restricted access Postscript to the English-Language Edition (2014)
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229 Postscript to the English-Language Edition (2014) S ince the original French version of this work in 1999, quite a lot of research has been done on the history of the idea of mental language, especially in the Middle Ages. As far as I can see, however, very little of what I wrote here needs to be withdrawn, and since no other monographical survey has covered the same ground in the meanwhile, the publication of an integral translation seemed appropriate. The material, on the other hand, can be updated, and I will address this briefly in the present postscript. Comprehensiveness cannot be hoped for—it would require another volume, I am afraid—but I will at least react to published discussions of various parts of the book, while expressing along the way a few scattered afterthoughts prompted by recent research in the field. On the ancient and patristic sources The most controversial aspect of Part I, I guess, has to do with whether the Greek distinction between logos endiathetos and logos prophorikos is of Stoic origin or not. Following the lead of Max Pohlenz and Curzio Chiesa, I argued in Chapter 2 that although many commentators routinely repeat that it is, the available textual evidence does not allow us to link the appearance of the terminology to any one school of thought in particular. It seems to have been coined in the context of a debate between Platonists and Stoics about animal rationality , and, whoever first proposed the distinction, it was eventually adopted by everybody, including the Peripatetics. By the first centuries a.d., it was part of the shared technical vocabulary of philosophy, and Middle Platonism in particular played a prominent role in disseminating it. Several recent scholars keep associating the endiathetos/prophorikos distinction with the Stoic school as was traditionally done, but I am not aware of any new result that would firmly support this attribution. One significant contribution to our knowledge of the early use of the terminology is that of Adam Kamesar in 2004, who draws attention to the following passage from a set of glosses on the Iliad called the “D-scholia”: 1. Labarrière 1997 provides a sharp analysis of the role of the endiathetos/prophorikos distinction in the Greek debate about animals. While leaning toward a Platonist origin for the distinction, he—very prudently—conjectures that it was the Stoics who introduced it into the discussion of animal rationality (274–75). 2. See, e.g., Kamesar 2004, 163: “the doctrine of the logos endiathetos and logos prophorikos, first formulated, in all probability, by the Stoics.” F6925.indb 229 F6925.indb 229 10/24/16 12:52:32 PM 10/24/16 12:52:32 PM 230 Postscript [the poet] names anger Ares and the logoi en paideia Otus and Ephialtes. Of these logoi one is impelled (developed) by learning and instruction, while the other is internal (= endiathetos), and accrues to men by natural means. The logos acquired by learning he called Otus, because we acquire it by means of our ears and our hearing, in the educative process. The logos which is internal and which accrues to men by natural means he called Ephialtes, as the one coming upon us in a spontaneous fashion. The striking feature here is that the anonymous Greek author interprets Homer’s mention of the brothers Ephialtes and Otus as an allegorical reference to two varieties of logoi, one of which is called “endiathetos” while the other is associated with spoken speech. Kamesar conjectures that this text might have been a source for Philo of Alexandria’s interpretation (in his De migratione and his Quod deterius) of the biblical brothers Moses and Aaron as symbols for the duality of thought and speech; and he thinks that the glosses that the passage belongs to might have originated in the Stoic school of Diogenes of Babylon in the late third or early second century b.c. At any rate, the text is clearly related to the enthusiasm for the allegorical exegesis of poems and myths that was fashionable in Philo’s time and in the context of which the distinction between the two logoi was regularly mentioned. If Kamesar’s tentative dating of the D-scholium is anywhere near the truth, the text stands out as one of the most ancient manifestations of this trend. Let me note, however, a couple of relevant points. First, even if the dating is approximately correct, the connection of the text with Diogenes...