Re-edition of P.Oxy. LII 3655 (a dialogue on ancient philosophers Stilpo and Metrocles) with a detailed philosophical commentary - The fragment (P. Oxy. LII 3655) concerns the Megarian philosopher Stilpon, who probably lived between ca. 360 and 280BCE, along with some of his students and, most likely, Metrokles the Cynic. The form is that of a narrated dialogue whose narrator remains anonymous, and involves at least three interlocutors. We may propose the hypothesis that our fragment contributes to the reconstruction of the philosophical climate of the late fourth century BCE. At one end, we have the living memory of the teachings that Sokrates had left with the example of his philosophical βίος. At the other, Aristotle’s Lyceum, the first non-Sokratic philosophical school. In the middle, the great Platonic Academy and those philosophical movements straddling school instruction and a philosophical way of life, that brought together pupils of the other pupils of Sokrates (those known as “the minor Sokratics”), first among them being the Cynics and the Megarians. There was a debate that involved them all, perhaps set on foot by the one man who was not a Sokratic. From the beginning of the Nicomachean ethics, Aristotle brings together a theory of human action with a theory of human good, making the highest good for man (i.e. happiness) the ultimate aim of men’s actions and behaviour. It was on the basis of this eudaimonistic ethics that the philosophers of the Imperial age—the age our papyrus belongs to—appear to reconstruct the various branches of the Sokratic philosophy at the time of Aristotle. Thus Julian the Apostate: “The goal and the end proposed by Cynic philosophy, as, moreover, by all philosophy, is happiness; now, this happiness consists in living in conformity with nature, not according to the opinions of the crowd” ( Jul. Or. 6,193d3–6). Whatever “living in conformity with nature” means (presumably not what it meant for Aristo- tle), the Sokratics still considered virtue a sufficient condition for happiness and something teachable. What distinguished them from each other is the form that this teaching should take. According to Cynics, virtue “is a matter of deeds and does not need lots of discourse and learning”: “it requires nothing else except the strength of a Sokrates” (Diog. Laert. 6,11). Perhaps it was in a similar way that in our papyrus Metrokles reproached Stilpon’s school teaching, the subtlety of his arguments, and his ethics of youth.

P.Oxy. 3655. Dialogo filosofico (?)

Carlotta Capuccino;Giulio Iovine
2021

Abstract

Re-edition of P.Oxy. LII 3655 (a dialogue on ancient philosophers Stilpo and Metrocles) with a detailed philosophical commentary - The fragment (P. Oxy. LII 3655) concerns the Megarian philosopher Stilpon, who probably lived between ca. 360 and 280BCE, along with some of his students and, most likely, Metrokles the Cynic. The form is that of a narrated dialogue whose narrator remains anonymous, and involves at least three interlocutors. We may propose the hypothesis that our fragment contributes to the reconstruction of the philosophical climate of the late fourth century BCE. At one end, we have the living memory of the teachings that Sokrates had left with the example of his philosophical βίος. At the other, Aristotle’s Lyceum, the first non-Sokratic philosophical school. In the middle, the great Platonic Academy and those philosophical movements straddling school instruction and a philosophical way of life, that brought together pupils of the other pupils of Sokrates (those known as “the minor Sokratics”), first among them being the Cynics and the Megarians. There was a debate that involved them all, perhaps set on foot by the one man who was not a Sokratic. From the beginning of the Nicomachean ethics, Aristotle brings together a theory of human action with a theory of human good, making the highest good for man (i.e. happiness) the ultimate aim of men’s actions and behaviour. It was on the basis of this eudaimonistic ethics that the philosophers of the Imperial age—the age our papyrus belongs to—appear to reconstruct the various branches of the Sokratic philosophy at the time of Aristotle. Thus Julian the Apostate: “The goal and the end proposed by Cynic philosophy, as, moreover, by all philosophy, is happiness; now, this happiness consists in living in conformity with nature, not according to the opinions of the crowd” ( Jul. Or. 6,193d3–6). Whatever “living in conformity with nature” means (presumably not what it meant for Aristo- tle), the Sokratics still considered virtue a sufficient condition for happiness and something teachable. What distinguished them from each other is the form that this teaching should take. According to Cynics, virtue “is a matter of deeds and does not need lots of discourse and learning”: “it requires nothing else except the strength of a Sokrates” (Diog. Laert. 6,11). Perhaps it was in a similar way that in our papyrus Metrokles reproached Stilpon’s school teaching, the subtlety of his arguments, and his ethics of youth.
Corpus dei Papiri Filosofici Greci e Latini (CPF), Testi e lessico nei papiri di cultura greca e latina, Parte II.1**: Frammenti Adespoti
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Carlotta Capuccino; Giulio Iovine
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/843761
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