Who is Chrysippus (Hrisippos, Chrysippos)?

Who is Chrysippus (Hrisippos, Chrysippos)?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

Chrysippus was the third head of the Stoic School, who lived between 280-207 BC. Chrysippus, who had converted to Stoicism from the skeptical Academy under Archesilaos, became famous for his work and defense of Stoic doctrine with great power and enthusiasm.

Greek records show him as the second founder of the Stoic School after Zeno. He especially elaborated on Stoa’s views on knowledge and criticized the skeptics in many of his works. He shifted the focus of logic from singular subject-predicate propositions to propositions such as “Socrates is a man and Xenon is a man”. At that time, it was said, “If the gods had resorted to logic, it would have been the logic of Chrysippus”.

He stated that when words are connected with conjunctions such as ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘if’, ‘then’, the correctness of the whole sentence depends on the correctness of the parts. In this way he showed how various propositions can be derived, the truth of which can always be guaranteed by the truth of the original proposition. He had no real impact on the history of logic for the next 1500 years. This situation is due to the effect of the Aristotelian approach of the Catholic Church, as well as the disappearance of his writings and the second-hand transmission of his ideas.

It is also known for an interesting way of dying. Rumor has it that he died of laughing too much while laughing at a joke he made. The joke, of course, is not very funny since we were probably not there, when I read it now, but it was like this; When a donkey ate its figs, he said to his old servant, “Give the donkey a thirsty wine so that he can drink it,” and then he got the mercy of the right while laughing.

According to Hrisippos, one of the early Stoics, who believed that the only purpose in life is happiness and that this happiness can only be achieved by following the rules set by nature; if someone pushes the roller standing at the top of the slope, the roller will roll down. But the reason for rolling is not just because it is pushed down, it is the following reason, in fact, the determining reason for the fall is the cylinder’s own shape and cylindrical condition. If the same reason had been applied to an earring, rolling might not have occurred; because the angular nature of the cube would not allow it. The same is true for humans. Even if external causes or external causes are motivating in different directions, the reaction depends on one’s own nature. Being happy is in one’s own hands.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook, History of Philosophy; prof. Macit Gokberk; Remzi Bookstore, Lecture Notes of Ernst von Aster