Friday, September 27, 2013
Likelihood versus Certainty
Cicero, Tusculan Disputations
1.9.17 (tr. J.E. King):
I shall humour you and explain what you wish as best I can, not however as if I were the Pythian Apollo making statements to be regarded as certain and unalterable, but following out a train of probabilities as one poor mortal out of many. For further than likelihood as I see it I cannot get. Certainty will be for those who say such things can be known and who claim wisdom for themselves.
geram tibi morem et ea, quae vis, ut potero, explicabo, nec tamen quasi Pythius Apollo, certa ut sint et fixa quae dixero, sed ut homunculus unus e multis, probabilia coniectura sequens. ultra enim quo progrediar quam ut veri similia videam non habeo. certa dicent ii, qui et percipi ea posse dicunt et se sapientes esse profitentur.