Download PDF by R. W. Sharples: Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics: An Introduction to

By R. W. Sharples

ISBN-10: 0415110343

ISBN-13: 9780415110341

The Hellenistic philosophers and colleges of philosophy are rising from the shadow of Plato and Aristotle and are more and more studied for his or her intrinsic philosophical price. they aren't in simple terms fascinating of their personal correct, but in addition shape the highbrow history of the past due Roman Republic.
This examine supplies a finished and readable account of the crucial doctrines of the Stoics, Epicureans and numerous sceptical traditions from the dying of Alexander the nice in 323 B.C. to round 2 hundred A.D. Discussions are prepared topically so that it will deal with underlying matters and to clarify what the various faculties have in universal and the way they fluctuate. whilst the coherence of every method as a complete is emphasised.

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13 But Epicurus nonetheless claimed that there was such a natural downwards movement of the atoms. =LS 11H; cf. ad Hdt. 47, 61=LS 11D, E). ‘In a vacuum’ in Epicurean terms amounts to saying ‘where there are no collisions with other atoms to slow them down’, and ex hypothesi we are considering the situation before any collisions start. However, before Epicurus is given too much credit for anticipating Galileo, we may note, first, that as just indicated he may have other, mathematical reasons too for saying that all atoms move at the same speed; second, that the claim applies only to atoms, not to the compound bodies made up of them; and third, that there is no question of uniform acceleration—the atoms move constantly at the same speed which is ‘as quick as thought’.

13 23 HOW DO WE KNOW ANYTHING? Third, whereas Epicurus rejected the formal study of logic, the Stoics developed a system of logic that was more fundamental than Aristotle’s, though this was not realised until similar principles had been developed independently in the nineteenth century. The Stoics were building on the work of Aristotle’s followers Theophrastus and Eudemus, but saw its significance in a way that Theophras-tus and Eudemus themselves did not. Whereas Aristotelian logic is concerned with the interrelations of terms (‘all human beings are mortal, all Greeks are human beings, so all Greeks are mortal’) Stoic logic is concerned with the interrelations of propositions (‘if it is day, it is light: but it is day: so it is light’, and ‘if it is day, it is light: but it is not light: so it is not day’).

57= LS 9A); he also pointed out that the claim was not contradicted by our experience, for, just as with sight there comes a point where a distance is so small that when we think we are looking at one half of it we have in fact transferred our attention to the adjacent minimum visible extension (in modern jargon, the resolving power of our vision is limited), so, when we think we are dividing a minimum thinkable extension, we are in fact thinking of the adjacent one (ad Hdt. =LS 9C). The argument by analogy from things seen to those unseen is characteristic.

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