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Ideas of Sextus Empiricus, by Text

[Greek, 140 - 200, Probably a doctor.]

180 Against the Ethicists (one book)
II.22 p.395 Reasoning is impossible without a preconception
II.35 p.403 Saying the good is useful or choiceworth or happiness-creating is not the good, but a feature of it
II.69 p.419 Like a warming fire, what is good by nature should be good for everyone
II.81 p.425 If a desire is itself desirable, then we shouldn't desire it, as achieving it destroys it
180 Against the Logicians (two books)
I.042 p.21 Fools, infants and madmen may speak truly, but do not know
I.062 p.33 Madmen are reliable reporters of what appears to them
I.270 p.145 Some properties are inseparable from a thing, such as the length, breadth and depth of a body
II.058 p.267 We can only dream of a winged man if we have experienced men and some winged thing
II.129 p.305 Ordinary speech is not exact about what is true; we say we are digging a well before the well exists
180 Against the Mathematicians
440 p.36 How can sceptics show there is no criterion? Weak without, contradiction with
442 p.3 Some things are their own criterion, such as straightness, a set of scales, or light
180 Against the Physicists (two books)
I.016 p.9 Gods were invented as watchers of people's secret actions
I.033 p.19 All men agree that God is blessed, imperishable, happy and good
I.040 p.23 It is mad to think that what is useful to us, like lakes and rivers, are gods
I.045 p.25 The perfections of God were extrapolations from mankind
I.060 p.35 God is defended by agreement, order, absurdity of denying God, and refutations
I.075 p.43 The original substance lacked motion or shape, and was given these by a cause
I.146 p.79 God's sensations imply change, and hence perishing, which is absurd, so there is no such God
I.151 p.81 The Divine must lack the virtues of continence and fortitude, because they are not needed
I.151 p.81 An incorporeal God could do nothing, and a bodily god would perish, so there is no God
I.163 p.85 God must suffer to understand suffering
I.176 p.91 God without virtue is absurd, but God's virtues will be better than God
I.225 p.113 The incorporeal is not in the nature of body, and so could not emerge from it
I.269 p.133 Socrates either dies when he exists (before his death) or when he doesn't (after his death)
I.343 p.167 Parts are not parts if their whole is nothing more than the parts
I.392 p.187 If we try to conceive of a line with no breadth, it ceases to exist, and so has no length
II.056 p.239 A man walking backwards on a forwards-moving ship is moving in a fixed place
II.062 p.241 Some say motion is perceived by sense, but others say it is by intellect
II.188 p.305 Time doesn't end with the Universe, because tensed statements about destruction remain true
II.193 p.307 Time is divisible, into past, present and future
II.201 p.311 If the present is just the limit of the past or the future, it can't exist because they don't exist
180 Against the Professors (six books)
11.8 p.180 'Man is a rational mortal animal' is equivalent to 'if something is a man, that thing is a rational mortal animal'
7.158 p.451 Right actions, once done, are those with a reasonable justification
7.95 p.102 The tektraktys (1+2+3+4=10) is the 'fount of ever-flowing nature'
8.331a p.249 How can you investigate without some preconception of your object?
8.74 p.203 It is only when we say a proposition that we speak truly or falsely
180 Outlines of Pyrrhonism
I.101 p.46 Water that seems lukewarm can seem very hot on inflamed skin
I.103 p.46 Sickness is perfectly natural to the sick, so their natural perceptions should carry some weight
I.109 p.48 Some actions seem shameful when sober but not when drunk
I.119 p.51 The same oar seems bent in water and straight when out of it
I.12 p.19 The basis of scepticism is the claim that every proposition has an equal opposing proposition
I.120 p.51 The necks of doves appear different in colour depending on the angle of viewing
I.20 p.22 Whether honey is essentially sweet may be doubted, as it is a matter of judgement rather than appearance
I.32 p.26 The same tower appears round from a distance, but square close at hand
I.47 p.30 If we press the side of an eyeball, objects appear a different shape
I.59 p.33 How can we judge between our impressions and those of other animals, when we ourselves are involved?
I.80 p.39 If we enjoy different things, presumably we receive different impressions
I.96 p.44 If we had no hearing or sight, we would assume no sound or sight exists, so there may be unsensed qualities
II.109 p.132 If we utter three steps of a logical argument, they never exist together
II.110 p.132 A valid hypothetical syllogism is 'that which does not begin with a truth and end with a falsehood'
II.135 p.141 Proof moves from agreed premises to a non-evident inference
II.204 p.164 If you don't view every particular, you may miss the one which disproves your universal induction
II.215 p.168 You cannot divide anything into many parts, because after the first division you are no longer dividing the original
II.252 p.182 If an argument has an absurd conclusion, we should not assent to the absurdity, but avoid the absurd argument
II.258 p.184 We distinguish ambiguities by seeing what is useful
II.75 p.120 How can the intellect know if sensation is reliable if it doesn't directly see external objects?
III.111 p.226 Since Socrates either died when he was alive (a contradiction) or died when he was dead (meaningless), he didn't die
III.14 p.191 Some say that causes are physical, some say not
III.141 p.236 If motion and rest are abolished, so is time
III.142 p.236 Time must be unlimited, but past and present can't be non-existent, and can't be now, so time does not exist
III.143 p.236 How can time be divisible if we can't compare one length of time with another?
III.15 p.191 Causes are either equal to the effect, or they link equally with other causes, or they contribute slightly
III.18 p.193 If there were no causes then everything would have been randomly produced by everything
III.203 p.257 With us it is shameful for men to wear earrings, but among Syrians it is considered noble
III.21 p.193 Knowing an effect results from a cause means knowing that the cause belongs with the effect, which is circular
III.234 p.267 Even if all known nations agree on a practice, there may be unknown nations which disagree
III.27 p.196 Cause can't exist before effect, or exist at the same time, so it doesn't exist
III.3 p.187 How can we agree on the concept of God, unless we agree on his substance or form or place?
III.6 p.188 The existence of God can't be self-evident or everyone would have agreed on it, so it needs demonstration
III.68 p.212 Does the original self-mover push itself from behind, or pull itself from in front?
III.76 p.215 If time and place are infinitely divided, it becomes impossible for movement ever to begin
III.77 p.215 If all atoms, times and places are the same, everything should move with equal velocity
III.9 p.189 If God foresaw evil he would presumably prevent it, and if he only foresees some things, why those things?