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Headword: *fantasi/a kai\ fa/ntasma diafe/rei
Adler number: phi,85
Translated headword: presentation and figment are different
Vetting Status: high
For[1] a figment is a fancy of the mind, such as occurs in dreams, while a presentation is an impression in the soul, that is an alteration.[2] For the impression should not be taken as if it were a signet-ring,[3] since it cannot be accepted that there are many imprints in accordance with the same thing and in respect of the same thing. A presentation is conceived of as what is sealed, stamped, and imprinted out of an existing thing[4] and is in accordance with such an existing thing, and it is of such a kind as could not come from a non-existing thing.[5] Of presentations, some are perceptual, others are not. Perceptual are those that are acquired through one or more sense-organs; non-perceptual are those that are acquired through mind, such as those of incorporeals and other things which are acquired by reason.[6]
Greek Original:
*fantasi/a kai\ fa/ntasma diafe/rei: fa/ntasma me\n ga/r e)sti do/khsis dianoi/as, oi(=a gi/netai kata\ tou\s u(/pnous: fantasi/a de\ tu/pwsis e)n yuxh=|, toute/stin a)lloi/wsis. ou) ga\r dekte/on th\n tu/pwsin, oi(onei\ tu/pon sfragisth=ros: e)pei\ a)ne/ndekto/n e)sti pollou\s tu/pous kata\ to\ au)to\ peri\ to\ au)to\ gi/nesqai. noei=tai de\ fantasi/a h( a)po\ u(pa/rxontos kata\ to\ u(pa/rxon e)napomemagme/nh kai\ e)napotetupwme/nh kai\ e)napesfragisme/nh, oi(/a ou)k a)\n ge/noito a)po\ mh\ u(pa/rxontos. tw=n de\ fantasiw=n ai( me/n ei)sin ai)sqhtikai/, ai( de\ ou)/: ai)sqhtikai\ me\n ai( di' ai)sqhthri/ou h)\ ai)sqhthri/wn lambano/menai, ou)k ai)sqhtikai\ de\ ai( dia\ th=s dianoi/as, kaqa/per tw=n a)swma/twn kai\ tw=n a)/llwn lo/gw| lambanome/nwn.
The entry reproduces, with some minor changes, Diogenes Laertius 7.50 [included in SVF 2.52, 55 and 61] and the discussion is assumed to be Stoic in character.
[1] This subtle distinction is extremely difficult to render: the Greek for 'presentation' is phantasia, and the Greek for 'figment' is phantasma. Even though these two words are cognates, their meanings are distinct in their technical usage.
[2] According to Diogenes Laertius this thesis belongs to the Stoic Chrysippus and was contained in his treatise On the Soul, Book 2. When saying that a presentation is an alteration, Chrysippus was interpreting the asertion of Zeno (the founder of the Stoic school) that a presentation (phantasia) is an impression in the soul. Cleanthes, in trying to account for Zeno's definition of phantasia, used to refer to it as a signet-ring (see what follows in the Suda text). For Chrysippus, Cleanthes' understanding of Zeno's definition is absurd and suggests that what Zeno really meant is that a presentation is a sort of modification (heteroiosis) in the soul. It is what happens in one's soul when something appears, modifying his or her psychological state. For further details on this issue, cf. Sextus Empiricus, adversus Mathematicos 7.227-231; 236.
[3] For the Platonic and Aristotelian antecedent of the signet-ring analogy, see Plato, Theaetetus 191A-195B and Aristotle, de anima 424a17-24, respectively.
[4] Alternatively, "from what is" (hyparchon). For the technical sense of the verb hyparchein in Stoicism, see the still helpful paper by Goldschmidt (1972) and Frede (1999), 302-303.
[5] This characterization corresponds to what the Stoics technically understood as "cataleptic or apprehensible presentation", i.e. the distinctive kind of presentation involved in cognition. A cataleptic presentation is, actually, the criterion of truth, "a presentation coming from what is" (see Diogenes Laertius 7.54 and Sextus Empiricus, adv. Math. 7.247-252, with the commentary of Long & Sedley in their [1987], vol. 1, 249-253). The issue is too complicated to be developed here in detail. For a clear exposition and discussion see Frede (1999), 300-311.
[6] On the topic of "incorporeals" (asomata) and their function in Stoic ontology, see Boeri (2001).
Boeri, M.D. "The Stoics on Bodies and Incorporeals", in The Review of Metaphysics 54 (2001) 723-752
Frede, M. "Stoic Epistemology", in Algra, K., Barnes, J., Mansfeld, J., Schofield, (eds.) The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 1999, 295-321
Goldschmidt, V., "Hyparchein et hyphestanai dans la philosophie stoicienne", in Revue des Etudes Grecques 85 (1972) 331-444
Long, A.A. & Sedley D.N. The Hellenistic Philosophers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 1987 (2 vols.)
Long, A.A. "Representation and the self in Stoicism", in A.A. Long, Stoic Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 1996, 264-285
Keywords: definition; dreams; philosophy
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 26 June 2002@01:36:53.
Vetted by:
Marcelo Boeri on 4 December 2002@01:34:22.
David Whitehead (restorative and other cosmetics) on 2 February 2003@07:24:32.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 9 October 2005@08:27:51.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 4 December 2013@06:20:28.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 26 October 2014@23:44:48.


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