EVERY ACT OF CONSCIOUS LEARNING REQUIRES THE WILLINGNESS TO SUFFER AN INJURY TO ONE’S SELF ESTEEM. THAT IS WHY YOUNG CHILDREN, BEFORE THEY ARE AWARE OF THEIR OWN SELF-IMPORTANCE, LEARN SO EASILY; AND WHY OLDER PERSONS, ESPECIALLY IF VAIN OR IMPORTANT, CANNOT LEARN AT ALL.
So, when I say ‘For every argument there is an equal and opposite one,’ I am in effect saying ‘For every argument I have considered, which purports to establish something dogmatically, it seems to me that there is another argument purporting to establish something dogmatically, which is opposite to it, and which is equally plausible or implausible.’
Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism
Aristotle, another ancient philosopher complained, “surrounds the difficulty of his subject with the obscurity of his language, and thus avoids refutation—producing darkness, like a squid, in order to make himself hard to capture.”
[The Consuming Fervor of "Arrival"](http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/11/14/the-consuming-fervor-of-arrival)
In order to achieve serenity, the sceptic started philosophising about the fact that he evaluated his sensory images, and realised that some were true and some were false. He then fell into contradictions between equally good arguments on either side, and not being able to decide one way or the other, he suspended judgment. Finally, suspension of judgment led by fate to serenity in matters of opinion. Someone who believes that anything is objectively good or evil is perpetually disturbed. When he lacks the things he thinks good, he thinks he is being tormented by things which are objectively bad, and he strives after things which are good (as he thinks). But when he has obtained them, he falls into even greater disturbance because of his irrational and immoderate elation; and fearing a reversal of fortune, he does everything to avoid losing the things which seem good to him. But the person who has come to no opinion as to which things are objectively good or evil puts no effort into avoiding or striving after them. This is because he is in a state of serenity.
- Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism
Foucault writes: "In this period there was a culture of what could be called personal writing: taking notes on the reading, conversations, and reflections that one hears or engages in oneself; keeping kinds of notebooks on important subjects (what the Greeks call 'hupomnemata'), which must be reread from time to time so as to reactualize their contents."