The Stoics on Lekta: All There Is to Say (Oxford Classical Monographs)
After Plato's Forms, and Aristotle's substances, the Stoicsposited the fundamental reality of lekta - the meanings ofsentences, distinct from the sentences themselves. This is thefirst time in the tradition of Western philosophy that what issignified is properly distinguished from signs and signifiers.The Stoics on Lekta offers a synoptic treatment of the manyimplications of this distinction, which grants an existentialautonomy to lekta: language can only ever express meanings, butwhat happens to meanings which are there, ready to be said, butwhich are never actually expressed? It analyses the deep shift inontological paradigm required by the presence of lekta in reality,and reveals a truly unique, complex, and consistent cosmic view inwhich lektaare the keystones of the structure of reality. According to thisview, we cannot not speak or think in terms of lekta, and for thisreason, they are in fact all there is to say.The Stoics' position ignited many fiery debates in antiquity andcontinues to do so in the modern era: they were the first to beconcerned with questions about language and grammar, and the firstto put the relation of language to reality at the heart of theenquiry into human understanding and the place of man in thecosmos. Such questions remain central to life and philosophy tothis day, and by explicitly comparing and contrasting the themesand topics discussed to twentieth-centurytreatments of the status of the proposition, propositionalstructure, speech act theory, and the relation of attribution ofthe predicate to a subject-term, this volume seeks to demonstratethe enduring value of a direct Stoic contribution to thecontemporary debate.