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)
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.
"The main and original contribution of this volume is to offer a discussion of teleology through the prism of religion, philosophy and history. The goal is to incorporate teleology within discussions across these three disciplines rather than restrict it to one as is customarily the case. The chapters cover a wide range of topics, from individual teleologies to collective ones; ideas put forward by the French aristocrat Arthur de Gobineau and the Scottish philosopher David Hume, by the Anglican theologian and (...) founder of Methodism, John Wesley, and the English naturalist Charles Darwin; it criss-crosses intellectually and conceptually from a discussion of morality to that of the sacralisation of politics"--. (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)
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)
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)
In “Friendship Amongst the Self-Sufficient: Epicurus” (this Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2, June 2001), Andrew Mitchell explores the Epicurean view of the relationship between self-sufficiency and friendship by contrasting it with the views of Aristotle and the Stoics. Epicurus, Aristotle, and the Stoics do indeed have interestingly different views on friendship that are well worth comparing. Yet Mitchell’s characterization of Aristotelian friendship is misleading, his account of Stoic friendship is inaccurate, and his interpretation of Epicurean friendship is curiously imaginative but (...) ultimately rather strange. (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)
Charlie Croker, a self-made real estate tycoon, ex-Georgia Tech football star, horseback rider, quail-hunter, snakecatcher, and good old boy from Baker county Georgia, is the protagonist in Tom Wolfeâ€™s latest novel, the deliciously provocative A Man in Full (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998). Â In this article I examine the evolving conception of manhood in Wolfeâ€™s novel. Â Two different models of manliness will be delineated and compared. The first modelâ€”represented by Charlie Crokerâ€”gradually weakens and is replaced by the (...) second modelâ€”represented by Conrad Hensley. My aim is to show how Stoicism serves to critique the first model and articulate the second. Â Stoicism, I argue, provides the deliverance of both Hensley and his convert Croker, while at the same time transforming the conception of manliness explored in A Man in Full. (shrink)
This text remains the only English translation of Bonhöffer’s classic, definitive examination of Epictetus’s ethics. Thorough, knowledgeable, perceptive, and accessible, the unity of this book and its thematic presentation make it an invaluable resource for both scholars and general readers eager to apply Stoic thinking in their daily lives. The translation is crisp, clear, consistent, and very readable. Careful attention to the details and nuances of the German as well as the Greek of Epictetus make this an excellent achievement. This (...) new edition includes a useful biography of Bonhöffer, a new overview of the last twenty years of scholarship on Epictetus, and an extensive bibliography. (shrink)
In this interesting book Aronson discusses lapsed vegetarians, which she dubs lapsos. She argues that lapsos struggle with the implications of eating meat, and in so doing their spirits are strengthened. She offers the book not as a polemic, but rather a peace offering to soften the debate over meat eating, trace ambiguity and nuance, and suggest that being a vegetarian should not be so easy.
Hill explains that this book “is written both for non-philosophers and for students of philosophy. It is intended to say something both about philosophy, particularly applied moral philosophy, and about the argument for vegetarianism” (p. xiv). Since vegetarianism is an important topic in applied ethics, I had high expectations of this work. However, although the writing is commendably clear, and despite the fact that it is to be welcomed as the first book to bring together and discuss at some length (...) four different arguments for adopting a vegetarian diet, this book is disappointing both by philosophical and scholarly standards. (shrink)
This book explores both the historical and philosophical contexts of the Stoics’ aesthetic terms focusing on the concept of beauty in metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical arguments attributed to Chrysippus. The author shows that the Stoic theory of value and Stoic aesthetics were not mutually exclusive areas of study, analyzes the Stoic paradox that only the sage is beautiful, and explains the Stoic view that rationality manifests as order, which manifests as proportion, which produces the formal property of beauty, which results (...) from the skillful design of a providential god. The Stoic definition of beauty as summetria (being well proportioned) is thoroughly analyzed. Despite several rough patches of exposition, this book succeeds in reconstructing from Stoic sources a coherent and tenable theory of beauty. The author can be commended for showing that aesthetics has a place within Stoicism just as Stoic ideas have an extensive legacy in aesthetics. (shrink)
Two principal questions are addressed: In De Finibus 3.54 what position does Cicero imagine the talus to fall and lie? How does this talus simile shed light on the problematic relationship between the Stoics’ doctrine of ‘preferred indifferents’ and their definition of the Good as virtue?
An overview of the ancient philosophers and their philosophical system (divided into the fields of logic, physics, and ethics) comprising the living, organic, enduring, and evolving body of interrelated ideas identifiable as the Stoic perspective.
This is a study of Roman adaptations of Stoic doctrine that seeks to portray a model of the self functioning as a mediator between philosophical and traditional values (1). The author’s aim is ‘to let the Roman Stoics’ self arise out of a comprehensive analysis of their extant philosophical work and to conduct that analysis from the vantage point of the specific question of social embeddedness. Such an approach yields a Stoic self that is constituted by the encounter between challenges (...) and normative expectations’ (2). Overall, this aim is met. The Roman Stoics referred to are Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and to a lesser extent Hierocles, who ‘all had to come to terms with the sociopolitical challenges of imperial Rome’ (3). The tame thesis advanced is that the doctrine of these Roman Stoics ‘shows a distinctive pattern of emphasizing social responsibility’ (3). This social responsibility includes commitments to the political community, marriage, and parenthood. (shrink)
The vitally important concept of the "person" is featured in this anthology of readings from the history of Western philosophy. This text which is philosophically more serious yet still reader-friendly, offers a variety of authors and a wide historical scope in the Philosophy of Human Nature market that generally neglects this topic.
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)
My project examines the pedagogical approach of the Stoic Epictetus by focusing on seven vital lessons he imparts. This study will deepen our understanding of his vocation as a Stoic educator striving to free his students from the fears and foolishness that hold happiness hostage. These lessons are (1) how freedom, integrity, self-respect, and happiness interrelate; (2) real versus fake tragedy and real versus fake heroism; (3) the instructive roles that various animals play in Stoic education; (4) athleticism, sport, and (...) game-playing as analogies for striving to live virtuously; (5) place, time, and progress in the journey to self-realization; (6) how to live with death and exit life fearlessly; (7) how teaching wisdom is one of several ways the Stoic sage loves others. (shrink)
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).
The Roman imperial Stoics were familiar with exile. I argue 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. But other people are our fellow cosmic citizens (...) 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 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)