done' or 'presented' rather than 'made' for an exposition.

8) "I shall begin by analyzing Sextus Empiricus’ exposition of the Skeptic’s search for, and attainment of, unperturbedness with the object of showing that he is consistently Pyrrhonean". Again, you could omit them from the 'attainmnet phrase'. I'd consider putting one before 'with the object of'.

In this case, it seems to me that putting a comma before 'with the object of' kind of stops the flow of the sentence. But it's just an impression and I'm not sure about this. Yeah, I know. It just seemed to me that it avoided making it seem like it might just qualify 'unperturbedness' rather than the whiole thought.

9) "In what follows I shall attempt to show that Sextus does not regard the search for, and the attainment of, ataraxia in matters of belief as essential to his Skepticism." I'd put one I'd consider putting one before 'with the object of'..

In this case, I think there was some confusion between 8) and 9). Sorry. Also, it seems to me that the commas are ok, since I'm referring to the two aspects again, as in 3). I'd consider putting a comma after 'follows'.

A final note: the reason why I had put commas in 'the quest for, and attainment of, ataraxia' is that we've got two different things (so to speak) related to ataraxia, and that they don't have the same preposition. I mean, it is not 'the quest and attainment of ataraxia'. But probably this cannot be considered a grammatical rule.
Clive"Made in PH i and iii" qualifies "the exposition of the Skeptic’s quest for and attainment of ataraxia". This is why I thought it wasn't necessary to write a comma before it. I'd prefer to say '. . . from the exposition, made in PH i and iii, of the Skeptic’s quest for,and attainment of ataraxia." Also, I'd prefer to say 'performed' or 'done' or 'presented' rather than 'made' for an exposition.



What if I just say: "There is another crucial text, probably the most important, that should remove all appearance of dogmatism from the exposition in PH i and iii of the Skeptic’s quest for and attainment of ataraxia." ?

Or perhaps I could put a couple of commas "..., in PH i and iii, ..."

Sextus

Hi,

Well, now it sounds like the text and the exposition are two different things. I domn't think that's what you mean, is it?

Clive
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Yes, it is. The "crucial text" should remove the appearance of dogmatism from the exposition presented in the corresponding texts of PH i and iii.

Sextus
Hi,

Oh, OK then.

Clive
I've thought that I could perhaps say this when I've got three items:

1) “The second purpose is to determine whether the Pyrrhonist’s search for and attainment of ataraxia, and his philanthropia are, as has been generally thought [or: accepted] among scholars, essential aspects of his stance.”

Or perhaps I could put another comma after 'philanthropia'.

2) “Even if sometimes the tone and terminology employed by Sextus seem to point to the contrary, the Skeptic’s search for and attainment of ataraxia, and his philanthropic therapy do not commit him to any belief.”

The same as the previous one. Also, I don’t know if “seem to point to” is ok or if I should just say “to point to”. My intention was to be more cautious.

Cheers,

Sextus
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