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    Liu, Irene 2008. Nature and Knowledge in Stoicism: On the Ordinariness of the Stoic Sage. Apeiron, Vol. 41, Issue. 4,

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

9 - Stoic epistemology

This chapter shows how the Stoics account for the possibility of knowledge and wisdom. According to Zeno, besides belief or opinion and knowledge, a third kind of state, namely cognition, has to be distinguished. Cognition prominently includes, though is not restricted to, perceptual cognition. Cognitive impressions signals that the impression referred to is the distinctive kind of impression involved in cognition. The doctrine of cognitive impressions formed the nucleus of Stoic epistemology. According to Cicero, a cognitive impression is supposed to have a distinctive way of making those things clear which it presents as being the case. Cognitive impressions are unambiguously identifiable as impressions of the object they are an impression of. Cicero, having reported that Zeno introduced the notion of cognition, goes on to single out perceptual cognitions as a class of cognitions we can rely on. What is more, Zeno is supposed to have identified perceptual cognitions as a criterion.
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The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781139053617
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