The ultimate goal of research or skepticism is to achieve tranquility. Sextus Empiricus believes that skepticism is followed by this feeling of tranquility. He explains this with his example of Appelles. He uses this example, stating that Appelles was the skeptic. He wanted to achieve something, and when he believed that it was not possible, he got angry. In his disbelief or his fixed mind- thinking that it is not possible to paint foam – he threw the sponge which quickly represented foam in the painting. He says that this was done by fate. That the judgment was passed, Appelles was quick to think that there was no way to pain foam. In his anger, as if it were given to him through divine intervention, he threw the sponge and it looked like foam. After this, he had a feeling of tranquility. Without the skepticism, and the suspense of judgment, there would be no tranquility.
In his paper, he also does state that the aim of Skepticism is tranquility. It is of things to be desired. People believe that there are things of good nature, and things of bad. Most people would logically try to achieve what is good and avoid what is bad. However, this does not bring a sense of tranquility. In Empiricus’ beliefs, they end up feeling worse than they were to begin with. When it comes to skepticism, the judgment is suspended and therefore can reach a state of tranquility. The pursuit of all of Skepticism is tranquility, this is their aim and what they hope to achieve. Unfortunately, Empiricus does not say much about the state of tranquility or why Skeptics are trying to reach this as their goal. He just says that it is done for the sake of reaching tranquility, not so much why or what it is exactly about the feeling. Tranquility is not really defined as something desirable. No given characteristics of the feeling or state of mind were given. For all we know, tranquility is something that is subjective. Such as good and evil, these two things are subjective. However, these are rejected by skeptics.
The skeptic is said to be able to escape things more easily since he does reject judgment, as compared to those who are not skeptic. There are methods of rejecting judgment and living as a skeptic as outlined by Empiricus. Anyone who would like to achieve tranquility can do so by doing this. This kind of thinking means that skepticism does not think anything is bad by nature. This kind of goal is not achievable by dogmatic means, it can only be done by abandoning everything, therefore everything must be questioned since Skeptics are perpetual inquirers. If the goal is seen to be achieved by suspending judgment, it cannot be done using dogmatic means. It comes as quite a wonder that Skepticism actually has a goal, and this goal is tranquility. Not only is this not explained in the book, but skepticism is something that is not characterized to be goal-directed as they do not aim for anything good since they suspend judgment. How can tranquility be something that is to be achieved if there is nothing good or bad by nature? What says that tranquility is something that can be desired? In his earlier paragraphs, he says that good things are to be pursued and bad things are to be avoided by most people. However, a skeptic does not do this because he releases all judgment and does not classify things as good or bad. Therefore, there is nothing to be desired. Yet, why is tranquility desired? Is it then good? If there is something which is good by nature, naturally shouldn’t there be something opposite? Usually, when there is something good, something evil is also present. If there is a state of tranquility, what is the exact opposite of it? Empirics would probably reject the questioning and suspend judgment as a skeptic does not work in order to please the thinking of others. Their aim is only to achieve tranquility themselves in their own never-ending inquiring. Therefore, instead of trying to defend their stand as to why tranquility should be achieved or why it should even be desired by a school who is not supposed to have an end-means, they would dismiss the judgment on them.