Stoicism (Ancient Philosophies)

Stoicism (Ancient Philosophies)

John Sellars

Language: English

Pages: 219

ISBN: 0520249089

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

One of the most popular of the Hellenistic schools of philosophy in antiquity, Stoicism flourished for some five hundred years and has remained a constant presence throughout the history of Western philosophy. Its doctrines appealed to people from all strata of ancient society-from the slave Epictetus to the emperor Marcus Aurelius. This book provides a lucid, comprehensive introduction to this great philosophical school. It gives an overview of the history of the school, covers its philosophy as a system, and explores the three main branches of Stoic theory. John Sellars includes historical information on the life and works of the ancient Stoic philosophers and summaries, analyses, and appraisals of their principal doctrines in logic, physics, and ethics. He also includes a fascinating account of the Stoic legacy from later antiquity to the present. The volume includes a glossary and chronology, which, together with its accessible yet authoritative approach, makes it the ideal choice for students, scholars, and general readers interested in what Stoicism has meant, both philosophically and historically, for western civilization.


















valuable accounts of Stoic ideas: Academics (Academica), On Divination (De Divinatione), On Duties (De Officiis), On Ends Good and Bad (De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum), On Fate (De Fato), On the Nature of the Gods (De Natura Deorum), Paradoxes of the Stoics (Paradoxa Stoicorum) and the Tusculan Disputations (Tusculanae Disputationes). Impressively, many of these were written in just one year towards the end of Cicero’s life (45–44 BCE). Collectively they form one of the earliest and most important

Cynic. But nevertheless, the practical orientation of Cynicism no doubt left its mark. And despite some ancient attempts to argue that this Cynic influence was limited to the youthful Zeno, modern scholars have shown that Cynic themes can be found throughout the early Stoa (see Goulet-Cazé 2003). With a strong practical orientation in both those Cynics immediately preceding the early Stoics and in the later Stoics, it seems reasonable to suppose that this orientation marked the approach to

During the sea voyage they encountered a storm, which became increasingly violent. As the storm worsened and the passengers became increasingly afraid, Gellius turned to the Stoic philosopher to see how this wise man was keeping his composure during this moment of danger. However, he was disappointed with what he saw, for the Stoic philosopher appeared to be just as terrified as everyone else on board; so much for Stoic philosophy as an antidote for unwelcome emotions such as fear. After the

Cynic (Diogenes' pupil) that Zeno is said to have written his infamous and now lost work the Republic (for the fragments see Baldry 1959). This work, the earliest and most famous work in Stoic political philosophy, has attracted controversy from antiquity onwards. Some Stoics in the centuries after Zeno were horrified by the "Cynic" doctrines that it contained and so tried to distance themselves from it. Some suggested that it was an early and immature work by Zeno, written when he was still

dream or image of a philosopher's well-regulated society. (Mor. 329a-b) This passage suggests that Zeno followed his Cynic predecessors by presenting a form of political cosmopolitanism in his Republic. However, another text implies that he may have conceived of an ideal State along the lines of the ideal State in Plato's Republic, but with only the wise as citizens. This reading has gained currency in recent scholarship (e.g. Schofield 1991), whereas others have preferred to view the Republic

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