Chrysippus on the beautiful : studies in a Stoic conception of aesthetic properties
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This thesis is dedicated to exploring the ways in which Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic philosophical school, employed beauty terms (especially to kalon) in his arguments, and what conceptualisation of aesthetic properties these usages underpin. It consists of an introduction, five chapters and an epilogue. I start my enquiry by presenting some general philosophical issues pertinent to theories of the beautiful and discussing methodological issues, including the problematic nature of fragmentary Stoic sources. Then the consecutive five chapters are dedicated to analysing and discussing the following Chrysippean ideas and arguments: the Stoic definition of beauty as summetria, the role that beauty plays in the process of acquiring philosophical knowledge, the argument that only the beautiful is the good, the Stoic theological and theodicean arguments that use the presence of beauty to establish the rational generation/maintenance of the world and, finally, Stoic ideas on human beauty, particularly concentrating on their paradoxical claim that only the wise man is beautiful. In the epilogue, I briefly summarise my arguments and discuss how Stoic ideas could be of interest even today. All my examinations of Chrysippus’ ideas in this work result in the reconstruction of his theorisation of aesthetic properties in more generally as well as the evaluation of not only the significance of his ideas in their historical context but also their contribution to the aesthetic tradition in general.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2025-01-08
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 8th January 2025
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