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Publication Details

“We are Whitened” and “We are Sweetened” – a New Language about the World Without Objects?

(Original title: „Belieme“ a „sladneme“ – nový jazyk o svete bez predmetov?)
Filozofia, 77 (2022), 3, 165 - 177.
Type of work: Original Articles
Publication language: Slovak

Sextus (Adv. math. VII 191) attributes to the Cyrenaic philosophers a series of curious verbal forms that reduce the language about reality to an account of apprehension of secondary qualities. Sextus himself links this new language with the Cyrenaic tenet that the only standards of knowledge are the affections ( pathē ). The paper explores the Cyrenaic subjectivist epistemology, the sceptic elements in it and its possible ontological commitments. However provocative the Cyrenaic epistemology might sound, it is argued that the Cyreniacs were not interested in it for its own sake, but only as a means for defending their practical quest for a happy life. In this perspective, it seems improbable that the Cyrenaics pushed their disavowal of the cognitive access to the external objects further and that they denied their existence. Their objective was to show that their form of life was based on a firm knowledge, i. e. the apprehension of internal pathē .


Ancient epistemology, Ancient sceptics, Cyrenaics, Sextus Empiricus, Subjectivism

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