After Plato's Forms, and Aristotle's substances, the Stoics posited the fundamental reality of lekta - the meanings of sentences, distinct from the sentences themselves. This is the first time in the tradition of Western philosophy that what is signified is properly distinguished from signs and signifiers.
The Stoics on Lekta offers a synoptic treatment of the many implications of this distinction, which grants an existential autonomy to lekta: language can only ever express meanings, but what happens to meanings which are there, ready to be said, but which are never actually expressed? It analyses the deep shift in ontological paradigm required by the presence of lekta in reality, and reveals a truly unique, complex, and consistent cosmic view in which lekta
are the keystones of the structure of reality. According to this view, we cannot not speak or think in terms of lekta, and for this reason, they are in fact all there is to say.
The Stoics' position ignited many fiery debates in antiquity and continues to do so in the modern era: they were the first to be concerned with questions about language and grammar, and the first to put the relation of language to reality at the heart of the enquiry into human understanding and the place of man in the cosmos. Such questions remain central to life and philosophy to this day, and by explicitly comparing and contrasting the themes and topics discussed to twentieth-century
treatments of the status of the proposition, propositional structure, speech act theory, and the relation of attribution of the predicate to a subject-term, this volume seeks to demonstrate the enduring value of a direct Stoic contribution to the contemporary debate.
The Stoics on Lekta: All There Is to Say