Sextus Empiricus

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Sextus Empiricus


Born in the late second century; died in the early third century. Ancient Greek philosopher and scholar; adherent of the philosophical school of skepticism.

Sextus Empiricus wrote Against the Dogmatists, which attacks scholars in general, and The Outlines of Pyrrhonism. He collected the statements and arguments of ancient Greek skeptics from Pyrrho to Aenesidemus. According to Sextus Empiricus, a skeptic neither affirms nor denies anything categorically, but makes equal allowance for the feasibility of opposing opinions. A skeptic is an “inquirer.” Skepticism facilitates the attainment of the goal of philosophy, spiritual unperturbedness (ataraxia).

Sextus Empiricus was one of the first historians of logic, physics, ethics, and other sciences. His logical conception may be viewed as a definite step from two-valued to three-valued logic. He was the author of the famous argument about the endlessness of proof: every proof proceeds from a premise, which, in turn, must be proved.

The works of Sextus Empiricus contain quotations from lost works of Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Democritus, and other Greek philosophers and serve as an extremely important source of information about their teachings. Sextus Empiricus influenced Montaigne, P. Bayle, and other modern skeptics.


Opera, vols. 1– 4. London-New York, 1959–60. (With an English translation by R. G. Bury.)
Opera, vols. 1–3. Leipzig, 1954–58.
In Russian translation:
Soch., vols. 1–2: vol. 1. Moscow, 1975.
Triknigi Pirronovykh polozhenii. St. Petersburg, 1913.


Richter, R. Skeptitsizm ν filosofii, vol. 1. St. Petersburg, 1910. (Translated from German.)
Heintz, W. Studien zu Sextus Empiricus. Halle, 1932.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, the Pyrrhonist skepticism outlined by Sextus Empiricus provides, we suggest, an ancient counterpart to our proposal, which has implications for aesthetic and moral value appreciation.
Sextus Empiricus makes the case that Pyrrhonian scepticism is not a methodology, but an attitude that tries to bring the mind, firstly to a state of suspense, and then to a place of quietude, or 'unperturbedness'.
Moore [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957], 231-33, 239-46) and the writings of Sextus Empiricus (Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, trans.
Criterion and Appearance in Sextus Empiricus," Acta Philosophica Fennica, 66 (enero 2000): 63-92.
Though it lacks the circumstantial consideration of Sextus Empiricus or the systematic inquiry of Descartes, Antigonus's delay in coming to the reluctant conclusion that Hermione's appearance was a true experience to be obeyed is a skeptical performance of its own, a willed consideration of opposed possibilities in relation to each other that exposes the difficulty of discerning the difference between dreaming and waking.
On the other hand, Plato (Laws 8, 790d), Sextus Empiricus, (Against Mathematicians 6.
In the remainder of chapter 5, Cooper discusses the Pyrrhonian skepticism of Sextus Empiricus.
The evidence for 'new humanism' (itself a modern expression) seems to be mainly a widespread fashion for the skepticism of Michel de Montaigne out of the rhetorical strategies of Sextus Empiricus, conjoined with the writings of Tacitus.
Sextus Empiricus, 2005, Against the Logicians [= Adversus Mathematicos 7-8], trans.
We need to recall that Sextus Empiricus argued against the authorities of his time calling them "dogmatics", and that his works were rediscovered and influential during the Renaissance.
Although philosophers from Sextus Empiricus to David Hume have for centuries warned against extrapolating from what we see, refraining from doing so is very difficult.
Sextus Empiricus, (1967), Outlines of Phyrronism, traducido por R.