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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 2, Issue 3, 2018
Ancient Greek Philosophy: Hellenistic Philosophy

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Displaying: 1-10 of 19 documents


articles in english
1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Dimitrios Dentsoras Intermediate and Perfect Appropriate Actions in Stoicism
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The essay examines the Stoic notion of appropriate actions (καθήκοντα), focusing on the relationship between the perfectly appropriate actions of the virtuous person (the Stoic κατορθώματα) and “intermediate appropriate actions” (καθήκοντα μέσα). I present some of the philosophical motivations behind the general Stoic theory of καθήκοντα, and argue against the common interpretation of μέσα καθήκοντα as action types that make no reference to the manner of their performance, and of κατορθώματα as μέσα καθήκοντα that are rightly performed by an agent with a virtuous disposition. Instead, I claim that the different types of καθήκοντα should be distinguished with reference to the kinds of things they aim at, rather than the manner in which they are performed. So, μέσα καθήκοντα should be understood as actions aiming at natural advantages that are indifferent, and κατορθώματα as actions aiming at the only true good, i.e., virtue. I discuss some of the advantages of the alternative view and outline the account of virtuous motivation that arises from it.
2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Panos Eliopoulos Passions and Individual Responsibility in Seneca
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For Seneca passions are not just bad judgments that need to be defeated. Even though he generally agrees with Chrysippus on the matter of the ontology of passions, Seneca differentiates mainly in his emphasis that passions are the reason why man leads an inauthentic, unhappy and undignified life. The Roman philosopher employs practical techniques that refer to the ordinary man, the man who rationally desires to change his merely-being into well-being. But that action requires the energetic engagement of the individual and the admittance of his particular responsibility. The role of individuality is particularly stressed, especially on the premises that man needs to make this constant and conscious effort to help himself, and to cure his own soul, often with the aid of others who share the same path. Under this prism, the treatment of passions leads to a culmination where man is not only bound to achieve his ontological excellence, but also to relieve his soul from the traumas of passions and to connect himself with the moral and existential safety that the presence of “recta ratio” guarantees. Seneca in De Ira defines passion as the result of an ‘impetus’, an horme, which lacks self-control and is closed to reason and counsel. As such, a passion makes the soul unfit to know the right and the true. In such a condition, man loses contact with the firm cognitive criteria that would allow him this knowledge and would ensure a eudaemonistic living “secundum naturam”. Although Seneca is convinced that the stoic teaching should address literally everyone in order to ameliorate one’s life and make it authentic and right, he upholds that it is better to totally exclude passions from the soul than try to control them. That gives certain gravity to the recognition that virtue, although it potentially belongs to every human being, is an absolute good, the only good that can be attained. But virtue, through this condition of emancipation from passion and of correction, is not an idealistic situation. Virtue is necessary, because only virtue can save man from leading an unhappy life, since it is the crucial prerequisite for the life of a rational and conscientious being.
3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Tristán Fita The Socratic Aporia in Ancient Skepticism
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The study of the figure of Socrates, although infinite, is necessary not only for understanding the work of Plato and the Platonists of every time, where it is a fundamental piece, but also for the study of the so called “Socratics” and their influence during the Hellenistic period. In this paper, we will try to define these most prominent ‘tools’, “ideas” or ‘qualities’ about which we can say - without fear or ‘trembling’ - that skepticism, especially academic skepticism, was inherited by the philosophy of the historical person, Socrates. Or rather, what kind of simple connections can be set between the “gadfly” of Athens and the late skeptics? We will try to show how there are close resemblances in the core of these philosophers’ conceptions, even though their way of philosophizing leads them to different conclusions and different stances.
4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Laura Liliana Gómez Espíndola Chrysippean Theory of Co-fated Events
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In this paper, I will deal with the Chrysippean theory of co-fated events. In order to do so, in the first part, I will present Chysippus’ simile of the dog tied to a car and its fatalistic implications. In the second part, I will present the ancient critique known as lazy argument (ἀργὸς λόγος). In the end, I will propose a new interpretation of Chrysippus’s distinction of fated and co-fated events in order to re-examine how he answered this critique. This Chrysippean theory shows how relevant philosophical understanding of fate is in order to avoid fatalism, and safeguard the value of our personal efforts and practical thought.
5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Robert Heller Tensile Motion, Time and Recurrence in Stoicism
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The Stoic theory of recurrence is founded on Stoic biological and cosmological doctrines. This paper argues that these connections are far more elaborate and well-determined than generally assumed. Evidence from the Stoic theory of the motion of pneuma is brought to bear and a rival geometric model of time is supported against the standard linear and circular models supported by Salles and Long. The new ‘torus model’ is inspired by Alexander of Aphrodisias’ inquisitive questioning of what form the peculiar motion of pneuma may possibly have and based on the evidence in which the Stoics discuss the simultaneous inward/outward motion of pneuma. A new perspective is offered as to what form this motion may take, which ultimately offers an insight into the mechanics of recurrence as also some of the long-standing paradoxes of recurrence.
6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Archontissa Kokotsaki Physical Theories of the Soul: Democritus, Epicurus, Lucretius
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The Epicurean philosophy is based upon the theory of Democritus, who believed that everything is composed of ‘atoms’, physically but not geometrically indivisible, and lie in a void. Democritus paid a great deal of attention to the structure of the human body, the noblest part of which is considered to be the soul. These all-pervading souls - atoms perform in different functions. In this case, Epicurus and his followers believed that the soul, just like the body, was somehow material, consisting of atoms as well. The body by keeping soul-atoms together without much dispersion allows them to vibrate with the motions that generate sensations. Lucretius also describes the atomic theory in his De rerum natura and observes the materiality of the soul. At last, Epicurean “pleasure” is the greatest good, but the one and only way to attain such pleasure is living modestly and be of the limits of one’s desires. This can lead everyone to attain a state of equanimity (ataraxia) and freedom from fear of death, as well as absence of body pain (aponoia). The combination of these two states is supposed to constitute happiness in its highest form.
7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Tomohiko Kondo The Birth of Stoic Freedom from Plato’s Republic
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This paper will show how the Stoic Chrysippus appropriated Plato’s Republic by picking up the Platonic definition of justice as ‘doing one’s own’ (ta hautou prattein) and by applying it to the Stoic concept of freedom as ‘the authority of self-action’ (exousia autopragias). I argue, based on the analysis of Plutarch’s De Stoicorum repugnantiis 1043A-B - and other related sources - that Chrysippus in his On ways of life, employed the concept of freedom and explicated it in terms of ‘autopragia’ or ‘ta hautou prattein’. He did so by showing that, given the correct understanding of freedom, not only life of leisure, but also the active life of politics can be said to lead to freedom. Chrysippus’ strategy of reading Plato’s texts will be seen as a kind of appropriation used to extract the best from them by making certain conceptual adjustments; an approach which he must have thought necessary to achieve a unified and consistent theory. Accordingly, he re-interpreted the Platonic phrase ‘ta hautou prattein’ along with terms, such as: ‘uninvolved’ (apragmōn), ‘to will’ (boulesthai), and the ‘authority’ (exousia). Chrysippus, in extracting the Stoic concept of freedom from Plato’s Republic, took particular care to overcome the introverted and escapist tendency, lurking therein by radically re-reading the Platonic texts.
8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Andityas Soares de Moura Costa Matos, Marina Palmieri Stoicism is Not a Proto-Christianity
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This paper intends to discuss the relations between Stoicism and Christianity, demonstrating that the approach between both doctrines is artificial and moved by ideological purposes. Firstly, some conceptions, which tend to unify Stoicism and Christianity, will be shown. In the second part of the article, those positions are criticized, and Stoicism shall be redirected to its philosophical patterns.
9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Pedro Savaget Nascimento The Influence of Stoic Language Theory on Classical Roman Law
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This paper will discuss the insertion of the Stoic dialectic or, more exactly, the differentiation between the signifier and signified of Stoic language theory, regarding the hermeneutics of words in the Roman Law. The development and expansion of Roman territories allowed the jurists to be in close contact with the Hellenistic philosophical systems, which represented a moment of historic cleavage whose consequences have been reflecting in the contemporary world: the juridical thinking, previously characterized by excessive rigor, started realizing its fallibility, becoming epistemologically more sophisticated and open to interconnecting with knowledge produced by other cultures. The juridical argument of Romans reached its peak of efficacy on the threshold of practicality and rationality inherited from the Greeks, however, without losing its original characteristics of simplicity and concision.
10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Paulo Fernando Tadeu Ferreira A Note on τὸ παρ’ ἡμᾶς and τὸ ἐφ’ ἡμῖν in Chrysippus
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The present paper draws a contrast between the notions of τὸ παρ’ ἡμᾶς and τὸ ἐφ’ ἡμῖν to the effect that, according to Chrysippus, each has a different role to play and different requirements to meet, the former being especially tailored to suit the exigencies of praise and blame taken as exhortations, the latter those of desert and justice in praising and blaming as well as honoring and punishing.