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BOOK REVIEWS 219 the problem is raised by the dialogues is a function of Plato's methodic knowledge that he does not know. The felicitous outcome of this approach, for Chiereghin, is that the dialogues end up as fulsome reproductions of the activity itself of philosophizing. Nonetheless, in trying to state for himself what Plato thought about Being, or about knowledge, faith, and opinion, Chiereghin reverts in practice to what he has just called an absolutizing of the discourses, or intercourse, in Plato's dialogues. This, even though Chiereghin is not wrong in believing that Plato was trying to demonstrate what the Sophistical or persuasive sources were, of the corruption both of morality and politics, and of the process of cooperative inquiry (p. 134). No general index, or index of passages or terms, is supplied at the end of the book. W. TEJERA SUNY, Stony Brook David E. Hahm. The Origins of Stoic Cosmology. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1977. Pp. xix + 292. $17.50. The main subject of Hahm's book is the set of sources of the Stoic view about the origin, structure, and life cycle of the universe. In the first chapter, moreover, he deals with a doctrine of the Stoics which is fundamental for their cosmology and much else as well---corporealism, the thesis that everything which is real is a body. Hahm, rightly I think, rejects the old views that Stoic corporealism had its origins in the philosophy of Heraclitus (Bevan), in the practical turn of mind of the Stoics (Zeller), or in the spirit of the times (Hicks). One is forced to admit, and especially in the wake of Hahm's analysis, that each of these explanations has something of the faute de mieux about it. Hahm's explanation provides a more plausible account. He thinks that the philosophical discussion of the nature of real things, beginning with Melissus and going through the atomists, Plato, and Aristotle, provides the speculative backdrop for the Stoic doctrine of corporealism. The premises for the thesis were taken over from Plato and Aristotle, especially the latter, and developed in a way that neither of these philosophers would have countenanced into a reasonable and integral philosophical system. In the second chapter, on principles, Hahm works out a subtle contrast and comparison of the Stoic view with those of Plato and Aristotle to show how the Stoics borrowed elements from Aristotle's theories of reproduction, four causes, and God, and from Plato's doctrines of the receptacle, the demiurge, and the world soul. They then combined these elements into a philosophical system which provided a foundation for a new cosmology. Of particular importance in Hahm's analysis is the significance he attaches to Aristotle's theory of biological genesis as the source of the Stoics' active and passive principles. Hahm deals with Stoic cosmogony in the third chapter, and in it he brings out clearly the two models--the physical and the biological--used by the Stoics to teach how the cosmos came into being. On one model, the physical, the cosmos is produced by a derivation of the elements from water, itself a derivative from the primordial fire. And it is an easy task to point to origins of this model in the pre-Socratics, Plato, and Aristotle. The Stoics also advanced a biological theory of the genesis of the cosmos. Regarding the cosmos as a living being, they claimed that it was generated in the way in which a living being is engendered, by the action of seed in a seminal fluid on matter. With slightly changed details the theory of reproduction applied to the cosmos is that of Aristotle. Hahm convincingly traces the historical backdrop for each of these models, thereby showing that the Stoics were building on a long and respectable tradition. He attributes the synthesis of the two cosmogonical theories to Zeno and shows how Cleanthes and Chrysippus sustain the main view while contributing new but minor motifs. There is not space to develop in detail two suspicions which Hahm's historical account of Stoic cosmology arouse, but I can 220 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY mention them. In the first place, Hahm claims that the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 219-222
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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