|8. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 3.63-3.80, 7.139, 7.156-7.157, 7.183 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE) Tagged with subjects: •breath, warm breath Found in books: Inwood and Warren (2020), Body and Soul in Hellenistic Philosophy, 147, 152, 189
| 3.63. Plato has employed a variety of terms in order to make his system less intelligible to the ignorant. But in a special sense he considers wisdom to be the science of those things which are objects of thought and really existent, the science which, he says, is concerned with God and the soul as separate from the body. And especially by wisdom he means philosophy, which is a yearning for divine wisdom. And in a general sense all experience is also termed by him wisdom, e.g. when he calls a craftsman wise. And he applies the same terms with very different meanings. For instance, the word φαῦλος (slight, plain) is employed by him in the sense of ἁπλοῦς (simple, honest), just as it is applied to Heracles in the Licymnius of Euripides in the following passage:Plain (φαῦλος), unaccomplished, staunch to do great deeds, unversed in talk, with all his store of wisdom curtailed to action. 3.64. But sometimes Plato uses this same word (φαῦλος） to mean what is bad, and at other times for what is small or petty. Again, he often uses different terms to express the same thing. For instance, he calls the Idea form (εἶδος), genus (γένος), archetype (παράδειγμα), principle (ἀρχή) and cause (αἴτιον). He also uses contrary expressions for the same thing. Thus he calls the sensible thing both existent and non-existent, existent inasmuch as it comes into being, non-existent because it is continually changing. And he says the Idea is neither in motion nor at rest; that it is uniformly the same and yet both one and many. And it is his habit to do this in many more instances. 3.65. The right interpretation of his dialogues includes three things: first, the meaning of every statement must be explained; next, its purpose, whether it is made for a primary reason or by way of illustration, and whether to establish his own doctrines or to refute his interlocutor; in the third place it remains to examine its truth.And since certain critical marks are affixed to his works let us now say a word about these. The cross × is taken to indicate peculiar expressions and figures of speech, and generally any idiom of Platonic usage; the diple ( ) calls attention to doctrines and opinions characteristic of Plato; 3.66. the dotted cross (⨰) denotes select passages and beauties of style; the dotted diple (⋗) editors' corrections of the text; the dotted obelus (÷) passages suspected without reason; the dotted antisigma (Ꜿ) repetitions and proposals for transpositions; the ceraunium the philosophical school; the asterisk (∗) an agreement of doctrine; the obelus (−) a spurious passage. So much for the critical marks and his writings in general. As Antigonus of Carystus says in his Life of Zeno, when the writings were first edited with critical marks, their possessors charged a certain fee to anyone who wished to consult them. 3.67. The doctrines he approved are these. He held that the soul is immortal, that by transmigration it puts on many bodies, and that it has a numerical first principle, whereas the first principle of the body is geometrical; and he defined soul as the idea of vital breath diffused in all directions. He held that it is self-moved and tripartite, the rational part of it having its seat in the head, the passionate part about the heart, while the appetitive is placed in the region of the navel and the liver. 3.68. And from the centre outwards it encloses the body on all sides in a circle, and is compounded of elements, and, being divided at harmonic intervals, it forms two circles which touch one another twice; and the interior circle, being slit six times over, makes seven circles in all. And this interior circle moves by way of the diagonal to the left, and the other by way of the side to the right. Hence also the one is supreme, being a single circle, for the other interior circle was divided; the former is the circle of the Same, the latter that of the Other, whereby he means that the motion of the soul is the motion of the universe together with the revolutions of the planets. 3.69. And the division from the centre to the circumference which is adjusted in harmony with the soul being thus determined, the soul knows that which is, and adjusts it proportionately because she has the elements proportionately disposed in herself. And when the circle of the Other revolves aright, the result is opinion; but from the regular motion of the circle of the Same comes knowledge. He set forth two universal principles, God and matter, and he calls God mind and cause; he held that matter is devoid of form and unlimited, and that composite things arise out of it; and that it was once in disorderly motion but, inasmuch as God preferred order to disorder, was by him brought together in one place. 3.70. This substance, he says, is converted into the four elements, fire, water, air, earth, of which the world itself and all that therein is are formed. Earth alone of these elements is not subject to change, the assumed cause being the peculiarity of its constituent triangles. For he thinks that in all the other elements the figures employed are homogeneous, the scalene triangle out of which they are all put together being one and the same, whereas for earth a triangle of peculiar shape is employed; the element of fire is a pyramid, of air an octahedron, of water an icosahedron, of earth a cube. Hence earth is not transmuted into the other three elements, nor these three into earth. 3.71. But the elements are not separated each into its own region of the universe, because the revolution unites their minute particles, compressing and forcing them together into the centre, at the same time as it separates the larger masses. Hence as they change their shapes, so also do they change the regions which they occupy.And there is one created universe, seeing that it is perceptible to sense, which has been made by God. And it is animate because that which is animate is better than that which is iimate. And this piece of workmanship is assumed to come from a cause supremely good. It was made one and not unlimited because the pattern from which he made it was one. And it is spherical because such is the shape of its maker. 3.72. For that maker contains the other living things, and this universe the shapes of them all. It is smooth and has no organ all round because it has no need of organs. Moreover, the universe remains imperishable because it is not dissolved into the Deity. And the creation as a whole is caused by God, because it is the nature of the good to be beneficent, and the creation of the universe has the highest good for its cause. For the most beautiful of created things is due to the best of intelligible causes; so that, as God is of this nature, and the universe resembles the best in its perfect beauty, it will not be in the likeness of anything created, but only of God. 3.73. The universe is composed of fire, water, air and earth; of fire in order to be visible; of earth in order to be solid; of water and air in order to be proportional. For the powers represented by solids are connected by two mean proportionals in a way to secure the complete unity of the whole. And the universe was made of all the elements in order to be complete and indestructible.Time was created as an image of eternity. And while the latter remains for ever at rest, time consists in the motion of the universe. For night and day and month and the like are all parts of time; for which reason, apart from the nature of the universe, time has no existence. But so soon as the universe is fashioned time exists. 3.74. And the sun and moon and planets were created as means to the creation of time. And God kindled the light of the sun in order that the number of the seasons might be definite and in order that animals might possess number. The moon is in the circle immediately above the earth, and the sun in that which is next beyond that, and in the circles above come the planets. Further, the universe is an animate being, for it is bound fast in animate movement. And in order that the universe which had been created in the likeness of the intelligible living creature might be rendered complete, the nature of all other animals was created. Since then its pattern possesses them, the universe also ought to have them. And thus it contains gods for the most part of a fiery nature; of the rest there are three kinds, winged, aquatic and terrestrial. 3.75. And of all the gods in heaven the earth is the oldest. And it was fashioned to make night and day. And being at the centre it moves round the centre. And since there are two causes, it must be affirmed, he says, that some things are due to reason and others have a necessary cause, the latter being air, fire, earth and water, which are not exactly elements but rather recipients of form. They are composed of triangles, and are resolved into triangles. The scalene triangle and the isosceles triangle are their constituent elements. 3.76. The principles, then, and causes assumed are the two above mentioned, of which God and matter are the exemplar. Matter is of necessity formless like the other recipients of form. of all these there is a necessary cause. For it somehow or other receives the ideas and so generates substances, and it moves because its power is not uniform, and, being in motion, it in turn sets in motion those things which are generated from it. And these were at first in irrational and irregular motion, but after they began to frame the universe, under the conditions possible they were made by God symmetrical and regular. 3.77. For the two causes existed even before the world was made, as well as becoming in the third place, but they were not distinct, merely traces of them being found, and in disorder. When the world was made, they too acquired order. And out of all the bodies there are the universe was fashioned. He holds God, like the soul, to be incorporeal. For only thus is he exempt from change and decay. As already stated, he assumes the Ideas to be causes and principles whereby the world of natural objects is what it is. 3.78. On good and evil he would discourse to this effect. He maintained that the end to aim at is assimilation to God, that virtue is in itself sufficient for happiness, but that it needs in addition, as instruments for use, first, bodily advantages like health and strength, sound senses and the like, and, secondly, external advantages such as wealth, good birth and reputation. But the wise man will be no less happy even if he be without these things. Again, he will take part in public affairs, will marry, and will refrain from breaking the laws which have been made. And as far as circumstances allow he will legislate for his own country, unless in the extreme corruption of the people he sees that the state of affairs completely justifies his abstention. 3.79. He thinks that the gods take note of human life and that there are superhuman beings. He was the first to define the notion of good as that which is bound up with whatever is praiseworthy and rational and useful and proper and becoming. And all these are bound up with that which is consistent and in accord with nature.He also discoursed on the propriety of names, and indeed he was the first to frame a science for rightly asking and answering questions, having employed it himself to excess. And in the dialogues he conceived righteousness to be the law of God because it is stronger to incite men to do righteous acts, that malefactors may not be punished after death also. 3.80. Hence to some he appeared too fond of myths. These narratives he intermingles with his works in order to deter men from wickedness, by reminding them how little they know of what awaits them after death. Such, then, are the doctrines he approved.He used also to divide things, according to Aristotle, in the following manner. Goods are in the mind or in the body, or external. For example, justice, prudence, courage, temperance and such like are in the mind; beauty, a good constitution, health and strength in the body; while friends, the welfare of one's country and riches are amongst external things. 7.139. For through some parts it passes as a hold or containing force, as is the case with our bones and sinews; while through others it passes as intelligence, as in the ruling part of the soul. Thus, then, the whole world is a living being, endowed with soul and reason, and having aether for its ruling principle: so says Antipater of Tyre in the eighth book of his treatise On the Cosmos. Chrysippus in the first book of his work On Providence and Posidonius in his book On the Gods say that the heaven, but Cleanthes that the sun, is the ruling power of the world. Chrysippus, however, in the course of the same work gives a somewhat different account, namely, that it is the purer part of the aether; the same which they declare to be preeminently God and always to have, as it were in sensible fashion, pervaded all that is in the air, all animals and plants, and also the earth itself, as a principle of cohesion. 7.156. And there are five terrestrial zones: first, the northern zone which is beyond the arctic circle, uninhabitable because of the cold; second, a temperate zone; a third, uninhabitable because of great heats, called the torrid zone; fourth, a counter-temperate zone; fifth, the southern zone, uninhabitable because of its cold.Nature in their view is an artistically working fire, going on its way to create; which is equivalent to a fiery, creative, or fashioning breath. And the soul is a nature capable of perception. And they regard it as the breath of life, congenital with us; from which they infer first that it is a body and secondly that it survives death. Yet it is perishable, though the soul of the universe, of which the individual souls of animals are parts, is indestructible. 7.157. Zeno of Citium and Antipater, in their treatises De anima, and Posidonius define the soul as a warm breath; for by this we become animate and this enables us to move. Cleanthes indeed holds that all souls continue to exist until the general conflagration; but Chrysippus says that only the souls of the wise do so.They count eight parts of the soul: the five senses, the generative power in us, our power of speech, and that of reasoning. They hold that we see when the light between the visual organ and the object stretches in the form of a cone: so Chrysippus in the second book of his Physics and Apollodorus. The apex of the cone in the air is at the eye, the base at the object seen. Thus the thing seen is reported to us by the medium of the air stretching out towards it, as if by a stick. 7.183. At wine-parties he used to behave quietly, though he was unsteady on his legs; which caused the woman-slave to say, As for Chrysippus, only his legs get tipsy. His opinion of himself was so high that when some one inquired, To whom shall I entrust my son? he replied, To me: for, if I had dreamt of there being anyone better than myself, I should myself be studying with him. Hence, it is said, the application to him of the line:He alone has understanding; the others flit shadow-like around;andBut for Chrysippus, there had been no Stoa.