"Catherine Atherton's magisterial study of The Stoics on Ambiguity combines detailed assessment of the evidence and the distortions in our sources with significant insights into what the Stoic treatments of this particular theme can tell us about the limitations of Stoic philosophy of language and the differences between its priorities and those of modern linguistics....Emphatically not just a specialised study, but an important and provocative book for all serious students of Stoicism." Phronesis
"Atherton's careful attention to detail, her excellent translations of relevant passages, and her thorough discussion of the relevant sources are impressive." Religious Studies Review
". . . a well written and illuminating book." --Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora
"Atherton has taken on the daunting task of providing the best possible reconstruction of a Stoic theory of ambiguity and she succeeds remarkably well. The tools she brings to bear on the problems include: a broad knowledge of Stoicism, especially dialectic and ethics; a comprehensive familiarity with ancient grammatical and rhetorical theory; a thorough and clear-headed grasp of the Aristotelian tradition; and a deep familiarity with theoretical linguistics and the relevant aspects of current philosophy of language....this book is sure to provoke a lot of discussion. But whatever one's stand on the various controversies it arouses, there is a great deal to be learned from the wealth of detailed analysis it contains." Richard Bett, International Studies in Philosophy
"The prime virtues of this book are its careful handling of Stoic terminology and the source texts, its refusal to neglect the probable context of the theories it treats, its persistent attempts to question and push the sources to see whether they can be made to yield a theory consistent--both in itself and with the principles of Stoic philosophy--and adequate to the demands of a philosophy of language, and its use of contemporary linguistic models as sources of questions and challenges to that theory. These virtues make the book well worth reading by anyone interested in the Stoics or in ancient linguistics." The Philosophical Review
"Atherton has written a book which...will be profitably consulted by a readership that includes not only specialists in ancient thought but alos classicists in general, philosophers and scholars of literature and linguistics. ...her book is virtually a composite of several interconnecting studies--of Stoic philosophy, ancient linguistics, logic and rhetoric, and of perspectives on ambiguity drawn from modern theory. The format of the book is carefully organized...." A.A. Long, Ancient Philosophy
Stoic work on ambiguity represents one of the most innovative, sophisticated and rigorous contributions to philosophy and the study of language in western antiquity. This book is both the first comprehensive survey of the often difficult and scattered sources and the first attempt to locate Stoic material in the rich array of contexts, ancient and modern, which alone can guarantee full appreciation of its subtlety, scope and complexity. It is designed to be intelligible to readers with no Greek or Latin.