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System and method in Senecan philosophical prose

Grant number: 14/01811-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2014
Effective date (End): April 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Classical Languages
Principal Investigator:Isabella Tardin Cardoso
Grantee:Matheus Clemente de Pietro
Host Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The notions of "System", "systematism", and related concepts play an important role in many of the studies concerning the Stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE - 65 CE). Despite that fact, currently there is no investigation aiming to analyze the presence of such notions - be it in that author's writing or in secondary literature. Particularly surprising is that, although Seneca is often described as a philosopher of an unsystematic nature, very few of the scholars who thus qualify him offer us explanations regarding what exactly do they mean by such attribute. When a clarification is indeed provided, it is not infrequent to ascertain that their definitions somewhat differ from those given by other scholars. The purpose of this project is twofold. Firstly, I intend to analyze such characterization of Senecan prose. In order to do that I will not only look for evidence of some form of system in some of his works (be it a stylistic, philosophical, structural, or rhetorical system), but also attend to possible mentions or allusions made by the author himself to correlated notions. Secondly, I shall examine how notions related to "system" and "systematism" are used in the secondary literature dedicated to the Roman author. Lastly, I intend to provide more detailed observations regarding the implications of the use of such concepts in the methodology and the practice of Classical Studies devoted to Seneca.

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