Reading 2. From Sextus Empiricus’ Outlines of Pyrrhonism

Sextus says that the typical student comes to philosophy believing that the way to relieve his anxiety about life is to find out the Truth. But instead, as he studies the divergent “Truths” proposed by various authors ...

“He falls into uncertainty, seeing the equal weight on both sides of each question. Being unable to sort this out, he suspends judgment; and as he is suspending judgment, there follows, coincidentally, freedom from anxiety. ...

The Skeptic’s experience is, in fact the same as what is reported about the painter Apelles.

For they say that as he was painting a horse, and trying to represent the foam on its coat,
he was so unsuccessful that he gave up and flung at the picture the sponge he had been using to wipe the paints off his brush. And the sponge made the effect of the horse’s foam.

So, too, Skeptics used to hope to get free from anxiety through sorting out the discrepancies in impressions and thoughts; but proving unable to do this, they suspended judgment; and as they were suspending, freedom from anxiety followed as if by chance.”