"On Methods of Inference": Notes For Review And Discussion (Including David Sedley Article: "On Signs")

  • For me, the first issue is to define what Epicurean "logic" is and where it fits into an outline. That would be necessary to teach the system to a junior high school student: to provide the complete, coherent system.


    Secondly would be to contrast the Epicurean view to other views.


    Rather than call it Epicurean logic, maybe "methods of inference" is a good term to use, per Philodemus.


    As to placing "MOI" in an outline, it shouldn't be in the canon as it's not direct experience (as discussed in the thread linked to in post #48. But a current problem is that it’s something of an afterthought (speaking for myself). One suggestion is:


    Overview of Epicurean philosophy:

    1. Physics

    1A. Canonic

    1B. Methods of Inference (dependent upon Canonic)

    1C. Natural science (dependent upon Canonic and MOI)

    2. Ethics (dependent upon Physics)

  • s to placing "MOI" in an outline, it shouldn't be in the canon as it's not direct experience

    Godfrey I am not sure this is a correct inference. The Canon would (I think) include discussion of the "methods of processing" of the data that comes through the canon. The raw data doesn't mean anything on its own, but I am not sure I would separate out the raw data from the immediate methods of processing it.


    I am thinking that the problem with "logic" is the type of logic that doesn't ever connect to these three sets of data. The manner of processing the data correctly, however, might well be called "epicurean logic" or "epicurean reasoning." Not saying that definitely but I think it's a possibility

  • So, in outline:


    Physics

    Canonic

    - the faculty of Sensations

    - the faculty of Anticipations

    - the faculty of Feelings

    - the process of Epicurean reasoning

    Ethics


    Or are you saying this:

    Physics

    Canonic

    - the faculty of Sensations, mediated by Epicurean reasoning

    - the faculty of Anticipations, mediated by Epicurean reasoning

    - the faculty of Feelings, mediated by Epicurean reasoning

    Ethics


    These outlines consider the Canon to encompass the entire Epicurean epistemology, which makes sense. I've been thinking of the Canon as restricted to faculties, and that it's a tripod, which doesn't allow for either reasoning or a fourth leg. Is this how DeWitt presents it? I don’t remember.


    To my understanding, the type of logic that doesn't connect to canonic data is not really a part of Epicurus' philosophy and doesn't belong in the outline.

  • Yes I am leaning toward the second outline, and I agree with your last comment.


    You used the word "mediated" - i might prefer something like "processed through"....


    Also Godfrey I meant to type this earlier:


    We need to look at the first half of Book 4 as to the processing of images, and how to deal with illusions. I think that gives us concrete examples of how the data from the senses has to be "processed" in order to form valid opinions, and that process is I think what we are talking about.



    To my understanding, the type of logic that doesn't connect to canonic data is not really a part of Epicurus' philosophy and doesn't belong in the outline.

    And to repeat - yes, i agree with that conclusion that it doesn't belong in the outline, any more than would "divine revelation." As to it being a part of Epicurean philosophy, it's a part only insofar as it is discussed as something to affirmatively reject.

  • Are the data from the canon "signs"? I would assume this to be the case; does that do anything to tie inferences or processing into the Canon? Sorry to be so daft about this, it's definitely not my strong suit.


    BTW The Hellenistic Philosophers sections 15, 16, 17 and 18 have some pertinent texts. I plan to review these tomorrow.