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Headword: *lo/gos
Adler number: lambda,658
Translated headword: discourse; language
Vetting Status: high
Discourse is a meaningful uttered sound[1] deriving from thought. It has 6 meanings. Expression and discourse are different; for an expression can be meaningless, like bli/turi,[2] while discourse can in no way be meaningless. Saying, too, differs from uttering; for sounds are uttered but states of affairs (pra/gmata), which indeed are sayables, are spoken of.[3] The best characteristics of discourse [are] 5: Hellenism, clarity, brevity, propriety, consistency.[4]
The hypothesis is a logos too. Aristophanes [writes]: "provide Euripides with a plot, and it becomes a tragedy".[5]
Search for Chrysippus' "abominable discourses" in the "Chrysippus" [entry].[6]
Greek Original:
*lo/gos: lo/gos e)sti\ fwnh\ shmantikh\ a)po\ dianoi/as e)kpempome/nh. lo/gos de\ shmai/nei #2#. diafe/rei de\ le/cis kai\ lo/gos: le/cis me\n ga\r a)/shmos gi/netai w(s bli/turi, lo/gos de\ ou)damw=s. diafe/rei de\ kai\ to\ le/gein tou= profe/resqai: profe/rontai me\n ga\r ai( fwnai/, le/getai de\ ta\ pra/gmata, a(\ dh\ kai\ lekta\ tugxa/nei. a)retai\ de\ tou= lo/gou e#: *(ellhnismo/s, safh/neia, suntomi/a, pre/pon, a)poskeuh/. *lo/gos kai\ h( u(po/qesis. *)aristofa/nhs: *eu)ripi/dh| lo/gon para/sxh|s, kai\ tragw|di/a ge/nh|. zh/tei lo/gous a)porrh/tous *xrusi/ppou e)n tw=| *xrusi/ppos.
From Diogenes Laertius 7.56-59, with addenda.
[1] This definition is Aristotelian (On Interpretation 16b26).
[2] cf. beta 335.
[3] These lines reproduce Diog.Laert. 7.57 in a slightly different way and their content is Stoic.
[4] See Diog.Laert. 7.59 (= SVF 3.24). By "Hellenism" is meant the use of good Greek style and diction which is in accordance with grammar; clarity is an expression (le/cis) easily understandable; brevity is a speech which includes no more words than are necessary for the sake of clarification of the thing under discussion; propriety is a speech which is appropriate to the thing under discussion. With regard to the last type of excellence of discourse, there must be a mistake in the Suda text. The Diog.Laert. passage reads kataskeuh/, "correct style" or "elaboration", which has the right sense. In fact, a)poskeuh/ ("filth" or "ordure") does not fit the meaning of a specific excellence of discourse unless it is taken with its meaning of "stuff, things that fill in". On these "best qualities of discourse", see Atherton (1993) 89-92.
[5] Aristophanes, Peace 146-147, with comment from the scholia there. "Plot" is the conventional translation of logos in dramatic contexts, i.e. the main story in the narrative or drama.
[6] chi 569.
C. Atherton, The Stoics on Ambiguity (Cambridge 1993)
B. Mates, Stoic Logic (Berkeley & Los Angeles 1961)
M. Mignucci, Il significato della logica stoica (Bologna 1967)
Keywords: biography; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; philosophy; proverbs; rhetoric; tragedy
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 15 December 1999@08:48:49.
Vetted by:
Svetla Slaveva on 1 February 2000@15:25:57.
Marcelo Boeri (Modified translation; cosmetics.) on 6 September 2002@13:53:31.
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 15 January 2003@08:45:15.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 21 April 2013@08:58:05.
Catharine Roth (tweak, typo) on 22 April 2013@00:29:25.


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