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STILPO (or STILPON; Greek : Στίλπων, gen.: Στίλπωνος; c. 360 – c. 280 BC ) was a Greek philosopher of the Megarian school . He was a contemporary of Theophrastus
Theophrastus
, Diodorus Cronus, and Crates of Thebes . None of his writings survive, he was interested in logic and dialectic , and he argued that the universal is fundamentally separated from the individual and concrete. His ethical teachings approached that of the Cynics and Stoics. His most important followers were Pyrrho, the founder of Pyrrhonism, and Zeno of Citium , the founder of Stoicism
Stoicism
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Life

* 2 Philosophy

* 2.1 Logic
Logic
* 2.2 Ethics
Ethics

* 3 Notes * 4 Sources * 5 External links

LIFE

He was a native of Megara. He probably lived after the time of Euclid of Megara, which makes it unlikely that he was a pupil of Euclid, as stated by some; and others state that he was the pupil of Thrasymachus of Corinth, or of Pasicles , the brother of Crates of Thebes . According to one account, he engaged in dialectic encounters with Diodorus Cronusat the court of Ptolemy Soter ; according to another, he did not comply with the invitation of the king, to go to Alexandria
Alexandria
. We are further told that Demetrius , the son of Antigonus , honoured him no less, spared his house at the capture of Megara, and offered him indemnity for the injury which it had received, which, however, Stilpo
Stilpo
declined. Uniting elevated sentiment with gentleness and patience, he, as Plutarch
Plutarch
says, was an ornament to his country and friends, and had his acquaintance sought by kings. His original propensity to wine and voluptuousness he is said to have entirely overcome; in inventive power and dialectic art to have surpassed his contemporaries, and to have inspired almost all Greece with a devotion to Megarian philosophy. A number of distinguished men too are named, whom he is said to have drawn away from Theophrastus
Theophrastus
, Aristotle of Cyrene , and others, and attached to himself; among others Crates the Cynic , and Zeno , the founder of the Stoic school. Among his followers were Menedemusand Asclepiades , the leaders of the Eretrian school of philosophy. One of his pupils, Nicarete , was also said to have been his mistress. Stilpo
Stilpo
was praised for his political wisdom, his simple, straightforward disposition, and the equanimity with which he tolerated his rebellious daughter. Cicero
Cicero
relates that Stilpo's friends had described him as "vehemently addicted to wine and women", but that his philosophy eliminated his inclinations.

PHILOSOPHY

Of the dialogues ascribed to him, we know only the titles. He belonged to the Megarian schoolof philosophy, but we learn only a little about his doctrines in the few fragments and sayings of his which are quoted.

LOGIC

Stilpo
Stilpo
argued that the genus , the universal , is not contained in the individual and concrete. "Whoever speaks of any person, speaks of no-one, for he neither speaks of this one nor that. For why should it rather be of this one than that? Hence it is not of this one". One of his examples was that "the vegetable is not what is here shown. For a vegetable existed ten thousand years ago, therefore this here is not a vegetable". According to Simplicius , "the so-called Megarians took it as ascertained that what has different determinations is different, and that the diverse are separated one from the other, they seemed to prove that each thing is separated from itself. Hence since the musical Socrates
Socrates
is another determination from the wise Socrates, Socrates
Socrates
was separated from himself."

Thus one thing cannot be predicated of another, that is, the essence of things cannot be reached by means of predicates. Plutarch
Plutarch
quotes Stilpo
Stilpo
as arguing:

To be a horse differs from to be running. For being asked the definition of the one and of the other, we do not give the same for them both; and therefore those err who predicate the one of the other. For if good is the same with people, and to run the same with a horse, how is good affirmed also of food and medicine, and again (by Jupiter) to run of a lion and a dog? But if the predicate is different, then we do not rightly say that a person is good, and a horse runs.

Plutarch
Plutarch
remarks here that Colotesattacked Stilpo
Stilpo
in a bombastic manner as though he ignored common life: "for how shall we live, if we cannot style a man good, nor a man a captain, but must separately name a man a man, good good, and a captain a captain." But Plutarch, in turn, replied, "but what man lived any the worse for this? Is there any man who hears this said, and who does not understand it to be the speech of a man who rallies gallantly, and proposes to others this logical question to exercise their mind?"

ETHICS

Stilpo
Stilpo
seems to have been interested in Virtue
Virtue
, and its self-sufficiency. He maintained that the wise man ought not only to overcome every evil, but not even to be affected by any, not even to feel it, showing, perhaps, how closely allied Stilpo
Stilpo
was to the contemporary Cynics :

For Stilpo, after his country was captured and his children and his wife lost, as he emerged from the general desolation alone and yet happy, spoke as follows to Demetrius , called _Sacker of Cities_ because of the destruction he brought upon them, in answer to the question whether he had lost anything: "I have all my goods with me!" — Seneca, _ Epistles_, 9.18.

This story was an inspiration for Friedrich Klinger 's Sturm und Drang play _ Stilpo
Stilpo
und seine Kinder_ (_ Stilpo
Stilpo
and his Children_) written in 1777 and published in 1780.

A one-page fragment or paraphrase from a work concerning exile is preserved in the writings of Teles of Megara, a 3rd-century BC Cynic . In this fragment, Stilpo
Stilpo
divides the good into three parts: goods of the soul, goods of the body, and external goods. He then demonstrates that exile does not deprive a person of any of these three goods.

NOTES

* ^ _Die Schedelsche Weltchronik, 083_ * ^ Dorandi 1999 , p. 52. * ^ Laërtius 1925 , § 113; Suda, _Stilpo_ * ^ Laërtius 1925 , § 113. * ^ Suda, _Stilpo_; cf. Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 89 * ^ Laërtius 1925 , § 115; Plutarch, _Demetr._ c. 9, etc. * ^ Plutarch, _Colot._ c. 22 * ^ Cicero, _de Fato_, c. 5 * ^ Laërtius 1925 , § 113, comp. 119, 120. * ^ Laërtius 1925 , § 113. * ^ Athenaeus, xiii. 596e; Laërtius 1925 , § 114. * ^ Laërtius 1925 , § 114; comp. Plutarch, _de tranqu. animi,_ c. 6 * ^ Cicero
Cicero
1878 , p. 268. * ^ Cicero, _De Fato_, 5 * ^ _A_ _B_ Laërtius 1925 , § 119. * ^ Simplicius, in _Phys. Ausc._ f. 26, quoted by Hegel
Hegel
1805 , p. * ^ Plutarch, _adv. Colot._ 22, 23 * ^ Laërtius 1925 , § 118. * ^ Seneca, _Epistles,_ ix. 1, 18; comp. Plutarch
Plutarch
_de Tranqu. animi_, 6, Laërtius 1925 , § 114. * ^ Garland 1997 , p. 470. * ^ Teles of Megara1977 , p. 21.

SOURCES

* Cicero, Marcus Tullius(1878), _The treatises of M.T. Cicero: On the nature of the gods; On divination; On fate; On the republic; On the laws; and On standing for the consulship_, translated by Yonge, Charles Duke , London: G. Bell, p. 268 * Dorandi, Tiziano (1999), "Chapter 2: Chronology", in Algra, Keimpe; et al., _The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy_, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 52, ISBN 9780521250283 * Hegel
Hegel
(1805), "The Philosophy of the Socratics", _Lectures on the History of Philosophy _ * _ Laërtius, Diogenes (1925), "Socrates, with predecessors and followers: Stilpo", Lives of the Eminent Philosophers
Lives of the Eminent Philosophers
_, 1:2, translated by Hicks, Robert Drew (Two volume ed.), Loeb Classical Library * Garland, Mary (1997), _The Oxford companion to German literature_, Oxford University Press, p. 470 * Teles of Megara(1977), "_Discourse_ 3, "On Exile"", in O'Neil, Edward, _Teles the Cynic Teacher_, Scholars Press, p. 21

ATTRIBUTION:

* _ This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Smith, William , ed. (1870), "article name needed", Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology