Classical Quarterly 63 (2):734-742 (2013)

In Ps.-Plutarch's epitome,Doctrines of the Philosophers,lemma4.11 bears the heading: Πῶς γίνεται ἡ αἴσθησις καὶ ἡ ἔννοια καὶ ὁ κατὰ ἐνδιάθεσιν λόγος. The text reads: Οἱ Στωϊκοί ϕασιν· ὅταν γεννηθῇ ὁ ἄνθρωπος, ἔχει τὸ ἡγεμονικὸν μέρος τῆς ψυχῆς ὥσπερ χάρτην εὔεργον εἰς ἀπογραϕήν· εἰς τοῦτο μίαν ἑκάστην τῶν ἐννοιῶν ἐναπογράϕεται. Πρῶτος δὲ [ὁ] τῆς ἀναγραϕῆς τρόπος ὁ διὰ τῶν αἰσθήσεων. αἰσθανόμενοι γάρ τινος οἷον λευκοῦ, ἀπελθόντος αὐτοῦ μνήμην ἔχουσιν· ὅταν δὲ ὁμοειδεῖς πολλαὶ μνῆμαι γένωνται, τότε ϕαμὲν ἔχειν ἐμπειρίαν· ἐμπειρία γάρ ἐστι τὸ τῶν ὁμοειδῶν ϕαντασιῶν πλῆθος. Τῶν δὲ ἐννοιῶν αἱ μὲν ϕυσικῶς γίνονται κατὰ τοὺς εἰρημένους τρόπους καὶ ἀνεπιτεχνήτως, αἱ δὲ ἤδη δι’ ἡμετέρας διδασκαλίας καὶ ἐπιμελείας· αὗται μὲν οὖν ἔννοιαι καλοῦνται μόνον, ἐκεῖναι δὲ καὶ προλήψεις. Ὁ δὲ λόγος, καθ’ ὅν προσαγορευόμεθα λογικοὶ ἐκ τῶν προλήψεων συμπληροῦσθαι λέγεται κατὰ τὴν πρώτην ἑβδομάδα. The Stoics say: When a human being has been born, the commanding part of his soul is like a sheet of paper in good condition for writing upon; upon this each one of his conceptions is written. The first way of writing is through the senses. For when humans perceive something, e.g. something white, they have a memory of it when it goes away; and when many memories of the same kind have come to be, then we say that they have experience; for experience is a plurality of impressions of the same kind. Of conceptions, some come about naturally and non-technically through the aforementioned ways, but others come about through our own learning and efforts. The latter are called ‘conceptions’, but the former are called ‘prolepses’ as well. And reason, according to which we are called ‘rational’, is said to be completely filled out with prolepses at the age of seven years.
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DOI 10.1017/s0009838813000219
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