Language and Learning

Language and Learning : Philosophy of Language in the Hellenistic Age

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The philosophers and scholars of the Hellenistic world laid the foundations upon which the Western tradition based analytical grammar, linguistics, philosophy of language, and other disciplines probing the nature and origin of human communication. Building on the pioneering work of Plato and Aristotle, these thinkers developed a wide range of theories about the nature and origin of language which reflected broader philosophical commitments. In this collection of nine essays, a team of distinguished scholars examines the philosophies of language developed by, among others, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, the Stoics, and Lucretius. They probe the early thinkers' philosophical adequacy and their impact on later theorists. With discussions ranging from the Stoics on the origin of language to the theories of language in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the collection will be of interest to students of philosophy and of language in the classical period and beyond.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 21mm | 540g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521071259
  • 9780521071253
  • 1,930,764

Table of contents

Introduction Dorothea Frede and Brad Inwood; 1. The Stoics on the origin of language and the foundations of etymology James Allen; 2. Stoic linguistics, Plato's Cratylus, and Augustine's De dialectica A. A. Long; 3. Epicurus and his predecessors on the origin of language Alexander Verlinsky; 4. Lucretius on what language is not Catherine Atherton; 5. Communicating cynicism: Diogenes' gangsta rap Ineke Sluiter; 6. Common sense: concepts, definition and meaning in and out of the Stoa Charles Brittain; 7. Varro's anti-analogist David Blank; 8. The Stoics on fallacies of equivocation Susanne Bobzien; 9. What is a disjunction? Jonathan Barnes; 10. Theories of language in the Hellenistic age and in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries Sten Ebbesen.
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Review quote

"The carefully-edited volume includes useful indexes and a bibliography. All significant Greek and Latin quotations are presented both in the original and in translation. This collection covers an area that deserves attention, and is essential reading for those who study Hellenistic philosophy."
Laura Grams, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Journal of the History of Philosophy "Scrupulously researched and thought-provoking, but also very entertaining...There is a great deal of food for thought here. All in all an excellent volume, and a worthy member of the series." --Phoenix: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada
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About Dorothea Frede

Dorothea Frede is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hamburg. She has written numerous articles on Greek philosophy and her previous publications include Philebos (Hackett, 1992) and (with Andre Laks) Traditions of Theology, Studies in Hellenistic Theology (Leiden 2002). Brad Inwood is Canada Research Chair in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Toronto. His recent publications include The Poem of Empedocles (Second edition, University of Toronto Press, 2001) and The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
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