22 Apr 2009

Stoic Logic and Semantics. "The Component of Meaning," Ch 5.5.4 of Luhtala, On the Origin of Syntactical Description in Stoic Logic

Chapter 5: The Stoics

5.5.4 The Component of Meaning (Σημαινόμενα, Semainomena)

Diogenes Laertius explains meaning (σημαινόμενον,
semainomenon) this way:
The topic which deals with states of affairs (πραγματα, pragmata) and significations (σημαινόμενa, semainomena) includes that of sayables (λεκτά, lekta), both those that are complete and propositions and syllogisms, and those which are incomplete, and active and passive predicates. They say that a sayable (λεκτόν,lekton) is what subsists in accordance with a rational presentation. Sayables, the Stoics say, are divided into complete and incomplete, the latter being ones whose expression is unfinished. Those are defective with the expression of which is unfinished, e.g. 'writes', for we ask, 'Who?' In complete sayables the expression is finished, e.g. 'Socrates writes.' So incomplete sayables include predicates, whereas ones that are complete include propositions, syllogisms, questions, and inquiries. [Diog. Laert. VII, 63, tr. Long/Sedley 1987: 196] (86a)
So theory of sayables belongs to a component of meaning. But we see that the sayable applies to predicates and propositions, but the nominal parts of propositions are not specified. Diogenes gives this this quotation for the predicate in Stoic propositional analysis.
(1) the predicate is what is said of something or (2) the predicate is a state of affairs construed around one or more subjects, according to Apollodorus, or (3) the predicate is a defective sayable which has to be joined to a nominative case in order to yield a judgment. [Diog. laert. VII, 64) (86c)

Luhtala, Anneli. On the Origin of Syntactical Description in Stoic Logic. Münster: Nodus Publikationen, 2000.

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