The stoic conception of the good man

April 14, Stoic justice at its heart is about fairness and the golden rule.

The stoic conception of the good man

Here, however, we meet with the problem about the sources of our knowledge about Stoicism. We do not possess a single complete work by any of the first three heads of the Stoic school: Chrysippus was particularly prolific, composing over works, but we have only fragments of his works.

They tend to be long on moral exhortation but give only clues to the theoretical bases of the moral system. For detailed information about the Old Stoa i. CE — and their sources Aetius ca. CE and Arius Didymus 1st c.

Nearly all of the latter group are hostile witnesses. Among them are the Aristotelian commentator Alexander of Aphrodisias late 2nd c. CE ; Plotinus 3rd c. CE ; the Christian bishops Eusebius 3rd—4th c.

CE and Nemesius ca. Another important source is Cicero 1st c. Though his own philosophical position derives from that of his teacher Philo of Larissa and the New Academy, he is not without sympathy for what he sees as the high moral tone of Stoicism.

The stoic conception of the good man

In works like his Academic Books, On the Nature of the Gods, and On Ends he provides summaries in Latin, with critical discussion, of the views of the major Hellenistic schools of thought.

From these sources, scholars have attempted to piece together a picture of the content, and in some cases, the development of Stoic doctrine. In some areas, there is a fair bit of consensus about what the Stoics thought and we can even attach names to some particular innovations.

However, in other areas the proper interpretation of our meagre evidence is hotly contested. Until recently, non-specialists have been largely excluded from the debate because many important sources were not translated into modern languages.

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Fragments of Stoic works and testimonia in their original Greek and Latin were collected into a three-volume set in —5 by H. In Long and Sedley was followed by a collection of primary texts edited by B. Gerson entitled Hellenistic Philosophy. The Inwood and Gerson collection translates many of the same texts, but unlike LS does not chop them up into smaller bits classified by topic.

Each approach has its merits, but the LS collection better serves the needs of an encyclopedia entry. For French translation of Chrysippus, see Dufour For German translation of the early Stoa, see Nickel Philosophy and Life When considering the doctrines of the Stoics, it is important to remember that they think of philosophy not as an interesting pastime or even a particular body of knowledge, but as a way of life.

Once we come to know what we and the world around us are really like, and especially the nature of value, we will be utterly transformed.

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This therapeutic aspect is common to their main competitors, the Epicureans, and perhaps helps to explain why both were eventually eclipsed by Christianity.

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius provide a fascinating picture of a would-be Stoic sage at work on himself. In it, he not only reminds himself of the content of important Stoic teaching but also reproaches himself when he realises that he has failed to incorporate this teaching into his life in some particular instance.

Today many people still turn to Stoicism as a form of psychological discipline. One of the most influential modern interpretations of means through which the Stoic philosophizing accomplished such a transformation introduces the notion of spiritual exercises.

For a more general treatment covering Stoic philosophy as a whole, see Sellars For a recent discussion of the entire question of philosophy as a way — or rather as many ways — of life in antiquity, see Cooper There d-ePlato asks for a mark or indication of what is real or what has being.

Thus, only bodies exist. However, they also hold that there are other ways of appearing in the complete inventory of the world than by virtue of existing. The distinction between the subsistent and the existent somewhat complicates the easy assimilation of Stoicism to modern materialism.The Stoic theory of value is buttressed by a stripped-down conception of who one is: one is identical to one's power of choice, and so one's happiness consists solely in the good condition of that faculty.

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. It was heavily influenced by certain teachings of Socrates, while Stoic physics are largely drawn from the teachings of the philosopher initiativeblog.comsm is predominantly a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its .

Stoic definition is - a member of a school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium about b.c. holding that the wise man should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and submissive to natural law. Stoicism. Stoicism originated as a Hellenistic philosophy, founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium (modern day Cyprus), c.

B.C.E. It was influenced by Socrates and the Cynics, and it engaged in vigorous debates with the Skeptics, the Academics, and the Epicureans. Stoic justice at its heart is about fairness and the golden rule.

Other virtues remain, which I will grab onto because a virtuous life is one to pursue for real happiness. Seneca on the Good, the Honorable, and Virtue “Your letter roamed, over several little problems, but finally dwelt upon this alone, asking for explanation: “How do we acquire a knowledge of that which is good .

The Stoic is not virtuous in order to do good, but does good in order to be virtuous. It has not occurred to him to love his neighbour as himself; love, except in a superficial sense, is absent from his conception of virtue.

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