Essays on Hellenistic Epistemology and Ethics by Gisela Striker

By Gisela Striker

The doctrines of the Hellenistic Schools--Epicureans, Stoics, and Skeptics--are recognized to have had a formative effect on later inspiration, yet as the basic resources are misplaced, they must be reconstructed from later studies. this crucial number of essays through one of many optimum interpreters of Hellenistic philosophy makes a speciality of key questions in epistemology and ethics debated via Greek and Roman philosophers of the Hellenistic interval.

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So it is plausible to accept the view that both perceivers are right, and that no contradiction arises because their beliefs are true relative to them — which does not show, of course, that the same holds for all cases of conflicting appearances, even perceptual appearances; but let us set that aside for the moment. Again the examples seem fairly strong as far as they go — witness their long and successful history in subsequent epistemology. Finally, another set of examples might have been provided by value-terms (167C, cf.

A2,101a34-b4). Two points should be noted about this contrast between philosophy and dialectic: first, it seems clear that nothing prevents the dialectician's arguments from being philosophical in the sense of dealing with philosophical subjects and using premises that could occur in a philosophical theory. Second, the dialectician is not a propounder of doctrines, but only of arguments. He does not set out to establish the truth in each case, but merely shows what reasons there might be for holding a given view - or indeed its contradictory.

It is also clear that Plato takes Protagoras very seriously; and is that not evidence that he took him to be arivalphilosopher? I would certainly not wish to deny that Plato treats Protagoras as a serious 17 18 19 Plato's example of a false statement - "Theaetetus is flying," Sph. 263A - may in fact be directly inspired by Gorgias, cp. Sextus' report, TW VII 79: "... MJ. Sicking, "Gorgias und die Philosophen" (1964), repr. ), Sophistik, pp. 384-407. This is not an isolated allusion; further parallels between Gorgias' treatise and the second part of the Prm.

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