3 Feb 2017

Luhtala (5.2) On the Origin of Syntactical Description in Stoic Logic, “Chrysippus, the Founder of Stoic Logic”, summary


by Corry Shores


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[The following is summary. All boldface and bracketed commentary are my own. Paragraph enumerations are also my own, but they follow the paragraph breaks in the text. Please forgive my distracting typos, as proofreading is incomplete.]




Summary of


Anneli Luhtala


On the Origin of Syntactical Description in Stoic Logic


Ch.5 The Stoics


5.2 Chrysippus, the Founder of Stoic Logic




Brief summary:

Chrysippus’ great contribution to Stoic logic is of notable historical importance. He thought logic was the means by which all other studies can be conducted.







[Chrysippus altered the course of Stoic philosophy.]


Chrysippus altered the course of Stoic philosophy, but we are not exactly sure how (59).




[Chrysippus’ major contribution was in logic, which he thought to be the means by which all other things are studied.]


Chrysippus’ contribution to Stoic philosophy is especially notable in the field of logic. In fact, “he has correctly been called the founder of Stoic logic” (59). He was the first to give a systematic account of logic and to deal with it in great detail (59). His work in logic became standard for the Stoics (59). Chrysippus favored logic so highly because it was the means to do all the other sorts of studies (60).

It is said that Chrysippus ascribed such enormous importance to the study of logic for the same reason as one examines the measure before measuring the grain; logic is that with which one distinguishes and examines things other than logic (Epict. Diss. 1,17,10 = SVF 2.54). Through the study of logic one comes to understand thoroughly the standard of other things (Epict. Diss. I, 17,8).





[Chrysippus’ logic was influenced by the Peripatetic school.]


Chrysippus’ logic was not influenced by the Megarians, as his predecessors were, but rather it seems by the Peripatetic school (60).




[Chrysippus’ contemporaries and successors were much less dedicated to logic.]


“Chrysippus's contemporaries and successors did not abandon the study of logic, though their interest in logical issues was far less lively” (60).




[The study of logic was most prominent during the early period when Chrysippus lived, and much less so in the Middle and Late Stoa periods.]


“The study of logic did not fnd favour with the representatives of the Middle and Late Stoa” (61). Stoicism later become prominant in Rome, but there the concerns were more with ethics (61).





[Chrysippus’ importance was widely well known in the ancient world.]


Many other philosophers, including Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Clement of Alexandria, Cicero, and Martianus Capella, all revered Chrysippus. And “The crucial role of Chrysippus is reflected in that the writers who attacked the school – Plutarch, Galen and Alexander Aphrodisias – aimed their polemic first and foremost at Chrysippus (Gould 1970: 13; cf. von Arnim, RE III: 2506 )” (61).







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



Other texts, cited by Luhtala:


[Note, I did not see Epictetus’ Discourses in the bibliography.]


Gould, Josiah B . 1970. The Philosophy of Chrysippus. Leiden: E. J. Brill / Albany: State University of New York Press.


SVF: Stoicorum veterum fragmenta I-III. Ed. Iohannes von Arnim. Leipzig: Teubner 1905-24.


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