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)
The paper deals with the role of assent and instinct in the process of cognition. The author shows, that the Stoic instinct is a dynamic aspect in the processes of cognition, decision making and action, its consequence being at the same time the assent, i. e. the approval of a given descriptive or prescriptive proposition as a true one. Tha paper wants to stress e remarcable rationalistic character of the Stoic epistemology - the only constitutive elemnent of (...) the instinct is, at least in early Stoicism, the rational capacity of the soul. The three Stoic levels of cognition: opinion, understanding and cognition are intoruced as related to various intensities of assent given to the particual meanings of the proposition. (shrink)
Meijer's book, a comprehensive study of Stoic theological arguments, defends the thesis that the Stoics were not narrowly interested in proving the existence of a god. The theology of the Stoa began with its founder, Zeno of Citium, presenting arguments that the cosmos is an intelligent being, though Zeno himself seems not to have explicitly identified that intelligent being as god. A clear statement equating the cosmos with god had to wait until the rise of the third head of (...) the school, Chrysippus, though Meijer acknowledges that there is no reason to think that Zeno or Cleanthes, the second head, would have opposed the proposition that the cosmos, or at least the rational fire that pervades it, is god. Confusion about the true intent of Zeno's arguments is due to their distortion in the sources, for example, by Sextus Empiricus, who, Meijer contends, presents several of Zeno's arguments for the rationality of the cosmos as if they were intended as arguments to establish the existence of god. As a result, Sextus is an unreliable witness for determining the point of these arguments. Further confusing matters is the existence of a set of arguments attributed to Zeno that aim to establish the existence of the traditional gods. Meijer. (shrink)
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 : 1903 -- Russell on truth, falsity, and unity : 1910-13 -- Russell on truth, falsity, and unity : 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 -- Interlude: The subject--predicate distinction -- The anti-fregean strategy and relations -- 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 -- The unity of sentences and the unity of complex names -- Congruence, functionality, and propositional unity -- Davidson on predication -- Epilogue: The limits of language. (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)
The five English words—sentence, proposition, judgment, statement, and fact—are central to coherent discussion in logic. However, each is ambiguous in that logicians use each with multiple normal meanings. Several of their meanings are vague in the sense of admitting borderline cases. In the course of displaying and describing the phenomena discussed using these words, this paper juxtaposes, distinguishes, and analyzes several senses of these and related words, focusing on a constellation of recommended senses. One of the purposes of this (...) paper is to demonstrate that ordinary English properly used has the resources for intricate and philosophically sound investigation of rather deep issues in logic and philosophy of language. No mathematical, logical, or linguistic symbols are used. Meanings need to be identified and clarified before being expressed in symbols. We hope to establish that clarity is served by deferring the extensive use of formalized or logically perfect languages until a solid “informal” foundation has been established. Questions of “ontological status”—e.g., whether propositions or sentences, or for that matter characters, numbers, truth-values, or instants, are “real entities”, are “idealizations”, or are “theoretical constructs”—plays no role in this paper. As is suggested by the title, this paper is written to be read aloud. -/- I hope that reading this aloud in groups will unite people in the enjoyment of the humanistic spirit of analytic philosophy. (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)
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. OPEN ACCESS LINK. (shrink)
For Berkeley, minds are not Cartesian spiritual substances because they cannot be said to exist (even if only conceptually) abstracted from their activities. Similarly, Berkeley's notion of mind differs from Locke's in that, for Berkeley, minds are not abstract substrata in which ideas inhere. Instead, Berkeley redefines what it means for the mind to be a substance in a way consistent with the Stoic logic of 17th century Ramists on which Leibniz and Jonathan Edwards draw. This view of mind, (...) I conclude, is definitely not the bundle theory that some critics have portrayed it as being. (shrink)
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.
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)
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)
This paper raises obvious questions undermining any residual confidence in Mates work and revealing our embarrassing ignorance of true nature of Stoic deduction. It was inspired by the challenging exploratory work of JOSIAH GOULD.
The word pro-tasis is etymologically a near equivalent of pre-mise, pro-position, and ante-cedent—all having positional, relational connotations now totally absent in contemporary use of proposition. Taking protasis for premise, Aristotle’s statement (24a16) -/- A protasis is a sentence affirming or denying something of something…. -/- is not a definition of premise—intensionally: the relational feature is absent. Likewise, it is not a general definition of proposition—extensionally: it is too narrow. This paper explores recent literature on these issues.
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)
Drawing on Deleuze's early works of the 1960s, this article investigates the ways in which Deleuze challenges our traditional linguistic notion of sense and notion of truth. Using Frege's account of sense and truth, this article presents our common understanding of sense and truth as two separate dimensions of the proposition where sense subsists only in a formal relation to the other. It then goes on to examine the Kantian account, which makes sense the superior transcendental condition of possibility (...) of truth. Although both accounts define sense as merely the form of possibility of truth, a huge divide cuts across a simple formal logic of sense and a transcendental logic: transcendental logic discovered a certain genetic productivity of sense, such that a proposition always has the kind of truth that it merits according to its sense. In pursuit of this genetic productivity of sense, Deleuze applies different models of explanation: a Nietzschean genealogical model of the genetic power of sense, and in The Logic of Sense a structural model combined with elements of Stoic philosophy. This article follows Deleuze in setting up a new and very complex notion of sense, which he radically distinguishes from what he terms ‘signification’, that is, an extrinsic, linguistic or logical, condition of possibility. Rather, sense has to be conceived as both the effect and the intrinsic genetic element of an extra-propositional sense-producing machine. (shrink)
Peter H. Hare (1935-2008) developed informed, original views about the proposition: some published (Hare 1969 and Hare-Madden 1975); some expressed in conversations at scores of meetings of the Buffalo Logic Colloquium and at dinners following. The published views were expository and critical responses to publications by Curt J. Ducasse (1881-1969), a well-known presence in American logic, a founder of the Association for Symbolic Logic and its President for one term.1Hare was already prominent in the University of Buffalo's Philosophy Department (...) in 1969 when I was appointed. Soon after, he became Chair. As his Associate Chair from 1971to 1975, I spent many hours with him in Buffalo and on professional trips .. (shrink)
King develops a syntax-based account of propositions based on the idea that propositional unity is grounded in the syntactic structure of the sentence. This account faces two objections: a Benacerraf objection and a grain-size objection. I argue that the syntax-based account survives both objections, as they have been put forward in the existing literature. I go on to show, however, that King equivocates between two distinct notions of ‘propositional structure ’ when explaining his account. Once the confusion is resolved, it (...) is clear that the syntax-based account suffers from both Benacerraf and grain-size problems after all. I conclude by showing that King's account can be revised to avoid these problems, but only if it abandons its motivating idea that it is syntax that unifies the proposition. (shrink)
Richard Gaskin’s work on the problem of the unity of the proposition (“the problem”, henceforth) has sometimes been called magisterial due to its vast historical and conceptual scope. Indeed, the author engages in lengthy discussions of the conceptions of propositions that have been overlooked by most previous investigations on the problem. Not only aspects of Frege’s and Russell’s theories of propositions that appear most problematic are subject to Gaskin’s investigation, it also includes Prabhākara semantics, the approach of Gregory of (...) Rimini and various parts of Abelard’s thought just to name a few. Furthermore, the purpose of this work is manifold. It is not solely a historical account of the importance of the problem, nor is it only a critique of the views explored. Gaskin ventures to provide his own original solution to the problem of the unity of the proposition. The solution and the arguments in its favour, however, are deeply embedded in the structure of the extensive historical treatment of the problem and, hence, cannot be precisely depicted due to limited space. In what follows I shall hope to provide a general idea of how Gaskin approaches the topic historically and what is his endorsement towards it. Lastly, I discuss the proposed solution to the problem. (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)
In this paper I argue that the Stoic theory of signs as reported by Sextus Empiricus in AM and in PH belongs to Stoic logicians which precede Chrysippus. I further argue that the PH-version of this theory presupposes the version in AM and is an attempt to improve the older theory. I tentatively attribute the PH-version to Cleanthes and the AM-version to Zeno. I finally argue that the origin of this Stoic theory is to be found in (...) the Dialectical school (probably Philo of Megara) whose theory of signs has been preserved in Pseudo-Galen, Historia philosopha cap. 9. (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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Part of rethinking philosophy today, the author believes, is to rethink our logical concepts. The author questions the ontological existence of the proposition as the content of sentential utterances—written or spoken—as it was originally proposed by John Searle. While a performative is an utterance where the speaker not only utters a sentential or illocutionary content such as a statement, but also performs the illocutionary force such as the act of stating, the author reasserts John Austin’s constative as the general (...) label (genus) of specific utterances (species) that can be rendered true or false such as a statement, assertion, description, and prediction. In the remainder of the paper, the author tries to show that it is a category mistake for someone to assert a statement or to state an assertion. (shrink)
Discussing the concept of duty in Groundwork 1, Kant refers to a ‘second proposition’ and a ‘third proposition’, the latter being a ‘Folgerung aus beiden vorigen’. However, Kant does not identify what the ‘first proposition’ is. In this paper, I will argue that the first proposition is this: An action from duty is an action from respect for the moral law. I defend this claim against a critique put forward by Allison according to which ‘respect’ is (...) a concept that is not, and could not be, introduced in paragraphs 9–13 of Groundwork 1. Further, I will argue that the first proposition as I understand it can also be reconstructed as the conclusion (‘Folgerung’) of a deductive argument proper; however, I will also discuss the option that ‘Folgerung’ could be understood as a corollary rather than a conclusion. Finally, Allison's own interpretation will be criticized. (shrink)
This book argues that Augustine assimilated the Stoic theory of perception and mental language (lekta/dicibilia), and that this epistemology underlies his accounts of motivation, affectivity, therapy for the passions, and moral progress. Byers elucidates seminal passages which have long puzzled commentators, such as Confessions 8, City of God 9 and 14, Replies to Simplicianus 1, and obscure sections of the later ‘anti-Pelagian’ works. Tracking the Stoic terminology, Byers analyzes Augustine’s engagement with Cicero, Seneca, Ambrose, Jerome, Origen, and Philo (...) of Alexandria, demonstrating that Augustine appropriated Stoicism with greater sophistication than other religious writers. She also shows how he moved beyond the Stoics by enriching Stoic cognitivism with Platonic motivational theory, arguing that Augustine created a coherent synthesis. This newly discovered Augustinian moral psychology has elements that contemporary philosophers and psychologists have identified as important. (shrink)
_From Naming to Saying_ explores the classicquestion of the unity of the proposition, combining an historical approach with contemporary causal theories to offer a unique and novel solution. Presents compelling and sophisticated answers to questions about how language represents the world. Defends a novel approach to the classical question about the unity of the proposition. Examines three key historical theories: Frege’s doctrine of concept and object, Russell’s analysis of the sentence, and Wittgenstein’s picture theory of meaning. Combines an (...) historical approach with discussion and defense of a contemporary causal theory of the unity of the proposition. Establishes a view compatible with, though not dependent on, a causal theory of meaning. (shrink)
The ancient philosophy of Stoicism has been a crucial and formative influence on the development of Western thought since its inception through to the present day. It is not only an important area of study in philosophy and classics, but also in theology and literature. The Routledge Handbook of the Stoic Tradition is the first volume of its kind, and an outstanding guide and reference source to the nature and continuing significance of Stoicism.
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.
This article explores the phenomenon of Internet addiction and its possible amelioration, from both Eastern and Western philosophical perspectives. Internet addiction is caused by the excessive use of the Internet and its resulting dependence, having negative effects on human well-being. The ideas of a key ancient Chinese Daoist thinker Zhuangzi 莊子 and his Western contemporaries, the Stoics, as viewed through the world, the things and beings in it, and their relationships, offer insights which may be used to alleviate these effects. (...) The application of and comparison between the two ancient philosophies in addressing the issue of Internet addiction can give us inspiration to confront the challenges of technological enslavement in general and Internet addiction in particular. This is no doubt a help in our pursuit of well-being. (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)
Controversy has surrounded the interpretation of the so-called 'Diodorean' and 'Chrysippean' conditionals of the Stoics. I critically evaluate and reject two interpretations of each of them: as expressing natural laws, and as strict conditionals. In doing so I engage with the work of authors such as Frede, Gould, Hurst, the Kneales, Mates, and Prior. I conclude by offering my own proposal for where these Stoic conditionals should be located on a 'ladder' of logical strength.
A study of the reception of Aristotle's Prior Analytics in the first half of the twelfth century. It is shown that Peter Abaelard was perhaps acquainted with as much as the first seven chapters of Book I of the Prior Analytics but with no more. The appearance at the beginning of the twelfth century of a short list of dialectical loci which has puzzled earlier commentators is explained by noting that this list formalises the classification of extensional relations between general (...) terms and that this classification had already be put forward by Boethius in his de Syllogismo Categorico and Introductio ad Syllogismos Categoricas . It is pointed out the kind of text referred to as an ` Introductio ' at the beginning of the twelfth-century follows very closely the structure of Boethius own Introductio and adds to it material drawn from his accounts of loci and the conditional propositions. It is argued that the reception of the Prior Analytics has to be understood against the background of this well developed tradition of treating together syllogisms, loci , and conditional propostions. Referring to a challenge to the formal validity of Darapti in the Ars Meliduna the paper concludes by illustrating that the theory of the syllogism presented in Prior Analytics was still controversial in the middle of the twelfth-century. (shrink)