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Headword: Χρύσιππος
Adler number: chi,569
Translated headword: Chrysippos, Chrysippus
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
A proper name.
The philosopher Chrysippus used to propose arguments of this kind[1]: 'He who tells the mysteries to the uninitiated commits impiety. The priest tells [the mysteries] to the uninitiated. Therefore the priest commits impiety.' 'What is in the city, is also in the house.[2] There is no well in the city. Therefore there is none in the house.' 'There is a head, but you do not have it. There is a head which you do not have. So you do not have a head.' 'If someone is in Megara, he is not in Athens. A man is in Megara. So there is not a man in Athens.'[3] 'If you pronounce something, it goes through your mouth. You pronounce 'carriage'. Then a carriage goes through your mouth.'[4] 'If you did not lose something, you have it. You did not lose horns. So you have horns.'[5]
Greek Original:
Χρύσιππος: ὄνομα κύριον. ὅτι Χρύσιππος ὁ φιλόσοφος τοιούτους τινὰς ἠρώτα λόγους: ὁ λέγων τοῖς ἀμυήτοις τὰ μυστήρια ἀσεβεῖ: ὁ δέ γε ἱεροφάντης τοῖς ἀμυήτοις λέγει: ἀσεβεῖ ἄρα ὁ ἱεροφάντης. ὅ ἐστιν ἐν τῇ πόλει, τοῦτο καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ: οὐκ ἔστι δὲ φρέαρ ἐν τῇ πόλει: οὐδ' ἄρα ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ. ἔστι τις κεφαλή: ἐκείνην δὲ οὐκ ἔχεις: ἔστι δέ γε τις κεφαλή, ἣν οὐκ ἔχεις: οὐκ ἄρα ἔχεις κεφαλήν. εἴ τίς ἐστιν ἐν Μεγάροις, οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν Ἀθήναις: ἄνθρωπος δέ ἐστιν ἐν Μεγάροις: οὐκ ἄρα ἐστὶν ἄνθρωπος ἐν Ἀθήναις. εἴ τι λαλεῖς, τοῦτό σου διὰ στόματος διέρχεται: ἅμαξαν δὲ λαλεῖς: ἅμαξά σου ἄρα διὰ τοῦ στόματος διέρχεται. εἴ τι οὐκ ἀπέβαλες, τοῦτο ἔχεις: κέρατα δὲ οὐκ ἀπέβαλες: κέρατα ἄρα ἔχεις.
Notes:
For Chrysippus see already chi 568 (and chi 567).
[1] What follows depends, almost verbatim, on Diogenes Laertius 7.186-7 (= FDS 1205), where some examples of fallacies are given. No definition of this term is attributed by ancient sources to the Stoics directly. Sextus Empiricus says (in Pyrrhoniae Hypotyposes 2.229 = FDS 1200) that for those who venerate dialectic 'a fallacy is a persuasive and tricky argument that makes a false or similar to false conclusion to be admitted'. Diog.Laert. 7.43, quoting the summary of Diocles, divides the fallacies according to the level in which they are produced. Thus there are fallacies in the level of language and in the level of concepts, which correspond with the levels of dialectic: dialectic about language (φωνή ), and dialectic about meaning (λεκτά ). In both levels there exist ambiguities which could become fallacies. Thus arguments that change their truth value (FDS 1025) are caused by the self-structure of the proposition, while the fallacy of the carriage that goes through the mouth is caused by a purely linguistic ambiguity.
[2] Diog.Laert. had put this proposition negatively: 'what is not in the city, is not in the house either'.
[3] This argument is known as "Nobody", because of the episode of Odysseus and the Cyclops in Homer, Odyssey 9.366-414. It is said that it was invented by Diodorus of Megara (Meg. 10). It occurs in a lacunar form in Diog.Laert. 7.82: the opposition between 'here' and Rhodes, instead of Athens and Megara. According to Proclus (In Parm. 889, 8-13), Chrysippus could have used it to criticize the platonic theory of Forms, because entities which for the Stoics are real, i.e. individual bodies, do not produce paradoxical conclusions, but qualities –- with which Chrysippus associated Ideas -- do. Brunschwig 1988 emphasizes that this argument is a 'test of reality': just the bodies pass it with success. At a linguistic level it shows the need to establish a difference between ὄνομα (proper name) and προσηγορία (appellative, common name), because this last type is the linguistic counterbalance of qualities (and Platonic Forms), and for this reason it produces a paradoxical conclusion. This distinct behaviour allowed that the Stoics could resist the tendency imposed by Alexandrian grammarians to gather both categories into a simple one, considering προσηγορία as a subordinate species (cf. Dionysius Thrax, Téchne grammatiké §11).
[4] The argument of the carriage that goes through the mouth is related to the notion of ἀσώματον 'incorporeal'. According to Clement of Alexandria (Stromata 8.9,26,5,97,3-7 = FDS 763), who transmits the same argument changing the noun from ἅμαξα 'carriage' to οἰκία 'house', the theory behind the argument points to the fact that the thing that goes through the mouth is not the house, but the linguistic/grammatical case in which the material-house has its counterbalance. The case, because of its linguistic character, is an incorporeal.
[5] Aulus Gelius, Attic Nights 16.2.11, wrote about a way of avoiding this type of fallacy, which seems to have been very famous in ancient times, answering the question 'What you have lost, is it something you had or something you had not?', with a formula like 'What I had, I had if I have not lost it'.
References:
Brunschwig, J. 'La théorie stoïcienne du genre suprême et l´ontologie platonicienne', in J. Barnes, M. Mignucci (eds.) Matter and Metaphysics, Naples, Bibliopolis, 1988
Hülser, K. Die Fragmente zur Dialektik der Stoiker, Bad Cannstat, Fromann-Holzboog, 1988
Long, A.A. and Sedley, D.N. The Hellenistic Philosophers, Cambridge, CUP, 1989
Gourinat, J. La dialectique des stoïciens, Paris, Vrin, 2000
Keywords: biography; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; geography; philosophy; religion
Translated by: Claudia Marsico on 3 June 2003@14:40:12.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (modifed translation, cosmetics) on 3 June 2003@19:29:35.
Catharine Roth on 3 June 2003@19:30:50.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 3 June 2003@23:07:07.
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 4 June 2003@03:27:38.
David Whitehead (my own typo) on 4 June 2003@07:04:51.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 14 November 2013@04:41:42.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 21 November 2014@23:42:40.
Catharine Roth on 21 November 2014@23:44:37.
David Whitehead (note tweaks) on 22 November 2014@07:17:42.

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