true skepticism

There are many types of Skepticism.
Most involve a type of skepticism about some things, but adhere to absolutes about other things.
(“You can’t trust those, but you *can* trust us”)

But go way back to Aenesidemus and you get a rarely found form of Skepticism,
one where achieving peace by not feeling the need to take a stand is actually quite possible.

So, here are the Ten Tropes of Aenesidemus (in English):

Aenesidemus, 1st Century BC
Different animals manifest different modes of perception;
Similar differences are seen among individual men;
For the same man, information perceived with the senses is self-contradictory
Furthermore it varies from time to time with physical changes
In addition, this data differs according to local relations
Objects are known only indirectly through the medium of air, moisture, etc.
These objects are in a condition of perpetual change in colour, temperature, size and motion
All perceptions are relative and interact one upon another
Our impressions become less critical through repetition and custom
All men are brought up with different beliefs, under different laws and social conditions
“The result of the skeptical tropes was that one would suspend judgment (epochÄ“)
and then find oneself in ataraxia,

or tranquility, no longer disturbed by conflicting claims.

One would live in accordance with the phenomena or appearances,
without taking a stand on the truth or reality behind them.

One would follow one’s natural impulses as well as local customs and laws.”
[quoted text via ]

I wish there was more about this out there. Then again, it’s so simple, perhaps there’s no need.

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