Lapses in ethical conduct by those in corporate and public authority worldwide have given business researchers and practitioners alike cause to re-examine the antecedents to personal ethical values. We explore the relationship between ethical values and an individual’s long-term orientation or LTO, defined as the degree to which one plans for and considers the future, as well as values traditions of the past. Our study also examines the role of work ethic and conservative attitudes in the formation of a person’s (...) long-term orientation and consequent ethical beliefs. Empirically testing these hypothesized relationships using data from 292 subjects, we find that long-term perspectives on tradition and planning indeed engender higher levels of ethical values. The results also support work ethic’s role in fostering tradition and planning, as well as conservatism’s positive association with planning. Additionally, we report how tradition and planning mediate the influence of conservatism and work ethic on the formation of ethical values. Limitations of the study and future research directions, as well as implications for business managers and academics, are also discussed. (shrink)
The present research isolates the fairness assessment of the process used by the retailer to set a price, as well as the distributive fairness of the price compared to the price that others are offered, and examines the combined effect of procedural fairness and distributive fairness on overall price fairness. Two experimental studies examine procedural and distributive fairness effects on overall price fairness. In study 1, procedural fairness and distributive fairness are manipulated and found to interact to bring about overall (...) price fairness. In study 2, suspicion toward the seller is found to mediate the relationship between procedural fairness and overall price fairness when the price is disadvantageous. (shrink)
I show that in Epictetus’ view (1) the wise man genuinely loves (στέργειv) and is affectionate (φιλόστoργoς) to his family and friends; (2) only the Stoic wise man is, properly speaking, capable of loving—that is, he alone actually has the power to love; and (3) the Stoic wise man loves in a robustly rational way which excludes passionate, sexual, ‘erotic’ love (’έρως). In condemning all ’έρως as objectionable πάθoς Epictetus stands with Cicero and with the other Roman Stoics, Seneca and (...) Musonius Rufus, and against the Greeks of the early Stoa. Epictetus’ conception of love excludes erotic passion because of its intrinsic excessiveness and uncontrollableness, which inevitably endanger mental serenity, but includes and emphasizes the soberly rational, purely positive joy of interpersonal affiliation. Epictetus’ account of how the Stoic Sage loves is, I think, more consistent and less problematic than that of the Greek Stoics. (shrink)
Five different arguments for vegetarianism are discussed: the system of meat production deprives poor people of food to provide meat for the wealthy, thus violating the principle of distributive justice; the world livestock industry causes great and manifold ecological destruction; meat-eating cultures and societal oppression of women are intimately linked and so feminism and vegetarianism must both be embraced to transform our patriarchal culture; both utilitarian and rights-based reasoning lead to the conclusion that raising and slaughtering animals is immoral, and (...) so we ought to boycott meat; meat consumption causes many serious diseases and lowers life expectancy, and so is unhealthy. Objections to each argument are examined. The conclusion reached is that the cumulative case successfully establishes vegetarianism as a virtuous goal. (shrink)
The Roman imperial Stoics were familiar with exile. This paper argues that the Stoics’ view of being a refugee differed sharply from their view of what is owed to refugees. A Stoic adopts the perspective of a cosmopolitēs, a “citizen of the world,” a rational being everywhere at home in the universe. Virtue can be cultivated and practiced in any locale, so being a refugee is an “indifferent” that poses no obstacle to happiness. Other people are our fellow cosmic citizens, (...) however, regardless of their language, race, ethnicity, customs, or country of origin. Our natural affinity and shared sociability with all people require us to help refugees and embrace them as welcome neighbors. Failure to do so violates our common reason, justice, and the gods’ cosmic law. (shrink)
The impact of Stoicism on Roman culture and early Christianity was considerable. Unfortunately, little survives of the early writings on Stoicism. Our knowledge of it comes largely from a few later Stoics. In this unique book, William O. Stephens explores the moral philosophy of the late Stoic Epictetus, a former slave and dynamic Stoic teacher. His philosophy, as recorded by one of his students, is the most earnest and most compelling defense of ancient Stoicism that exists. Epictetus' teachings dramatically (...) capture the optimistic spirit of Stoicism by examining our greatest human challenges, such as the death of a loved one. Stephens shows how, for Epictetus, happiness results from concerning ourselves with what is up to us while not worrying about what is beyond our control. He concludes that the strength of Epictetus' philosophy lies in his conception of happiness as freedom from anger, fear, worry, grief, and dependence upon luck. (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.
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)
This paper addresses the question question: How do individuals affect others cognitively and emotionally through performance? Performance here is broadly defined aspurposeful enactment or display behavior carried out in front of an audience. Following Alfred Schütz, Erving Goffman, Deborah Tannen and others, the paper posits that performance works through the creation of behavior that is embedded in cognitive “frames” that determine the symbolic interpretation of events. The framed event allows the performer to stimulate the emotions of the audience through pragmatically (...) determined communication in a psychologically protected environment. Both performer and audience utilize the natural human ability to predict the emotional states of others, currently known as Theory of Mind, in order to generate and feel these emotions in an act of co-creation of experience. It is posited that performance has evolutionary value in allowing humans to practice the experience of emotions, and to create group solidarity. (shrink)
More than 2,200 years have passed since a group of sober people gathered in a covered colonnade, or stoa, in the marketplace of Athens to discuss the good life – a life of virtue and honor. They became known as Stoics, and their ancient creed is enjoying a renaissance today in, of all things, popular culture.
How putrid is the matter which underlies everything. Water, dust, bones, stench. Again, fine marbles are calluses of the earth; gold and silver, its sediments; our clothes, animal-hair; their purple, blood from a shellfish. Our very breath is something similar and changes from this to that. Meditations, 9 36).
Earlier versions of this paper were read to the Departments of Philosophy at the University of New Brunswick and at Saint Francis Xavier University and to the Canadian Societh for the Study of Religion at Queen’s University, Kingston. The authors wish to thank the participants for their comments.
Mitchell defends the Epicurean account of friendship. I argue that since Epicureans are hedonists who hold that all pleasures are good and all pains are bad, Epicureans would desert their friends in circumstances in which standing by their friends causes them pain.
This book is a clear and concise introduction to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. His one major surviving work, often titled 'meditations' but literally translated simply as 'to himself', is a series of short, sometimes enigmatic reflections divided seemingly arbitrarily into twelve books and apparently written only to be read by him. For these reasons Marcus is a particularly difficult thinker to understand. His musings, framed as 'notes to self' or 'memoranda', are the exhortations of an earnest, conscientious Stoic (...) burdened with the onerous responsibilities of ruling an entire, enormous empire. -/- William O. Stephens lucidly sketches Marcus Aurelius' upbringing, family relations, rise to the throne, military campaigns, and legacy, situating his philosophy amidst his life and times, explicating the factors shaping Marcus' philosophy, and clarifying key themes in the Memoranda. Specifically designed to meet the needs of students seeking a thorough understanding of this key figure and his major work, Marcus Aurelius: A Guide for the Perplexed is the ideal guide for understanding this Stoic author - the only philosopher who was also an emperor. (shrink)
This notice answers two long-running questions of authorship. The first part of the notice addresses the famous question “Utrum Aristoteles sit salvatus” that survives in the manuscript Città del Vaticano, BAV, Cod. Vat. lat. 1012, a miscellany of primarily Franciscan texts. On the basis of contextual, textual and thematic parallels, the authorship of the question should be ascribed to Hugh of Neufchâteau, OFM. The second part considers the case of the Evidentiae contra Durandum, whose author, known as Durandellus, Joseph Koch (...) identified with a certain Nicolaus Medensis in 1927. A re-examination of Koch’s reasoning makes this attribution doubtful, and the witness of the original Reportatio of William of Brienne, OFM, shows that the Dominican theologian Durand of Aurillac is more likely the author of the Evidentiae. (shrink)
The decision to publish a doctoral dissertation, especially one which has only been “lightly edited” (foreword, first sentence) and with a bibliography only partially updated to reflect the scholarship of the intervening years, must always seem a risky one. In this case the risk is well taken and the resultant book is a delightful addition to our too meager store of book length overviews of Epictetus’ philosophy in the wider context of Stoic ethics.
Kerry Laird, a literature and composition professor who does not have tenure, is in his first year at Temple. He said that, as a student and instructor, he always enjoyed the way professors use their office doors to reveal bits of their personality and to challenge students with cartoons, artwork, and various phrases. So when he started at Temple, he put a cartoon up showing Smokey the Bear, a girl scout and a boy scout and the tag line: “Kids — (...) don’t fuck with God or bears will eat you.” He received a complaint and decided that he understood why the college “might not want the f word” in the hallway, and so he decided to put up something else. (shrink)