Method and Evidence - Epicurean Proconceptions - Morel - Konstan 1.0.0

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Morel and Konstan paper on Preconceptions


In this paper it is argued that preconception (prolepsis), i.e.. the general notion derived from sensation according to Epicurus, is the'key concept of the Epicurean methodology. Scholarly discussions have so far mainly focused on issues about the psychological status of prolepsis, and the two main points of view traditionally held-preconception as a representation and preconception as a movement of thought-have seemed to be incompatible. I argue here that they are not and that preconception must be considered under both aspects, as a mental image as well as a movement of thought. However the most important point in Epicurus' agenda is the methodological status of preconception.

It is not reducible to the single function of a basic concept that is necessary for any subsequent investigation. Preconception. in many occurrences, continues to operate as a criterion throughout the process of discovery, and not just as a point of departure. Thus, Epicurean preconception reconciles the immediateness of sensation and, more generally, of self'-evidence with the rational mediation of method.

ABSTRACT - Konstan


It is argued here that Epicurean prolepsis, as a criterion of truth, are necessarily incorrigible, like perceptions and the pathe or sensations of pleasure and pain. Prolêpseis are the result or precipitate of successive perceptions or aisthêseis, but may represent complex ideas, including a notion of the gods as immortal, that are not reducible to simple images