Language and Learning: Philosophy of Language in the Hellenistic Age
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Hellenistic philosophers and scholars laid the foundations upon which Western tradition developed analytical grammar, linguistics, philosophy of language and other disciplines. Building on the pioneering work of Plato, Aristotle and earlier thinkers, they developed a wide range of theories about the nature and origin of language. Ten essays explore the ancient theories, their philosophical adequacy, and their impact on later thinkers from Augustine through the Middle Ages.
indiscriminately about cataleptic impressions and catal¯epseis. The main problem for the propositional view is to account for the manner in which conceptual contents ‘conjoin’ as constituents of a simple proposition in thoughts such as ‘This is red’. See Frede 1987: 152–5. Perhaps this consideration is undermined once we allow for the possibility that the conceptual content is a complex lekton. Some evidence suggests that it may be a conditional; but it seems that there may be a number of
primary names. I shall propose that they also gave serious thought to a number of further ideas that Socrates canvasses. In addition, I shall argue that parts of their linguistic theory can be interpreted as a revisionary reading of the Cratylus, a reading that makes Socrates’ various proposals much more coherent than they are presented as being in the dialogue itself. This hypothesis is obviously speculative, but speculation is unavoidable when we attempt to track down the texts and antecedent
deorum book 2 and in Cornutus’ Compendium of the Tradition of Greek Theology, rests on two anthropological assumptions.6 First, the Stoics assumed that the gods were given their names by early people who had an intelligent understanding of the general structure of the world. Second, they assumed that these people, in naming the gods, wished to signify the segment of the natural world that the gods, in the view of these wise persons, control or symbolise. Hence, for instance, the name Hera
this case, in an account of the origin of names. (3) Such states and such vocal behaviours are sufficiently like ours for some sufficiently broad description of the causal mechanism which binds them to apply and have applied to humans too. The similarity between human and non-human emotion is close enough for Lucretius to assume both here and elsewhere that non-humans may be subject to the same emotions as ourselves, ones with at least comparable physiological and psychological components: cf.
Metrocles gives up his self-imposed house arrest and takes up philosophy again. Note how there is a clear element of competition between the various philosophical schools: Crates succeeded where Theophrastus failed.33 There is no indication of whether or not Metrocles realised that Crates’ action was planned – and one wonders whether it would have made a difference? In any case, what we have here is protreptic,34 although maybe the non-Socratic, or the crazed Socratic way. Yet, there is a gap