Dionysius of Chalcedon

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Dionysius of Chalcedon (fl. 320 BC[1]) was a Greek philosopher and dialectician connected with the Megarian school. He was a native of Chalcedon on the coast of Bithynia.[2] Dionysius was the person who first used the name Dialecticians to describe a splinter group within the Megarian school "because they put their arguments into the form of question and answer."[3] One area of activity for the dialecticians was the framing of definitions,[4] and Aristotle criticises a definition of life by Dionysius in his Topics:[5]

This is, moreover, what happens to Dionysius' definition of "life" when stated as "a movement of a creature sustained by nutriment, congenitally present with it"

Dionysius is also reported to have taught Theodorus the Atheist.[6]


  1. ^ Tiziano Dorandi, Chapter 2: Chronology, in Algra et al. (1999) The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, page 47. Cambridge.
  2. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, ii. 106; Strabo, xii. 4. 9
  3. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, ii. 106
  4. ^ "Dialectical School" entry in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1998)
  5. ^ Aristotle, Topics vi. 10
  6. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, ii. 98