Doxography

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Doxography refers to the classifications of the tenet systems of ancient philosophies.

Contemporary scholar Jaap Mansfeld states:

Broadly speaking, doxography encompasses those writings, or parts of writings, in which the author presents philosophical views of some or other of the ancient philosophers or schools, in some or other areas, or on some or other topics, of philosophy, whether with or without presentation of the argumentation or analysis through which they offered philosophical support or reasons in favor of their ‘tenets’, and whether or not they also include critical evaluations and comments of the author's own. In other words, these are works (or sections of works) taking as their subject matter the tenets or doctrines of the philosophers, rather than independent works of philosophy in which the author addresses in the first instance issues or topics of philosophy, with ancillary discussion along the way of the opinions of other philosophers. The terms for tenets, or views, in ancient Greek are doxai or dogmata, in Latin opiniones; those for doctrines are, in Greek, areskonta, translated into Latin as placita. But note that these designations were used interchangeably.[1]

The term was coined by the German classical scholar Hermann Alexander Diels.

Etymology

The terms for tenets, or views, in ancient Greek are doxai or dogmata.

Doxography: "an opinion", "a point of view" + γράφειν – "to write", "to describe."

References

  1. Mansfeld, Jaap. "Doxography of Ancient Philosophy". In Zalta, Edward N. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 


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