The Master Argument, recorded by Epictetus, indicates that Diodorus had deduced a contradiction from the conjoint assertion of three propositions. The Argument, which has to do with necessity and contingency and therefore with freedom, has attracted the attention of logicians above all. There have been many attempts at reconstructing it in logical terms, without excessive worry about historical plausibility and with the foregone conclusion that it was sophistic since it directly imperilled our common sense notion of freedom. This text takes exception to recent tradition, translating the propositions into logical terms. The propositions figuring in The Master Argument are interpreted in terms of temporal modal logic where both the modalities and the statements they govern have chronological indices. This means that the force of the argument comes not from purely logical or modal considerations, but from our experience of time.
|Publisher:||Center for the Study of Language and Inf|
|Series:||Center for the Study of Language and Information - Lecture Notes Series , #56|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
Table of ContentsIntroduction; Part I. The Master Argument: 1. The Master Argument: on the shortcomings of some past interpretations: Conditions to be fulfilled by any acceptable interpretation; 2. Reconstruction of the master argument; Part II. Systems of Necessity: The Megarians and the Stoics: 3. The system of logical fatalism: Diodorus Cronus; 4. Eternal return and cyclical time: Cleanth's solution; 5. Freedom as an element of fate: Chrysippus; Part III. System of Contigency: The Lyceum, the garden, the academy: 6. Aristotle; 7. Epicurus and intuitionism; 8. Carneades and the skeptical nominalism of the modalities; 9. Platonism and conditional necessity; Epilogue.