By Professor of Ancient Philosophy Jonathan Barnes
The most argument of this booklet, opposed to a winning orthodoxy, is that the examine of good judgment was once a necessary - and a favored - a part of stoic philosophy within the early imperial interval. The argument is based totally on exact analyses of convinced texts within the Discourses of Epictetus. It comprises a few account of logical 'analysis', of 'hypothetical' reasoning, and of 'changing' arguments.
Written either for historians and for philosophers, and presupposing no logical services, this can be an enormous contribution to the heritage of philosophy within the early imperial interval.
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Additional resources for Logic and the Imperial Stoa
26 And so it is with the 'hypothesis' on which you must base your life. 27 Or again, if you judge a true conditional to be false, then it is you who are condenmed, not the conditional: and in the same way if the court wrongly convicts you of impiety, it is the court, and not you, which stands condenmed. 28 Or again (and less enlighteningly), a conjunction or a disjunction is 'saved' if things actually stand as the word 'conjunction' or 'disjunction' announces or 'promises ' 29 that they stand; and a man is saved if he is actually what the term 'man' promises that he is.
G. nat quaest II lix 2; ep xxxi 8; lxv 16-24; ad Helv viii 6. g. Plutarch, stoic repugn I 035AB. g. 6. 27 28 SENECA 23 enthusiasm for physics leads him to claim that virtue itself is splendid precisely because it 'prepares the mind for the contemplation of heavenly things and makes it worthy to consort with god' (nat quaest I praef 6). 31 Logical study may enable you to lead a good life. Scientific study is a part, and the supreme part, of the good life. '0 what a wretched thing is a man who does not raise himself above things human [o quam contempta res est homo nisi supra humana surrexerit]' (§ 5).
Yet it would be a mistake to ascribe a physical utilitarianism to Seneca, and his attitude to physics must be distinguished from his attitude to logic. True, he held that the point and purpose of physics is moral. But that is not to say that the study of physics has point and purpose only insofar as it leads to or facilitates moral practice. For the point of doing physics may be moral not insofar as it conduces to some further moral activity but rather insofar as it is itself a form of moral activity.