David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phronesis 54 (4):371-389 (2009)
Scholars have long recognised the interest of the Stoics' thought on geometrical limits, both as a specific topic in their physics and within the context of the school's ontological taxonomy. Unfortunately, insufficient textual evidence remains for us to reconstruct their discussion fully. The sources we do have on Stoic geometrical themes are highly polemical, tending to reveal a disagreement as to whether limit is to be understood as a mere concept, as a body or as an incorporeal. In my view, this disagreement held among the historical Stoics, rather than simply reflecting a doxographical divergence in transmission. This apparently Stoic disagreement has generated extensive debate, in which there is still no consensus as to a standard Stoic doctrine of limit. The evidence is thin, and little of it refers in detail to specific texts, especially from the school's founders. But in its overall features the evidence suggests that Posidonius and Cleomedes differed from their Stoic precursors on this topic. There are also grounds for believing that some degree of disagreement obtained between the early Stoics over the metaphysical status of shape. Assuming the Stoics did so disagree, the principal question in the scholarship on Stoic ontology is whether there were actually positions that might be called "standard" within Stoicism on the topic of limit. In attempting to answer this question, my discussion initially sets out to illuminate certain features of early Stoic thinking about limit, and then takes stock of the views offered by late Stoics, notably Posidonius and Cleomedes. Attention to Stoic arguments suggests that the school's founders developed two accounts of shape: on the one hand, as a thought-construct, and, on the other, as a body. In an attempt to resolve the crux bequeathed to them, the school's successors suggested that limits are incorporeal. While the authorship of this last notion cannot be securely identified on account of the absence of direct evidence, it may be traced back to Posidonius, and it went on to have subsequent influence on Stoic thinking, namely in Cleomedes' astronomy.
|Keywords||STOIC ONTOLOGY LIMITS CLEOMEDES POSIDONIUS FICTIONAL CONSTRUCTS INCORPOREALS|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Margaret Graver (1999). Philo of Alexandria and the Origins of the Stoic Προπάθειαι. Phronesis 44 (4):300 - 325.
Daniel Nolan (2006). Stoic Gunk. Phronesis 51 (2):162 - 183.
Tad Brennan (2005). The Stoic Life: Emotions, Duties, and Fate. Oxford University Press.
Brad Inwood (ed.) (2003). The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics. Cambridge University Press.
Rachel Barney (2003). A Puzzle in Stoic Ethics. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 24:303-40.
Malcolm Schofield (1991/1999). The Stoic Idea of the City. University of Chicago Press.
John Sellars (2012). Stoics Against Stoics In Cudworth's A Treatise of Freewill. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (5):935-952.
Brad Inwood & Lloyd P. Gerson (eds.) (2008). The Stoics Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia. Hackett Pub. Co., Inc..
John M. Rist (1969). Stoic Philosophy. London, Cambridge U.P..
Added to index2009-10-03
Total downloads40 ( #50,189 of 1,410,463 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #17,475 of 1,410,463 )
How can I increase my downloads?