6 Apr 2009

Stoic Logic and Semantics in Ch 5.5 "Stoic Logic" of Luhtala, On the Origin of Syntactical Description in Stoic Logic

[This entry was remade at: http://piratesandrevolutionaries.blogspot.com/2017/02/luhtala-55-on-origin-of-syntactical.html.]

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Anneli Luhtala

On the Origin of Syntactical Description in Stoic Logic

Chapter 5: The Stoics

5.5 Stoic Logic

The Stoics applied the term 'logic' to rhetoric and dialectic. (64c) Rhetoric deals with continuous speech. Dialectic is argumentation by question and answer. Zeno compared dialectic to a clenched fist and rhetoric to a hand outspread, "illustrating the compactness and brevity of dialectical discourse as opposed to rhetorical." This distinction came to characterize two kinds of speech, logos and oratio. Perhaps the woodcut below follows this simile. [Image credit below.]

The Stoics also applied the term logic to other fields, namely, formal logic, theory of knowledge, semantics, phonetics, stylistics. All these disciplines have logos ('reason,' 'speech') as their subject matter. Hence Stoics associated rationality with speech. Logos
at once directs the universe and accounts for the action of the rational man as an integral part of its rational structure. According to the rational order of the universe, there is a parallelism between cosmic events and human action in that both are manifestations of a causal relation of cause and effect. (65c)
Humans are the only rational creatures. We can use language, which is based on "internal speech" and on our comprehension of logical sequences. (65d)
A wise person has 'right reason.'
he is able to make statements which are demonstrably true about some actual events that are taking place. The fact that Stoic logic is primarily concerned with states of affairs involving particulars marks an important distinction from Aristotelian logic which deals with relations between terms and mainly with universal terms. (66a, emphasis mine)
The early Stoics were keen to diminish the importance of universals, claiming that they are merely figments of our imagination. (66b)
Universals have no place in Stoic ontology: "they were called not-somethings." Chrysippean logic uses individuals and definite pronouns rather than universals. (66bc)

Truth was a matter both of epistemology and formal logic.
truth is discovered by means of correct statements about real world events which are based on what are known as 'rational impressions.' (67a, emphasis mine)

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

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