ABSTRACT: An introduction to Stoic logic. Stoic logic can in many respects be regarded as a fore-runner of modern propositional logic. I discuss: 1. the Stoic notion of sayables or meanings (lekta); the Stoic assertibles (axiomata) and their similarities and differences to modern propositions; the time-dependency of their truth; 2.-3. assertibles with demonstratives and quantified assertibles and their truth-conditions; truth-functionality of negations and conjunctions; non-truth-functionality of disjunctions and conditionals; language regimentation and ‘bracketing’ devices; Stoic basic (...) principles of propositional logic; 4. Stoic modal logic; 5. Stoic theory of arguments: two premisses requirement; validity and soundness; 6. Stoic syllogistic or theory of formally valid arguments: a reconstruction of the Stoic deductive system, which consisted of accounts of five types of indemonstrable syllogisms, which function as nullary argumental rules that identify indemonstrables or axioms of the system, and four deductive rules (themata) by which certain complex arguments can be reduced to indemonstrables and thus shown to be formally valid themselves; 7. arguments that were considered as non-syllogistically valid (subsyllogistic and unmethodically concluding arguments). Their validity was explained by recourse to formally valid arguments. (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)
ABSTRACT: The 3rd BCE Stoic logician "Chrysippus says that the number of conjunctions constructible from ten propositions exceeds one million. Hipparchus refuted this, demonstrating that the affirmative encompasses 103,049 conjunctions and the negative 310,952." After laying dormant for over 2000 years, the numbers in this Plutarch passage were recently identified as the 10th (and a derivative of the 11th) Schröder number, and F. Acerbi showed how the 2nd BCE astronomer Hipparchus could have calculated them. What remained unexplained is why (...) Hipparchus’ logic differed from Stoic logic, and consequently, whether Hipparchus actually refuted Chrysippus. This paper closes these explanatory gaps. (1) I reconstruct Hipparchus’ notions of conjunction and negation, and show how they differ from Stoic logic. (2) Based on evidence from Stoic logic, I reconstruct Chrysippus’ calculations, thereby (a) showing that Chrysippus’ claim of over a million conjunctions was correct; and (b) shedding new light on Stoic logic and – possibly – on 3rd century BCE combinatorics. (3) Using evidence about the developments in logic from the 3rd to the 2nd centuries, including the amalgamation of Peripatetic and Stoic theories, I explain why Hipparchus, in his calculations, used the logical notions he did, and why he may have thought they were Stoic. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: A detailed presentation of Stoic logic, part one, including their theories of propositions (or assertibles, Greek: axiomata), demonstratives, temporal truth, simple propositions, non-simple propositions(conjunction, disjunction, conditional), quantified propositions, logical truths, modal logic, and general theory of arguments (including definition, validity, soundness, classification of invalid arguments).
ABSTRACT: Alexander of Aphrodisias’ commentaries on Aristotle’s Organon are valuable sources for both Stoic and early Peripatetic logic, and have often been used as such – in particular for early Peripatetic hypothetical syllogistic and Stoic propositional logic. By contrast, this paper explores the role Alexander himself played in the development and transmission of those theories. There are three areas in particular where he seems to have made a difference: First, he drew a connection between certain passages from Aristotle’s (...) Topics and Prior Analytics and the Stoic indemonstrable arguments, and, based on this connection, appropriated at least four kinds of Stoic indemonstrables as Aristotelian. Second, he developed and made use of a specifically Peripatetic terminology in which to describe and discuss those arguments – which facilitated the integration of the indemonstrables into Peripatetic logic. Third, he made some progress towards a solution to the problem of what place and interpretation the Stoic third indemonstrables should be given in a Peripatetic and Platonist setting. Overall, the picture emerges that Alexander persistently (if not always consistently) presented passages from Aristotle’s logical œuvre in a light that makes it appear as if Aristotle was in the possession of a Peripatetic correlate to the Stoic theory of indemonstrables. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: This paper traces the evidence in Galen's Introduction to Logic (Institutio Logica) for a hypothetical syllogistic which predates Stoic propositional logic. It emerges that Galen is one of our main witnesses for such a theory, whose authors are most likely Theophrastus and Eudemus. A reconstruction of this theory is offered which - among other things - allows to solve some apparent textual difficulties in the Institutio Logica.
Truth, falsity, and unity -- Sentences, lists, and collections -- Declarative and other kinds of sentence -- Declarative sentences and propositions -- Sentences, propositions, and truth-values -- Sentences, propositions, and unity -- Unity and complexity -- Reference and supposition -- Reference and signification -- Linguistic idealism and empirical realism -- Russell on truth, falsity, and unity (I) : 1903 -- Russell on truth, falsity, and unity (II) : 1910-13 -- Russell on truth, falsity, and unity (III) : 1918 -- Sense, (...) reference, and propositions -- Russellian propositions, Fregean thoughts, and facts -- The location of propositions -- Proper names, concept-expressions, and definite descriptions -- Concept-expressions and Carnapian intensions -- Carnapian intensions and understanding -- Carnapian intensions and Russellian propositions -- Russellian propositions and functionality -- A revised semantic map -- Sentences as referring expressions -- False propositions at the level of reference -- The world's own language -- Signification and supposition revisited -- Frege and Russell on unity -- Saturatedness and unsaturatedness -- The copula as secundum adiacens and as tertium adiacens -- Frege and the Copula -- The paradox of the concept horse -- Russell on unity and the paradox -- An unsuccessful attempt to avoid the paradox -- The paradox and the level of language -- Reforming Frege's treatment of concept-expressions -- Concepts and functions -- The reformed Frege : refinements and objections -- Frege, Russell, and the anti-fregean strategy -- The anti-fregean strategy : the case of names -- Disquotation and propositional form -- The context principle -- Prabhakara semantics and the related designation theory -- For that is not a word which is not the name of a thing -- The impartial strategy -- Secundum and tertium adiacens, matter and form -- The hierarchy of levels and the syntactic priority thesis -- Fregean and anti-fregean strategies -- The anti-fregean strategy and relations (I) -- Interlude: The subject--predicate distinction -- The anti-fregean strategy and relations (II) -- The reality of relations -- Polyadicity, monadicity, and identity -- The anti-fregean strategy and Montague grammar -- Fregean and anti-fregean strategies : further comparison -- Ramsey on the subject : predicate distinction -- Dummett's attack on the anti-fregean strategy -- Linguistic idealism revisited -- Alternative hierarchies and the context principle -- The linguistic hierarchy and categorial nonsense -- Logical syntax and the context principle -- Proper names, singular terms, and the identity test -- Proper names, Leibniz's law, and the identity of indiscernibles -- The negation asymmetry test -- Dummett's tests for singular termhood -- Discarding the syntactic priority thesis -- Logical predication, logical form, and Bradley's regress -- Names, verbs, and the replacement test -- Analysis and paradox -- Simple, complex, and logical predicates -- The grammatical copula and the logical copula -- Predication in Frege -- Two exegetical problems in Frege -- Inference and the logical predicate -- Unity and the logical predicate -- Bradley's regress and the tradition -- Russell and the general form of the proposition -- Wittgenstein's criticism of Russell -- Logical form in theTractatus -- Bradley's regress and the unity of the proposition -- The logical copula and theories of meaning -- Reference and the logical copula -- Bradley's regress and the analysis of meaning -- Vicious practical regresses -- Bradley's regress and the solution to the unity problem -- Propositions, sets, sums, and the objects themselves -- Bradley's regress and the infinite -- Vallicella's onto-theology -- A comparison with other innocent regresses -- Truth, falsity, and unity revisited -- Bradley's regress, realism, and states of affairs -- Unity and use -- The unity of sentences and the unity of complex names (I) -- The unity of sentences and the unity of complex names (II) -- Congruence, functionality, and propositional unity -- Davidson on predication -- Epilogue: The limits of language. (shrink)
It is very difficult to get a clear picture of how the Stoic is supposed to deliberate. This paper considers a number of possible pictures, which cover such a wide range of options that some look Kantian and others utilitarian. Each has some textual support but is also unworkable in certain ways: there seem to be genuine and unresolved conflicts at the heart of Stoic ethics. And these are apparently due not to developmental changes within the school, but (...) to the Stoics’ having adopted implicitly incompatible solutions in response to different philosophical challenges. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: For the Stoics, a syllogism is a formally valid argument; the primary function of their syllogistic is to establish such formal validity. Stoic syllogistic is a system of formal logic that relies on two types of argumental rules: (i) 5 rules (the accounts of the indemonstrables) which determine whether any given argument is an indemonstrable argument, i.e. an elementary syllogism the validity of which is not in need of further demonstration; (ii) one unary and three binary argumental rules (...) which establish the formal validity of non-indemonstrable arguments by analysing them in one or more steps into one or more indemonstrable arguments (cut type rules and antilogism). The function of these rules is to reduce given non-indemonstrable arguments to indemonstrable syllogisms. Moreover, the Stoic method of deduction differs from standard modern ones in that the direction is reversed (similar to tableau methods). The Stoic system may hence be called an argumental reductive system of deduction. In this paper, a reconstruction of this system of logic is presented, and similarities to relevance logic are pointed out. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: In contemporary discussions of freedom in Stoic philosophy we often encounter the following assumptions: (i) the Stoics discussed the problem of free will and determinis; (ii) since in Stoic philosophy freedom of the will is in the end just an illusion, the Stoics took the freedom of the sage as a substitute for it and as the only true freedom; (iii) in the c. 500 years of live Stoic philosophical debate, the Stoics were largely concerned with (...) the same philosophical problems of freedom. In this paper I argue that (i) can be upheld only in a very restricted way; (ii) is altogether untenable; and regarding (iii), that, although there may have occurred little change in the Stoic philosophical position on freedom over the centuries, we can detect more than one transformation of the philosophical problems that were at the forefront of the discussion. Moreover, that all the conceptions and problems of freedom were linked to Stoic ethics, and that the differences between them become transparent when one considers their various roles in this context. (shrink)
The tremendous influence Stoicism has exerted on ethical thought from early Christianity through Immanuel Kant and into the twentieth century is rarely understood and even more rarely appreciated. Throughout history, Stoic ethical doctrines have both provoked harsh criticisms and inspired enthusiastic defenders. The Stoics defined the goal in life as living in agreement with nature. Humans, unlike all other animals, are constituted by nature to develop reason as adults, which transforms their understanding of themselves and their own true good. (...) The Stoics held that virtue is the only real good and so is both necessary and, contrary to Aristotle, sufficient for happiness; it in no way depends on luck. The virtuous life is free of all passions, which are intrinsically disturbing and harmful to the soul, but includes appropriate emotive responses conditioned by rational understanding and the fulfillment of all one's personal, social, professional, and civic responsibilities. The Stoics believed that the person who has achieved perfect consistency in the operation of his rational faculties, the "wise man," is extremely rare, yet serves as a prescriptive ideal for all. The Stoics believed that progress toward this noble goal is both possible and vitally urgent. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Although from the 2nd century BC to the 3rd AD the problems of determinism were discussed almost exclusively under the heading of fate, early Stoic determinism, as introduced by Zeno and elaborated by Chrysippus, was developed largely in Stoic writings on physics, independently of any specific "theory of fate ". Stoic determinism was firmly grounded in Stoic cosmology, and the Stoic notions of causes, as corporeal and responsible for both sustenance and change, and of (...) effects as incorporeal and as predicates, are indispensable for a full understanding of the theory. Stoic determinism was originally not presented as causal determinism, but with a strong teleological element, in the context of a theory of natural motions, which makes use of a distinction between a global and an inner-worldly perspective on events. However, Chrysippus also employed his conception of causality in order to explicate his determinism, and can be shown to have maintained a universal causal determinism in the modern sense of the erm. The teleological and mechanical elements of early Stoic determinism were brought together in Chrysippus' conception of fate, which places elements of rationality in every cause. (shrink)
I argue that the best way to solve Russell's problem of the relationship between propositions and their constituents is to think of propositions as properties of worlds. I argue that this view preserves the strengths and avoids some of the weaknesses of the view of the metaphysics of propositions defended by Jeff King in his _The Nature and Structure of Content_, and that it provides an explanation of the representational properties of propositions and the nature of indexical belief. I conclude (...) by discussing some problems about how to think about the semantics of propositional attitude ascriptions, if a view of this sort is correct. (shrink)
Propositions are generally thought to have a truth-value only relative to some parameter or sequence of parameters. Many apparently straightforward notions, like what it is to disagree or retain a belief, become harder to explain once propositional truth is thus relativized. An account of disagreement within a framework involving such ‘stoic’ propositions is here presented. Some resources developed in that account are then used to respond to the eternalist charge that temporalist propositions can't function as belief contents because they (...) don't allow us to make adequate sense of what belief retention amounts to. (shrink)
This monograph offers a reappraisal of the role of Bertrand Russell's philosophical works in establishing the analytical tradition in philosophy. It's main aims are to improve our understanding of the history of analytical philosophy, to engage in the important disputes surrounding the interpretation of Russell's philosophy, and to make a contribution to central issues in current analytical philosophy. Hence, this book will find a place on the bookshelf of many philosophers across the world.
ABSTRACT: The modal systems of the Stoic logician Chrysippus and the two Hellenistic logicians Philo and Diodorus Cronus have survived in a fragmentary state in several sources. From these it is clear that Chrysippus was acquainted with Philo’s and Diodorus’ modal notions, and also that he developed his own in contrast of Diodorus’ and in some way incorporated Philo’s. The goal of this paper is to reconstruct the three modal systems, including their modal definitions and modal theorems, and to (...) make clear the exact relations between them; moreover, to elucidate the philosophical reasons that may have led Chrysippus to modify his predessors’ modal concept in the way he did. It becomes apparent that Chrysippus skillfully combined Philo’s and Diodorus’ modal notions, with making only a minimal change to Diodorus’ concept of possibility; and that he thus obtained a modal system of modalities (logical and physical) which fit perfectly fit into Stoic philosophy. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the Stoic treatment of fallacies that are based on lexical ambiguities. It provides a detailed analysis of the relevant passages, lays bare textual and interpretative difficulties, explores what the Stoic view on the matter implies for their theory of language, and compares their view with Aristotle’s. In the paper I aim to show that, for the Stoics, fallacies of ambiguity are complexes of propositions and sentences and thus straddle the realms of meaning (which is (...) the domain of logic) and of linguistic expressions (which is the domain of linguistics), but also involve a pragmatic element; that the Stoics believe that the premises of the fallacies, when uttered, have only one meaning and are true, and thus should be conceded; that hence there is no need for a mental process of disambiguation in the listeners; that Aristotle, by contrast, appears to assume that the premises always have all their meanings, and accordingly recommends that the listeners explicitly disambiguate them, which presupposes a process of mental disambiguation. I proffer two readings of the Stoic advice that we ‘be silent’ when confronted with a fallacy of ambiguity in dialectical discourse, and explicate how each leads to an overall consistent interpretation of the textual evidence. Finally, I demonstrate that the method advocated by the Stoics works in all cases of fallacies of lexical ambiguity. (shrink)
The Stoic philosopher Chrysippus wrote extensively on the liar paradox, but unfortunately the extant testimony on his response to the paradox is meager and mainly hostile. Modern scholars, beginning with Alexander Rüstow in the first decade of the twentieth century, have attempted to reconstruct Chrysippus? solution. Rüstow argued that Chrysippus advanced a cassationist solution, that is, one in which sentences such as ?I am speaking falsely? do not express propositions. Two more recent scholars, Walter Cavini and Mario Mignucci, have (...) rejected Rüstow's thesis that Chrysippus used a cassationist approach. Each has proposed his own thesis about Chrysippus? solution. I argue that Rüstow's view is fundamentally correct, and that the cassationist thesis gains greater plausibility when viewed in light of a passage in Sextus Empiricus? Adversus mathematicos that the previous commentators have ignored, and when understood within the broader context of Stoic logical theory and philosophy of language. I close with a brief remark on the significance of Chrysippus? work for the modern debate on the semantic paradoxes. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: In this paper I argue (i) that the hypothetical arguments about which the Stoic Chrysippus wrote numerous books (DL 7.196) are not to be confused with the so-called "hypothetical syllogisms", but are the same hypothetical arguments as those mentioned five times in Epictetus (e.g. Diss. 1.25.11-12); and (ii) that these hypothetical arguments are formed by replacing in a non-hypothetical argument one (or more) of the premisses by a Stoic "hypothesis" or supposition. Such "hypotheses" or suppositions differ from (...) propositions in that they have a specific logical form and no truth-value. The reason for the introduction of a distinct class of hypothetical arguments can be found in the context of dialectical argumentation. The paper concludes with the discussion of some evidence for the use of Stoic hypothetical arguments in ancient texts. (shrink)
This paper is chiefly aimed at individuating some deep, but as yet almost unnoticed, similarities between Aristotle's syllogistic and the Stoic doctrine of conditionals, notably between Aristotle's metasyllogistic equimodality condition (as stated at APr. I 24, 41b27–31) and truth-conditions for third type (Chrysippean) conditionals (as they can be inferred from, say, S.E. P. II 111 and 189). In fact, as is shown in §1, Aristotle's condition amounts to introducing in his (propositional) metasyllogistic a non-truthfunctional implicational arrow '', the truth-conditions (...) of which turn out to be logically equivalent to truth-conditions of third type conditionals, according to which only the impossible (and not the possible) follows from the impossible. Moreover, Aristotle is given precisely this non-Scotian conditional logic in two so far overlooked passages of (Latin and Hebraic translations of) Themistius' Paraphrasis of De Caelo (CAG V 4, 71.8–13 and 47.8–10 Landauer). Some further consequences of Aristotle's equimodality condition on his logic, and notably on his syllogistic (no <span class='Hi'>matter</span> whether modal or not), are pointed out and discussed at length. A (possibly Chrysippean) extension of Aristotle's condition is also discussed, along with a full characterization of truth-conditions of fourth type conditionals. (shrink)
One of the most intriguing claims of Stoic logic is Chrysippus's denial of the modal principle that the impossible does not follow from the possible. Chrysippus's argument against this principle involves the idea that some propositions are ?destroyed? or ?perish?. According to the standard interpretation of Chrysippus's argument, propositions cease to exist when they are destroyed. Ide has presented an alternative interpretation according to which destroyed propositions persist after destruction and are false. I argue that Ide's alternative interpretation as (...) well as some versions of the standard interpretation conflict with Stoic doctrines about the nature of propositions. I propose another version of the standard interpretation based on Frede's account of the Stoic theory of the proposition. I hold that this version of the standard interpretation both escapes Ide's objections and is consistent with Stoic logic and philosophy of language. (shrink)
An examination of a particular passage in Cicero's De fato?Fat. 13?17?is crucial to our understanding of the Stoic theory of the truth-conditions of conditional propositions, for it has been uniquely important in the debate concerning the kind of connection the antecedent and consequent of a Stoic conditional should have to one another. Frede has argued that the passage proves that the connection is one of logical necessity, while Sorabji has argued that positive Stoic attitudes toward empirical inferences (...) elsewhere suggest that that cannot be the right interpretation of the passage. I argue that both parties to the debate have missed a position somewhere between them which both renders a connection between antecedent and consequent that is not merely empirical and makes sense of the actual uses to which the Stoics put the conditional. This will be an account which grounds the connection between antecedent and consequent in a prolêpsis, a special kind of concept which plays a special epistemological role for the Stoics, especially in grounding scientific explanations. My contention will be that Stoic conditionals are true when there is a conceptually necessary connection between antecedent and consequent such that the former explains the latter via a prolêpsis. (shrink)
Tad Brennan explains how to live the Stoic life--and why we might want to. Stoicism has been one of the main currents of thought in Western civilization for two thousand years: Brennan offers a fascinating guide through the ethical ideas of the original Stoic philosophers, and shows how valuable these ideas remain today, both intellectually and in practice. He writes in a lively informal style which will bring Stoicism to life for readers who are new to ancient philosophy. (...) The Stoic Life will also be of great interest to philosophers and classicists seeking a full understanding of the intellectual legacy of the Stoics. (shrink)
Bobzien presents the definitive study of one of the most interesting intellectual legacies of the ancient Greeks: the Stoic theory of causal determinism. She explains what it was, how the Stoics justified it, and how it relates to their views on possibility, action, freedom, moral responsibility, moral character, fatalism, logical determinism and many other topics. She demonstrates the considerable philosophical richness and power that these ideas retain today.
This book collects a series of important new studies on one of the richest and most influential intellectual traditions of antiquity. Leading scholars combine careful analytical attention to the original texts with historical sensitivity and philosophical acuity to point the way to a better understanding of Stoic ethics, political theory, logic, and science.
This volume examines the influence that Epicureanism and Stoicism, two philosophies of nature and human nature articulated during classical times, exerted on the development of European thought to the Enlightenment. Although the influence of these philosophies has often been noted in certain areas, such as the influence of Stoicism on the development of Christian thought and the influence of Epicureanism on modern materialism, the chapters in this volume forward a new awareness of the degree to which these philosophies and their (...) continued interaction informed European intellectual life well into early modern times. The influence of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophies in the areas of literature, philosophy, theology, and science are considered. Many thinkers continue to perceive these philosophies as significant alternatives for understanding the human and natural worlds. Having become incorporated into the canon of philosophical alternatives, Epicureanism and Stoicism continued to exert identifiable influences on scientific and philosphical thought at least until the middle of the eighteenth century. (shrink)
Zeno's so-called proofs of divine existence -- Zeno and the traditional gods: a serious problem -- Cleanthes' proofs -- Cleanthes and the traditional gods -- Chrysippus' contribution -- Chrysippus and the traditional gods -- Other Stoic proofs -- Other (Stoic?) arguments in Sextus -- Polemics against the arguments pro the existence of God(s) -- Abolishing the gods leads to odd consequence: the atopical arguments pro the existence of the gods -- The counter-arguments -- Carneades and the data of (...) Sextus and Cicero -- The sorites arguments as a weapon against the traditional gods -- Epilogue -- Appendix I. Cleanthes' humn on Zeus: a running commentary -- Appendix II. Where is God? -- Appendix III. Alexinus' Parabolai. (shrink)
The Stoic Idea of the City offers the first systematic analysis of the Stoic school, concentrating on Zeno's Republic . Renowned classical scholar Malcolm Schofield brings together scattered and underused textual evidence, examining the Stoic ideals that initiated the natural law tradition of Western political thought. A new foreword by Martha Nussbaum and a new epilogue written by the author further secure this text as the standard work on Presocratic Stoics. "The account emerges from a jigsaw-puzzle of (...) items from a wide range of authorities, painstakingly pieced together and then annotated in a series of appendixes, the whole executed with fine scholarship, clarity, and good humor."-- Times Literary Supplement. (shrink)
Introduction -- Stoic ethics and rhetoric -- Eighteenth-century common sense and sensus communis -- Taste and sensus communis -- Propriety, sympathy, and style fusing individual and social -- Victorian language theories and the decline of sensus communis.
While few soldiers may have read the works of Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius, it is undoubtedly true that the ancient philosophy known as Stoicism guides the actions of many in the military. Soldiers and seamen learn early in their training "to suck it up," to endure, to put aside their feelings and to get on with the mission. Stoic Warriors is the first book to delve deeply into the ancient legacy of this relationship, exploring what the Stoic philosophy (...) actually is, the role it plays in the character of the military (both ancient and modern), and its powerful value as a philosophy of life. Marshalling anecdotes from military history--ranging from ancient Greek wars to World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq--Nancy Sherman illuminates the military mind and uses it as a window on the virtues of the Stoic philosophy, which are far richer and more interesting than our popularized notions. Sherman--a respected philosopher who taught at the US Naval Academy--explores the deep, lasting value that Stoicism can yield, in issues of military leadership and character; in the Stoic conception of anger and its control (does a warrior need anger to go to battle?); and in Stoic thinking about fear and resilience, grief and mourning, and the value of camaraderie and brotherhood. Sherman concludes by recommending a moderate Stoicism, where the task for the individual, both civilian and military, youth and adult, is to temper control with forgiveness, and warrior drive and achievement with humility and humor. Here then is a perceptive investigation of what makes Stoicism so compelling not only as a guiding principle for the military, but as a philosophy for anyone facing the hardships of life. (shrink)
Introduction -- A religious world-view -- Stoic corporealism -- Stoic theology -- Two pictures of fate -- Virtue and the virtues -- Definitions of virtue -- Chrysippus : characterisation of virtue as perfect state -- Virtue as consistent character -- The virtues as epistmai -- The virtues, different yet inseparable -- The difference between the virtues -- The inseparability of the virtues -- A catalogue of virtues -- Ethical virtues additional (generic) virtues -- The openness of Chrysippus catalogue (...) of virtues -- Becoming virtuous -- Vice and the attainability of virtue -- Initiation -- Virtue and happiness -- Practices of virtue -- Law and rules -- Law -- Rules and Kathkonta -- Stoic practical reasoning -- The single Kathkon and the versatility of stoic prescriptions. (shrink)
Literature on the Stoa has recently concentrated on historical accounts of the development of the school and on Stoicism as a social movement. Professor Rist’s approach is to examine in detail a series of philosophical problems discussed by leading members of the Stoic school. He is not concerned with social history or with the influence of Stoicism on popular beliefs in the Ancient world, but with such questions as the relation between Stoicism and the thought of Aristotle, the meaning (...) and purpose of such Stoic paradoxes as, ‘all sins are equal’, and the philosophical interrelation of Stoic physics and ethics. There are chapters on aspects of Stoic logic and on the thought of particular thinkers such as Panaetius and Posidonius, but ethical problems occupy the centre of the stage. (shrink)
This new translation of Epictetus' Handbook brings his ancient teachings to those who wish to live the philosophic life by finding a way to live happily in the world without being overwhelmed by it. This modern English translation of the complete Handbook is supported by the first thorough commentary since that of Simplicius, 1500 years ago, along with a detailed introduction, extensive glossary, index of key terms, and helpful tables that clarify Stoic ethical doctrines as a glance. Accompanying the (...) Handbook is the Tablet of Cebes , a curious and engaging text from an unknown author. In complete contrast to the Handbook 's more conventional philosophical presentation, the Tablet is an allegory that shows progress to philosophical wisdom as a journey through a landscape inhabited by personifications of Happiness, Fortune, the Virtues and Vices. (shrink)
In this article I present a summary of Bertrand Russell's protracted attempts to solve the problem of the unity of the proposition, and explain the significance of the problem for Russell's philosophy. Unlike many other accounts which take the problem to be confined to Russell's early theories of propositional content, I argue that the problem (or variants of it) is a recurring theme throughout the whole of Russell's career.
‘The Unity of the Proposition’ is a label for a problem which has intermittently intrigued philosophers but which for much of the last century lay neglected in the sad, lightless room under the stairs of philosophical progress, along with other casualties and bugaboos of early analytic philosophy such as the doctrine of internal relations, the identity theory of truth, and Harold Joachim. Yet it was while struggling with this problem (among others), that Bertrand Russell built one of the first (...) steps on the staircase by creating what came later to be called the theory of descriptions.1 According to that theory, statements containing definite descriptions are true only if there exists a unique thing satisfying the description. So nothing one says about ‘The Problem of the Unity of the Proposition’, for example, can be true unless there is one and only one such problem. Yet, as we shall explain below (§1), on the one hand it is unclear that there is any such problem at all, while, on the other, if there is a problem, there seem to be several. One might conclude, then, that everything we say in this paper is likely to be false. But perhaps the paper could be, in the context, appropriately treated as a ladder, to be kicked away after climbing. For Wittgenstein, too, was concerned with the problem: ‘At the centre of Wittgenstein’s project was the task of explaining the unity of the proposition’, says Michael Potter, for example.2 Wittgenstein had inherited the task from two of his philosophical mentors, Russell and Frege. Yet while Russell’s series of failed accounts of propositions, and then judgments, each of which was meant to resolve the problem, seemed ultimately to serve only as a sort of negative inspiration for him,3 Frege’s response to the problem proved a deep influence. We will outline Frege’s position as a backdrop to Wittgenstein’s below (§§2 and 3). As we will argue, one of the most important ways in which Wittgenstein’s position resembles Frege’s is precisely that his (Wittgenstein’s) solution to the problem of unity required treating his own book as an attempt to say the unsayable.. (shrink)
This essay argues the Stoics are rightly regarded as pantheists. Their view differs from many forms of pantheism by accepting the notion of a personal god who exercises divine providence. Moreover, Stoic pantheism is utterly inimical to a deep ecology ethic. I argue that these features are nonetheless consistent with the claim that they are pantheists. The essay also considers the arguments offered by the Stoics. They thought that their pantheistic conclusion was an extension of the best science of (...) their day. Some of their most interesting arguments are thusa posteriori. (shrink)
Draft for Martinich and Hoekstra (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Hobbes. -/- Language was central to Hobbes's understanding of human beings and their mental abilities, and criticism of other philosophers' uses of language became a favorite critical tool for him. This paper connects Hobbes's theories about language to his criticisms of others' language, examining Hobbes's theories of propositions and truth, and how they relate to his claims that various sorts of proposition are absurd. It considers whether Hobbes in fact means (...) anything more by 'absurd' than 'false'. And it pays particular attention to Hobbes's categorization of causes of absurdity and of types of incoherent proposition, arguing that Hobbes's approach is only loosely related to later discussions of category mistakes. (shrink)
In view of recent articles citing the Stoics as a defence or refutation of cosmopolitanism it is legitimate to ask whether the Stoics did in fact have an argument for cosmopolitanism which may be useful to contemporary political philosophers. I begin by discussing an interpretation of Stoic views on cosmopolitanism by Martha Nussbaum and A.A. Long and show that the arguments they attribute to the Stoics are not tenable in the light of present day philosophy. I then argue that (...) the Stoics did offer a very different argument for cosmopolitanism which is both more interesting and more plausible in that it draws on a conception of human nature similar to Aristotles and contemporary virtue ethics. Lastly I consider an objection made to their particular brand of cosmopolitanism by Martha Nussbaum, namely that a Stoic cosmopolitan life is devoid of personal affiliation and therefore unbearably lonely. I argue that this objection is in fact unfounded. (shrink)
In contrast with some recent theories of infinitesimals as non-Archimedean entities, Leibniz’s mature interpretation was fully in accord with the Archimedean Axiom: infinitesimals are fictions, whose treatment as entities incomparably smaller than finite quantities is justifiable wholly in terms of variable finite quantities that can be taken as small as desired, i.e. syncategorematically. In this paper I explain this syncategorematic interpretation, and how Leibniz used it to justify the calculus. I then compare it with the approach of Smooth Infinitesimal Analysis (...) (SIA), as propounded by John Bell. Despite many parallels between SIA and Leibniz’s approach —the non-punctiform nature of infinitesimals, their acting as parts of the continuum, the dependence on variables (as opposed to the static quantities of both Standard and Non-standard Analysis), the resolution of curves into infinitesided polygons, and the finessing of a commitment to the existence of infinitesimals— I find some salient differences, especially with regard to higher-order infinitesimals. These differences are illustrated by a consideration of how each approach might be applied to Newton’s Proposition 6 of the Principia, and the derivation from it of the v2/r law for the centripetal force on a body orbiting around a centre of force. It is found that while Leibniz’s syncategorematic approach is adequate to ground a Leibnizian version of the v2/r law for the “solicitation” ddr experienced by the orbiting body, there is no corresponding possibility for a derivation of the law by nilsquare infinitesimals; and while SIA can allow for second order differentials if nilcube infinitesimals are assumed, difficulties remain concerning the compatibility of nilcube infinitesimals with the principles of SIA, and in any case render the type of infinitesimal analysis adopted dependent on its applicability to the problem at hand. (shrink)
In the Euthydemus, Socrates and young Cleinias agree, "Not one of the other things is good or bad, but of these two, one—wisdom—is good, and the other—ignorance—is bad" (281e3-5).1 To some, this is the outrageous and characteristically Stoic claim that wisdom is the only good.
In Philosophy as a Way of Life, Pierre Hadot discusses the understanding of philosophy held by the Greco-Roman ancients. Philosophy was not understood only as an exegetical or analytical exercise, but as a spiritual practice - a way of life. Becoming a member of a philosophical school was tantamount to a religious conversion involving one's entire self. To make one's doctrines 'ready to hand' required a number of 'spiritual exercises' which, if regularly followed, were intended to evince such a transformation. (...) Hadot discusses the role of such exercises for (among others) Platonists, Epicureans, Christians, and Stoics. I propose that the Samurai should be added to such a consideration. Their respective exercises allowed the adherents genuinely to adopt their system of beliefs. Many beliefs held by Stoics and Samurai are surprisingly similar. After having discussed some of these similarities, the most striking similarity will be revealed: the role of spiritual exercises in preparing both the Stoic and the Samurai for death. (shrink)
According to Richard Gaskin, The Problem of the Unity of the Proposition is to explain 'what distinguishes propositions from mere aggregates, and enables them to be true or false' (18).1 This problem arises from the simpler problem of distinguishing a sentence from a 'mere list' of words (1). The unity of a sentence is due to its syntax, a level of structure which is not apparent in the string of words which are uttered or written, and which distinguishes a (...) sentence from a list. However, if one holds that sentences express propositions that are composed of objects which serve as semantic referents of its words, then the problem of unity becomes one about the metaphysics of propositions. What constitutes a .. (shrink)
I investigate Stoic accounts of the structure and function of self-consciousness, specifically in connection with the Stoic notion of Oikeiosis. After reviewing the tortured history of attempts to translate this ancient notion into modern terms, I set out to determine its content by identifying its inferential role in Stoic moral psychology. I then provide a reconstruction of the Stoic claim that Oikeiosis is or involves a form of self-consciousness (Chrysippus), self-sentiment (Seneca), or synæsthesia (Hierocles). I show (...) how the Stoic conception of self-consciousness differs fundamentally from modern accounts of selfconsciousness as a form of psychic self-presence or epistemic self-certainty, and I exhibit the limitations of Long’s treatment of Stoic self-consciousness as proprioception. Finally, I offer a reconstruction of the Stoic claim that self-consciousness figures as a condition on the possibility of perception and desire, providing a form of normative orientation essential for intentional determinacy. (shrink)
Logic as a discipline starts with the transition from the more or less unreflective use of logical methods and argument patterns to the reflection on and inquiry into these and their elements, including the syntax and semantics of sentences. In Greek and Roman antiquity, discussions of some elements of logic and a focus on methods of inference can be traced back to the late 5th century BCE. The Sophists, and later Plato (early 4th c.) displayed an interest in sentence analysis, (...) truth, and fallacies, and Eubulides of Miletus (mid-4th c.) is on record as the inventor of both the Liar and the Sorites paradox. But logic as a fully systematic discipline begins with Aristotle, who systematized much of the logical inquiry of his predecessors. His main achievements were his theory of the logical interrelation of affirmative and negative existential and universal statements and, based on this theory, his syllogistic, which can be interpreted as a system of deductive inference. Aristotle's logic is known as term-logic, since it is concerned with the logical relations between terms, such as ‘human being’, ‘animal’, ‘white’. It shares elements with both set theory and predicate logic. Aristotle's successors in his school, the Peripatos, notably Theophrastus and Eudemus, widened the scope of deductive inference and improved some aspects of Aristotle's logic. (shrink)
The paper presents an interpretation of the thinking behind the early Wittgenstein's "general form of the proposition." It argues that a central role is played by the assumption that all domains of discourse are governed by the same laws of logic. The interpretation is presented partly through a comparison with ideas presented recently by Michael Potter and Peter Sullivan; the paper argues that the above assumption explains more of the key characteristics of the "general form of the proposition" (...) than Potter and Sullivan suppose, including, in particular, its claim that the bases from which all other propositions are derived must be elementary propositions. (shrink)
When examining the role of Stoic ethics within Stoic philosophy as a whole, it is useful for us to look at the Stoic view of the way in which philosophy is made up of parts. The aim is a synoptic and integrated understanding of the theoremata of all the parts, something which can be achieved in a variety of ways, either by subsequent integration of separate study of the three parts or by proceeding through 'mixed' presentations, which (...) can be made at varying levels of understanding.In two presentations of Stoic ethics we find initially baffling claims about the life of virtue being 'the same as' or 'equivalent to' the life according to nature. These indicate approaches in which understanding of ethical concepts was enlarged and enriched by study of physics. Interpretation which makes physics in these passages into ethical foundations answers poorly to the ancient texts and raises severe difficulties as an interpretation of Stoicism. Two texts which have been taken to commit Stoics to a foundationalist view of the relation of ethics and physics do not in fact do so; rather, they fit well into the holistic view of philosophy and its parts. (shrink)
Fitch’s paradox of knowability is an apparently valid reasoning from the assumption (typical of semantic anti-realism) that every true proposition is knowable to the unacceptable conclusion that every true proposition is known. The paper develops a critical dialectic wrt one of the best motivated solutions to the paradox which have been proposed on behalf of semantic anti-realism—namely, the intuitionistic solution. The solution consists, on the one hand, in accepting the intuitionistically valid part of Fitch’s reasoning while, on the (...) other hand, exploiting the characteristic weakness of intuitionistic logic in order to preserve the consistency of such acceptance with the denial of omniscience. It is ﬁrst remarked how the solution still commits one to acceptance of modal claims which are unwarranted even by the lights of standard intuitionistic semantics. A novel form of the paradox is then introduced, which focuses on infallibility rather than omniscience and derives, from semantic anti-realism and a highly plausible constraint on knowledge, that every believed proposition is not untrue. Because of the logical form of this conclusion, an analogue of the intuitionistic solution for the novel form of the paradox would require drawing the characteristic intuitionistic distinctions wrt decidable propositions, which cannot be done. Semantic anti-realism still intuitionistically entails the unacceptable conclusion that every believed (decidable) proposition is true. (shrink)
The surviving sources on the Stoic theory of division reveal that the Stoics, particularly Chrysippus, believed that bodies, places and times were such that all of their parts themselves had proper parts. That is, bodies, places and times were composed of gunk. This realisation helps solve some long-standing puzzles about the Stoic theory of mixture and the Stoic attitude to the present.
The medieval philosopher Jean Buridan says that at one time, he favored a solution to Liar−type paradoxes that relied on the claim that "every proposition, by its very form, signifies or asserts itself to be true."1 (I shall refer to this as Buridan's view, though he came to reject it when he wrote his Sophismata , in which he reports the view.) C.S. Peirce also suggested something like this in response to the Liar, and in a classic discussion of (...) Buridan, Arthur Prior evinces great sympathy for the view (in contrast to his rejection of Buridan's official solution).2 But what exactly does it mean for an arbitrary proposition to assert itself to be true? And is it really a plausible view to hold that every proposition does assert itself to be true? (shrink)
For the past three decades A. A. Long has been at the forefront of research in Hellenistic philosophy. In this book he assembles a dozen articles on Stoicism previously published in journals and conference proceedings. The collection is biased in favour of Professor Long's more recent studies of Stoicism and is focused on three themes: the Stoics' interpretation of their intellectual tradition, their ethics and their psychology. The contents of the book reflect the peculiarly holistic and systematic features of Stoicism. (...) The papers are printed here in their original form for the most part, but the author has made some minor corrections and stylistic or bibliographical changes. He has also added a postscript to three papers whose topics have been the subject of much discussion during the years since they first appeared. (shrink)
“To this day, partiality approaches to the paradox have been dogged by the so-called ‘Strengthened Liar’. .... The Strengthened Liar observes that if we follow a partiality theorist and declare the Liar sentence* neither true nor false (or failing to express a proposition,. or suffering from some sort of grave semantic defect), then the paradox is only pushed back. For we can go on to conclude that whatever this status may be, it implies that the Liar sentence is not (...) true. This claim is true, but it is just the Liar sentence again.* We are back in paradox.” (Glanzberg 2002, p. 468, bold emphasis added.) Cf.: “We are back in our contradiction,”(Glanzberg 2001, p. 222). *The Liar sentence intended is evidently the sentence ‘the Liar sentence is not true’, and, the Liar sentence = ‘the Liar sentence is not true’. Cf.: “Consider a Liar sentence: ...let us take a sentence l which says l is not true. We can, informally, reason as.. (shrink)
There are parallels between certain responses to local epistemological scepticism about religious belief and an influential reply to radical epistemological scepticism. What ties both accounts together is that they utilise, either implicitly or explicitly, a “hinge” proposition thesis which maintains that the pivotal beliefs in question are immune to sceptical attack even though they lack sufficient epistemic grounds. It is argued that just as this strategy lacks any anti-sceptical efficacy in the context of the radical sceptical debate, so it (...) offers no defence against a localised scepticism regarding religious belief either. What the defender of religious belief should do, it is claimed, is re-examine the manner in which a commitment to the doctrine of epistemological internalism underlies the sceptical attack. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: A systematic reconstruction of Chrysippus’ theory of causes, grounded on the Stoic tenets that causes are bodies, that they are relative, and that all causation can ultimately be traced back to the one ‘active principle’ which pervades all things. I argue that Chrysippus neither developed a finished taxonomy of causes, nor intended to do so, and that he did not have a set of technical terms for mutually exclusive classes of causes. Rather, the various adjectives which he used (...) for causes had the function of describing or explaining particular features of certain causes in particular philosophical contexts. I challenge the sometimes assumed close connection of Chrysippus’ notion of causation with explanation. I show that the standard view that the distinction between proximate and auxiliary causes and perfect and principal causes corresponds to the distinction between internal and external determining factors is not born out by the evidence, and argue that causes of the two types were not thought to co-operate, but rather conceived of as alternatives. (shrink)
Bertrand Russell’s 1903 masterpiece The Principles of Mathematics places great emphasis on the need to separate propositions from psychological items such as thoughts. In 1919 (and until the end of his career) Russell explicitly retracts this view, however, and defines propositions as “psychological occurrences”. These psychological occurrences are held by Russell to be mental images. In this paper, I seek to explain this radical change of heart. I argue that Russell’s re-psychologising of the proposition in 1919 can only be (...) understood against the background of his struggle with the problem of the unity of the proposition in earlier work. Once this is recognized, and the solution to the problem offered by the 1919 theory is appreciated, new light is also shed on Russell’s naturalism. I go on to compare Russell’s psychological “picture theory” with the vehemently anti-psychological picture theory of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and suggest that, once the background of the dispute is brought into clearer focus, Russell’s position can be seen to have many advantages over its more celebrated rival. (shrink)
In the sixteenth century the Stoics were deemed friends of humanist Christians, but by the eighteenth century they were attacked as atheists. What happened in the intervening period? In the middle of this period falls Ralph Cudworth’s True Intellectual System of the Universe (1678), which contains a sustained analysis of Stoic theology. In Cudworth’s complex taxonomy Stoicism appears twice, both as a form of atheism and an example of imperfect theism. Whether the Stoics are theists or atheists hinges on (...) whether their God is conscious and intelligent, or alive but unconscious like a plant or vegetable. Is God sentient or is he a mindless vegetable? (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the distinction between sentence and proposition from the perspective of identity. After criticizing Quine, we discuss how objects of logical languages are constructed, explaining what is Kleene’s congruence—used by Bourbaki with his square—and Paul Halmos’s view about the difference between formulas and objects of the factor structure, the corresponding boolean algebra, in case of classical logic. Finally we present Patrick Suppes’s congruence approach to the notion of proposition, according to which a whole hierarchy (...) of congruences leads to different kinds of objects. (shrink)
reasons for the disappreciation as well as for the rehabilitation of Stoic logic; it is found in I. M. Bochenski's Ancient Formal Logic (Amsterdam, 1951), and it clearly portrays the diﬀerence in attitude of the logicians of the twentieth century towards the Stoic logical system.
Newton characterizes the reasoning of Principia Mathematica as geometrical. He emulates classical geometry by displaying, in diagrams, the objects of his reasoning and comparisons between them. Examination of Newtonâ€™s unpublished texts (and the views of his mentor, Isaac Barrow) shows that Newton conceives geometry as the science of measurement. On this view, all measurement ultimately involves the literal juxtapositionâ€”the putting-together in spaceâ€”of the item to be measured with a measure, whose dimensions serve as the standard of reference, so that all (...) quantity (which is what measurement makes known) is ultimately related to spatial extension. I use this conception of Newtonâ€™s project to explain the organization and proofs of the first theorems of mechanics to appear in the Principia (beginning in Sect. 2 of Book I). The placementof Keplerâ€™s rule of areas as the first proposition, and the manner in which Newton proves it, appear natural on the supposition that Newton seeks a measure, in the sense of a moveable spatial quantity, of time. I argue that Newton proceeds in this way so that his reasoning can have the ostensive certainty of geometry. (shrink)
The Problem of Doxastic Shift may be stated as a dilemma: on the one hand, the distribution of nominal complements of the form `the that p strongly suggests that `that-clauses cannot be univocally assigned propositionaldenotations; on the other hand, facts about quantification strongly suggest that `that-clauses must be assigned univocal denotations. I argue that the Problem may be solved by defining the extension of a proposition to be a set of facts or, more generally, conditions. Given this, the logical (...) operation of descriptive predication can be introduced in a way that resolves the dilemma withoutsacrificing the singular term analysis of `that-clauses. (shrink)
There are two major semantic theories of proper names: Semantic Descriptivism and Direct Reference. According to Semantic Descriptivism, the semantic content of a proper name N for a speaker S is identical to the semantic content of a definite description “the F” that the speaker associates with the name. According to Direct Reference, the semantic content of a proper name is identical to its referent. Semantic Descriptivism suffers from a number of drawbacks first pointed out by Donnellan (1970) and Kripke (...) (1972). Direct Reference faces difficulties of its own, most importantly the problem of empty names. The most promising Directly Referential solution to this problem is the Unfilled Proposition view, according to which utterances of sentences containing empty names semantically express unfilled propositions. But this view faces the problem of accounting for the intuition that negative existentials involving empty names are true. The most promising way of dealing with this problem within Unfilled Proposition theory is to suppose (i) that utterances of sentences may be used to pragmatically convey propositions they do not semantically express, and (ii) that the proposition pragmatically conveyed by a speaker S's utterance of a sentence containing an empty name N (where “the F” is a definite description S associates with N) is identical to the proposition semantically expressed by an utterance of the sentence obtained by replacing N with “the F”. Call this view “Pragmatic Descriptivism”. With respect to the problem of negative existentials, Pragmatic Descriptivists can insist that, although an utterance of “Santa does not exist” is literally neither true nor false, our taking it to be true may be explained as the result of our having confused the unfilled proposition it semantically expresses with the clearly true descriptive proposition it pragmatically conveys. Despite its theoretical virtues, Pragmatic Descriptivism has recently come under fire. Everett (2003), in particular, has advanced four different lines of criticism, to which Adams and Dietrich (2004) have responded in some detail. In this article, I have two main aims. The first is to argue that Adams and Dietrich's replies to Everett's criticisms (with one exception) are ineffective. I conclude that there is no acceptable strategy for solving the problem of empty names within Direct Reference theory. The second is to argue that there is a promising alternative to Semantic Descriptivism and Direct Reference that requires us to fill unfilled propositions with names, thereby solving the problem of empty names. (shrink)
To understand pre-Fregean theories of judgment and proposition, such as those found in Locke and the Port-Royal logic, it is important to distinguish between propositions in the modern sense and propositions in the pre-Fregean sense. By making this distinction it becomes clear that these pre-Fregean theories cannot be meant to solve the propositional attitude problem. Notwithstanding this fact, Locke and Arnauld are able to make a distinction between asserted and unasserted propositions (in their sense). The way Locke makes this (...) distinction turns out to be very different from the way it is made by Arnauld. (shrink)
Within relevance theory the two local pragmatic processes of enrichment and loosening of linguistically encoded conceptual material have been given quite distinct treatments. Enrichments of various sorts, including those which involve a logical strengthening of a lexical concept, contribute to the proposition expressed by the utterance, hence to its truth-conditions. Loosenings, including metaphorical uses, do not enter into the proposition expressed by the utterance or affect its truth-conditions; they stand in a relation of 'interpretive resemblance' with the linguistically (...) encoded concept used to represent them. This asymmetric treatment is questioned here, arguments are given for an account which reflects the complementarity of these processes and several alternative symmetrical treatments are explored. (shrink)
In The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) Adam Smith draws on the Stoic idea of a Providence that uses everything for the good of the whole. The process is often painful, so the Stoic ethic insisted on conscious cooperation. Stoic ideas contributed to the rise of science and enjoyed wide popularity in Smith’s England. Smith was more influenced by the Stoicism of his professors than by the Epicureanism of Hume. In TMS, Marcus Aurelius’s “helmsman” becomes the “impartial (...) spectator,” who judges actions in terms of the way they are seen by others. This is the key to justice, without which society collapses. Business school students should be taught that Smith’s “invisible hand” is best understood as a universal rationality that uses just actions for the benefit of the whole. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Modern accounts of Stoic politics have attributed to Zeno the ideal of an isolated community of sages and to later Stoics such as Seneca a cosmopolitan utopia transcending all traditional states. By returning to the Cynic background to both Zeno's Republic and the cosmopolitan tradition, this paper argues that the distance between the two is not as great as is often supposed. This account, it is argued, is more plausible than trying to offer a developmental explanation of the supposed (...) transformation in Stoic political thought from isolated community to cosmopolitan utopia. (shrink)
This essay argues that Stoicism is the ancient philosophy most relevant to modern politics and civic education. Its relevance is due not to the advocacy of any specific political system or public policy but to its theory that the human good depends primarily on rationality and excellence of character rather than on material prosperity and productivity. According to Stoicism, all human beings are related to one another in virtue of our communal nature as rational animals. Reflection on the norms of (...) human nature persuaded the Stoics that we all share a common interest in living just and mutually beneficial lives. This principle, though it favors an equitable distribution of goods and services, makes rationality and integrity, rather than material prosperity, the essential values of community and the measure of normative citizenship and lawmaking. Our goal as Stoic citizens is to practice the art of what is always possible or in our power—doing our best to live mutually beneficial and well-reasoned lives—while recognizing that the external success we are naturally inclined to aim at may be frustrated because we live in a world we can never fully control. (shrink)
This paper attempts to furnish a Stoic reply to an accusation addressing the Stoics' ideal of the wise man according to which it is impossible to realize their ideal and therefore their whole system has to face a paradox: How is wisdom possible when all people are fools and it is impossible for them to become good? In addition to this question there is another important problem connected with the ideal of wisdom. The Stoic philosophers deny transcendental ideas. (...) Instead they are well known for their thorough-going materialism. Therefore, even their idea of the wise man must be based on experience. How would it otherwise be possible to form the idea of wisdom by a method of analogy if experience did not provide any example of truthful virtue to us? A possible answer to this problem can be found in the writings of Seneca, a Stoic of the first century A.D. Seneca emphasizes the close relation between wisdom and human mortality owing to which it is at least possible for the philosopher who has made sufficiently progress in his efforts to gain wisdom to find lasting happiness in death. (shrink)
Between 1903 and 1918 Russell made a number of attempts to understand the unity of the proposition, but his attempts all foundered on his failure clearly to distinguish between different senses in which the relation R might be said to relate a and b in the proposition aRb: he failed to distinguish between the relation as truth-maker and the relation as unifier, and consequently committed himself again and again to the unacceptable consequence that only true propositions are genuinely (...) unified. There is an anticipation of this confusion in the writings of the fourteenth-century philosopher Richard Brinkley. (shrink)
For the philosophy of medicine, there are two things of interest about the stoic account of moral norms, quite apart from whether the rest of stoic ethical theory is compelling. One is the stoic version of naturalism: its account of practical reasoning, its solution to the is/ought problem, and its contention that norms for creating, sustaining, or restoring human health are tantamount to moral norms. The other is the stoic account of human agency: its description of (...) the intimate connections between human health, rational agency, and moral norms. There is practical guidance to be gained from exploring those connections, whether or not one is ready to follow stoic moral theory all the way to its austere end. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: A detailed presentation of Stoic theory of arguments, including truth-value changes of arguments, Stoic syllogistic, Stoic indemonstrable arguments, Stoic inference rules (themata), including cut rules and antilogism, argumental deduction, elements of relevance logic in Stoic syllogistic, the question of completeness of Stoic logic, Stoic arguments valid in the specific sense, e.g. "Dio says it is day. But Dio speaks truly. Therefore it is day." A more formal and more detailed account of the (...)Stoic theory of deduction can be found in S. Bobzien, Stoic Syllogistic, OSAP 1996. (shrink)
This article considers the virtue of tolerance as it is found in Epictetus and MarcusAurelius. It defines the virtue of tolerance and links it to the Stoic idea of proper control of the passions in pursuit of both self-sufficiency and justice. It argues that Stoic tolerance is neither complete in difference nor a species of relativism. Finally, it discusses connections between the moral virtue of Stoic tolerance and the idea of political toleration found in modern liberalism.
This article argues in support of the proposition that “A Personality Disorder May Nullify Responsibility for a Criminal Act.” Building upon research in categorical and dimensional controversies in diagnosis, neurocognitive science and the behavioral genetics of mental disorders, and difficulties in differential diagnosis and co-morbidity with personality disorders, this article holds that a per se rule barring personality diagnosis as a basis for a defense of legal insanity is scientifically and conceptually indefensible. Rather, focus should be upon the severity (...) and impact in specific cases of any legally relevant functional deficits arising from a mental disorder (including personality disorders). Failure to do so risks potentially misleading “battles of the experts” about a defendant's diagnosis in criminal responsibility defenses and improper usurpation of the role of the legal finder of fact as mental health expert witnesses are inserted as gatekeepers indefensibly based upon diagnosis. Implications for practice and public policy are considered, including a “modest proposal” for post-trial management of defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity on the basis of functional deficits arising from personality disorder. (shrink)
This article attempts to explore ancient Chinese philosophical thought by analyzing how pioneering Chinese thinkers made judgments and inferences, and compares it to ancient Greek philosophy. It first addresses the starting-point and the object of cognition in Chinese ancient philosophy, then analyses how early thinkers construed definition and proposition, and finally discusses how they made inferences on the basis of definition and proposition. It points out that categorization is an important methodology in ancient Chinese philosophy, and that rectification (...) of names and the doctrine of the mean are key criteria in making judgments. (shrink)
Richard Sorabji presents a ground-breaking study of ancient Greek views of the emotions and their influence on subsequent theories and attitudes, Pagan and Christian. While the central focus of the book is the Stoics, Sorabji draws on a vast range of texts to give a rich historical survey of how Western thinking about this central aspect of human nature developed.
The notion of a proposition as a set of possible worlds or states occupies central stage in probability theory, semantics and epistemology, where it serves as the fundamental unit both of information and meaning. But this fact should not blind us to the existence of prospects with a different structure. In the paper I examine the use of random variables—in particular, proposition-valued random variables—in these fields and argue that we need a general account of rational attitude formation with (...) respect to them. (shrink)
The bulk of Duhem's writing which bears on the understanding of mixtures suggests he adopted an Aristotelian position which he opposed only to the atomic view. A third view from antiquity-that of the Stoics-seems not to be taken into account. But his lines of thought are not always as explicit as could be wished. The Stoic view is considered here from a perspective which Duhem might well have adopted. This provides a background against which his somewhat unorthodox Aristotelianism might (...) be understood. (shrink)
Apathy is the best-known feature of Stoicism; even Webster's records that a Stoic lives without passions.1 But it remains unclear what Stoic apathy amounts to, because it remains unclear what Stoics understand by passions and why they find passions problematic. In this essay, I start with four unsettled questions about the Stoic definition of passions, and to answer these questions, I explain the passions as central elements of Stoic psychopathology, that is, as defects relative to the (...)Stoic account of the psychological norm. This hypothesis, I claim, clarifies what the evidence by itself leaves uncertain. I close by bringing my conclusions to bear on the scope of Stoic apathy. Throughout, I focus on the account of the passions offered by the greatest Greek Stoic, Chrysippus of Soli, who headed the school in the third.. (shrink)
In the first half of the 17th century the Aristotelian view that the same statement or belief may be true at one time and false at another and, on the other hand, the conception of a mental proposition as a fully explicit thought that lends a definite meaning to a declarative sentence originated a lively debate concerning the question whether a mental proposition can change its truth-value.In this article it is shown that the defenders of a negative answer (...) and the advocates of a positive answer argued on the basis of different notions of what a mental proposition is:one side taking it as more or less equivalent to a specific utterance?meaning and the other side as more or less equivalent to a generic sentence-meaning. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: A comprehensive introduction to ancient (western) logic from earliest times to the 6th century CE, with a focus on issues that may be of interest to contemporary logicians and covering important topics in Post-Aristotelian logic that are frequently neglected (such as Peripatetic hypothetical syllogistic, the Stoic axiomatic system of propositional logic and various later ancient developments).
This paper argues for a view that maximizes in the Stoics' epistemology the starkness and clarity characteristic of other parts of their philosophy. I reconsider our evidence concerning doxa (opinion/belief): should we really take the Stoics to define it as assent to the incognitive, so that it does not include the assent of ordinary people to their kataleptic impressions, and is thus actually inferior to agnoia (ignorance)? I argue against this, and for the simple view that in Stoicism assent is (...) either, in the case of the fool, doxa = agnoia, or alternatively, in that of the sage, epistêmê (knowledge). This view, together with reflection on the appropriate sense of "between" in the relevant reports of SE and Cicero, yields a sympathetic reading of an otherwise problematic challenge Sextus reports Arcesilaus as having prepared for the Stoic claim that katalêpsis, which is the criterion of truth, is between knowledge and opinion; on my view each side is proceeding in a philosophically legitimate way. (shrink)
Human embryonic stem cell research has generated considerable discussion and debate in bioethics. Bioethical discourse tends to focus on the moral status of the embryo as the central issue, however, and it is unclear how much this reflects broader community values and beliefs related to stem cell research. This paper presents the results of a study which aims to identify and classify the issues and arguments that have arisen in public discourse associated with one prominent policy episode in (...) the United States: the 2004 Californian Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative (also known as Proposition 71). The findings show that public discourse about Proposition 71 is characterised by a broader range of issues than those usually addressed in scholarly publications and public policy documents. While attention to the moral status of the embryo is an important issue in stem cell research, making it the main focus of public discourse has a polarising effect. This also limits opportunities to identify shared values, understand how political alliances are forged, and develop social consensus. Implications for future research and policy are discussed. (shrink)