ABSTRACT: Summary presentation of the surviving logic theories of Philo the Dialectician (aka Philo of Megara) and Diodorus Cronus, including some general remarks on propositional logical elements in their logic, a presentation of their theories of the conditional and a presentation of their modal theories, including a brief suggestion for a solution of the Master Argument.
This paper is a demonstration of an application of Semiotic Textology to a limited case study. The main aspects of Semiotic Textology, the theory elaborated by Petöfi, are presented; secondly the linguistic aspects of the interpretation of lines 133–134 of the Theognis of Megara’s poem, analysed in the framework of said theory, are presented. All the relevant syntactic, semantic, pragmatic information involved in text processing have been considered. Through fixed steps, it is shown that text processing is not exclusively (...) a grammatical activity, because within a theoretical interpretation an Interpreter needs a number of contextual hypotheses, in order to understand the author’s ontology. (shrink)
The problem of Philo's ambivalence about the physical world -- The context for Philo's ambivalence toward the physical world -- Philo's negative terminology for the physical world : [ousia, hylē, genesis, genētos] -- Philo's positive terminology for the physical world : [kosmos] -- Philo's positive terminology for the physical world : [physis] part 1 -- Philo's positive terminology for the physical world : [physis] part 2 -- Higher and lower approaches to God -- The (...) ambiguity of the physical world : a multiperspectival approach -- Conclusions. (shrink)
Dreams are used figuratively throughout Greek literature to refer to something fleeting and/or unreal. In Plato, this metaphorical language is specifically used to describe an epistemological distinction: the one who has false knowledge or opinion is said to be dreaming while the one who has true knowledge is said to be awake. These figures are also central to Philo of Alexandria's philosophical language in De somniis 1-2 and De Iosepho . Although scholars have documented these epistemological metaphors in Plato (...) and related treatments of the concept of sleep in Heraclitus, it has not been discussed in any detail in relation to Philo's treatment of Joseph in these two treatises. In De somniis 1-2, Philo primarily emphasizes his role as a dreamer and thus one incapable of true knowledge. In De Iosepho , Joseph is a dream interpreter who is not only awake but also capable of interpreting the figurative dream of life to which most people are subject. Although some scholars have considered these treatises contradictory in terms of their treatments of Joseph, an analysis of Philo's figurative use of sleep and dreaming reveals that they are a part of a coherent exegetical framework. (shrink)
The concept of o or "pre-emotions" is known not only to the Roman Stoics and Christian exegetes but also to Philo of Alexandria. Philo also supplies the term o at QGen 1.79. As Philo cannot have derived what he knows from Seneca (despite his visit to Rome in 39), nor from Cicero, who also mentions the point, he must have found it in older Stoic writings. The o concept, rich in implications for the voluntariness and phenomenology of (...) the passions proper, is thus confirmed for the Hellenistic period. It is not to be expected that Philo's handling of this or any concept will necessarily conform to the usage of his Stoic sources. His evidence is nonetheless of great value where it coincides with that of other witnesses. In QGen 4.73 the emphasis falls upon involuntariness and the mechanisms of impression and assent as in Epictetus fr. 9. The o saves the virtuous person's insusceptibility to emotion exactly as it does for the Stoic spokesman in Gellius NA 19.1; this point is of some interest in view of the Christological use of this concept in Origen and Didymus. QGen 1.55 and 3.56 indicate that the occurrence of the o is dependent upon uncertainty, and further, that for Philo, as for Seneca in Ira 2.3.4, a thought not acted upon can count as a o. In QGen 4.15-17 and 1.79, Philo indicates that hope and perhaps laughter may be related to joy as o to o; these assertions are not paralleled in extant Stoic texts. Further, in QGen 2.57, he names "biting and contraction" as the shrink)
The concept of προπάθειαι or "pre-emotions" is known not only to the Roman Stoics and Christian exegetes but also to Philo of Alexandria. Philo also supplies the term προπάθεια at "QGen" 1.79. As Philo cannot have derived what he knows from Seneca (despite his visit to Rome in 39), nor from Cicero, who also mentions the point, he must have found it in older Stoic writings. The προπάθεια concept, rich in implications for the voluntariness and phenomenology of (...) the passions proper, is thus confirmed for the Hellenistic period. It is not to be expected that Philo's handling of this or any concept will necessarily conform to the usage of his Stoic sources. His evidence is nonetheless of great value where it coincides with that of other witnesses. In "QGen" 4.73 the emphasis falls upon involuntariness and the mechanisms of impression and assent as in Epictetus fr. 9. The προπάθεια saves the virtuous person's insusceptibility to emotion exactly as it does for the Stoic spokesman in Gellius NA 19.1; this point is of some interest in view of the Christological use of this concept in Origen and Didymus. "QGen" 1.55 and 3.56 indicate that the occurrence of the προπάθειαι is dependent upon uncertainty, and further, that for Philo, as for Seneca in "Ira" 2.3.4, a thought not acted upon can count as a προπάθεια. In "QGen" 4.15-17 and 1.79, Philo indicates that hope and perhaps laughter may be related to joy as προπάθεια to πάθος; these assertions are not paralleled in extant Stoic texts. Further, in "QGen" 2.57, he names "biting and contraction" as the εὐπάθεια corresponding to grief, supplying a helpful parallel for "Cic. Tusc." 3.83 and Plut. "Virt. Mor." 449a. The topic may well have been discussed by Posidonius, as suggested by Cooper and others, but Posidonius' attested innovations are rather different in character from the points which have caught the attention of Philo. Taking together the indirect evidence of Philo, Seneca, and Cicero, we may reasonably infer that the προπάθεια concept belonged already to an earlier period of Stoicism. (shrink)
This is the first book-length study of Philo of Larissa. Philo (159-84 BC) was the leader of the Platonic Academy in its final period as an Athenian institution, and also the principal philosophical teacher of Cicero. Dr Brittain charts Philo's gradual rejection of the radical scepticism of Carneades (concluding with his notorious 'Roman Books' of 89 BC), and offers philosophical justifications for his initial position of modified scepticism and final advocacy of a fallibilist empiricism. Philo's controversial (...) epistemological views are constructed through their historical context in the late Hellenistic Academy, his wider thought on the history of philosophy, ethics and rhetoric, and his controversies with his pupils Antiochus and Aenesidemus. The appendix contains full testimonia and 'fragments' of Philo. (shrink)
Mireille Hadas-Lebel shines a spotlight on the complex life and works of Philo, the illustrious Alexandrian Jewish philosopher, offering a fascinating insight into a seminal religious thinker at the crossroads of Judaism and Hellenism.
The 'Therapeutae' were a Jewish group of ascetic philosophers who lived outside Alexandria in the middle of the first century CE. They are described in Philo's treatise De Vita Contemplativa and have often been considered in comparison with early Christians, the Essenes, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. But who were they really? This study focuses particularly on issues of history, rhetoric, women, and gender in a wide exploration of the group, and comes to new conclusions about the 'Therapeutae' and (...) their relationship with the Jewish allegorical school of exegesis in Alexandria. The volume includes a new translation of De Vita Contemplativa. (shrink)
The ‘Dialectical school’ denotes a group of early Hellenistic philosophers that were loosely connected by philosophizing in the — Socratic — tradition of Eubulides of Megara and by their interest in logical paradoxes, propositional logic and dialectical expertise. . Its two best known members, Diodorus Cronus and Philo the Logician, made groundbreaking contributions to the development of theories of conditionals and modal logic. Philo introduced a version of material implication; Diodorus devised a forerunner of strict implication. Each (...) developed a system of modal notions that satisfies the basic logical requirements laid down by modern standard modal theories. In antiquity, Diodorus Cronus was famous for his so called Master Argument, which aims to prove that only the actual is possible. (shrink)
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'. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Part 1 discusses the Stoic notion of propositions (assertibles, axiomata): their definition; their truth-criteria; the relation between sentence and proposition; propositions that perish; propositions that change their truth-value; the temporal dependency of propositions; the temporal dependency of the Stoic notion of truth; pseudo-dates in propositions. Part 2 discusses Stoic modal logic: the Stoic definitions of their modal notions (possibility, impossibility, necessity, non-necessity); the logical relations between the modalities; modalities as properties of propositions; contingent propositions; the relation between the Stoic (...) modal notions and those of Diodorus Cronus and Philo of Megara; the role of ‘external hindrances’ for the modalities; the temporal dependency of the modalities; propositions that change their modalities; the principle that something possible can follow from something impossible; the interpretations of the Stoic modal system by B. Mates, M. Kneale, M. Frede, J. Vuillemin and M. Mignucci are evaluated. -/- For a much shorter English version of Part 1 of the book see my ‘Stoic Logic’, in K. Algra et al. (eds), The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, Cambridge 1999, 92-157. For a shorter, updated, English version of Part 2 of the book see my 'Chrysippus' Modal Logic and its Relation to Philo and Diodorus', in K. Doering / Th. Ebert (eds) Dialektiker und Stoiker (Stuttgart 1993) 63-84. (shrink)
Philo, a Jewish philosopher, is interesting for various reasons. For one thing, he was a contemporary of Jesus who was deeply interested in all things related to religion but apparently never heard of Jesus. For another his view of God presumably shows one (radical, but possible) set of ideas about God available at that time.
This paper starts with an analysis of the maker’s knowledge principle as one of the main characteristics of Modern epistemology. We start by showing that maker’s knowledge can be understood in two ways: 1) a negative sense, as a way of establishing limits to human knowledge: we can only know what we create; and 2) a positive sense, as legitimizing human knowledge: we effectively know what we create. We proceed then to examine the roots of the maker’s knowledge principle in (...) the context of the transition from Greek philosophy to early Christian thought, seeing Philo of Alexandria as perhaps the first to formulate an early version of the principle. We conclude that it is the Christian conception of God as creator that makes possible a redefinition of the relation between knowing and creating, opening the way to the Modern formulation of the principle. (shrink)
Discussions about the biological bases (or lack thereof) of the concept of race in the human species seem to be never ending. One of the latest rounds is represented by a paper by Neven Sesardic, which attempts to build a strong scientific case for the existence of human races, based on genetic, morphometric and behavioral characteristics, as well as on a thorough critique of opposing positions. In this paper I show that Sesardic’s critique falls far short of the goal, and (...) that his positive case is exceedingly thin. I do this through a combination of analysis of the actual scientific findings invoked by Sesardic and of some philo- sophical unpacking of his conceptual analysis, drawing on a dual professional background as an evolu- tionary biologist and a philosopher of science. (shrink)