Although Bertrand Russell is probably most famous for his “logical atomism,” it is his ethical thought that this article will attempt to contrast with the ethics of the founder of the ancient atomism: Democritus of Abdera. Russell has himself suggested certain affinity here. More concerned with practice than theory, both philosophers advocate a certain teleological and eudemonistic morality; furthermore, they both adopt the same approaches to various related topics. Yet, what had only been outlined by Democritus was extensively developed by (...) Russell. Hence, it is worth examining whether there is any deeper common ground between the two: can Russell’s clarity throw some light on Democritus’ fragments? (shrink)
Euthymia, the founding concept of Democritus’ ethics, is a thing of the soul, as he says himself, an intimate, eminently personal happiness. What place is given, then, to other individuals in this ethics? Can one be happy without the others? In order to answer these two questions the present paper examines the relevant utterances in which references to the others appear and concludes that despite a clear depreciation of the conjugal bond an altruistic dimension is very strong in this ethics (...) and that several important ideas lie behind this concept. (shrink)
L’enquête, qui a porté sur tous les emplois du mot prophètès et des termes apparentés dans la littérature et dans les inscriptions, des origines à la fin du IVe s. av. J.-C., fait apparaître plusieurs types de personnages ainsi nommés, les plus souvent représentés étant les prophètes attachés aux sanctuaires oraculaires. Mais il est aussi des personnages appelés prophètes qui procèdent à l’accomplissement de teletai, des poètes qui se donnent à eux-mêmes ce titre et, désigné ainsi dans un unique emploi, (...) le philosophe Socrate. Il sera question enfin de prophètes de second rang, mais participant à ce qu’on peut appeler la « chaîne prophétique »; c’est le cas notamment des exégètes d’oracles écrits dont Aristophane donne un bel exemple. Il s’avère que le mot prophètès s’applique de préférence à des personnages censés bénéficier d’une intervention intérieure de la divinité. Peut-être l’usage de ce vocabulaire, qui n’apparaît pas avant le Ve siècle, a-t-il répondu à un besoin de marquer cette distinction, par rapport à mantis qui s’applique quant à lui à toute espèce de mantique et dont l’emploi, depuis Homère, est beaucoup plus commun.An investigation was carried out into all the occurrences of the word prophetes and similar terms in the literature and in inscriptions, from their first use to the end of the fourth century. Several types of people are referred to as prophets, the most frequently represented being the prophets linked to the oracular sanctuaries. However, there are also prophets who have achieved teletai, poets who called themselves prophets and the philosopher Socrates, who was identified as a prophet in a unique occurrence. Finally, there are the lower level prophets, who nevertheless still take part in what we could call the “prophetic chain”; this is particularly true in the case of the exegetes of written oracles, of which Aristophanes provides a good example. It turns out that the word prophetes is rarely applied, except to those expected to enjoy an inner intervention from the divinity. The use of this word, which does not appear until the fifth century, might correspond to the need to make a distinction in comparison with the word mantis, which is applied to all kinds of divination and which has been widely used since the time of Homer. (shrink)
Having discussed some political and philosophical stakes of the Greeks’ invention of the rhetorical art, the present research aims to show the great originality of Aristotle’s treatise in comparison to his precursors. Subsequently, the article illustrates the amazing scientific relevance of Aristotle’s work for the French -speaking world in the past half a century. Finally, the paper poses the question whether its underlying concepts can nowadays be of any significance from a practical point of view.