Chrysippus' Puzzle About Identity

In 'Chrysippus' Puzzle about Identity', John Bowin (thereafter JB) cogently strengthens David Sedley's reading of the puzzle of Chrysippus as a reductio ad absurdum of the Growing Argument. For Sedley, Chrysippus reduces to absurdity the assumption that matter is the sole principle of identity by refuting its presupposition that the two protagonists of the puzzle, namely Theon and Dion, are related as part to the whole. According to Plutarch's Comm. not. 1083 a8-c1, however, the Growing Argument concludes by posing that growth is actually 'generation' and 'destruction'. In order to avoid the contradiction, Theon should have perished rather than become a part of Dion. JB attempts to answer the questions of whether within the Growing Argument there are elements against Theon being a living part of Dion. He shows that in both Epicharmus' fragment 2 and Plutarch's Comm.not. 1083b 308 "there is nothing to block the inference from matter being the sole principle of identity to the possibility that Theon could be a part of Dion" (246). Again, in exploring whether the above contradiction can be solved, he convincingly argues against Epicharmus' and Plutarch's reading of growth as generation and destruction. In the last part of his article, JB stresses that the reductio ad absurdum of the Growing Argument can be tackled without introducing the concept of 'peculiarly qualified individuals'. (Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2004.04.12).
Keywords Chrysippus  Identity  Philo of Alexandria  Growing Argument  Dion  Theon  Stoic
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