The Hellenistic philosophers and schools of philosophy are emerging from the shadow of Plato and Aristotle and are increasingly studied for their intrinsic philosophical value. They are not only interesting in their own right, but also form the intellectual background of the late Roman Republic. This study gives a comprehensive and readable account of the principal doctrines of the Stoics, Epicureans and various sceptical traditions from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. to around 200 A.D. Discussions (...) are arranged topically in order to address underlying issues and to make clear what the different schools have in common and how they differ. At the same time the coherence of each system as a whole is emphasized. (shrink)
Stoic work on ambiguity represents one of the most innovative, sophisticated, and rigorous contributions to philosophy and the study of language in western antiquity. This book is both the first comprehensive survey of the often difficult and scattered sources, and the first attempt to locate Stoic material in the rich array of contexts, ancient and modern, which alone can guarantee full appreciation of its subtlety, scope and complexity. The comparisons and contrasts which this book constructs will intrigue not just classical (...) scholars, and philosophers, but also logicians, theoretical linguists, communication theorists and historians of grammar and of literary theory. The Stoics on Ambiguity is designed to be intelligible to readers with no Greek or Latin. (shrink)
Lives of the stoics (Zeno, Aristo, Herillus, Cleanthes, Sphaerus, Chrysippus) on philosophy -- Logic and theory of knowledge -- Perception, knowledge, and sceptical attack -- The stoic-academic debate and Cicero's testimony -- Conceptions and rationality -- Physics -- Theology -- Bodily and non-bodily realities -- Structures and powers -- The soul -- Fate -- Ethics -- The general account in Diogenes Lartius -- The account preserved by Stobaeus -- The account in Cicero on goals -- Other evidence for stoic (...) ethics -- Passions and the goal : criticism within the stoic school and the evidence of Galen -- A critique from the academic-peripatetic point of view -- Pyrrhonist critique of basic ethical concepts -- Later stoic ethics : a sampler -- Musonius Rufus -- Seneca -- Epictetus. (shrink)
Abstract Can the wise person be fooled? The Stoics take a very strong view on this question, holding that the wise person (or sage) is never deceived and never believes anything that is false. This seems to be an implausibly strong claim, but it follows directly from some basic tenets of the Stoic cognitive and psychological world-view. In developing an account of what wisdom really requires, I will explore the tenets of the Stoic view that lead to this infallibilism (...) about wisdom, and show that many of the elements of the Stoic picture can be preserved in a more plausible fallibilist approach. Specifically, I propose to develop a Stoic fallibilist virtue epistemology that is based on the Stoic model of the moral virtues. This model of the intellectual virtues will show that (in keeping with a folk distinction) the wise person is never befooled, though that person might be fooled. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s12136-012-0158-0 Authors Sarah Wright, Department of Philosophy, University of Georgia, 107 Peabody Hall, Athens, GA 30602, USA Journal Acta Analytica Online ISSN 1874-6349 Print ISSN 0353-5150. (shrink)
Roman Stoic thinkers in the imperial period adapted Greek doctrine to create a model of the self that served to connect philosophical ideals with traditional societal values. The Roman Stoics-the most prominent being Marcus Aurelius-engaged in rigorous self-examination that enabled them to integrate philosophy into the practice of living. Gretchen Reydams-Schils's innovative new book shows how these Romans applied their distinct brand of social ethics to everyday relations and responsibilities. The Roman Stoics reexamines the philosophical basis that instructed (...) social practice in friendship, marriage, parenting, and community. From this analysis emerge Stoics who were neither cold nor detached, as the stereotype has it, but all too aware of their human weaknesses. In a valuable contribution to current discussions in the humanities on identity, autonomy, and altruism, Reydams-Schils ultimately conveys the wisdom of Stoics to the citizens of modern society. (shrink)
This unique volume offers an odyssey through the ideas of the Stoics in three particular ways: first, through the historical trajectory of the school itself and its influence; second, through the recovery of the history of Stoic thought; third, through the ongoing confrontation with Stoicism, showing how it refines philosophical traditions, challenges the imagination, and ultimately defines the kind of life one chooses to lead. A distinguished roster of specialists have written an authoritative guide to the entire philosophical tradition. (...) The first two chapters chart the history of the school in the ancient world, and are followed by chapters on the core themes of the Stoic system: epistemology, logic, natural philosophy, theology, determinism, and metaphysics. There are two chapters on what might be thought of as the heart and soul of the Stoics system: ethics. (shrink)
This book traces, for the first time, a revolution in philosophy which took place during the early centuries of our era. It reconstructs the philosophical basis of the Stoics' theory that fragments of an ancient and divine wisdom could be reconstructed from mythological traditions, and shows that Platonism was founded on an argument that Plato had himself achieved a full reconstruction of this wisdom, and that subsequent philosophies had only regressed once again in their attempts to "improve" on his (...) achievement. (shrink)
The basis of stoic determinism (a) : everything has a cause -- The basis of stoic determinism (b) : causation is necessitating -- The threat of external determination -- Reflection and responsibility -- The three compatibilist theories of Chrysippus -- Epictetus on responsibility for unreflective action.
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 this paper, it is argued the Stoics develop an account of corporeals that allows their theory of bodies to be, at the same time, a theory of causation, agency, and reason. The paper aims to shed new light on the Stoics' engagement with Plato's Sophist . It is argued that the Stoics are Sons of the Earth insofar as, for them, the study of corporeals - rather than the study of being - is the most fundamental (...) study of reality. However, they are sophisticated Sons of the Earth by developing a complex notion of corporeals. A crucial component of this account is that ordinary bodies are individuated by the way in which the corporeal god pervades them. The corporeal god is the one cause of all movements and actions in the universe. (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)
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)
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).
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 recover a long neglected chapter in the philosophy of language as it developed in antiquity--The ancient greek stoics' teaching on ambiguity. Although the overwhelming majority of the doxographical accounts of this subject have been lost, Sufficient entries have survived to allow a partial description of the stoic doctrine. What is intriguing about the stoics' teaching is the subtlety of some of the kinds of ambiguity they include in their catalogue. The types of ambiguity that (...) they identify are thoroughly discussed and analyzed. Also, It is argued that the stoics discuss ambiguity, At least in part, As a means of resolving certain fallacies or sophisms, For example, The nobody. (shrink)
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 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)
The work of Arnout Geulincx (1624?1669), a Flemish Cartesian that developed a highly curious ?parallelistic? view on the universe, shows striking prima facie resemblances to Stoicism. Should we label Geulincx a reinventor of Stoic tenets, albeit within a strict Cartesian theoretical framework? To answer this question, my contribution begins by discussing relevant aspects of Stoicism and by introducing the ?existential? philosophy of Geulincx, whose metaphysical views on man brought him to adopt an ethics based upon absolute obedience and humility. It (...) will discuss Geulincx's own views on the Stoics and, finally, compare Geulincx's philosophy with the Stoic world view. The main argument will be that, despite a deep affinity and many parallels, one crucial difference remains, as the dualism any true Cartesian metaphysics implies has important consequences for Geulincx's ethics in general and for his view on man in particular. As we will see, man plays a very peculiar role in the cosmic drama that we call the ?universe? (shrink)
Greek eudaimonists often discuss the nature and value of friendship. The prominence of such discussions results from the utility of the conception of friendship in formulating and testing central ethical doctrines. As they engage in a radical revision of ordinary ethical concepts, the Stoics challenge us to relinquish conventional beliefs about friendship. Ideal Stoic moral agents are passionless and austere. Yet, the Stoics not only contend that these relatively affectless temperaments have friends but that, in fact, friendship is (...) possible for no one else. Their extraordinary detachment from the external world also seems to disqualify sages from real friendship. This essay examines the Stoic conclusions about friendship and the coherence of their distinctive view. (shrink)
Starting from Leibniz’s complaint that Newton’s views seem to make God the soul of the world, this paper examines Leibniz’s critical stance more generally towards God as the soul of the world and related theses. A preliminary task is determining what the related theses are. There are more of these than might have been thought. Once the relations are established, it becomes clear how pervasive the various guises of the issue of God as the soul of the world are in (...) Leibniz’s thought and how central they are in his debates with contemporaries about the truths of natural religion and even more strictly philosophical issues. Leibniz’s arguments against God as the soul of the world are reconstructed and evaluated, and the difficult question of the exact meaning, or meanings, that Leibniz ascribes to the thesis that God is the soul of the world is taken up. The clearest core of meaning discussed in this paper is most directly relevant to Leibniz’s criticisms of Spinoza and the Stoics, as well as of Descartes. Less clear, but obviously important, are meanings relevant to Leibniz’s debates with the occasionalists and Newtonians. (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)
The Stoics incorporeals are "somethings" which, albeit nonexistent strictly, are subsistent. For the Stoics things truly existent are bodies. So, the question is: what role do incorporeals play in Stoic ontology? The author endeavors to demonstrate that the interpretation that incorporeals are secondary realities (bodies being the primary ones) is not consistent with Stoic philosophy as a whole. At this point the argument is that bodies and incorporeals serve to complement each other in the sense that one cannot (...) exist without the other. Thus, between them there seems to be a reciprocal dependence. (shrink)
The Stoics on Determinism and Compatibilism is an important book which reconstructs the arguments deployed by the Stoics in favour of the view that everything is necessary and examines the development of the different arguments given by the Stoics that this is compatible with moral responsibility and desert. The book carefully distinguishes two separate theses in Stoic theory, that everything that happens and is the case has a cause and that causation is necessitating. The book also provides (...) a new reconstruction of Stoic compatibilism distinguishing four different compatibilist theories.Salles has written a book which is non-technical in it's approach and which assesses the Stoic positions on determinism, compatibilism, freedom and responsibility in the light of the modern debate on this issue. Covering not just the ancient debates and thinkers such as Epictetus and Chrysippus but also examining the compatibilist views of the major modern theorist Harry Frankfurt, finding indications of his main intuitions already present in the Stoic arguments and tackling the positions of Suzanne Bobzien. (shrink)
In his A Treatise of Freewill, Ralph Cudworth argues against Stoic determinism by drawing on what he takes to be other concepts found in Stoicism, notably the claim that some things are ?up to us? and that these things are the product of our choice. These concepts are central to the late Stoic Epictetus and it appears at first glance as if Cudworth is opposing late Stoic voluntarism against early Stoic determinism. This paper argues that in fact, despite his claim (...) to be drawing on Stoic doctrine, Cudworth uses these terms with a meaning first articulated only later, by the Peripatetic commentator Alexander of Aphrodisias. (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)
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)
Galen is well known as a critic of Stoicism, mainly for his massive attack on Stoic (or at least, Chrysippean) psychology in "On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato" (PHP) 2-5. Galen attacks both Chrysippus' location of the ruling part of the psyche in the heart and his unified or monistic picture of human psychology. However, if we consider Galen's thought more broadly, this has a good deal in common with Stoicism, including a (largely) physicalist conception of psychology and a (...) strongly teleological view of natural entities, shared features which are acknowledged in several treatises outside "PHP." Why, then, is Galen such a remorseless and negative critic of Stoicism in "PHP"? Various factors are relevant, including the shaping influence on Galen of the Platonic-Aristotelian (part-based) psychological framework. But, it is suggested here, an important underlying factor is the contrast between two ways of thinking about the part-whole relationship, a 'composition' and a 'structure' approach or an atomistic and holistic approach. This contrast is most evident and explicit in one section of "PHP" 5, where Galen, criticising Chrysippus' holistic psychology, denies that the Stoic thinker is entitled to use the concept of part at all. But the contrast is also seen as pervading Galen's response to Stoic thought more generally, in "PHP" and elsewhere, in ways that inform his explicit disagreements with Stoic theory. Stoicism is presented here as having a consistently 'structure' (or holistic) approach. Galen's approach is seen as more mixed, sometimes sharing, or aspiring towards, a holistic picture, and yet sometimes (especially in "PHP" 5), adopting a strongly 'composition' or atomistic standpoint. This (partial) contrast in conceptual frameworks is presented as offering a new perspective on Galen's critique of Stoic psychology in "PHP" and on his relationship to Stoic thought more generally. (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)
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.
If you started delving into Stoic literature, you might find some of the advice repugnant, even shocking. In Epictetus, for instance, you would find this exhortation: “If you kiss your child, or your wife, say to yourself that it is a human being that you are kissing; and then you will not be disturbed if either of them dies.” So is Stoicism a life-affirming philosophy that can truly help us to live better lives in the modern world or a fiercely (...) radical perspective, intriguing but too remote and demanding to have any real relevance to our daily conduct? (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)