The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy

The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy
by: Keimpe Algra, Jonathan Barnes, Jaap Mansfeld, Malcolm Schofield

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language: en [ english ]
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year: 1999
pages: 927
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A full account of the philosophy of the Greek and Roman worlds from the last days of Aristotle (c. 320 BC) until 100 BC. Hellenistic philosophy, for long relatively neglected and unappreciated, has over the last decade been the object of a considerable amount of scholarly attention. The time has come for a general reference work which pulls the subject together and presents an overview. The History is organised by subject, rather than chronologically or by philosophical school, with sections on logic, epistemology, physics and metaphysics, ethics and politics. It has been written by specialists but is intended to be a source of reference for any student of ancient philosophy, for students of classical antiquity and for students of the philosophy of later periods. Greek and Latin are used sparingly and always translated in the main text.

Table of Contents


1 - Sources

i Why so much has been lost

ii Primary sources

iii Secondary sources

iv Quellenforschung

v Genres

vi Doxography

vii On sects

viii Successions

ix Biography

x Fragments

xi Tradition and reception

2 - Chronology

i Introduction

ii The Academy

iii The Peripatos

iv The Stoa

v The Garden

vi Pyrrhonists

vii Minor Socratics

viii Survey


3 - Organization and structure of the philosophical schools


4 - Introduction

i A map of logic

ii The value of logic

iii The history of Hellenistic logic

1: Chrysippus

2: After Chrysippus

3: Before Chrysippus

5 - Logic

i The Peripatetics

ii The ‘Megarics’

iii The Stoics

1: Assertibles

2: Simple assertibles

3: Non-simple assertibles

4: Modality

5: Arguments

6: Syllogistic

7: Arguments valid in the specific sense

8: Paradoxes

6 - Language

i Linguistics

1: The study of language

2: Meaning

ii Rhetoric

iii Poetics


7 - Introduction: the beginnings ofHellenistic epistemology

i The epistemological turn

ii Pyrrho

iii Cyrenaic epistemology

8 - Epicurean epistemology

i Canonic

ii Perceptions

iii Preconceptions

iv Beliefs

9 - Stoic epistemology

i The possibility of knowledge

ii Cognition

iv Clearness, distinctness, evidence

v Assent to cognitive impressions

vi The criteria

vii Conclusion

10 - Academic epistemology

i Introduction

ii Arcesilaus: the problem of interpretation

iii Arcesilaus’ position

iv Two objections to Arcesilaus

v Carneades on opinion and assent

vi Carneades on the impossibility of knowledge

vii Carneades’ ‘probabilism’

viii Conclusion


11 - Hellenistic physics and metaphysics

i Introduction

ii Diodorus Cronus3

iii Epicurean physics

1. Introduction

2. Conservation

3. Body and space

4. Elimination of other per se existents

5. Atoms

6. Infinity

7. Minima

8. Properties

iv Stoic physics and metaphysics

1. Introduction

2. Bodies

3. The principles

4. Active and passive elements

5. The continuum

6. The incorporeals

7. Qualities

8. The four genera

9. ‘Something’ and ‘not-something’

12 - Cosmology

i Introduction: the fourth-century legacy

ii The Epicureans

1. The goal of Epicurean cosmology

2. Infinitely numerous atoms in an infinite void

3. The motions of atoms

4. The origin of the world

5. The formation of the heavens: Epicurean astronomy

6. The development of the cosmos

iii The early Stoics

1. Sources and background

2. The birth and death of the cosmos

3. Fire, pneuma and tension

4. Void and infinity

5. Gravity and the motion of the heavens

6. Teleology, providence and fate

13 - Theology

i Philosophical theology

ii Existence and attributes

iii The gods, the world and men

iv Knowledge of God

v Academic views and criticisms

14 - Explanation and causation

i Background

ii Stoic materialism

iii The Stoic analysis of causation

iv Antecedent causes

v The concept of preceding causes

vi Dispositions and powers

vii Causes and conditions

viii Causes and time

ix The Epicureans and causal explanation

x Teleology and mechanism

xi The limits of explanation: multiple explanations

xii The limits of explanation: empiricism

15 - Determinism and indeterminism

i The origins of the question

ii Logic and contingency

iii The Hellenistic response

iv The Epicurean position

v The Stoic response to the Master argument: fate and necessity

vi The Chrysippean notion of fate: soft determinism

vii Fate and responsibility: confatalia and the eph’ he–min

viii Divination and fate

ix Soft determinism

x Fate and moral progress

16 - Epicurean psychology

i Introduction

ii The psuche–

iii Physicalism and materialism

iv Epicurean physicalism

v Voluntary action

vi Conclusion

17 - Stoic psychology

i Introduction

ii The physical structure of the psuche and its location in the body

iii Rationality and the faculties of the mind

iv Concluding remarks

18 - Philosophy, science and medicine

i Philosophy and mathematics

ii Epicureanism and mathematics

iii Scepticism and geometry

iv Philosophy, astronomy and astrology

v Anatomy and philosophical questions

vi Medical knowledge and experience

vii Medical disputes and philosophical arguments


19 - The Socratic legacy

i Introduction

ii The Socratic presence in Greek ethics

iii Antisthenes and Diogenes – Cynic ethics

iv Crates and the literary transmission of Cynicism

v Aristippus and Cyrenaic hedonism

20 - Epicurean ethics

i Introduction

ii Ethics within the philosophy of Epicurus

iii Philosophical background

iv Pleasure and the foundation of ethics

v Pleasure as the goal

vi Desire and the limits of life

vii Virtue and friendship

viii Practice

21 - Stoic ethics

i Foundations and first principles

ii Oikeiosis and primary impulse

iii Cosmic nature and human nature

iv The goal of life

v The good

vi Values, actions and choice

vii Passions

viii Moral education and the problem of the passions

ix Virtue and wisdom

x Moral progress

xi Determinism and ethics: impulse with reservation

22 - Social and political thought

i Introduction

ii An overview

iii On kingship

iv Polybius on the growth and decline of constitutions

v Epicureanism on security

vi Zeno’s Republic

vii Justice, oikeiosis and the cosmic city

viii Retrospect



Editions of sources and fragments



Index Locorum