Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Never go back?

I've been spending the last few days trying to get some thoughts together about a section of Diogenes Laertius book nine (9.67-73) where he mentions various earlier philosophers that were apparently admired by Pyrrho and then lists some poets and philosophers who might be thought to anticipate Pyrrhonism in one way or another.  It's all for an interesting conference in October.  (That will also be the first conference I will attend via video-conferencing, because it's mostly happening in New York and I can't get away in the first week or so of our term.)

Anyway, it's an odd feeling going back to some things that I haven't thought about very much since I wrote about them in my PhD.  When I look back it's quite amazing how much I must have read and how learned some of the footnotes seem.  Good job they are there, though, because so long as I have sufficient confidence in my former self I can shortcut what would have been a much longer job getting sorted all the tricky business of the scholarship on Diogenes' sources.

I'd prefer to be able just to write about Diogenes and to talk about what he is doing, but unfortunately sometimes it is hard to discern any clear organisation on his part and you do have to start wondering about just what has been cut and pasted together to end up with the text as we have it.

So, some of this at the moment seems quite slim pickings.  But you never know, perhaps inspiration will strike soon.

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