Outlines of Pyrrhonism

” If one defines a system as an attachment to a number of dogmas that agree with one another and with appearances, and defines a dogma as an assent to something non-evident, we shall say that the Skeptic does not have a system. But if one says that a system is a way of life that, in accordance with appearances, follows a certain rationale, where that rationale shows how it is possible to seem to live rightly (“rightly” being taken, not as referring only to virtue, but in a more ordinary sense) and tends to produce the disposition to suspend judgment, then we say that he does have a system.”

“Let the Dogmatists first agree and concur with one another that god is such and such, and only then, when they have sketched this out for us, let them expect us to form a concept of god. But as long as they do not settle their disagreements we cannot tell what agreed-upon conception we are supposed to get from them.”

“Furthermore, if we go by what the Dogmatists say, even if we form a conception of god it is necessary to suspend judgment concerning whether he exists or does not exist. For it is not pre-evident that god exists.”

“Further, even if someone should grant that it is possible to form a concept of cause, because of the disagreement it would be considered not to be apprehensible. For some say that there are examples of causation, some say that there are not, and some suspend judgment.”

“From these points we conclude further that if the arguments by which we show the existence of causes are plausible, and if those, too, are plausible which prove that it is incorrect to assert the existence of a cause, and if there is no way to give preference to any of these over others – since we have no agreed-upon sign, criterion, or proof, as has been pointed out earlier – then, if we go by the statements of the Dogmatists, it is necessary to suspend judgment about the existence of causes, too, saying that they are “no more” existent than non-existent.”

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