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Sextus Empiricus: Against the Ethicists - Clarendon Later Ancient Philosophers (Paperback)
  • Sextus Empiricus: Against the Ethicists - Clarendon Later Ancient Philosophers (Paperback)
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Sextus Empiricus: Against the Ethicists - Clarendon Later Ancient Philosophers (Paperback)

(author), (editor,translator)
£46.49
Paperback 340 Pages / Published: 06/07/2000
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About Sextus: Sextus Empiricus is one of the most important ancient philosophical writers after Plato and Aristotle. His writings are our main source for the doctrines and arguments of Scepticism. He probably lived in the second century AD. Eleven books of his writings have survived, covering logic, physics, ethics, and numerous more specialized fields. About Against the Ethicists: In this unjustly neglected and misunderstood work Sextus sets out a distinctive Sceptic position in ethics. He discusses the concepts good and bad, and puts forward the sceptical argument that nothing is either good or bad by nature or intrinsically or invariably, but only relatively to persons and/or to circumstances. He then argues that the sceptic is better off than the non-sceptic. In the latter part of the book, Sextus attacks the Stoic view that there is such a thing as a 'skill for life'. About this edition: This volume contains a translation of Against the Ethicists into clear modern English, together with an introduction and a detailed commentary. Those who have discussed this work in the past have tended to underestimate it, often regarding its main position as essentially the same as that of Sextus' better-known Outlines of Pyrrhonism. Richard Bett shows that Against the Ethicists represents a quite distinct and coherent philosophical outlook, associated with a phase of Scepticism earlier than Sextus himself, an outlook of which little other evidence survives.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198250975
Number of pages: 340
Weight: 398 g
Dimensions: 215 x 138 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Bett shows himself as a good philologist, his translation is precise and based on a diligent evaluation of the text variants. It is also very clear and very good to read. * J.Opsomer, Les Etudes Classiques, University of Namur, Vol.68. *
'a great deal of philosophical and philological scholarship will be foundan excellent job of tracking down Sextus's sources and his targets.' Journal of the History of Philosophy
'an excellent translation of and commentary on Sextus Empiricusa detailed and informative treatment of the book as a whole and of individual arguments within it.' Bob Sharples, Phronesis
'it would be appropriate for anyone interested in skepticism, whether ancient or modern, to use this careful and useful book.' Julia Annas, The Philosophical Review
'every student of Pyrrhonism will want this commentary for its detailed criticisms of Sextus' arguments.' Charles Brittain, Ancient Philosophy
'This translation and commentary...will certainly become the standard edition of this important text for the forseeable future.' Marcelo D. Boeri, Manuscrito
'Bett's work is a distinguished addition to the literature on skepticism.' Lloyd P. Gerson, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
This excellent and admirable volume contains an English translation with copious notes and commentary of Sextus Empiricus' most extensive discussion of ethical theory ... It is in all respects an exemplary production. The translation, occupying the first thirty-nine pages, is excellent ... and generally capturing Sextus' dry, and sometimes drily witty philosophical prose ... B. has put an immense amount of thought into every line of Sextus, and the translation and commentary reflect that ... All in all a first-rate production, which should be taken as a model for future members of its genre. * Tad Brennan, Journal of Hellenic Studies 119 (1999). *
Sextus' work Against the Ethicists has long suffered from a lack of consideration by students of Pyrrhonism. Richard Bett's meticulous translation and commentary sets out to rectify this scholarly discourtesy by a careful analysis of Sextus' arguments and an accurate and concise exposition of his opponents' doctrines. Bett's treatment of textual matters.. is a model of concision. His grasp and presentation of the mainly Stoic doctrines dealt with... appears unerring... every student of Pyrrhonism will want this commentary for its detailed criticisms of Sextus' arguments. * Charles Brittain, Ancient Philosophy 19, 1999 *

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