Problems in Stoicism [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 25 (2):380-380 (1971)

Abstract
This collection of essays arose directly from a series of seminars conducted at the Institute of Classical Studies of London University during 1967-1968. Most of the material is published for the first time. Articles by Sandbach and Kidd offer arguments concerning kataleptike phantasia as the test of a true presentation, and Posidonius' conception of the role of the emotions in relation to his scientifically based ethical theory. In addition to the positions held by Rist, Sandbach and Kidd, A. C. Lloyd argues that the Stoic categories, as lekta, should be classified under dialectic and grammar rather than physics. S. G. Pembroke argues most cogently for the central importance of the difficult and controversial concept of oikeiosis in Stoicism. In two essays, editor Long, slanting the conclusion of his discussion of lekta towards its ethical implications, argues first that there is no evidence to show that lekta persist outside of acts of thought and communication distinct from the speaker and his reference; and secondly, that "man," because his logos is equal in quality to all the divine which is outside of it, and because it constitutes a unique substance whose identity is unaffected by external events, "can be free, can act as a man, if and only if the external movements of his body follow from a decision which reconciles his own will and moral choice to what is necessarily the case." Finally, in a not altogether satisfactory concluding essay, "The Natural Law and Stoicism," Gerald Watson discusses among other things some of the practical applications of natural law and its later influence posterior to the Stoic use of it. Although the editor does not attempt either to unify the varying positions presented or to present a comprehensive view of Stoicism, he does bring together some stimulating arguments concerning particular problems in Stoic ethics, metaphysics, epistemology and psychology. This book, truly a statement of "work in progress," is sure to arouse further discussion of the important topics discussed within its carefully documented pages.--T. V. U.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1971252255
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