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  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: March 2008

4 - Introduction

The Stoics were the innovative logicians of the Hellenistic period. The leading logician of the school was its third scholarch, Chrysippus. The Stoics divided logikē into two subparts, rhetoric and dialectic, and logic is a part of dialectic. Dialectic was subdivided into two parts. One part studied signifiers or utterances, the other part studied things signified or sayables or objects. According to orthodox Stoicism, dialectic is not only an essential element of philosophy, it is actually a virtue or excellence. The only dialecticians are Sages and gods. The history of Hellenistic logic can be traced to three time periods: before the birth of Chrysippus, during his time, and after his death. Chrysippus was the chief figure in Stoic logic. Chrysippus' logical books number about 130, and the titles themselves give an idea of the range and balance of Chrysippus' logical interests.
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The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy
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