"Lógos endiáthetos" e "lógos prophorikós" nel dibattito antico sulla razionalità animale. Traduzione e significato di una coppia emblematica

Giovanni Manetti


The theoretical opposition between lógos endiáthetos and lógos prophorikós strongly marks ancient thought on language. This opposition has been for a long time at the center of a debate on the rationality of animals, between, on one side, the Stoics (taking a discontinuist position between man and animal) and, on the other side, the heirs of the Academic and Sceptical tradition (taking instead a continuist position). The way in which this opposition is illustrated in a passage from Sextus Empiricus (M. 8. 275-76) presents several interesting problems of interpretation and has given rise to different translations in relation to the two adjectives that characterize the type of mental representation (phantasía), attributed to men as opposed to that given to non-human animals: (phantasía) metabatiké kái sunthetiké. This essay aims to explain the possible meanings of the two adjectives, by relating the passage of Sextus to various passages of the Philodemus' De signis and to the notion of metábasis in the medical texts.

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