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Headword: Χαρά
Adler number: chi,85
Translated headword: joy
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Meaning] pleasure, cheerfulness, delight. Some say that the same thing is signified by these words, as far as the underlying concept is concerned. But Prodicus[1] tried to assign a particular signification to each of these nouns,[2] just as those from the Stoa [do], saying[3] that 'joy' is a reasonable elation, while 'pleasure' is elation without reason; 'delight' is pleasure that comes from things we see, 'cheerfulness' from words. But this is [the approach] of prescriptivists. For it is not a mistake to call pleasure 'joy'; just as it is not a mistake to call the monad indivisible; nor to call joy 'joy' or the monad 'monad'. But agreeing to call one thing by a thing that is different is absurd and false.
Greek Original:
Χαρά: ἡδονή, εὐφροσύνη, τέρψις. τινές φασι κατὰ τὸ ὑποκείμενον ταὐτὸν σημαινόμενον εἶναι. Πρόδικος δὲ ἐπειρᾶτο ἑκάστῳ τῶν ὀνομάτων τούτων ἴδιόν τι σημαινόμενον ὑποτάσσειν, ὥσπερ καὶ οἱ ἀπὸ τῆς Στοᾶς, χαρὰν μὲν λέγοντες εὔλογον ἔπαρσιν, ἡδονὴν δὲ ἔπαρσιν ἄλογον, τέρψιν δὲ τὴν διὰ θεωρίας ἡδονήν, εὐφροσύνην δὲ τὴν διὰ λόγων ἡδονήν: νομοθετούντων δέ ἐστι τοῦτο. τὸ μὲν γὰρ εἰπεῖν ἡδονὴν χαρὰν οὐχ ἁμάρτημα, ὥσπερ οὐδὲ τὸ τὴν μονάδα ἀδιαίρετον: οὐδὲ γὰρ τὸ τὴν χαρὰν χαρὰν εἰπεῖν ἢ τὴν μονάδα μονάδα: τὸ δὲ συμβεβηκέναι θάτερον θατέρῳ λέγειν ἄτοπόν τε καὶ ψεῦδος.
Notes:
From Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentaries on Aristotle's Topics 181.1-9 (on Topics 2.6 = 112b22).
[1] The sophist Prodicus of Ceos: see generally pi 2365.
[2] On Prodicus and his skills in dealing with synonymy cf. Plato, Protagoras 337A-C and especially 358B. See also Democritus B 26 DK.
[3] The logical and grammatical antecedent of this participle is the Stoics, but this has not stopped someone from ascribing this precise division of terms and the method on which it is based to Prodicus (DK A19). Aristotle (see note above) distinguishes himself from Prodicus by identifying χαρά, τέρψις, εὐφροσύνη as types of ἡδοναί (pleasures) without distinguishing further between the terms.
cf. also the scholia to Plato, Phaedrus 267B.
Reference:
M. Reesor. "The Stoic ΙΔΙΟΝ and Prodicus' Near-Synonyms." American Journal of Philology 104 (1983) 130 ff.
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; philosophy; rhetoric
Translated by: William Hutton on 25 October 2000@13:10:55.
Vetted by:
Marcelo Boeri (Minor alterations to trasnlation. Footnote added. Set status) on 26 October 2000@19:27:45.
Marcelo Boeri on 29 October 2000@23:35:17.
David Whitehead (added note; cosmetics) on 20 December 2002@06:03:12.
Catharine Roth (betacode typo) on 12 December 2011@10:57:35.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics; raised status) on 13 December 2011@03:07:21.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 8 November 2013@03:52:13.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 3 February 2015@23:35:34.

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