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Fw: BMCR 2006.08.03, Romeyer-Dherbey & Gourinat (edd.): Les Stoi+ciens

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  • Edward Moore
    ... From: To: ; Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 12:47 PM Subject: BMCR 2006.08.03,
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      Subject: BMCR 2006.08.03, Romeyer-Dherbey & Gourinat (edd.): Les Stoi+ciens

      > G. Romeyer-Dherbey, J.-B. Gourinat, Les Stoi+ciens. Paris: Vrin,
      > 2005. Pp. 622. ISBN 2-7116-1778-5. EUR 48.00.
      > Reviewed by Gretchen Reydams-Schils, University of Notre Dame
      > (reydams-schils.1@...)
      > Word count: 2028 words
      > -------------------------------
      > To read a print-formatted version of this review, see
      > http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2006/2006-08-03.html
      > -------------------------------
      > [Authors and titles are listed at the end of the review.]
      > This collection of essays is foundational enough to merit a place next
      > to the fundamental works in the field. The general quality of the
      > essays is high; they give useful overviews or contribute to a deeper
      > understanding of specific issues, as well as paying attention to the
      > reception of Stoicism in later ancient thought. The four divisions of
      > the collection are: I. Logic, Poetics, and Theory of Knowledge; II.
      > Physics, Nature and the Gods; III. Humans and Ethics; and IV. Reception
      > History. The volume represents a truly international cooperation across
      > boundaries between different academic cultures, and includes scholars
      > with a wide range of experience.
      > The value of the book is also enhanced by very good selected readings
      > in the bibliography and detailed indices.[[1]] One issue to be taken
      > into account is the time lag between the seminars held in 1998-2000 at
      > the so-called Centre Le/on Robin (Centre de Recherches sur la Pense/e
      > Antique), and the year of publication, 2005. In the case of Michael
      > Frede's contribution, on Stoic theology (213-32), this makes the
      > information already outdated. While for some of the French scholars the
      > lack of bibliography can be explained by a limited access to libraries
      > and secondary literature, this can hardly have been the case for M.
      > Frede. In contrast, David Sedley--whose paper on 'The origins of Stoic
      > God' is the only piece of secondary literature M. Frede cites--did
      > update the bibliography between the earlier versions and the published
      > version of his paper (in 2002). Frede's claim that the subject of Stoic
      > theology has been relatively neglected (213) is gently but effectively
      > corrected in a section of the bibliography devoted to the topic of
      > physics and theology. But even this bibliography, because of the
      > structure of its headings, does not include W. Go+rler's very fine
      > analysis--the best to my knowledge--of Cicero's representation, in his
      > Academics, of Antiochus' position.[[2]]
      > Because of the time lag, some of the contributions already started to
      > lead a life of their own. Hence Jacques Brunschwig's contribution, 'Sur
      > deux notions de l'e/thique stoi+cienne. De la "re/serve" au
      > "renversement" ' (357-80), has been eagerly anticipated ever since Tad
      > Brennan published his version of the argument as "Reservation in Stoic
      > Ethics," in Archiv fu+r Geschichte [small typo in the bibliography, p.
      > 568] der Philosophie 82 (2000) 149-77. Tad Brennan is at his best in
      > this article, and Brunschwig does not falter either. I also note his
      > courtesy in not only acknowledging and complimenting Brennan, but even
      > summarizing his argument, while in the end parting ways with him.
      > Brennan and Brunschwig discuss how the Stoic notion of 'reservation'
      > would entail adding a conditional clause to a hormetic proposition (one
      > that through our assent activates impulse). The philosophical exchange
      > is exciting and of the highest caliber, and involves central work by
      > Brad Inwood as well. A gentlemen's disagreement. An issue not addressed
      > by Brennan and Brunschwig, however, is why the notions of 'reservation'
      > and of 'turn-around,' in Brunschwig's case, would be of such interest
      > to Epictetus, Seneca, and especially Marcus Aurelius.
      > Another instance of a contribution that had already started to lead an
      > illustrious life of its own is the one by A. A. Long, on the influence
      > of Socrates and his dialectic on Epictetus (403-26), published as ch. 3
      > in Long's Epictetus, a Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life (Oxford:
      > Clarendon Press, 2002). The break-through of this work is its focus on
      > the importance for Epictetus of Socrates' mode of interacting with his
      > interlocutors (as rendered mostly, but not exclusively, by Plato).
      > The collection is too large to do full justice to its riches (see also
      > the list at the end of this review). The book opens with two
      > preliminary contributions that are very helpful: one, by Gourinat, does
      > not focus only on our main sources for Stoic material, but explains
      > also (and this is less often discussed) the history of Stoicism's
      > transmission; the other, by Dorandi, brings together an overview of the
      > papyrological material pertaining to Stoicism. Both of these
      > contributions should become standard works of reference.
      > If we turn to Part I now, on Logic, Poetics, and Theory of Knowledge,
      > A. Brancacci opens with an assessment of Antisthenes' influence on
      > Stoic logic, particularly concerning the epistemological status of
      > Ideas as mere concepts, and the theory of definition. In connection
      > with the first theme, Brancacci also establishes a tradition linking
      > the Stoics with Antisthenes and the school of Eretria (as well as a
      > Theopompus of Chios), rather than the Megarians (Stilpon), as Rist had
      > previously suggested.
      > D. Sedley performs a surgical operation on Zeno's tripartite account of
      > the kataleptic impression, so crucial to Stoic epistemology, by drawing
      > primarily on a distinction between a causal sense and a
      > 'representative' sense of the preposition apo, a distinction that then
      > could also leave room for non-sensory kataleptic impressions.
      > R. Goulet revisits the Stoics' so-called allegorical interpretation of
      > Homer (challenged recently by Steinmetz and Long), in a contribution
      > that is particularly helpful because of the many subtle distinctions it
      > introduces in the discourse about allegory (even if one ultimately
      > disagrees with Goulet's own stance on allegory, these crucial
      > distinctions have been overlooked). A. M. Ioppolo makes a systematic
      > case for identifying Philodemus' antagonist in the fifth book of his
      > Peri poie^mato^n as the Stoic Ariston of Chios. S. Toulouse, in the
      > final contribution of the first part, draws renewed attention to a
      > passage from Plutarch's De animae procreatione in Timaeo on Posidonius'
      > account of the composition of the World Soul (1023B-D; see now also the
      > work by F. Ferrari, among others). In reinterpreting Seneca's Letter 88
      > (contra Merlan and Bre/hier), Toulouse also affirms that the
      > mathematical sciences for Posidonius had a subsidiary role in relation
      > to philosophy, and to physics in particular.
      > Part II, on Physics, Nature and the Gods, opens with a contribution by
      > M. Isnardi Parente on the Stoic notion of incorporeals, followed by L.
      > Couloubaritsis' assessment of "henology" in Stoicism, which builds on
      > his interpretation of Aristotle, and hence reaffirms the importance of
      > Aristotelianism for Stoicism (with Hahm, but contra Sandbach and
      > others), under the assumption that the importance of henology is not
      > limited to later Platonism. M. Frede's contribution on theology, with
      > an emphasis on the Stoic principles of god and matter, has already been
      > mentioned above.
      > Based on an analysis of the internal structure of Books Two and Three
      > of Cicero's De natura deorum, C. Auvray-Assayas reexamines the
      > connections between what she considers to be two lines of argument on
      > the Stoic notion of Providence: one focuses on the successive treatment
      > of the gods' existence, their nature, their administration of the
      > world, and their care for human beings; the other, announced but not
      > developed in our extant version of Book Three, approaches the issue
      > from the angle of four causes posited by Cleanthes for how humans
      > arrive at their notion of the gods. In his second contribution to the
      > volume, J.-B. Gourinat proposes a reconstruction of the two books of
      > Chrysippus' On Fate, by drawing on Diogenianus' criticisms as preserved
      > in Eusebius, in conjunction with Cicero and ps.-Plutarch on the same
      > topic, and explores divination in particular in greater detail.
      > The opening papers of Part III, on Humans and Ethics (the largest in
      > the collection), complement each other beautifully: G. Romeyer Dherbey
      > approaches the Stoic notion of subjectivity from what he calls a
      > phenomenological angle (see also, in comparison, Michel Foucault's
      > L'Herme/neutique du sujet); whereas M. Forschner focuses on personhood
      > (in the wake of the work of scholars such as C. Gill), with due
      > attention to the importance of physics and the social implications of
      > personhood in Stoicism. M.-A. Zagdoun gives an overview of questions
      > pertaining to oikeio^sis, including the issue of the relation between
      > self- and other-directed behavior, and between oikeio^sis and the Stoic
      > account of the goal, and taking into account also art, especially
      > music.
      > C. Viano analyzes the principles and internal structure of the
      > doxography on Stoic ethics in Stobaeus (II, 7, 57, 13-116, 18), which
      > has been attributed to Arius Didymus. While making good use of Hahm's
      > previous work, Viano succeeds in bringing the doxographer himself to
      > life, in his 'theoretical independence,' rather than treating this
      > material as a mere concatenation of fragments. J. Brunschwig's
      > contribution has already been discussed above. M. Daraki attempts to
      > develop parallels between the Stoic distinction of sage and fool, and
      > Hesiod's myth of the successive human generations. I have already drawn
      > attention above to A.A. Long's contribution on Epictetus. The final
      > contribution under this heading, a paper co-authored by P. and I. Hadot
      > provides an ideal bridge to the final part, by examining side by side
      > Epictetus' use of the parable of life as a brief interlude of landing
      > on a shore (Encheiridion 7) and Simplicius' reinterpretation of this
      > image from a Neoplatonist point of view in his commentary on Epictetus.
      > The last part of the collection deals with the reception history of
      > Stoicism. J.-J. Duhot examines the possible connections between the
      > Stoic notions of logos and the New Testament use (especially in John
      > 1.1) via a possible link through Philo of Alexandra. (On Philo's notion
      > of logos see also the work of D. Winston, D. Runia, and J. Dillon,
      > among others.) A. Pigler examines in detail Plotinus' creative
      > appropriation, in a Platonist context, of the Stoic notion of
      > sumpatheia for his own theory of knowledge (Treatise 29). Ph.
      > Hoffmann's contribution ranks among the finest in the collection:
      > through a careful examination of Plotinus' and Iamblichus' critique of
      > the Stoic definition of time as the diaste^ma of movement, he succeeds
      > in conveying very complex doctrine, transmitted through a complicated
      > tradition, as well as in adding a fragment to the collection of Stoic
      > material by von Arnim, and in correcting a serious misreading of
      > another that had been included. M. Gourinat concludes the volume as a
      > whole with an overview of Hegel's assessment of the Stoics over the
      > course of his philosophical development.
      > In sum, this collection of essays provides impressive testimony of
      > high-level and innovative scholarly inquiry. Because the presentations
      > were given over an extended time period of several years,
      > cross-references between the different contributions are lacking. But
      > the reader can easily supply such cross-references with the help of the
      > indices, which would add a meta-level of debate within the book itself,
      > to enhance even further its many strengths.
      > The collection contains the following contributions:
      > Preliminary papers:
      > J.-B. Gourinat, La disparition et la reconstitution du stoi+cisme:
      > e/le/ments pour une histoire;
      > T. Dorandi, La tradition papyrologique des stoi+ciens.
      > Part I. Logic, Poetics, and Theory of Knowledge:
      > A. Brancacci, Antisthe\ne et le stoi+cisme: la logique;
      > D. Sedley, La de/finition stoi+cienne de la phantasia katale^ptike^;
      > R. Goulet, La me/thode alle/gorique des stoi+ciens;
      > A. M. Ioppolo, Poe/tique et the/orie de la perception chez Ariston;
      > S. Toulouse, Les sciences et l'a^me chez Posidonius. Remarques sur une
      > de/finition de l'a^me conserve/e dans Plutarque et sur le statut de
      > l'astronomie et des mathe/matiques dans sa philosophie;
      > Part II. Physics, Nature and the Gods:
      > M. Isnardi-Parente, La notion d'incorporel chez les stoi+ciens;
      > L. Couloubaritsis, Les structures he/nologiques dans le stoi+cisme
      > ancien;
      > M. Frede, Sur la the/ologie stoi+cienne;
      > C. Auvray-Assayas, Deux types d'expose/ stoi+cien sur la providence
      > dans le De natura deorum de Cice/ron;
      > J.-B. Gourinat, Pre/diction du futur et action humaine dans le traite/
      > de Chrysippe Sur le destin.
      > Part III. Humans and Ethics:
      > G. Romeyer Dherbey, La naissance de la subjectivite/ chez les
      > stoi+ciens;
      > M. Forschner, La Portique et le concept de personne;
      > M.-A. Zagdoun, Proble\mes concernant l'oikeio^sis stoi+cienne;
      > C. Viano, L'Epitome^ de l'e/thique stoi+cienne d'Arius Didyme (Stobe/e,
      > Eclog. II, 7, 57, 13-116, 18);
      > J. Brunschwig, Sur deux notions de l'e/thique stoi+cienne. De la
      > "re/serve" au "renversement";
      > M. Daraki, Les deux races d'hommes dans le stoi+cisme d'Athe\nes;
      > A.A. Long, L'empreinte socratique dans la philosophie d'E/picte\te;
      > I. Hadot and P. Hadot, La parabole de l'escale dans le Manuel
      > d'E/picte\te et son commentaire par Simplicius.
      > Part IV. Reception History:
      > J.-J. Duhot, Me/tamorphoses du logos. Du stoi+cisme au Nouveau
      > Testament;
      > A. Pigler, Les e/le/ments stoi+ciens de la doctrine plotinienne de la
      > connaissance (Traite/ 29);
      > P. Hoffmann, La de/finition stoi+cienne du temps dans le miroir du
      > ne/oplatonisme (Plotin, Iamblique);
      > M. Gourinat, Hegel et le stoi+cisme.
      > ------------------
      > Notes:
      > 1. On the other hand, something has gone wrong in the production
      > process with the spacing of the words in the contribution by Ste/phane
      > Toulouse.
      > 2. Originally published as W. Go+rler, "Antiochus von Askalon u+ber
      > die 'Alten' und u+ber die Stoa : Beobachtungen zu Cicero, Academici
      > Posteriores 1, 24-43," in Beitra+ge zur hellenistischen Literatur und
      > ihrer Rezeption in Rom (Palingenesia 28), edited by P. Steinmetz
      > (Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 1990) 123-139; republished in his Kleine
      > Schriften zur hellenistisch-ro+mischen Philosophie (Philosophia Antiqua
      > 95), edited by C. Catrein, (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2004), 87-104.
      > -------------------------------
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