Why Sextus? The Pros logikous as Reliable Source for Gorgias’ Peri tou me ontos

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Comparing the ptmo to the rest of G’ works, we verify and clearly demonstrate how SE manages to convey a precise modus argumentandi. In effect, SE shows G’ demonstrative reasoning: 1) the application of demonstrandum and quod erat demonstrandum typical of G’ speeches, reinforced by a substantial and abundant use of verbs of explanation and demonstration, especially in comparison to the rest of the same Against the Logicians’ section. Otherwise, MXG reduces this lexicon to the more generic phēmi; 2) the continuous employment of the reductio ad absurdum, like in all of G’ works 3) a very refined formulation of the principle of non-contradiction (§ 67, similar to the one seen in Pal. 25). In addition, MXG is accurate in the discussion of some arguments (as in the third kephalaion), however presents as an overcorrected interpreter, more interested in questioning G than reporting his original text, also directly referring to Zeno, Melissus, and Leucippus. The context of the ptmo in SE’ work the structure presented leads us to believe that SE had the text or at least an accurate summary of the ptmo different from MXG. The aims of this paper are: 1) to demonstrate that SE well shows the Gorgianic demonstrative reasoning and, for this specific reason, he is reliable and valuable resource for us; 2) to hypothesise that SE’ version is based on an independent (as yet unknown) source.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages13
JournalStudia Philosophica Wratislaviensia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2019


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