23 May 2009

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

The first definition for the proposition involves truth and falsehood. It is a complete state of affairs that is either true or false.
The Stoic proposition is an item of meaning (σημαινόμενον, semainomenon), i.e. a complete sayable (λεκτόν, lekton). A variety of ideas are involved in its definitions as reported by Diogenes Laertius:
A proposition is that which is true or false, or a complete state of affairs (πραγμα αυτοτελές, pragma autoteles) which, so far as itself is concerned, can be asserted, as Chrysippus says in his Dialectical definitions: A proposition is that which, so far as itself is concerned, can be denied or affirmed, e.g. 'It is day', 'Dion is walking'.
Diog. Laert. VII, 65, tr. Long/Sedley 1987: 206 part)
A proposition then is also a self-sufficient (complete) state of affairs. And it is something that can be asserted. This means that
the proposition is restricted to a certain time and a certain place as emerges from the following:
Someone who says 'It is day' seems to propose that it is day. If, then, it is day, the proposition advanced comes out true, but if not, it comes out false.
(Diog. Laert. VII, 65 = SVF 2.193, tr. Long/Sedley 1987: 203)
The proposition can thus change truth value in accordance with the changed circumstances (Long/Sedley 1987: 206)
The 'intransitive' sentence type dominates the discussion of simple propositions, in which referentiality plays a prominent part. Indeed, the questions of truth value and referentiality are the central concerns of the Stoic proposition as reported by our sources. (110-111)

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

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