By Iason Xenakis

Epictetus provides problems for the historiall of rules. He released not anything, whereas his so-called writings are typically notes of so me of his discussions taken down haphazardly by means of a pal. furthermore, approximately 1/2 the notes are misplaced, and little is understood of his lifestyles. All this can move towards explaining the paucity of Epictetus reviews; for certainly this can be the 1st book-length statement released in English committed basically to hirn. All identified points of his paintings are right here thought of and recon­ structed and freshly approached. Eut the emphasis is on his re­ marks in ethics, for the easy cause that ethics was once his dominant curiosity and that his diagnoses of difficulties in residing and tech­ niques for dealing with these difficulties were insufficiently preferred. His ethics is basically pain-oriented: it involves existential reminders, resembling that issues are ephemer al and other people weak, plus methods of keeping off and easing misery, induding education and thought-analysis, simply because he believed that people's issues stern principally from foolish behavior and precon­ ceptions.

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The relation in any case is from contradiction (or meaninglessness) to failure to occur at any time, rather than the other way around. I2. IZf). 221). This may be the geometrical-Soeratic method of hypothesis (see PI. Meno 86e, Phaedo ggeff) or its likely offshoot, the Megarie or Stoic principle known as modus tollens, which likewise functions as a device for testing statements and theories. ") Yet in the same ehapter Epietetus says: Suppose I have granted a premise, whieh however, when worked on, develops a falsehood.

Indeed, he is worse than a corpse (8f; cp. ZI). Epictetus' discussion of logical topics is scant, but there is enough material for a short chapter. III LOGICAL TOPICS 9. Nature 01 Logical Studies Whatever in this chapter (or for that matter in the entire book) the reader finds unintelligible or uninteresting he can skip or reread. For Epictetus logical theory indudes a study of proof, implication, contradiction, forms of argument, conditionalreasoning, meanings, definition, truth, paradoxes, falsehood, fallacies, criteria, and "measurement andjudgment" (cp.

The inferenee? No. 13-5). 1; cp. 9). It is a pity that we are not told what other "law" he thought hypothetical reasoning is governed by. ), that, for example, "I am breathing" is not an isolated linguistic or logical item, but collects perhaps, "I inhale," "I am alive," "I am not dead," and so on. This idea is essential to argument, conversation, cross-examination, science, logie, and the like. Epictetus uses the principle that if two statements eontradict eaeh other, one is false, the other true.

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