green numbers give full details.     |    back to list of philosophers     |     unexpand these ideas

Ideas of Prodicus, by Text

[Greek, c.460 - 400 BCE, Born at Ceos. A sophist.]

423BCE fragments/reports
p.246 Contradiction is impossible, since only one side of the argument refers to the true facts
     Full Idea: Prodicus insists that contradiction is impossible, since if two people are contradicting each other, they cannot both be speaking of the same fact. Only the one who is speaking the truth is speaking of facts as they are; the other does not speak facts.
     From: report of Prodicus (fragments/reports [c.423 BCE]) by Didymus the Blind - Commentary on Ecclesiastes (frags)
     A reaction: cf. Kant's 100 thalers example
p.250 He denied the existence of the gods, saying they are just exaltations of things useful for life
     Full Idea: He says that the gods worshipped by men neither exist nor have knowledge, but that the ancients exalted crops and everything else which is useful for life.
     From: Prodicus (fragments/reports [c.423 BCE]), quoted by Anon (Herc) - fragments 1428 19.12
B5 p.140 The gods are just personified human benefits
     Full Idea: Things from which benefits to human life have been derived have come to be considered deities, such as Demeter and Dionysus.
     From: Prodicus (fragments/reports [c.423 BCE], B5), quoted by (who?) - where?
B5 p.249 People used to think anything helpful to life was a god, as the Egyptians think the Nile a god
     Full Idea: In the old days people regarded the sun, the moon, rivers, springs, and everything else which is helpful for life as gods, because we are helped by them, just as the Egyptians regard the Nile as a god.
     From: Prodicus (fragments/reports [c.423 BCE], B5), quoted by Sextus Empiricus - Against the Professors (six books) 9.18