By Lia Formigari
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Additional info for A History of Language Philosophies (Studies in the History of the Language Sciences)
II, 13) opposes Epicurus to the Stoics because the former admits only two aspects: the signifying voice and the datum. Plutarch makes a similar point when he tells the Epicureans: you retain only words and name-bearers and abolish lekta, or sayables, “to which discourse owes its existence” and “by means of which learning, teaching, preconceptions, thought, impulses and assents come about” (HP 1987: I, 100; cf. II, 103). For Epicurus, if Sextus and Plutarch correctly represent his theory, the elements found in a semantic relation are two: the voice and the extra-verbal datum.
The two domains require two diﬀerent approaches. Verbal thought, modeled on the ﬂow of time and the plurality of objects, remains incommensurable to the indivisible unity of Being. 6 Signs and signs of signs What is the use of speaking? D. 387). It is addressed to his son Adeodatus, his interlocutor in the dialogue. The thread of the argument is evident from the start. Language serves to communicate and to bring to mind notions that originate elsewhere (direct observation, internal illumination).
It is the ﬁrst act of apprehension, a precognition or prolepsis, a natural understanding of the universal (VII, 54). e. representation insofar as it is expressed in a propositional form (VII, 49). Diogenes’s testimony should be integrated with that of Sextus Empiricus, an essential source for the study of ancient semantic theories, that he describes from a Skeptic point of view. Sextus denies that preconception (prolepsis) can be a truth criterion (Against the Log. I, 401–407) and that the semantic evidence of representation is suﬃcient to guarantee the truth of the lekton.
A History of Language Philosophies (Studies in the History of the Language Sciences) by Lia Formigari