ABSTRACT: Alexander of Aphrodisias’ commentaries on Aristotle’s Organon are valuable sources for both Stoic and early Peripatetic logic, and have often been used as such – in particular for early Peripatetic hypothetical syllogistic and Stoic propositional logic. By contrast, this paper explores the role Alexander himself played in the development and transmission of those theories. There are three areas in particular where he seems to have made a difference: First, he drew a connection between certain passages from Aristotle’s (...) Topics and Prior Analytics and the Stoic indemonstrable arguments, and, based on this connection, appropriated at least four kinds of Stoicindemonstrables as Aristotelian. Second, he developed and made use of a specifically Peripatetic terminology in which to describe and discuss those arguments – which facilitated the integration of the indemonstrables into Peripatetic logic. Third, he made some progress towards a solution to the problem of what place and interpretation the Stoic third indemonstrables should be given in a Peripatetic and Platonist setting. Overall, the picture emerges that Alexander persistently (if not always consistently) presented passages from Aristotle’s logical œuvre in a light that makes it appear as if Aristotle was in the possession of a Peripatetic correlate to the Stoic theory of indemonstrables. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: For the Stoics, a syllogism is a formally valid argument; the primary function of their syllogistic is to establish such formal validity. Stoic syllogistic is a system of formal logic that relies on two types of argumental rules: (i) 5 rules (the accounts of the indemonstrables) which determine whether any given argument is an indemonstrable argument, i.e. an elementary syllogism the validity of which is not in need of further demonstration; (ii) one unary and three binary argumental (...) rules which establish the formal validity of non-indemonstrable arguments by analysing them in one or more steps into one or more indemonstrable arguments (cut type rules and antilogism). The function of these rules is to reduce given non-indemonstrable arguments to indemonstrable syllogisms. Moreover, the Stoic method of deduction differs from standard modern ones in that the direction is reversed (similar to tableau methods). The Stoic system may hence be called an argumental reductive system of deduction. In this paper, a reconstruction of this system of logic is presented, and similarities to relevance logic are pointed out. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: A detailed presentation of Stoic theory of arguments, including truth-value changes of arguments, Stoic syllogistic, Stoic indemonstrable arguments, Stoic inference rules (themata), including cut rules and antilogism, argumental deduction, elements of relevance logic in Stoic syllogistic, the question of completeness of Stoic logic, Stoic arguments valid in the specific sense, e.g. "Dio says it is day. But Dio speaks truly. Therefore it is day." A more formal and more detailed account of the (...)Stoic theory of deduction can be found in S. Bobzien, Stoic Syllogistic, OSAP 1996. (shrink)
Logic as a discipline starts with the transition from the more or less unreflective use of logical methods and argument patterns to the reflection on and inquiry into these and their elements, including the syntax and semantics of sentences. In Greek and Roman antiquity, discussions of some elements of logic and a focus on methods of inference can be traced back to the late 5th century BCE. The Sophists, and later Plato (early 4th c.) displayed an interest in sentence analysis, (...) truth, and fallacies, and Eubulides of Miletus (mid-4th c.) is on record as the inventor of both the Liar and the Sorites paradox. But logic as a fully systematic discipline begins with Aristotle, who systematized much of the logical inquiry of his predecessors. His main achievements were his theory of the logical interrelation of affirmative and negative existential and universal statements and, based on this theory, his syllogistic, which can be interpreted as a system of deductive inference. Aristotle's logic is known as term-logic, since it is concerned with the logical relations between terms, such as ‘human being’, ‘animal’, ‘white’. It shares elements with both set theory and predicate logic. Aristotle's successors in his school, the Peripatos, notably Theophrastus and Eudemus, widened the scope of deductive inference and improved some aspects of Aristotle's logic. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: An introduction to Stoic logic. Stoic logic can in many respects be regarded as a fore-runner of modern propositional logic. I discuss: 1. the Stoic notion of sayables or meanings (lekta); the Stoic assertibles (axiomata) and their similarities and differences to modern propositions; the time-dependency of their truth; 2.-3. assertibles with demonstratives and quantified assertibles and their truth-conditions; truth-functionality of negations and conjunctions; non-truth-functionality of disjunctions and conditionals; language regimentation and ‘bracketing’ devices; Stoic basic (...) principles of propositional logic; 4. Stoic modal logic; 5. Stoic theory of arguments: two premisses requirement; validity and soundness; 6. Stoic syllogistic or theory of formally valid arguments: a reconstruction of the Stoic deductive system, which consisted of accounts of five types of indemonstrable syllogisms, which function as nullary argumental rules that identify indemonstrables or axioms of the system, and four deductive rules (themata) by which certain complex arguments can be reduced to indemonstrables and thus shown to be formally valid themselves; 7. arguments that were considered as non-syllogistically valid (subsyllogistic and unmethodically concluding arguments). Their validity was explained by recourse to formally valid arguments. (shrink)
It is very difficult to get a clear picture of how the Stoic is supposed to deliberate. This paper considers a number of possible pictures, which cover such a wide range of options that some look Kantian and others utilitarian. Each has some textual support but is also unworkable in certain ways: there seem to be genuine and unresolved conflicts at the heart of Stoic ethics. And these are apparently due not to developmental changes within the school, but (...) to the Stoics’ having adopted implicitly incompatible solutions in response to different philosophical challenges. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: The 3rd BCE Stoic logician "Chrysippus says that the number of conjunctions constructible from ten propositions exceeds one million. Hipparchus refuted this, demonstrating that the affirmative encompasses 103,049 conjunctions and the negative 310,952." After laying dormant for over 2000 years, the numbers in this Plutarch passage were recently identified as the 10th (and a derivative of the 11th) Schröder number, and F. Acerbi showed how the 2nd BCE astronomer Hipparchus could have calculated them. What remained unexplained is why (...) Hipparchus’ logic differed from Stoic logic, and consequently, whether Hipparchus actually refuted Chrysippus. This paper closes these explanatory gaps. (1) I reconstruct Hipparchus’ notions of conjunction and negation, and show how they differ from Stoic logic. (2) Based on evidence from Stoic logic, I reconstruct Chrysippus’ calculations, thereby (a) showing that Chrysippus’ claim of over a million conjunctions was correct; and (b) shedding new light on Stoic logic and – possibly – on 3rd century BCE combinatorics. (3) Using evidence about the developments in logic from the 3rd to the 2nd centuries, including the amalgamation of Peripatetic and Stoic theories, I explain why Hipparchus, in his calculations, used the logical notions he did, and why he may have thought they were Stoic. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: In contemporary discussions of freedom in Stoic philosophy we often encounter the following assumptions: (i) the Stoics discussed the problem of free will and determinis; (ii) since in Stoic philosophy freedom of the will is in the end just an illusion, the Stoics took the freedom of the sage as a substitute for it and as the only true freedom; (iii) in the c. 500 years of live Stoic philosophical debate, the Stoics were largely concerned with (...) the same philosophical problems of freedom. In this paper I argue that (i) can be upheld only in a very restricted way; (ii) is altogether untenable; and regarding (iii), that, although there may have occurred little change in the Stoic philosophical position on freedom over the centuries, we can detect more than one transformation of the philosophical problems that were at the forefront of the discussion. Moreover, that all the conceptions and problems of freedom were linked to Stoic ethics, and that the differences between them become transparent when one considers their various roles in this context. (shrink)
The tremendous influence Stoicism has exerted on ethical thought from early Christianity through Immanuel Kant and into the twentieth century is rarely understood and even more rarely appreciated. Throughout history, Stoic ethical doctrines have both provoked harsh criticisms and inspired enthusiastic defenders. The Stoics defined the goal in life as living in agreement with nature. Humans, unlike all other animals, are constituted by nature to develop reason as adults, which transforms their understanding of themselves and their own true good. (...) The Stoics held that virtue is the only real good and so is both necessary and, contrary to Aristotle, sufficient for happiness; it in no way depends on luck. The virtuous life is free of all passions, which are intrinsically disturbing and harmful to the soul, but includes appropriate emotive responses conditioned by rational understanding and the fulfillment of all one's personal, social, professional, and civic responsibilities. The Stoics believed that the person who has achieved perfect consistency in the operation of his rational faculties, the "wise man," is extremely rare, yet serves as a prescriptive ideal for all. The Stoics believed that progress toward this noble goal is both possible and vitally urgent. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: This paper traces the evidence in Galen's Introduction to Logic (Institutio Logica) for a hypothetical syllogistic which predates Stoic propositional logic. It emerges that Galen is one of our main witnesses for such a theory, whose authors are most likely Theophrastus and Eudemus. A reconstruction of this theory is offered which - among other things - allows to solve some apparent textual difficulties in the Institutio Logica.
ABSTRACT: Although from the 2nd century BC to the 3rd AD the problems of determinism were discussed almost exclusively under the heading of fate, early Stoic determinism, as introduced by Zeno and elaborated by Chrysippus, was developed largely in Stoic writings on physics, independently of any specific "theory of fate ". Stoic determinism was firmly grounded in Stoic cosmology, and the Stoic notions of causes, as corporeal and responsible for both sustenance and change, and of (...) effects as incorporeal and as predicates, are indispensable for a full understanding of the theory. Stoic determinism was originally not presented as causal determinism, but with a strong teleological element, in the context of a theory of natural motions, which makes use of a distinction between a global and an inner-worldly perspective on events. However, Chrysippus also employed his conception of causality in order to explicate his determinism, and can be shown to have maintained a universal causal determinism in the modern sense of the erm. The teleological and mechanical elements of early Stoic determinism were brought together in Chrysippus' conception of fate, which places elements of rationality in every cause. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Part 1 discusses the Stoic notion of propositions (assertibles, axiomata): their definition; their truth-criteria; the relation between sentence and proposition; propositions that perish; propositions that change their truth-value; the temporal dependency of propositions; the temporal dependency of the Stoic notion of truth; pseudo-dates in propositions. Part 2 discusses Stoic modal logic: the Stoic definitions of their modal notions (possibility, impossibility, necessity, non-necessity); the logical relations between the modalities; modalities as properties of propositions; contingent propositions; the (...) relation between the Stoic modal notions and those of Diodorus Cronus and Philo of Megara; the role of ‘external hindrances’ for the modalities; the temporal dependency of the modalities; propositions that change their modalities; the principle that something possible can follow from something impossible; the interpretations of the Stoic modal system by B. Mates, M. Kneale, M. Frede, J. Vuillemin and M. Mignucci are evaluated. -/- For a much shorter English version of Part 1 of the book see my ‘Stoic Logic’, in K. Algra et al. (eds), The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, Cambridge 1999, 92-157. For a shorter, updated, English version of Part 2 of the book see my 'Chrysippus' Modal Logic and its Relation to Philo and Diodorus', in K. Doering / Th. Ebert (eds) Dialektiker und Stoiker (Stuttgart 1993) 63-84. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: ‘Aristotelian logic’, as it was taught from late antiquity until the 20th century, commonly included a short presentation of the argument forms modus (ponendo) ponens, modus (tollendo) tollens, modus ponendo tollens, and modus tollendo ponens. In late antiquity, arguments of these forms were generally classified as ‘hypothetical syllogisms’. However, Aristotle did not discuss such arguments, nor did he call any arguments ‘hypothetical syllogisms’. The Stoicindemonstrables resemble the modus ponens/tollens arguments. But the Stoics never called them ‘hypothetical (...) syllogisms’; nor did they describe them as ponendo ponens, etc. The tradition of the four argument forms and the classification of the arguments as hypothetical syllogisms hence need some explaining. In this paper, I offer some explanations by tracing the development of certain elements of Aristotle’s logic via the early Peripatetics to the logic of later antiquity. I consider the questions: How did the four argument forms arise? Why were there four of them? Why were arguments of these forms called ‘hypothetical syllogisms’? On what grounds were they considered valid? I argue that such arguments were neither part of Aristotle’s dialectic, nor simply the result of an adoption of elements of Stoic logic, but the outcome of a long, gradual development that begins with Aristotle’s logic as preserved in his Topics and Prior Analytics; and that, as a result, we have a Peripatetic logic of hypothetical inferences which is a far cry both from Stoic logic and from classical propositional logic, but which sports a number of interesting characteristics, some of which bear a cunning resemblance to some 20th century theories. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: 'Aristotelian logic', as it was taught from late antiquity until the 20th century, commonly included a short presentation of the argument forms modus (ponendo) ponens, modus (tollendo) tollens, modus ponendo tollens, and modus tollendo ponens. In late antiquity, arguments of these forms were generally classified as 'hypothetical syllogisms'. However, Aristotle did not discuss such arguments, nor did he call any arguments 'hypothetical syllogisms'. The Stoicindemonstrables resemble the modus ponens/tollens arguments. But the Stoics never called them 'hypothetical (...) syllogisms'; nor did they describe them as ponendo ponens, etc. The tradition of the four argument forms and the classification of the arguments as hypothetical syllogisms hence need some explaining. In this paper, I offer some explanations by tracing the development of certain elements of Aristotle's logic via the early Peripatetics to the logic of later antiquity. I consider the questions: How did the four argument forms arise? Why were there four of them? Why were arguments of these forms called 'hypothetical syllogisms'? On what grounds were they considered valid? I argue that such arguments were neither part of Aristotle's dialectic, nor simply the result of an adoption of elements of Stoic logic, but the outcome of a long, gradual development that begins with Aristotle's logic as preserved in his Topics and Prior Analytics; and that, as a result, we have a Peripatetic logic of hypothetical inferences which is a far cry both from Stoic logic and from classical propositional logic, but which sports a number of interesting characteristics, some of which bear a cunning resemblance to some 20th century theories. (shrink)
Tad Brennan explains how to live the Stoic life--and why we might want to. Stoicism has been one of the main currents of thought in Western civilization for two thousand years: Brennan offers a fascinating guide through the ethical ideas of the original Stoic philosophers, and shows how valuable these ideas remain today, both intellectually and in practice. He writes in a lively informal style which will bring Stoicism to life for readers who are new to ancient philosophy. (...) The Stoic Life will also be of great interest to philosophers and classicists seeking a full understanding of the intellectual legacy of the Stoics. (shrink)
Bobzien presents the definitive study of one of the most interesting intellectual legacies of the ancient Greeks: the Stoic theory of causal determinism. She explains what it was, how the Stoics justified it, and how it relates to their views on possibility, action, freedom, moral responsibility, moral character, fatalism, logical determinism and many other topics. She demonstrates the considerable philosophical richness and power that these ideas retain today.
This book collects a series of important new studies on one of the richest and most influential intellectual traditions of antiquity. Leading scholars combine careful analytical attention to the original texts with historical sensitivity and philosophical acuity to point the way to a better understanding of Stoic ethics, political theory, logic, and science.
This volume examines the influence that Epicureanism and Stoicism, two philosophies of nature and human nature articulated during classical times, exerted on the development of European thought to the Enlightenment. Although the influence of these philosophies has often been noted in certain areas, such as the influence of Stoicism on the development of Christian thought and the influence of Epicureanism on modern materialism, the chapters in this volume forward a new awareness of the degree to which these philosophies and their (...) continued interaction informed European intellectual life well into early modern times. The influence of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophies in the areas of literature, philosophy, theology, and science are considered. Many thinkers continue to perceive these philosophies as significant alternatives for understanding the human and natural worlds. Having become incorporated into the canon of philosophical alternatives, Epicureanism and Stoicism continued to exert identifiable influences on scientific and philosphical thought at least until the middle of the eighteenth century. (shrink)
Zeno's so-called proofs of divine existence -- Zeno and the traditional gods: a serious problem -- Cleanthes' proofs -- Cleanthes and the traditional gods -- Chrysippus' contribution -- Chrysippus and the traditional gods -- Other Stoic proofs -- Other (Stoic?) arguments in Sextus -- Polemics against the arguments pro the existence of God(s) -- Abolishing the gods leads to odd consequence: the atopical arguments pro the existence of the gods -- The counter-arguments -- Carneades and the data of (...) Sextus and Cicero -- The sorites arguments as a weapon against the traditional gods -- Epilogue -- Appendix I. Cleanthes' humn on Zeus: a running commentary -- Appendix II. Where is God? -- Appendix III. Alexinus' Parabolai. (shrink)
The Stoic Idea of the City offers the first systematic analysis of the Stoic school, concentrating on Zeno's Republic . Renowned classical scholar Malcolm Schofield brings together scattered and underused textual evidence, examining the Stoic ideals that initiated the natural law tradition of Western political thought. A new foreword by Martha Nussbaum and a new epilogue written by the author further secure this text as the standard work on Presocratic Stoics. "The account emerges from a jigsaw-puzzle of (...) items from a wide range of authorities, painstakingly pieced together and then annotated in a series of appendixes, the whole executed with fine scholarship, clarity, and good humor."-- Times Literary Supplement. (shrink)
Introduction -- Stoic ethics and rhetoric -- Eighteenth-century common sense and sensus communis -- Taste and sensus communis -- Propriety, sympathy, and style fusing individual and social -- Victorian language theories and the decline of sensus communis.
While few soldiers may have read the works of Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius, it is undoubtedly true that the ancient philosophy known as Stoicism guides the actions of many in the military. Soldiers and seamen learn early in their training "to suck it up," to endure, to put aside their feelings and to get on with the mission. Stoic Warriors is the first book to delve deeply into the ancient legacy of this relationship, exploring what the Stoic philosophy (...) actually is, the role it plays in the character of the military (both ancient and modern), and its powerful value as a philosophy of life. Marshalling anecdotes from military history--ranging from ancient Greek wars to World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq--Nancy Sherman illuminates the military mind and uses it as a window on the virtues of the Stoic philosophy, which are far richer and more interesting than our popularized notions. Sherman--a respected philosopher who taught at the US Naval Academy--explores the deep, lasting value that Stoicism can yield, in issues of military leadership and character; in the Stoic conception of anger and its control (does a warrior need anger to go to battle?); and in Stoic thinking about fear and resilience, grief and mourning, and the value of camaraderie and brotherhood. Sherman concludes by recommending a moderate Stoicism, where the task for the individual, both civilian and military, youth and adult, is to temper control with forgiveness, and warrior drive and achievement with humility and humor. Here then is a perceptive investigation of what makes Stoicism so compelling not only as a guiding principle for the military, but as a philosophy for anyone facing the hardships of life. (shrink)
Introduction -- A religious world-view -- Stoic corporealism -- Stoic theology -- Two pictures of fate -- Virtue and the virtues -- Definitions of virtue -- Chrysippus : characterisation of virtue as perfect state -- Virtue as consistent character -- The virtues as epistmai -- The virtues, different yet inseparable -- The difference between the virtues -- The inseparability of the virtues -- A catalogue of virtues -- Ethical virtues additional (generic) virtues -- The openness of Chrysippus catalogue (...) of virtues -- Becoming virtuous -- Vice and the attainability of virtue -- Initiation -- Virtue and happiness -- Practices of virtue -- Law and rules -- Law -- Rules and Kathkonta -- Stoic practical reasoning -- The single Kathkon and the versatility of stoic prescriptions. (shrink)
Literature on the Stoa has recently concentrated on historical accounts of the development of the school and on Stoicism as a social movement. Professor Rist’s approach is to examine in detail a series of philosophical problems discussed by leading members of the Stoic school. He is not concerned with social history or with the influence of Stoicism on popular beliefs in the Ancient world, but with such questions as the relation between Stoicism and the thought of Aristotle, the meaning (...) and purpose of such Stoic paradoxes as, ‘all sins are equal’, and the philosophical interrelation of Stoic physics and ethics. There are chapters on aspects of Stoic logic and on the thought of particular thinkers such as Panaetius and Posidonius, but ethical problems occupy the centre of the stage. (shrink)
This new translation of Epictetus' Handbook brings his ancient teachings to those who wish to live the philosophic life by finding a way to live happily in the world without being overwhelmed by it. This modern English translation of the complete Handbook is supported by the first thorough commentary since that of Simplicius, 1500 years ago, along with a detailed introduction, extensive glossary, index of key terms, and helpful tables that clarify Stoic ethical doctrines as a glance. Accompanying the (...) Handbook is the Tablet of Cebes , a curious and engaging text from an unknown author. In complete contrast to the Handbook 's more conventional philosophical presentation, the Tablet is an allegory that shows progress to philosophical wisdom as a journey through a landscape inhabited by personifications of Happiness, Fortune, the Virtues and Vices. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to reject the classical interpretation of Stoic ethics as virtue ethics. The typical assumptions of this interpretation, that virtue is the supreme good and that happiness can be reduced to virtue, are questioned. We first lay out the conceptual framework of Stoic philosophy and present an outline of the reduction of happiness to virtue. The main part of the paper provides an argument for reinterpretation of virtue as rationality. In the last part of (...) the paper – more speculative – we argue against the possibility of reduction of happiness to virtue. The main point of the argument is the conceptual incompatibility of the two notions. (shrink)
This essay argues the Stoics are rightly regarded as pantheists. Their view differs from many forms of pantheism by accepting the notion of a personal god who exercises divine providence. Moreover, Stoic pantheism is utterly inimical to a deep ecology ethic. I argue that these features are nonetheless consistent with the claim that they are pantheists. The essay also considers the arguments offered by the Stoics. They thought that their pantheistic conclusion was an extension of the best science of (...) their day. Some of their most interesting arguments are thusa posteriori. (shrink)
In view of recent articles citing the Stoics as a defence or refutation of cosmopolitanism it is legitimate to ask whether the Stoics did in fact have an argument for cosmopolitanism which may be useful to contemporary political philosophers. I begin by discussing an interpretation of Stoic views on cosmopolitanism by Martha Nussbaum and A.A. Long and show that the arguments they attribute to the Stoics are not tenable in the light of present day philosophy. I then argue that (...) the Stoics did offer a very different argument for cosmopolitanism which is both more interesting and more plausible in that it draws on a conception of human nature similar to Aristotles and contemporary virtue ethics. Lastly I consider an objection made to their particular brand of cosmopolitanism by Martha Nussbaum, namely that a Stoic cosmopolitan life is devoid of personal affiliation and therefore unbearably lonely. I argue that this objection is in fact unfounded. (shrink)
In the Euthydemus, Socrates and young Cleinias agree, "Not one of the other things is good or bad, but of these two, one—wisdom—is good, and the other—ignorance—is bad" (281e3-5).1 To some, this is the outrageous and characteristically Stoic claim that wisdom is the only good.
In Philosophy as a Way of Life, Pierre Hadot discusses the understanding of philosophy held by the Greco-Roman ancients. Philosophy was not understood only as an exegetical or analytical exercise, but as a spiritual practice - a way of life. Becoming a member of a philosophical school was tantamount to a religious conversion involving one's entire self. To make one's doctrines 'ready to hand' required a number of 'spiritual exercises' which, if regularly followed, were intended to evince such a transformation. (...) Hadot discusses the role of such exercises for (among others) Platonists, Epicureans, Christians, and Stoics. I propose that the Samurai should be added to such a consideration. Their respective exercises allowed the adherents genuinely to adopt their system of beliefs. Many beliefs held by Stoics and Samurai are surprisingly similar. After having discussed some of these similarities, the most striking similarity will be revealed: the role of spiritual exercises in preparing both the Stoic and the Samurai for death. (shrink)
I investigate Stoic accounts of the structure and function of self-consciousness, specifically in connection with the Stoic notion of Oikeiosis. After reviewing the tortured history of attempts to translate this ancient notion into modern terms, I set out to determine its content by identifying its inferential role in Stoic moral psychology. I then provide a reconstruction of the Stoic claim that Oikeiosis is or involves a form of self-consciousness (Chrysippus), self-sentiment (Seneca), or synæsthesia (Hierocles). I show (...) how the Stoic conception of self-consciousness differs fundamentally from modern accounts of selfconsciousness as a form of psychic self-presence or epistemic self-certainty, and I exhibit the limitations of Long’s treatment of Stoic self-consciousness as proprioception. Finally, I offer a reconstruction of the Stoic claim that self-consciousness figures as a condition on the possibility of perception and desire, providing a form of normative orientation essential for intentional determinacy. (shrink)
When examining the role of Stoic ethics within Stoic philosophy as a whole, it is useful for us to look at the Stoic view of the way in which philosophy is made up of parts. The aim is a synoptic and integrated understanding of the theoremata of all the parts, something which can be achieved in a variety of ways, either by subsequent integration of separate study of the three parts or by proceeding through 'mixed' presentations, which (...) can be made at varying levels of understanding.In two presentations of Stoic ethics we find initially baffling claims about the life of virtue being 'the same as' or 'equivalent to' the life according to nature. These indicate approaches in which understanding of ethical concepts was enlarged and enriched by study of physics. Interpretation which makes physics in these passages into ethical foundations answers poorly to the ancient texts and raises severe difficulties as an interpretation of Stoicism. Two texts which have been taken to commit Stoics to a foundationalist view of the relation of ethics and physics do not in fact do so; rather, they fit well into the holistic view of philosophy and its parts. (shrink)
The surviving sources on the Stoic theory of division reveal that the Stoics, particularly Chrysippus, believed that bodies, places and times were such that all of their parts themselves had proper parts. That is, bodies, places and times were composed of gunk. This realisation helps solve some long-standing puzzles about the Stoic theory of mixture and the Stoic attitude to the present.
ABSTRACT: A systematic reconstruction of Chrysippus’ theory of causes, grounded on the Stoic tenets that causes are bodies, that they are relative, and that all causation can ultimately be traced back to the one ‘active principle’ which pervades all things. I argue that Chrysippus neither developed a finished taxonomy of causes, nor intended to do so, and that he did not have a set of technical terms for mutually exclusive classes of causes. Rather, the various adjectives which he used (...) for causes had the function of describing or explaining particular features of certain causes in particular philosophical contexts. I challenge the sometimes assumed close connection of Chrysippus’ notion of causation with explanation. I show that the standard view that the distinction between proximate and auxiliary causes and perfect and principal causes corresponds to the distinction between internal and external determining factors is not born out by the evidence, and argue that causes of the two types were not thought to co-operate, but rather conceived of as alternatives. (shrink)
For the past three decades A. A. Long has been at the forefront of research in Hellenistic philosophy. In this book he assembles a dozen articles on Stoicism previously published in journals and conference proceedings. The collection is biased in favour of Professor Long's more recent studies of Stoicism and is focused on three themes: the Stoics' interpretation of their intellectual tradition, their ethics and their psychology. The contents of the book reflect the peculiarly holistic and systematic features of Stoicism. (...) The papers are printed here in their original form for the most part, but the author has made some minor corrections and stylistic or bibliographical changes. He has also added a postscript to three papers whose topics have been the subject of much discussion during the years since they first appeared. (shrink)
Propositions are generally thought to have a truth-value only relative to some parameter or sequence of parameters. Many apparently straightforward notions, like what it is to disagree or retain a belief, become harder to explain once propositional truth is thus relativized. An account of disagreement within a framework involving such ‘stoic’ propositions is here presented. Some resources developed in that account are then used to respond to the eternalist charge that temporalist propositions can't function as belief contents because they (...) don't allow us to make adequate sense of what belief retention amounts to. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the Stoic treatment of fallacies that are based on lexical ambiguities. It provides a detailed analysis of the relevant passages, lays bare textual and interpretative difficulties, explores what the Stoic view on the matter implies for their theory of language, and compares their view with Aristotle’s. In the paper I aim to show that, for the Stoics, fallacies of ambiguity are complexes of propositions and sentences and thus straddle the realms of meaning (which is (...) the domain of logic) and of linguistic expressions (which is the domain of linguistics), but also involve a pragmatic element; that the Stoics believe that the premises of the fallacies, when uttered, have only one meaning and are true, and thus should be conceded; that hence there is no need for a mental process of disambiguation in the listeners; that Aristotle, by contrast, appears to assume that the premises always have all their meanings, and accordingly recommends that the listeners explicitly disambiguate them, which presupposes a process of mental disambiguation. I proffer two readings of the Stoic advice that we ‘be silent’ when confronted with a fallacy of ambiguity in dialectical discourse, and explicate how each leads to an overall consistent interpretation of the textual evidence. Finally, I demonstrate that the method advocated by the Stoics works in all cases of fallacies of lexical ambiguity. (shrink)
In the sixteenth century the Stoics were deemed friends of humanist Christians, but by the eighteenth century they were attacked as atheists. What happened in the intervening period? In the middle of this period falls Ralph Cudworth’s True Intellectual System of the Universe (1678), which contains a sustained analysis of Stoic theology. In Cudworth’s complex taxonomy Stoicism appears twice, both as a form of atheism and an example of imperfect theism. Whether the Stoics are theists or atheists hinges on (...) whether their God is conscious and intelligent, or alive but unconscious like a plant or vegetable. Is God sentient or is he a mindless vegetable? (shrink)
reasons for the disappreciation as well as for the rehabilitation of Stoic logic; it is found in I. M. Bochenski's Ancient Formal Logic (Amsterdam, 1951), and it clearly portrays the diﬀerence in attitude of the logicians of the twentieth century towards the Stoic logical system.
In The Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) Adam Smith draws on the Stoic idea of a Providence that uses everything for the good of the whole. The process is often painful, so the Stoic ethic insisted on conscious cooperation. Stoic ideas contributed to the rise of science and enjoyed wide popularity in Smith’s England. Smith was more influenced by the Stoicism of his professors than by the Epicureanism of Hume. In TMS, Marcus Aurelius’s “helmsman” becomes the “impartial (...) spectator,” who judges actions in terms of the way they are seen by others. This is the key to justice, without which society collapses. Business school students should be taught that Smith’s “invisible hand” is best understood as a universal rationality that uses just actions for the benefit of the whole. (shrink)
Scholars have long recognised the interest of the Stoics' thought on geometrical limits, both as a specific topic in their physics and within the context of the school's ontological taxonomy. Unfortunately, insufficient textual evidence remains for us to reconstruct their discussion fully. The sources we do have on Stoic geometrical themes are highly polemical, tending to reveal a disagreement as to whether limit is to be understood as a mere concept, as a body or as an incorporeal. In my (...) view, this disagreement held among the historical Stoics, rather than simply reflecting a doxographical divergence in transmission. This apparently Stoic disagreement has generated extensive debate, in which there is still no consensus as to a standard Stoic doctrine of limit. The evidence is thin, and little of it refers in detail to specific texts, especially from the school's founders. But in its overall features the evidence suggests that Posidonius and Cleomedes differed from their Stoic precursors on this topic. There are also grounds for believing that some degree of disagreement obtained between the early Stoics over the metaphysical status of shape. Assuming the Stoics did so disagree, the principal question in the scholarship on Stoic ontology is whether there were actually positions that might be called "standard" within Stoicism on the topic of limit. In attempting to answer this question, my discussion initially sets out to illuminate certain features of early Stoic thinking about limit, and then takes stock of the views offered by late Stoics, notably Posidonius and Cleomedes. Attention to Stoic arguments suggests that the school's founders developed two accounts of shape: on the one hand, as a thought-construct, and, on the other, as a body. In an attempt to resolve the crux bequeathed to them, the school's successors suggested that limits are incorporeal. While the authorship of this last notion cannot be securely identified on account of the absence of direct evidence, it may be traced back to Posidonius, and it went on to have subsequent influence on Stoic thinking, namely in Cleomedes' astronomy. (shrink)
The Stoic philosopher Chrysippus wrote extensively on the liar paradox, but unfortunately the extant testimony on his response to the paradox is meager and mainly hostile. Modern scholars, beginning with Alexander Rüstow in the first decade of the twentieth century, have attempted to reconstruct Chrysippus? solution. Rüstow argued that Chrysippus advanced a cassationist solution, that is, one in which sentences such as ?I am speaking falsely? do not express propositions. Two more recent scholars, Walter Cavini and Mario Mignucci, have (...) rejected Rüstow's thesis that Chrysippus used a cassationist approach. Each has proposed his own thesis about Chrysippus? solution. I argue that Rüstow's view is fundamentally correct, and that the cassationist thesis gains greater plausibility when viewed in light of a passage in Sextus Empiricus? Adversus mathematicos that the previous commentators have ignored, and when understood within the broader context of Stoic logical theory and philosophy of language. I close with a brief remark on the significance of Chrysippus? work for the modern debate on the semantic paradoxes. (shrink)
Modern accounts of Stoic politics have attributed to Zeno the ideal of an isolated community of sages and to later Stoics such as Seneca a cosmopolitan utopia transcending all traditional states. By returning to the Cynic background to both Zeno's Republic and the cosmopolitan tradition, this paper argues that the distance between the two is not as great as is often supposed. This account, it is argued, is more plausible than trying to offer a developmental explanation of the supposed (...) transformation in Stoic political thought from isolated community to cosmopolitan utopia. (shrink)
For the philosophy of medicine, there are two things of interest about the stoic account of moral norms, quite apart from whether the rest of stoic ethical theory is compelling. One is the stoic version of naturalism: its account of practical reasoning, its solution to the is/ought problem, and its contention that norms for creating, sustaining, or restoring human health are tantamount to moral norms. The other is the stoic account of human agency: its description of (...) the intimate connections between human health, rational agency, and moral norms. There is practical guidance to be gained from exploring those connections, whether or not one is ready to follow stoic moral theory all the way to its austere end. (shrink)
This essay argues that Stoicism is the ancient philosophy most relevant to modern politics and civic education. Its relevance is due not to the advocacy of any specific political system or public policy but to its theory that the human good depends primarily on rationality and excellence of character rather than on material prosperity and productivity. According to Stoicism, all human beings are related to one another in virtue of our communal nature as rational animals. Reflection on the norms of (...) human nature persuaded the Stoics that we all share a common interest in living just and mutually beneficial lives. This principle, though it favors an equitable distribution of goods and services, makes rationality and integrity, rather than material prosperity, the essential values of community and the measure of normative citizenship and lawmaking. Our goal as Stoic citizens is to practice the art of what is always possible or in our power—doing our best to live mutually beneficial and well-reasoned lives—while recognizing that the external success we are naturally inclined to aim at may be frustrated because we live in a world we can never fully control. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: In this paper I argue (i) that the hypothetical arguments about which the Stoic Chrysippus wrote numerous books (DL 7.196) are not to be confused with the so-called "hypothetical syllogisms", but are the same hypothetical arguments as those mentioned five times in Epictetus (e.g. Diss. 1.25.11-12); and (ii) that these hypothetical arguments are formed by replacing in a non-hypothetical argument one (or more) of the premisses by a Stoic "hypothesis" or supposition. Such "hypotheses" or suppositions differ from (...) propositions in that they have a specific logical form and no truth-value. The reason for the introduction of a distinct class of hypothetical arguments can be found in the context of dialectical argumentation. The paper concludes with the discussion of some evidence for the use of Stoic hypothetical arguments in ancient texts. (shrink)
This paper attempts to furnish a Stoic reply to an accusation addressing the Stoics' ideal of the wise man according to which it is impossible to realize their ideal and therefore their whole system has to face a paradox: How is wisdom possible when all people are fools and it is impossible for them to become good? In addition to this question there is another important problem connected with the ideal of wisdom. The Stoic philosophers deny transcendental ideas. (...) Instead they are well known for their thorough-going materialism. Therefore, even their idea of the wise man must be based on experience. How would it otherwise be possible to form the idea of wisdom by a method of analogy if experience did not provide any example of truthful virtue to us? A possible answer to this problem can be found in the writings of Seneca, a Stoic of the first century A.D. Seneca emphasizes the close relation between wisdom and human mortality owing to which it is at least possible for the philosopher who has made sufficiently progress in his efforts to gain wisdom to find lasting happiness in death. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: A detailed presentation of Stoic logic, part one, including their theories of propositions (or assertibles, Greek: axiomata), demonstratives, temporal truth, simple propositions, non-simple propositions(conjunction, disjunction, conditional), quantified propositions, logical truths, modal logic, and general theory of arguments (including definition, validity, soundness, classification of invalid arguments).
This paper is chiefly aimed at individuating some deep, but as yet almost unnoticed, similarities between Aristotle's syllogistic and the Stoic doctrine of conditionals, notably between Aristotle's metasyllogistic equimodality condition (as stated at APr. I 24, 41b27–31) and truth-conditions for third type (Chrysippean) conditionals (as they can be inferred from, say, S.E. P. II 111 and 189). In fact, as is shown in §1, Aristotle's condition amounts to introducing in his (propositional) metasyllogistic a non-truthfunctional implicational arrow '', the truth-conditions (...) of which turn out to be logically equivalent to truth-conditions of third type conditionals, according to which only the impossible (and not the possible) follows from the impossible. Moreover, Aristotle is given precisely this non-Scotian conditional logic in two so far overlooked passages of (Latin and Hebraic translations of) Themistius' Paraphrasis of De Caelo (CAG V 4, 71.8–13 and 47.8–10 Landauer). Some further consequences of Aristotle's equimodality condition on his logic, and notably on his syllogistic (no <span class='Hi'>matter</span> whether modal or not), are pointed out and discussed at length. A (possibly Chrysippean) extension of Aristotle's condition is also discussed, along with a full characterization of truth-conditions of fourth type conditionals. (shrink)
This article considers the virtue of tolerance as it is found in Epictetus and MarcusAurelius. It defines the virtue of tolerance and links it to the Stoic idea of proper control of the passions in pursuit of both self-sufficiency and justice. It argues that Stoic tolerance is neither complete in difference nor a species of relativism. Finally, it discusses connections between the moral virtue of Stoic tolerance and the idea of political toleration found in modern liberalism.
Richard Sorabji presents a ground-breaking study of ancient Greek views of the emotions and their influence on subsequent theories and attitudes, Pagan and Christian. While the central focus of the book is the Stoics, Sorabji draws on a vast range of texts to give a rich historical survey of how Western thinking about this central aspect of human nature developed.
The bulk of Duhem's writing which bears on the understanding of mixtures suggests he adopted an Aristotelian position which he opposed only to the atomic view. A third view from antiquity-that of the Stoics-seems not to be taken into account. But his lines of thought are not always as explicit as could be wished. The Stoic view is considered here from a perspective which Duhem might well have adopted. This provides a background against which his somewhat unorthodox Aristotelianism might (...) be understood. (shrink)
Apathy is the best-known feature of Stoicism; even Webster's records that a Stoic lives without passions.1 But it remains unclear what Stoic apathy amounts to, because it remains unclear what Stoics understand by passions and why they find passions problematic. In this essay, I start with four unsettled questions about the Stoic definition of passions, and to answer these questions, I explain the passions as central elements of Stoic psychopathology, that is, as defects relative to the (...)Stoic account of the psychological norm. This hypothesis, I claim, clarifies what the evidence by itself leaves uncertain. I close by bringing my conclusions to bear on the scope of Stoic apathy. Throughout, I focus on the account of the passions offered by the greatest Greek Stoic, Chrysippus of Soli, who headed the school in the third.. (shrink)
This paper argues for a view that maximizes in the Stoics' epistemology the starkness and clarity characteristic of other parts of their philosophy. I reconsider our evidence concerning doxa (opinion/belief): should we really take the Stoics to define it as assent to the incognitive, so that it does not include the assent of ordinary people to their kataleptic impressions, and is thus actually inferior to agnoia (ignorance)? I argue against this, and for the simple view that in Stoicism assent is (...) either, in the case of the fool, doxa = agnoia, or alternatively, in that of the sage, epistêmê (knowledge). This view, together with reflection on the appropriate sense of "between" in the relevant reports of SE and Cicero, yields a sympathetic reading of an otherwise problematic challenge Sextus reports Arcesilaus as having prepared for the Stoic claim that katalêpsis, which is the criterion of truth, is between knowledge and opinion; on my view each side is proceeding in a philosophically legitimate way. (shrink)
It is common to talk of wise physicians, but not so common to talk of wise patients. "Patient" is a word derived from the Latin patior - "to suffer," but also "to let be." Suffering has been the universal lot of humanity, and medicine rightly tries to relieve suffering. Medical progress, like all technological progress, leads us more and more to hope that we can control our fate. However, we do well to ask whether our attempts to control our fate (...) are wise. Wisdom played a major role in the philosophy of the ancient Stoics, and so I propose putting these questions into the context of a new stoicism. For the Stoic, happiness consists in living in accord with nature. Stoics are sometimes portrayed as apathetic fatalists, silently accepting whatever misfortune might come their way, but this is a misunderstanding. The Stoic sage, like the common person, wants to preserve life and health. The difference is that the sage's wisdom brings knowledge about what actions are appropriate in the face of suffering. The sage sees suffering not as something that demands immediate control, but as something that might reasonably direct actions. Suffering brings turmoil to the common patient, who will take any possible steps to end the suffering. The wise patient possesses the knowledge that enables a correct assessment of the options in the face of the reality that we ultimately do not control our own fate. (shrink)
The present article is an edition of the Pathologia (1706), a Latin manuscript on the passions by Anthony Ashley Cooper, the third Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713). There are two parts, i) an introduction with commentary (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01916599.2012.679795), and ii) an edition of the Latin text with an English translation (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01916599.2012.679796) . The Pathologia treats of a series of topics concerning moral psychology, ethics and philology, presenting a reconstruction of the Stoic theory of the emotions that is closely modelled on Cicero (...) and Diogenes Lærtius. It contains a most detailed typology of the passions and affections as well as an analysis of a series of psychological connections, for example between admiration and pride. On the basis of his reconstruction of Stoic moral psychology and ethics, Shaftesbury argues that in one of his phases, Horace should be interpreted as a Stoic rather than as an Epicurean. The translation and the commentary draw attention to the relations between the Pathologia and Shaftesbury's English writings, most importantly Miscellaneous Reflections and the Inquiry Concerning Virtue, or Merit, which sheds light on several features of Shaftesbury's relation to Stoicism. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an interpretation of the Stoic argumentum ex gradibus entium as it appears in Book II of Cicero's De Natura Deorum. In addition to displaying certain similarities to later formulations of the so-called "ontological argument," particularly Anselm's, I argue that the argument ex gradibus entium was a versatile feature of Stoic philosophical theology, capable of employment in relation to two distinct topics: the existence of god and the identification of god's essential nature with the (...) world. I claim that the instance of the argument ex gradibus entium at ND II 18-21 is a token of this latter type, and show that there are no textual reasons precluding this interpretation. In light of the fact that the argument can be analyzed more effectively in this role, I suggest that this particular instance of the argument is best thought of as an attempt on the part of the Stoics to identify the world with god rather than as a strict proof for god's bare existence. I end with some reflections on the general type of the Stoic argument qua precursor to two of Anselm's ontological proofs. Although I think it is a mistake to call the Stoic argument "ontological" in a strict sense, it may, I suggest, have shared a similar conceptual underpinning with at least one of Anselm's famous formulations. (shrink)
Augustine defends three claims about the passions: (1) The Stoic position differs only verbally from the Platonic-Aristotelian position. (2) The Stoic positionis wrong and the Platonic-Aristotelian position is right. (3) The will is engaged in the different passions; indeed the different passions are different expressionsof the will. The first two claims, properly understood, are defensible. But the most plausible versions of them give us good reason to doubt the third claim.
An examination of a particular passage in Cicero's De fato?Fat. 13?17?is crucial to our understanding of the Stoic theory of the truth-conditions of conditional propositions, for it has been uniquely important in the debate concerning the kind of connection the antecedent and consequent of a Stoic conditional should have to one another. Frede has argued that the passage proves that the connection is one of logical necessity, while Sorabji has argued that positive Stoic attitudes toward empirical inferences (...) elsewhere suggest that that cannot be the right interpretation of the passage. I argue that both parties to the debate have missed a position somewhere between them which both renders a connection between antecedent and consequent that is not merely empirical and makes sense of the actual uses to which the Stoics put the conditional. This will be an account which grounds the connection between antecedent and consequent in a prolêpsis, a special kind of concept which plays a special epistemological role for the Stoics, especially in grounding scientific explanations. My contention will be that Stoic conditionals are true when there is a conceptually necessary connection between antecedent and consequent such that the former explains the latter via a prolêpsis. (shrink)
Ralph Waldo Emerson's appropriation of the Stoic tradition occupied a central and enduring place in his worldview, as is abundantly clear from his essays, poems, and journals. Just as clearly, like other modern thinkers and writers influenced by Stoicism as "perennial philosophy," Emerson interpreted what he learned within a historical framework shaped by Christianity, liberalism, and democracy as well as by influences particular to his own thought and his personal experience. In my paper I will briefly review the main (...) ideas of ancient Stoicism, consider the changes introduced by modern versions of the Stoic tradition, and then indicate what ideas Emerson specifically appropriated and what role they played in his .. (shrink)
The contemporary revival of virtue ethics has focused primarily on retrieving central moral commitments of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and the Neoplatonist traditions. Christian virtue ethicists would do well to expand this retrieval further to include the writings of the Roman Stoics. This essay argues that the ethics of Jonathan Edwards exemplifies major Stoic themes and explores three noteworthy points of intersection between Stoic ethics and Edwards's thought: a conception of virtue as consent to a benevolent providence, the identification (...) of virtue as a singular and transformative good, and an account of moral formation as simultaneously self-directed and received. Common ground between Edwards and the Stoics illustrates the value of recognizing Stoic moral thought as a philosophical framework that can enhance and undergird Christian ethicists' understandings of moral development and the nature of virtue. (shrink)
Brad Inwood presents a selection of his most influential essays on the philosophy of Seneca, the Roman Stoic thinker, statesman, and tragedian of the first century AD. Including two brand-new pieces, and a helpful introduction to orient the reader, this volume will be an essential guide for anyone seeking to understand Seneca's fertile, wide-ranging thought and its impact on subsequent generations. -/- In each of these essays Seneca is considered as a philosopher, but with as much account as possible (...) taken of his life, his education, his intellectual and literary background, his career, and his self-presentation as an author. Seneca emerges as a discerning and well-read Stoic, with a strong inclination to think for himself in the context of an intellectual climate teeming with influences from other schools. Seneca's intellectual engagement with Platonism, Aristotelianism, and even with Epicureanism involved a wide range of substantial philosophical interests and concerns. His philosophy was indeed shaped by the fact that he was a Roman, but he was a true philosopher shaped by his culture rather than a Roman writer trying his hand at philosophical themes. The highly rhetorical character of his writing must be accounted for when reading his works, and when one does so the underlying philosophical themes stand out more clearly. While it is hard to generalize about an overall intellectual agenda or systematic philosophical method, key themes and strategies are evident. Inwood shows how Seneca's philosophical ingenium worked itself out in a fundamentally particularistic way as he pursued those aspects of Stoicism that engaged him most forcefully over his career. (shrink)
One need not be a scholar of ancient Greek philosophy to refer to “stoic” conduct or a “stoic” approach to certain matters, because the vocabulary related to this apparently antiquarian view of life has seeped into our common language. Look it up. In the American Heritage Dictionary a Stoic is defined as “one who is seemingly indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain.” The qualification noted by “seemingly” in the definition is necessitated by the dualism of (...) the inner and the outer; it is stoic conduct or behavior that occasions such judgments about the psychology of the Stoic. The Stoic appears calm, cool, and dispassionate, perhaps in the face of situations that normally cause people to act quite differently: failure, tragedy, separation, loss, even death. In such situations we often believe it takes real character, strength of will, to act as the Stoic acts, because it seems natural to act and feel otherwise. Yet there might be some ambivalence in our evaluations of the Stoic’s character, whose conduct might merely mask an emotional indifference that is cold, mechanical, and inhuman. (shrink)
We experience anxiety because things may not turn out as we wish. Perhaps the problem is not located in the unfolding of events, but rather in the nature of the wishing. In this paper, I will argue that the Roman Stoics correctly analyzed the necessary conditions surrounding the arising of anxiety, and offered an effective prescription for the treatment and prevention of this disordered emotional state—a prescription that does not involve benzodiazepines such as Valium or Xanax, but one that holds (...) out the promise of a more stable and enduring anxiolytic effect. Ultimately, anxiety can afflict only those whose desires are not rationally governed. There is little that anyone can do about the vicissitudes of the external world and the unraveling of events therein, but there is a great deal thata rational agent can do to manage the objects and direction of desire and aversion. Though not dispensed in tablet or capsule form, Stoic anxiolytics remain available without prescription and exhibit an extraordinarily benign side effect profile. They rarely cause weight gain, sexual dysfunction, or uncontrollable movements of the limbs. Physiological dependence is relatively rare—and not especially pernicious. Instead, Stoicism offers rationally grounded, proven psychological techniques for the gradual development of consistent self-mastery and emotional detachment from those facets of the human condition that tend to cause the most pervasive and unsettling forms of fear, anxiety, and avoidable disquiet. (shrink)
A number of late Stoic sources describe either ethical concepts or a supposed universal belief in gods as being innate in the human animal. Though Chrysippus himself is known to have spoken of "implanted preconceptions" (ἔμφυτοι προλήψεις) of good and bad, scholars have typically argued that the notion of innate concepts of any kind would have been entirely incompatible with his theory of knowledge. Both Epictetus' notion of innate concepts of good and bad and the references to an innate (...) belief in gods by other philosophers of the Roman era are thus generally held to be later developments, probably owing to a Platonist-Stoic syncretism. Review of the evidence, however, shows that Chrysippus, like Epictetus, held ethical concepts to represent a special category of conception in that their formation was guaranteed by oikeiôsis. Unlike other concepts, that is, these represent a formal conceptualization of an innate tendency to distinguish between things fitting for one's constitution and things not fitting that all animals, according to the Stoics, bring to their empirical experiences. While the notion that human belief in gods is similarly innate does seem to have been a later development, it too was explained with reference to oikeiôsis rather than resulting from a simple "syncretism.". (shrink)
The concept of o or "pre-emotions" is known not only to the Roman Stoics and Christian exegetes but also to Philo of Alexandria. Philo also supplies the term o at QGen 1.79. As Philo cannot have derived what he knows from Seneca (despite his visit to Rome in 39), nor from Cicero, who also mentions the point, he must have found it in older Stoic writings. The o concept, rich in implications for the voluntariness and phenomenology of the passions (...) proper, is thus confirmed for the Hellenistic period. It is not to be expected that Philo's handling of this or any concept will necessarily conform to the usage of his Stoic sources. His evidence is nonetheless of great value where it coincides with that of other witnesses. In QGen 4.73 the emphasis falls upon involuntariness and the mechanisms of impression and assent as in Epictetus fr. 9. The o saves the virtuous person's insusceptibility to emotion exactly as it does for the Stoic spokesman in Gellius NA 19.1; this point is of some interest in view of the Christological use of this concept in Origen and Didymus. QGen 1.55 and 3.56 indicate that the occurrence of the o is dependent upon uncertainty, and further, that for Philo, as for Seneca in Ira 2.3.4, a thought not acted upon can count as a o. In QGen 4.15-17 and 1.79, Philo indicates that hope and perhaps laughter may be related to joy as o to o; these assertions are not paralleled in extant Stoic texts. Further, in QGen 2.57, he names "biting and contraction" as the shrink)
This paper uses the exchanges between the lovers Dido and Aeneas in Aeneid IV to undercut the pretensions of Stoic philosophers to lead a dispassionate, imperturbable life under the sole guidance of “reason.” It takes Aeneas as an example of Stoicism’s lawyer-like, falsified rationality—“I will say just a few words in regard to this matter [pro re]” (IV 336)—and Dido as an example of someone who, though under the sway of furor, nevertheless makes honest, reasoned arguments that are continuous (...) with the feelings she is experiencing. The point is not that one is more at fault than the other but the rather more radical thesis that with his Aeneas character Virgil is showing that Stoicism’s ataraxia and apatheia are inevitably dissimulation, inevitably fake. (shrink)
Cheney’s claim that there is a subtextual affinity between ancient Stoicism and deep ecology is historically unfounded, conceptually unsupported, and misguided from a scholarly viewpoint. His criticisms of Stoic thought are thus merely ad hominem diatribe. A proper examination of the central ideas of Stoic ethics reveals the coherence and insightfulness of Stoic naturalism and rationalism. While not providing the basis for a contemporary environmental ethic, Stoicism, nonetheless, contains some very fruitful ethical concepts.
Thanks to its doctrines of natural right and moral egalitarianism and to its prominent historical role in defying totalitarian government, Stoicism is often cited as a touchstone for liberal democracy. Less well known, however, is an alternate lineage, culminating in a Stoic Realpolitik that emerges in Justus Lipsius’s political writings. The foundation of this Realpolitik becomes increasingly clear in the progression of Stoic thought through Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. Tracing this lineage reveals that the subject of politics (...) isfundamentally problematic for Stoicism, especially since the denigration of politics is central to Stoic ethics. The Stoics ultimately arrive at a surprising moral pessimism, evidenced most prominently in Marcus’s Meditations. In Lipsius’s version of Stoic Realpolitik, the populace is characterized as being of inconstant behavior, and Stoicism is viewed as a resource for steeling the prince’s character against the masses, whose moral emendation is hopeless. (shrink)
Pt. I. Philosophy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) -- Ch. 1. The "philosophical origins" of CBT -- Ch. 2. The beginning of modern cognitive therapy -- Ch. 3. A brief history of philosophical therapy -- Ch. 4. Stoic philosophy and psychology -- Ch. 5. Rational emotion in stoicism and CBT -- Ch. 6 Stoicism and Ellis's rational therapy (REBT) -- Pt. II. The stoic armamentarium -- Ch. 7. Contemplation of the ideal stage -- Ch. 8. Stoic mindfulness of (...) the "here and now" -- Ch. 9. Self-analysis and disputation -- Ch. 10. Autosuggestion, premeditation, and retrospection -- Ch. 11. Preditatio malorum and mental rehearsal -- Ch. 12. Stoic fatalism, determination, and acceptance -- Ch. 13. The view from above and stoic metaphysics. (shrink)
Este trabajo discute la interpretación de Marcelo Boeri sobre el compatibilismo estoico; esto es, la tesis de que es compatible con el determinismo que rige al mundo natural el que podamos ser genuinamente responsables de nuestras acciones. Según Boeri, los estoicos intentaron conciliar las dos cosas abriendo un margen de indeterminación gracias al cual nuestras acciones no están sujetas a la necesidad que domina los demás fenómenos naturales. La discusión que se ofrece aquí se basa en un análisis del concepto (...) antiguo de lo que depende de nosotros y de los conceptos estoicos de determinismo y modalidad. /// This paper discusses Marcelo Boeri's interpretation of Stoic compatibilism, the thesis that natural determinism does not rule out that we can genuinely be responsible for our actions. According to Boeri, the Stoic hold that this is so because our actions are to a great extent free from determination. The discussion of this interpretation is based on an analysis of the ancient concept of what depends on us and of Stoic concepts of determinism and modality. (shrink)
William O. Stephens is to be applauded for the way in which he presents and analyzes some paradigmatic Stoic arguments, and thus defends Stoicism from the misplaced charges of Jim Cheney. Nonetheless, Stephens’ individualist interpretation of what he calls Stoic “logocentrism” obscures key features of the Stoics’ theory of value and their related ethic and metaphysic. Once the Stoics are allowedto speak for themselves, it emerges that they adhered to a holistic axiology, that for them virtue lay in (...) conformity with cosmic nature, and that the standard charges of anthropocentrism and blindness to natural beauty, often wielded by environmental philosophers against them, are misguided. (shrink)
The concept of προπάθειαι or "pre-emotions" is known not only to the Roman Stoics and Christian exegetes but also to Philo of Alexandria. Philo also supplies the term προπάθεια at "QGen" 1.79. As Philo cannot have derived what he knows from Seneca (despite his visit to Rome in 39), nor from Cicero, who also mentions the point, he must have found it in older Stoic writings. The προπάθεια concept, rich in implications for the voluntariness and phenomenology of the passions (...) proper, is thus confirmed for the Hellenistic period. It is not to be expected that Philo's handling of this or any concept will necessarily conform to the usage of his Stoic sources. His evidence is nonetheless of great value where it coincides with that of other witnesses. In "QGen" 4.73 the emphasis falls upon involuntariness and the mechanisms of impression and assent as in Epictetus fr. 9. The προπάθεια saves the virtuous person's insusceptibility to emotion exactly as it does for the Stoic spokesman in Gellius NA 19.1; this point is of some interest in view of the Christological use of this concept in Origen and Didymus. "QGen" 1.55 and 3.56 indicate that the occurrence of the προπάθειαι is dependent upon uncertainty, and further, that for Philo, as for Seneca in "Ira" 2.3.4, a thought not acted upon can count as a προπάθεια. In "QGen" 4.15-17 and 1.79, Philo indicates that hope and perhaps laughter may be related to joy as προπάθεια to πάθος; these assertions are not paralleled in extant Stoic texts. Further, in "QGen" 2.57, he names "biting and contraction" as the εὐπάθεια corresponding to grief, supplying a helpful parallel for "Cic. Tusc." 3.83 and Plut. "Virt. Mor." 449a. The topic may well have been discussed by Posidonius, as suggested by Cooper and others, but Posidonius' attested innovations are rather different in character from the points which have caught the attention of Philo. Taking together the indirect evidence of Philo, Seneca, and Cicero, we may reasonably infer that the προπάθεια concept belonged already to an earlier period of Stoicism. (shrink)
Hegel inverted the Tantric Buddhist, Bönpo and Stoic view of human spiritual and social evolution by presenting it as a progressive perfecting rather than as a progressive degeneration impelled by the gradual development of the basic human delusion called avidya (unawareness). Since he cancelled the crucial map /territory distinction, he had to explain change in nature as the negation of the immediately preceding state, and since he wanted spiritual and social evolution to be a process of perfecting, he had (...) to invent a negation that, rather than canceling former negations, or incorporating them and thus increasing fragmentation and delusion, incorporated them and thereby produced an increase of wholeness and truth: the Aufhebung or sublation, not found in any existing process—whether logical or in phenomenological—and existing only in Hegel’s imagination. The only existing negation that incorporates the preceding negation, rather than canceling or annulling it (as logical negation does), is the phenomenological negation occurring in Sartre’s bad faith, which Laing illustrated with a “spiral of pretenses,” and Hegel’s sublation is a misrepresentation of this phenomenological negation that he fancied to make his inverted view of spiritual, social and political evolution possible. In the Tantric Buddhist, Bönpo and Stoic view what increases is fragmentation and delusion. When these reach their logical extreme,they achieve their reductio ad absurdum in ecological crisis. (shrink)
The reasons for assuming an established orthodox Stoic school with scholarchs are considered and refuted. The traditional line of Stoics is a diadochic device to link Panaetius, and later, Posidonius, back to Zeno of Citium, using a chain of teachers and pupils. These Stoics were independent teachers sharing a general worldview but differing to a greater or lesser extent in the details.
The aim of this thesis is to consider the relationship between philosophy and biography, and the bearing that this relationship has on debates concerning the nature and function of philosophy. There exists a certain tradition that conceives philosophy exclusively in terms of rational discourse and as such explicitly rejects the idea of any substantial relationship between philosophy and the way in which one lives. I shall argue that the claim that philosophy cannot have any impact upon biography is often based (...) upon an implicit conception of philosophy as primarily rational discourse. In contrast to this I shall draw upon Socratic and Stoic philosophical resources in order to reconstruct an alternative conception of philosophy as an art concerned with one's way of life. Central to this conception will be the relationship between philosophical discourse or argument and philosophical training or exercise. I shall argue that the ancient claim that philosophy is primarily expressed in one's behaviour presupposes a conception of philosophy as an art that involves both rational discourse and training or exercise as two equally important components. I shall argue that by adopting this alternative conception of philosophy as a techne it will be possible to understand properly the relationship between philosophy and biography. In Part One I shall outline the ancient idea that philosophy is something expressed in one's life, the Socratic conception of philosophy as an art, the Stoic development of this conception into an art of living, and some ancient objections to this Stoic conception. In Part Two I shall examine the relationship between philosophical discourse and exercises in Stoic philosophy, focusing upon the neglected concept of philosophical askesis. Central to this will be the literary form of such exercises and so I shall focus upon two texts (by Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius) concerned with philosophical exercises. (shrink)