I critique an ancient argument for the possibility of non-linguistic deductive inference. The argument, attributed to Chrysippus, describes a dog whose behavior supposedly reflects disjunctive syllogistic reasoning. Drawing on contemporary robotics, I urge that we can equally well explain the dog's behavior by citing probabilistic reasoning over cognitive maps. I then critique various experimentally-based arguments from scientific psychology that echo Chrysippus's anecdotal presentation.
This book reconstructs and interprets the theory of the emotions as expounded by the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus in his 'On Affections', only fragments of which remain. Given its contextual approach, sources such as Galen and Cicero receive ample attention.
According to Diogenes Laertius, the concept of ‘appearance’ played a central role in Stoic philosophy. As staunch corporealists, the Stoics believed that appearances are physical structures in our corporeal soul which provide the foundation for all our thoughts. One of the crucial features of appearance is that it is a representational mental state that has the ability to provide us with accurate awareness of the world through causal interaction between our senses and external objects, and thus supply the means for (...) acquiring knowledge about the reality. However, the Stoics recognized that we can also be aware and think of objects that are real but are not presently affecting our senses, as well as objects that are altogether fictional and thus incapable of ever interacting with our senses. Because of this, it was important for them to distinguish between representational mental states which are and those which are not caused by external objects at the moment in which they are formed. Chrysippus was one of the Stoics who paid special attention to this distinction; in a key text, Aet. 4.12, he is reported as reserving the name ‘appearance’ only for the former states, while for the latter he used a different term, ‘imagination’. (shrink)
The Philosophy of Chrysippus is a reconstruction of the philosophy of an eminent Stoic philosopher, based upon the fragmentary remains of his voluminous writings. Chrysippus of Cilicia, who lived in a period that covers roughly the last three-quarters of the third century B.C., studied philosophy in Athens and upon Cleanthes’ death became the third head of the Stoa, one of the four great schools of philosophy of the Hellenistic period. Chrysippus wrote a number of treatises in each (...) of the major departments of philosophy, logic, physics, and ethics. Much of his fame derived from his acuteness as a logician, but his importance for Stoic philosophy generally was acknowledged in antiquity in the saying, “Had there been no Chrysippus, there would be no Stoa.” Previous accounts of Chrysippus’ philosophy, including Émile Bréhier’s study, the only work in this century which had sought to deal with Chrysippus’ philosophy alone, blurred the distinctive contributions of Chrysippus to Stoic philosophy and failed to bring to light the peculiar features in his thought. The vagueness in these accounts resulted in large measure from the assumption that if an ancient author ascribed a doctrine to “the Stoics” or “Stoicism”, one could infer that the doctrine belonged to Chrysippus. Professor Gould works from the more circumspect methodological principle that unless an ancient author explicitly ascribes a doctrine to Chrysippus, his testimony cannot be used in reconstructing Chrysippus’ philosophy. Working with those of the fragments in Hans von Arnim’s collection, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, which are explicitly Chrysippean in the sense suggested, Mr. Gould has worked out an account of Chrysippus’ views in the fields of logic, natural philosophy, and ethics. In order that Chrysippus’ thought might be viewed in context Mr. Gould provides a background picture by describing the third century milieu in which the Stoic philosopher worked. This follows an account of Chrysippus’ life and reputation in antiquity and a description of modern assessments of Chrysippus’ position in the Stoa. In his account of Chrysippus’ philosophy Mr. Gould frequently introduces comparisons and contrasts with Plato and Aristotle to help emphasize the continuity between Hellenic and early Hellenistic philosophy. Finally, in a concluding chapter, the author shows that the dominant themes in Chrysippus’ philosophy, while not exhibiting a thoroughly well-knit system, nevertheless are woven together into a remarkably comprehensive whole, which must have been extraordinarily impressive in antiquity. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Recently a bold and admirable interpretation of Chrysippus’ position on the Sorites has been presented, suggesting that Chrysippus offered a solution to the Sorites by (i) taking an epistemicist position1 which (ii) made allowances for higher-order vagueness. In this paper I argue (i) that Chrysippus did not take an epistemicist position, but − if any − a non-epistemic one which denies truth-values to some cases in a Sorites-series, and (ii) that it is uncertain whether and how (...) he made allowances for higher-order vagueness, but if he did, this was not grounded on an epistemicist position. (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)
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)
Resumen Atendiendo a la lógica estándar, solo uno de los cinco indemostrables propuestos por Crisipo de Solos es realmente indemostrable. Sus otros cuatro esquemas son demostrables en tal lógica. La pregunta, por tanto, es: si cuatro de ellos no son verdaderamente indemostrables, por qué Crisipo consideró que sí lo eran. López-Astorga mostró que si ignoramos el cálculo proposicional estándar y asumimos que una teoría cognitiva contemporánea, la teoría de la lógica mental, describe correctamente el razonamiento humano, se puede entender por (...) qué Crisipo pensó que todos sus indemostrables eran tan básicos. No obstante, en este trabajo trato de argumentar que la teoría de la lógica mental no es el único marco que puede explicar esto. En concreto, sostengo que otra importante teoría sobre el razonamiento en el presente, la teoría de los modelos mentales, también puede ofrecer una explicación al respecto.According to standard logic, only one of the five indemonstrables proposed by Chrysippus of Soli is actually indemonstrable. The other four schemata are demonstra-ble in that logic. The question hence is, if four of them are not really indemonstrable, why Chrysippus considered them to be so. López-Astorga showed that, if we ignore standard propositional calculus and assume that a current cognitive theory, the mental logic theory, truly describes human reasoning, it can be explained why Chrysippus thought that all of his indemonstrables were so basic. However, in this paper, I try to argue that the mental logic theory is not the only framework that can account for that. In particular, I hold that another important reasoning theory at present, the mental models theory, can offer an explanation in that regard as well. (shrink)
Chrysippus claims that some propositions perish. including some true conditionals whose consequent is impossible and antecedent is possible, to which he appeals against Diodorus?s Master Argument. On the standard interpretation. perished propositions lack truth values. and these conditionals are true at the same time as their antecedents arc possible and consequents impossible. But perished propositions are false, and Chrysippus?s conditionals are true when their antecedent and consequent arc possible, and false when their antecedent is possible and consequent impossible. (...) The claim of the Master Argument that Chrysippus rejects, then, is stronger ihan usually supposed. (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)
Contextual theories of truth are motivated primarily by the resolution they provide to paradoxical reasoning about truth. The principal argument for contextual theories of truth relies on a key intuition about the truth value of the proposition expressed by a particular utterance made during paradoxical reasoning, which Anil Gupta calls “the Chrysippus intuition.” In this paper, I argue that the principal argument for contextual theories of truth is circular, and that the Chrysippus intuition is false. I conclude that (...) the philosophical motivation for contextual theories of truth fails. (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)
In this work, new light is thrown on the philosophical method of the great Stoic Chrysippus on the basis of the fragments preserved by Galen in his De Placitis books II-III. Included is a study of Galen's aims and methodologies.
The book argues that the theological motifs in Stoic philosophy are pivotal to our understanding of Stoic ethics. Part One offers an introductory overview of the religious world view of the Stoics. Part Two examines the Stoic characterizations of virtue and the virtues. Part Three deals with Stoic theories of how human beings can become virtuous. Part Four studies the practices of Stoic ethics. It shows inter alia how the Chrysippean table of virtues is still an (unacknowledged) influence behind Panaetius’ (...) matrix of kathekonta, but how little agreement on the practical implications of their virtue ethics the Stoics could reach. The book suggests that the identity over time and cohesion of the Stoic school depended less on a commitment to the school founder’s memory and writings than on a common core of shared theological principles. (shrink)
The present article argues that Chrysippus' reply to the objection that Fate does away with that which is up to us (and therefore with justice in honor and punishments) consists in shifting the notion of that which is up to us from one in terms of ultimate origination to one in terms of self-sufficient causation—and thus in shifting the very notion of justice in honor and punishments from one in retributive terms to one in rehabilitative terms.
In 'Chrysippus' Puzzle about Identity', John Bowin (thereafter JB) cogently strengthens David Sedley's reading of the puzzle of Chrysippus as a reductio ad absurdum of the Growing Argument. For Sedley, Chrysippus reduces to absurdity the assumption that matter is the sole principle of identity by refuting its presupposition that the two protagonists of the puzzle, namely Theon and Dion, are related as part to the whole. According to Plutarch's Comm. not. 1083 a8-c1, however, the Growing Argument concludes (...) by posing that growth is actually 'generation' and 'destruction'. In order to avoid the contradiction, Theon should have perished rather than become a part of Dion. JB attempts to answer the questions of whether within the Growing Argument there are elements against Theon being a living part of Dion. He shows that in both Epicharmus' fragment 2 and Plutarch's Comm.not. 1083b 308 "there is nothing to block the inference from matter being the sole principle of identity to the possibility that Theon could be a part of Dion" (246). Again, in exploring whether the above contradiction can be solved, he convincingly argues against Epicharmus' and Plutarch's reading of growth as generation and destruction. In the last part of his article, JB stresses that the reductio ad absurdum of the Growing Argument can be tackled without introducing the concept of 'peculiarly qualified individuals'. (Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2004.04.12). (shrink)
This paper employs the metaphor of hunting to discuss intellectual investigation. Drawing on the example of Chrysippus’ dog, an animal whose behaviour supposedly reflects disjunctive syllogistic reasoning, the article traces the history of thought. It concludes by summarizing the contribution of Chrysippus’ dog to the fields of literature, philosophy and the visual arts. -/- .
This Article doDespite obvious differences in the Aristotelian and Stoic theories of responsibility, there is surprisingly a deeper structural similarity between the two. The most obvious difference is that Aristotle is (apparently) a libertarian and the Stoics are determinists. Aristotle holds adults responsible for all our "voluntary" actions, which are defined by two criteria: the "origin" or cause of the action must be "in us" and we must be aware of what we are doing. An "involuntary" action, for which we (...) are not responsible, is one that fails to meet either one of these two criteria. Aristotle is a libertarian insofar as he insists that all voluntary actions are "in our power" to perform or not. As determinists the Stoics cannot admit this sort of freedom, but they still consider the agent to be a vital link in the chain of events, so they redefine what is "in our power" as what comes about "through us." The terminology is different, but I argue that these actions, for which the Stoics hold us responsible, are in fact coextensive with Aristotle's voluntary actions. An "impression" is the first necessary condition for action, and is a sort of visual image of the object stimulating one to act. The right sort of impression activates the agent's "impulse," an internal movement of soul or mind, which is the direct cause of action. But impulse is always accompanied by "assent," which is the mind's affirming the truth of the proposition that we ought to go after the object stimulating our impulse. Thus, since assent is a necessary condition for action, we always act knowing what we are doing. This means that all actions caused by our own impulse and assent are by Aristotle's criteria voluntary, where impulse provides the internal origin of the action and assent provides the awareness of what is being done. I conclude that the Stoic and Aristotelian classes of what one is responsible for are coextensive, their criteria defining responsible actions are nearly identical, and the only substantial difference is that Aristotle claims such actions are in our power to do or not do while the Stoics say that such actions are necessitated (by our internal nature as well as external factors). es not have an abstract. (shrink)
Two literal quotations from Chrysippus’ On Possibles, preserved in Plutarch’s On the Contradictions of the Stoics, seem to contradict the Stoic thesis of the isotropy of the void. According to this thesis the void is an infinite undifferentiated expanse whose center is marked by, and coincides with, the position of the world. Since there is nothing else outside the world, the cohesive force that pervades it is sufficient on its own to guarantee the quasi–indestructibility of the trans–cyclical διακόσμησις and (...) the eternity of the οὐσία. Conversely, in these two quotations Chrysippus maintains that there is a central διαφορά equipped with causal force. This seems to imply the anisotropy of the void. Chrysippus’s view here is also at odds with another official Stoic thesis, i.e. that the incorporeal is causally inert. In this paper it will be argued that there is in fact no contradiction, because, in those two quotations, Chrysippus consciously develops a cosmological hypothesis in order to resolve a difficulty concerning the role of fire during the universal conflagration. Chrysippus’ solution to this difficulty belongs to modal logic and consists in distinguishing between the actual universe and the possible ones. (shrink)
Plutarch, at De Stoicorum repugnantiis 1038e–1039a , quotes and briefly discusses a fragment from Chrysippus' On Zeus . This quotation is to some extent paralleled by the scrap, taken from Chrysippus' On the Gods , which immediately follows at SR 1039a . Both quotations are again referred to by Plutarch at De communibus notitiis 1061a . Although the correct constitution of the text is controversial, it is at least clear that the fragment from the On Zeus deals with (...) the fact that not all virtuous acts are ipso facto also praiseworthy. Plutarch characteristically creates a first and more general contradiction between the On Zeus text and other passages in which Chrysippus argued that virtue and vice do not admit of gradations. In addition, he creates a specific contradiction between it and another quotation, this time from the On the Honourable , in which Chrysippus seems to draw the conclusion that the good is praiseworthy. (shrink)
Plutarch, at De Stoicorum repugnantiis 1038e–1039a, quotes and briefly discusses a fragment from Chrysippus' On Zeus. This quotation is to some extent paralleled by the scrap, taken from Chrysippus' On the Gods, which immediately follows at SR 1039a. Both quotations are again referred to by Plutarch at De communibus notitiis 1061a. Although the correct constitution of the text is controversial, it is at least clear that the fragment from the On Zeus deals with the fact that not all (...) virtuous acts are ipso facto also praiseworthy. Plutarch characteristically creates a first and more general contradiction between the On Zeus text and other passages in which Chrysippus argued that virtue and vice do not admit of gradations. In addition, he creates a specific contradiction between it and another quotation, this time from the On the Honourable, in which Chrysippus seems to draw the conclusion that the good is praiseworthy. (shrink)