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)
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: 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)
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 Stoic indemonstrables 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: 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.
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)
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)
For Berkeley, minds are not Cartesian spiritual substances because they cannot be said to exist (even if only conceptually) abstracted from their activities. Similarly, Berkeley's notion of mind differs from Locke's in that, for Berkeley, minds are not abstract substrata in which ideas inhere. Instead, Berkeley redefines what it means for the mind to be a substance in a way consistent with the Stoic logic of 17th century Ramists on which Leibniz and Jonathan Edwards draw. This view of mind, (...) I conclude, is definitely not the bundle theory that some critics have portrayed it as being. (shrink)
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)
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.
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)
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 paper is an indirect critique of the practice of American liberal education. I show that the liberal, integrative model that American colleges and universities have adopted, with one key exception, is essentially an approach to education proposed some 2400 years ago by Stoic philosophers. To this end, I focus on a critical sketch of the Stoic model of education?chiefly through the works of Seneca, Epictetus, and Aurelius?that is distinguishable by these features: education as self?knowing, the need of (...) logic and critical thinking for informed decision?making, learning as preparation for life, and knowledge for integration in private, local, and global affairs. Such a critical sketch may not only help institutions instantiate their own similar aims more effectively, but also help them assess those aims with apposite normative force, which today they lack. (shrink)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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.
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 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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
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).
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)
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 his treatiseOn Prayer Origen raises and answers four objections against prayer. In this essay I examine the Stoic strategies to which Origen appeals in his attempt to answer them. His defense of the claim that providence and prayer are compatible assumes a standard account of freedom and human agency common among the Stoics of his time. In addition to appealing to the standard compatibilist view of human agency found in the Stoics, Origen’s presentation and response to these questions (...) turns out to be reminiscent of Stoic attempts to resolve those thorny issues surrounding fate presented in the so-called ‘Idle Argument’. (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)
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)