Stoicism

Stoicism

Overview
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic civilization following Aristotle and ending with the beginning of Neoplatonism.-Pythagoreanism:...

 founded in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 by Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher from Citium . Zeno was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, which he taught in Athens from about 300 BC. Based on the moral ideas of the Cynics, Stoicism laid great emphasis on goodness and peace of mind gained from living a life of virtue in...

 in the early . The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage
Sage (Sophos)
In the Symposium, Plato draws a distinction between a philosopher and a sage . The difference is explained through the concept of love, which lacks the object it seeks. Therefore the philosopher does not have the wisdom he or she seeks. The sage, on the other hand, does not love, or seek, wisdom...

, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not suffer such emotions.

Stoics were concerned with the active relationship between cosmic determinism
Determinism
Determinism is the general philosophical thesis that states that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could happen. There are many versions of this thesis. Each of them rests upon various alleged connections, and interdependencies of things and...

 and human freedom, and the belief that it is virtuous
Virtue
Virtue is moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being....

 to maintain a will
Prohairesis
Prohairesis is a fundamental concept in the Stoic philosophy of Epictetus. It represents the choice involved in giving or withholding assent to impressions. The use of this Greek word was first introduced into philosophy by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics...

 (called prohairesis
Prohairesis
Prohairesis is a fundamental concept in the Stoic philosophy of Epictetus. It represents the choice involved in giving or withholding assent to impressions. The use of this Greek word was first introduced into philosophy by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics...

) that is in accord with nature.
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Encyclopedia
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic civilization following Aristotle and ending with the beginning of Neoplatonism.-Pythagoreanism:...

 founded in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 by Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher from Citium . Zeno was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, which he taught in Athens from about 300 BC. Based on the moral ideas of the Cynics, Stoicism laid great emphasis on goodness and peace of mind gained from living a life of virtue in...

 in the early . The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage
Sage (Sophos)
In the Symposium, Plato draws a distinction between a philosopher and a sage . The difference is explained through the concept of love, which lacks the object it seeks. Therefore the philosopher does not have the wisdom he or she seeks. The sage, on the other hand, does not love, or seek, wisdom...

, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not suffer such emotions.

Stoics were concerned with the active relationship between cosmic determinism
Determinism
Determinism is the general philosophical thesis that states that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could happen. There are many versions of this thesis. Each of them rests upon various alleged connections, and interdependencies of things and...

 and human freedom, and the belief that it is virtuous
Virtue
Virtue is moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being....

 to maintain a will
Prohairesis
Prohairesis is a fundamental concept in the Stoic philosophy of Epictetus. It represents the choice involved in giving or withholding assent to impressions. The use of this Greek word was first introduced into philosophy by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics...

 (called prohairesis
Prohairesis
Prohairesis is a fundamental concept in the Stoic philosophy of Epictetus. It represents the choice involved in giving or withholding assent to impressions. The use of this Greek word was first introduced into philosophy by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics...

) that is in accord with nature. Because of this, the Stoics presented their philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said but how he behaved.

Later Stoics, such as Seneca
Seneca the Younger
Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero...

 and Epictetus
Epictetus
Epictetus was a Greek sage and Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia , and lived in Rome until banishment when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece where he lived the rest of his life. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses...

, emphasized that because "virtue is sufficient for happiness," a sage was immune to misfortune. This belief is similar to the meaning of the phrase 'stoic calm', though the phrase does not include the "radical ethical" Stoic views that only a sage can be considered truly free, and that all moral corruptions are equally vicious.

From its founding, Stoic doctrine was a popular and durable philosophy, with a following throughout Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, including the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, until the closing of all philosophy schools in 529 AD by order of the Emperor Justinian I
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

, who perceived their pagan character as at odds with the Christian faith.

Basic tenets


The Stoics provided a unified account of the world, consisting of formal logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

, non-dualistic
Nondualism
Nondualism is a term used to denote affinity, or unity, rather than duality or separateness or multiplicity. In reference to the universe it may be used to denote the idea that things appear distinct while not being separate. The term "nondual" can refer to a belief, condition, theory, practice,...

 physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 and naturalistic ethics
Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

. Of these, they emphasized ethics as the main focus of human knowledge, though their logical theories were of more interest for later philosophers.

Stoicism teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotion
Emotion
Emotion is a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual's state of mind as interacting with biochemical and environmental influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves "physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience." Emotion is associated with mood,...

s; the philosophy holds that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker allows one to understand the universal reason (logos
Logos
' is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason," it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus ' is an important term in...

). A primary aspect of Stoicism involves improving the individual’s ethical and moral well-being: "Virtue consists in a will that is in agreement with Nature." This principle also applies to the realm of interpersonal relationships; "to be free from anger, envy, and jealousy," and to accept even slaves as "equals of other men, because all men alike are products of nature."

The Stoic ethic espouses a deterministic perspective; in regards to those who lack Stoic virtue, Cleanthes
Cleanthes
Cleanthes , of Assos, was a Greek Stoic philosopher and the successor to Zeno as the second head of the Stoic school in Athens. Originally a boxer, he came to Athens where he took up philosophy, listening to Zeno's lectures. He supported himself by working as water-carrier at night. After the...

 once opined that the wicked man is "like a dog tied to a cart, and compelled to go wherever it goes." A Stoic of virtue, by contrast, would amend his will to suit the world and remain, in the words of Epictetus, "sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy," thus positing a "completely autonomous" individual will, and at the same time a universe that is "a rigidly deterministic single whole."

Stoicism became the foremost popular philosophy among the educated elite in the Hellenistic world and the Roman Empire, to the point where, in the words of Gilbert Murray
Gilbert Murray
George Gilbert Aimé Murray, OM was an Australian born British classical scholar and public intellectual, with connections in many spheres. He was an outstanding scholar of the language and culture of Ancient Greece, perhaps the leading authority in the first half of the twentieth century...

 "nearly all the successors of Alexander
Diadochi
The Diadochi were the rival generals, family and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for the control of Alexander's empire after his death in 323 BC...

 [...] professed themselves Stoics."

History



Beginning at around 301 BC, Zeno
Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher from Citium . Zeno was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, which he taught in Athens from about 300 BC. Based on the moral ideas of the Cynics, Stoicism laid great emphasis on goodness and peace of mind gained from living a life of virtue in...

 taught philosophy at the Stoa Poikile
Stoa Poikile
The Stoa Poikile or Painted Porch, originally called the Porch of Peisianax , was erected during the 5th century BC and was located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. The Stoa was the location from which Zeno of Citium taught Stoicism...

 (i.e., "the painted porch"), from which his philosophy got its name. Unlike the other schools of philosophy, such as the Epicureans, Zeno chose to teach his philosophy in a public space, which was a colonnade
Colonnade
In classical architecture, a colonnade denotes a long sequence of columns joined by their entablature, often free-standing, or part of a building....

 overlooking the central gathering place of Athens, the Agora
Ancient Agora of Athens
The Ancient Agora of Athens is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora, located to the northwest of the Acropolis and is bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Colonus Agoraeus.-History:The agora in Athens had private housing, until it...

.

Zeno's ideas developed from those of the Cynics, whose founding father, Antisthenes
Antisthenes
Antisthenes was a Greek philosopher and a pupil of Socrates. Antisthenes first learned rhetoric under Gorgias before becoming an ardent disciple of Socrates. He adopted and developed the ethical side of Socrates' teachings, advocating an ascetic life lived in accordance with virtue. Later writers...

, had been a disciple of Socrates
Socrates
Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary ...

. Zeno's most influential follower was Chrysippus
Chrysippus
Chrysippus of Soli was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was a native of Soli, Cilicia, but moved to Athens as a young man, where he became a pupil of Cleanthes in the Stoic school. When Cleanthes died, around 230 BC, Chrysippus became the third head of the school...

, who was responsible for the moulding of what is now called Stoicism. Later Roman Stoics focused on promoting a life in harmony within the universe, over which one has no direct control.

Scholars usually divide the history of Stoicism into three phases:
  • Early Stoa, from the founding of the school by Zeno to Antipater
    Antipater of Tarsus
    Antipater of Tarsus was a Stoic philosopher. He was the pupil and successor of Diogenes of Babylon as leader of the Stoic school, and was the teacher of Panaetius...

    .
  • Middle Stoa, including Panaetius
    Panaetius
    Panaetius of Rhodes was a Stoic philosopher. He was a pupil of Diogenes of Babylon and Antipater of Tarsus in Athens, before moving to Rome where he did much to introduce Stoic doctrines to the city. After the death of Scipio in 129, he returned to the Stoic school in Athens, and was its last...

     and Posidonius
    Posidonius
    Posidonius "of Apameia" or "of Rhodes" , was a Greek Stoic philosopher, politician, astronomer, geographer, historian and teacher native to Apamea, Syria. He was acclaimed as the greatest polymath of his age...

    .
  • Late Stoa, including Musonius Rufus
    Musonius Rufus
    Gaius Musonius Rufus, was a Roman Stoic philosopher of the 1st century AD. He taught philosophy in Rome during the reign of Nero, as consequence of which he was sent into exile in 65 AD, only returning to Rome under Galba...

    , Seneca
    Seneca the Younger
    Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero...

    , Epictetus
    Epictetus
    Epictetus was a Greek sage and Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia , and lived in Rome until banishment when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece where he lived the rest of his life. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses...

    , and Marcus Aurelius.


As A. A. Long
A. A. Long
Anthony Arthur Long is a British and naturalised American classical scholar and Professor of Classics and Irving Stone Professor of Literature at the University of California, Berkeley....

 states, no complete work by any Stoic philosopher survives from the first two phases of Stoicism. Only Roman texts from the Late Stoa survive.

Propositional logic


Diodorus Cronus
Diodorus Cronus
Diodorus Cronus was a Greek philosopher and dialectician connected to the Megarian school. He was most notable for logic innovations, including his master argument fomulated in response to Aristotle's discussion of future contingents.-Life:...

, who was one of Zeno's teachers, is considered the philosopher who first introduced and developed an approach to logic now known as propositional logic. This is an approach to logic based on statements or propositions, rather than terms, making it very different from Aristotle's
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 term logic
Term logic
In philosophy, term logic, also known as traditional logic or aristotelian logic, is a loose name for the way of doing logic that began with Aristotle and that was dominant until the advent of modern predicate logic in the late nineteenth century...

. Later, Chrysippus
Chrysippus
Chrysippus of Soli was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was a native of Soli, Cilicia, but moved to Athens as a young man, where he became a pupil of Cleanthes in the Stoic school. When Cleanthes died, around 230 BC, Chrysippus became the third head of the school...

 developed this approach to logic into a system that became known as Stoic logic and included a deductive system (Stoic Syllogistic) which was considered a rival to Aristotle's Syllogistic. New interest in Stoic logic came in the 20th century, when important developments in logic were based on propositional logic. Susanne Bobzien wrote, "The many close similarities between Chrysippus' philosophical logic and that of Gottlob Frege
Gottlob Frege
Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege was a German mathematician, logician and philosopher. He is considered to be one of the founders of modern logic, and made major contributions to the foundations of mathematics. He is generally considered to be the father of analytic philosophy, for his writings on...

 are especially striking."

Bobzien also notes that "Chrysippus wrote over 300 books on logic, on virtually any topic logic today concerns itself with, including speech act theory, sentence analysis, singular and plural expressions, types of predicates, indexicals
Indexicality
In linguistics and in philosophy of language, an indexical behavior or utterance points to some state of affairs. For example, I refers to whoever is speaking; now refers to the time at which that word is uttered; and here refers to the place of utterance...

, existential propositions
Existential quantification
In predicate logic, an existential quantification is the predication of a property or relation to at least one member of the domain. It is denoted by the logical operator symbol ∃ , which is called the existential quantifier...

, sentential connectives
Logical connective
In logic, a logical connective is a symbol or word used to connect two or more sentences in a grammatically valid way, such that the compound sentence produced has a truth value dependent on the respective truth values of the original sentences.Each logical connective can be expressed as a...

, negation
Negation
In logic and mathematics, negation, also called logical complement, is an operation on propositions, truth values, or semantic values more generally. Intuitively, the negation of a proposition is true when that proposition is false, and vice versa. In classical logic negation is normally identified...

s, disjunction
Logical disjunction
In logic and mathematics, a two-place logical connective or, is a logical disjunction, also known as inclusive disjunction or alternation, that results in true whenever one or more of its operands are true. E.g. in this context, "A or B" is true if A is true, or if B is true, or if both A and B are...

s, conditionals
Conditional proof
A conditional proof is a proof that takes the form of asserting a conditional, and proving that the antecedent of the conditional necessarily leads to the consequent....

, logical consequence, valid argument forms, theory of deduction, propositional logic, modal logic
Modal logic
Modal logic is a type of formal logic that extends classical propositional and predicate logic to include operators expressing modality. Modals — words that express modalities — qualify a statement. For example, the statement "John is happy" might be qualified by saying that John is...

, tense logic, epistemic logic
Epistemic logic
Epistemic modal logic is a subfield of modal logic that is concerned with reasoning about knowledge. While epistemology has a long philosophical tradition dating back to Ancient Greece, epistemic logic is a much more recent development with applications in many fields, including philosophy,...

, logic of suppositions
Supposition theory
Supposition theory was a branch of medieval logic that was probably aimed at giving accounts of issues similar to modern accounts of reference, plurality, tense, and modality, from within an Aristotelian context. Philosophers such as John Buridan, William of Ockham, William of Sherwood, Walter...

, logic of imperatives
Imperative logic
Imperative logic is the field of logic concerned with arguments containing sentences in the imperative mood. In contrast to sentences in the declarative mood, imperatives are neither true nor false. This leads to a number of logical dilemmas, puzzles, and paradoxes...

, ambiguity and logical paradox
Paradox
Similar to Circular reasoning, A paradox is a seemingly true statement or group of statements that lead to a contradiction or a situation which seems to defy logic or intuition...

es."

Stoic Categories


The Stoics held that all being
Being
Being , is an English word used for conceptualizing subjective and objective aspects of reality, including those fundamental to the self —related to and somewhat interchangeable with terms like "existence" and "living".In its objective usage —as in "a being," or "[a] human being" —it...

 (ὄντα) -- though not all things (τινά) -- are corporeal
Matter
Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

. They accepted the distinction between concrete bodies and abstract
Abstract object
An abstract object is an object which does not exist at any particular time or place, but rather exists as a type of thing . In philosophy, an important distinction is whether an object is considered abstract or concrete. Abstract objects are sometimes called abstracta An abstract object is an...

 ones, but rejected Aristotle's
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 belief that purely incorporeal
Incorporeal
Incorporeal or uncarnate means without the nature of a body or substance . The idea of incorporeality refers to the notion that there is an incorporeal realm of existence, or "place", that is distinct from the corporeal or material universe. Incorporeal beings or objects are not made out of matter...

 being exists. Thus, they accepted Anaxagoras'
Anaxagoras
Anaxagoras was a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. Born in Clazomenae in Asia Minor, Anaxagoras was the first philosopher to bring philosophy from Ionia to Athens. He attempted to give a scientific account of eclipses, meteors, rainbows, and the sun, which he described as a fiery mass larger than...

 idea (as did Aristotle) that if an object is hot, it is because some part of a universal heat body had entered the object. But, unlike Aristotle, they extended the idea to cover all accidents
Accident (philosophy)
Accident, as used in philosophy, is an attribute which may or may not belong to a subject, without affecting its essence. The word "accident" has been employed throughout the history of philosophy with several distinct meanings....

. Thus if an object is red, it would be because some part of a universal red body had entered the object.

They held that there were four Categories.
substance
Substance theory
Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its properties. A thing-in-itself is a property-bearer that must be distinguished from the properties it bears....

 (ὑποκείμενον)
The primary matter, formless substance, (ousia) that things are made of

quality
Quality (philosophy)
A quality is an attribute or a property. Attributes are ascribable, by a subject, whereas properties are possessible. In contemporary philosophy, the idea of qualities and especially how to distinguish certain kinds of qualities from one another remains controversial.-Background:Aristotle analyzed...

 (ποιόν)
The way matter is organized to form an individual object; in Stoic physics, a physical ingredient (pneuma: air or breath), which informs the matter

somehow disposed (πως ἔχον)
Particular characteristics, not present within the object, such as size, shape, action, and posture

Somehow disposed in relation to something (πρός τί πως ἔχον)
Characteristics related to other phenomena, such as the position of an object within time and space relative to other objects

Epistemology


The Stoics believed that knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

 can be attained through the use of reason
Reason
Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

. Truth
Truth
Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with fact or reality. It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common usage, it also means constancy or sincerity in action or character...

 can be distinguished from fallacy
Fallacy
In logic and rhetoric, a fallacy is usually an incorrect argumentation in reasoning resulting in a misconception or presumption. By accident or design, fallacies may exploit emotional triggers in the listener or interlocutor , or take advantage of social relationships between people...

; even if, in practice, only an approximation can be made. According to the Stoics, the senses constantly receive sensations: pulsations that pass from objects through the senses to the mind
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

, where they leave an impression in the imagination
Imagination
Imagination, also called the faculty of imagining, is the ability of forming mental images, sensations and concepts, in a moment when they are not perceived through sight, hearing or other senses...

 (phantasia). (An impression arising from the mind was called a phantasma.)

The mind has the ability to judge (sunkatathesis)—approve or reject—an impression, enabling it to distinguish a true representation of reality
Reality
In philosophy, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible...

 from one that is false. Some impressions can be assented to immediately, but others can only achieve varying degrees of hesitant approval, which can be labeled belief
Belief
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

 or opinion (doxa
Doxa
Doxa is a Greek word meaning common belief or popular opinion, from which are derived the modern terms of orthodoxy and heterodoxy.Used by the Greek rhetoricians as a tool for the formation of argument by using common opinions, the doxa was often manipulated by sophists to persuade the people,...

). It is only through reason that we achieve clear comprehension and conviction (katalepsis
Katalepsis
Katalepsis in Stoic philosophy, meant comprehension. It is a term that originally refers to the Stoic philosophers and was to them, a landmark ideological premise regarding one's state of mind as it relates to grasping fundamental philosophical concepts....

). Certain and true knowledge (episteme
Episteme
Episteme, as distinguished from techne, is etymologically derived from the Greek word ἐπιστήμη for knowledge or science, which comes from the verb ἐπίσταμαι, "to know".- The Concept of an "Episteme" in Michel Foucault :...

), achievable by the Stoic sage, can be attained only by verifying the conviction with the expertise of one's peers and the collective judgment of humankind.

Stoic physics and cosmology



According to the Stoics, the universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 is a material, reasoning substance, known as God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 or Nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

, which the Stoics divided into two classes, the active and the passive. The passive substance is matter
Matter
Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

, which "lies sluggish, a substance ready for any use, but sure to remain unemployed if no one sets it in motion." The active substance, which can be called Fate
Destiny
Destiny or fate refers to a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual...

, or Universal Reason (Logos
Logos
' is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason," it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus ' is an important term in...

), is an intelligent aether
Aether (classical element)
According to ancient and medieval science aether , also spelled æther or ether, is the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere.-Mythological origins:...

 or primordial fire, which acts on the passive matter:
Everything is subject to the laws of Fate, for the Universe acts only according to its own nature, and the nature of the passive matter it governs. The soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

s of people
People
People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:* as the plural of person or a group of people People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:*...

 and animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

s are emanations from this primordial fire, and are, likewise, subject to Fate:
Individual souls are perishable by nature, and can be "transmuted and diffused, assuming a fiery nature by being received into the Seminal Reason (logos spermatikos) of the Universe." Since right Reason is the foundation of both humanity and the universe, it follows that the goal of life is to live according to Reason
Reason
Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

, that is, to live a life according to Nature
Natural law
Natural law, or the law of nature , is any system of law which is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. Natural law is contrasted with the positive law Natural...

.

Stoic ethics and virtues


The ancient Stoics are often misunderstood because the terms they used pertained to different concepts in the past than they do today. The word 'stoic' has come to mean 'unemotional' or indifferent to pain, because Stoic ethics taught freedom from 'passion' by following 'reason.' The Stoics did not seek to extinguish emotions; rather, they sought to transform them by a resolute 'askēsis
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

' that enables a person to develop clear judgment and inner calm. Logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

, reflection, and concentration were the methods of such self-discipline.

Borrowing from the Cynics, the foundation of Stoic ethics is that good lies in the state of the soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

 itself; in wisdom and self-control. Stoic ethics stressed the rule: "Follow where reason leads." One must therefore strive to be free of the passions
Stoic Passions
Stoic Passions refers to various forms of emotional suffering in Stoicism, a school of Hellenistic philosophy.-Primary Passions:The Stoics named four primary passions. In On Passions, Andronicus reported the Stoic definitions of these passions Stoic Passions refers to various forms of emotional...

, bearing in mind that the ancient meaning of 'passion' was "anguish" or "suffering", that is, "passively" reacting to external events—somewhat different from the modern use of the word. A distinction was made between pathos (plural pathe) which is normally translated as passion, propathos or instinctive reaction (e.g., turning pale and trembling when confronted by physical danger) and eupathos, which is the mark of the Stoic sage (sophos). The eupatheia are feelings that result from correct judgment in the same way as passions result from incorrect judgment.

The idea was to be free of suffering
Suffering
Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, is an individual's basic affective experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. Suffering may be qualified as physical or mental. It may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and...

 through apatheia
Apatheia
Apatheia in Stoic philosophy refers to a state of mind where one is free from emotional disturbance. This might be translated as equanimity or indifference...

(Greek: ) or peace of mind
Inner peace
Inner peace refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being "at peace" is considered by many to be healthy and the opposite of being stressed or anxious...

 (literally,'without passion'), where peace of mind was understood in the ancient sense—being objective
Objectivity (philosophy)
Objectivity is a central philosophical concept which has been variously defined by sources. A proposition is generally considered to be objectively true when its truth conditions are met and are "mind-independent"—that is, not met by the judgment of a conscious entity or subject.- Objectivism...

 or having "clear judgment" and the maintenance of equanimity
Equanimity
Equanimity is a state of mental or emotional stability or composure arising from a deep awareness and acceptance of the present moment. Equanimity is promoted by several major religious groups.-Stoicism:...

 in the face of life's highs and lows.

For the Stoics, 'reason
Reason
Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

' meant not only using logic, but also understanding the processes of nature—the logos
Logos
' is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason," it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus ' is an important term in...

, or universal reason, inherent in all things. Living according to reason and virtue, they held, is to live in harmony with the divine order of the universe, in recognition of the common reason and essential value of all people. The four cardinal virtues of the Stoic philosophy are wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

(Sophia), courage
Courage
Courage is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation...

(Andreia), justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

(Dikaiosyne), and temperance
Temperance (virtue)
Temperance has been studied by religious thinkers, philosophers, and more recently, psychologists, particularly in the positive psychology movement. It is considered a virtue, a core value that can be seen consistently across time and cultures...

(Sophrosyne), a classification derived from the teachings of Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

.

Following Socrates
Socrates
Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary ...

, the Stoics held that unhappiness and evil
Evil
Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

 are the results of human ignorance of the reason in nature. If someone is unkind, it is because they are unaware of their own universal reason, which leads to the conclusion of kindness. The solution to evil and unhappiness then, is the practice of Stoic philosophy—to examine one's own judgments and behavior and determine where they diverge from the universal reason of nature.

The Stoics accepted that suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 was permissible for the wise person in circumstances that might prevent them from living a virtuous life. Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 held that accepting life under tyranny would have compromised Cato
Cato the Younger
Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis , commonly known as Cato the Younger to distinguish him from his great-grandfather , was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic, and a follower of the Stoic philosophy...

's self-consistency (constantia) as a Stoic and impaired his freedom to make the honourable moral choices. Suicide could be justified if one fell victim to severe pain or disease, but otherwise suicide would usually be seen as a rejection of one's social duty.

The doctrine of "things indifferent"


In philosophical terms, things that are indifferent are outside the application of moral law, that is without tendency to either promote or obstruct moral ends. Actions neither required nor forbidden by the moral law, or that do not affect morality
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

, are called morally indifferent. The doctrine of things indifferent ' onMouseout='HidePop("21284")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Adiaphora">adiaphora
Adiaphora
Adiaphoron is a concept of Stoic philosophy that indicates things outside of moral law—that is, actions that morality neither mandates nor forbids....

) arose in the Stoic school as a corollary
Corollary
A corollary is a statement that follows readily from a previous statement.In mathematics a corollary typically follows a theorem. The use of the term corollary, rather than proposition or theorem, is intrinsically subjective...

 of its diametric opposition of virtue and vice ( kathekon
Kathekon
Kathekon is a Greek concept, forged by the founder of Stoicism, Zeno of Citium. It may be translated as "appropriate behaviour", "befitting actions," or "convenient action for nature", or also "proper function." Kathekon has been translated in Latin by Cicero as officium, and by Seneca as...

and ἁμαρτήματα hamartemata, respectively "convenient actions," or actions in accordance with nature, and mistakes). As a result of this dichotomy
Dichotomy
A dichotomy is any splitting of a whole into exactly two non-overlapping parts, meaning it is a procedure in which a whole is divided into two parts...

, a large class of objects were left unassigned and thus regarded as indifferent.

Eventually three sub-classes of "things indifferent" developed: things to prefer because they assist life according to nature; things to avoid because they hinder it; and things indifferent in the narrower sense.

The principle of adiaphora was also common to the Cynics and Sceptics. The conception of things indifferent is, according to Kant
KANT
KANT is a computer algebra system for mathematicians interested in algebraic number theory, performing sophisticated computations in algebraic number fields, in global function fields, and in local fields. KASH is the associated command line interface...

, extra-moral. The doctrine of things indifferent was revived during the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 by Philip Melanchthon.

Spiritual exercise



Philosophy for a Stoic is not just a set of beliefs or ethical claims, it is a way of life involving constant practice and training (or askesis, see asceticism
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

). Stoic philosophical and spiritual practices included logic, Socratic dialogue and self-dialogue, contemplation of death, training attention to remain in the present moment (similar to some forms of Eastern
Eastern philosophy
Eastern philosophy includes the various philosophies of Asia, including Chinese philosophy, Iranian philosophy, Japanese philosophy, Indian philosophy and Korean philosophy...

 meditation), daily reflection on everyday problems and possible solutions, hypomnemata
Hypomnemata
Hypomnema , also spelled hupomnema, is a Greek word with several translations into English including a reminder, a note, a public record, a commentary, a draft, a copy, and other variations on those terms.Michel Foucault uses the word in the sense of "note", but his translators use the word...

, and so on. Philosophy for a Stoic is an active process of constant practice and self-reminder.

In his Meditations
Meditations
Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161–180 CE, setting forth his ideas on Stoic philosophy....

, Marcus Aurelius defines several such practices. For example, in Book II, part 1:

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All of these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill... I can neither be harmed by any of them, for no man will involve me in wrong, nor can I be angry with my kinsman or hate him; for we have come into the world to work together...


Prior to Aurelius, Epictetus in his Discourses distinguished between three topoi: judgement, desire and inclination. According to French philosopher Pierre Hadot
Pierre Hadot
Pierre Hadot was a French philosopher and historian of philosophy specializing in ancient philosophy, particularly Neoplatonism. Hadot was ordained in 1944 but following Pope Pius XII's Encyclical "Humani Generis" left the priesthood...

, Epictetus identifies these three acts with logic, physics and ethics respectively. Hadot writes that in the Meditations "Each maxim develops either one of these very characteristic topoi, or two of them or three of them."

The practices of spiritual exercises have been described as influencing those of reflective practice
Reflective practice
Reflective practice is "the capacity to reflect on action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning", which, according to the originator of the term, is "one of the defining characteristics of professional practice"....

 by Seamus Mac Suibhne . Parallels between Stoic spiritual exercises and modern cognitive-behavioural therapy have been detailed at length in Robertson's The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.

Social philosophy


A distinctive feature of Stoicism is its cosmopolitanism
Cosmopolitanism
Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality. This is contrasted with communitarian and particularistic theories, especially the ideas of patriotism and nationalism...

: All people are manifestations of the one universal spirit and should, according to the Stoics, live in brotherly love and readily help one another. In the Discourses
Discourses of Epictetus
The Discourses of Epictetus are a series of extracts of the teachings of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus written down by Arrian c. 108 AD. There were originally eight books, but only four now remain in their entirety, along with a few fragments of the others...

, Epictetus
Epictetus
Epictetus was a Greek sage and Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia , and lived in Rome until banishment when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece where he lived the rest of his life. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses...

 comments on man's relationship with the world: "Each human being is primarily a citizen of his own commonwealth; but he is also a member of the great city of gods and men, where of the city political is only a copy." This sentiment echoes that of Diogenes of Sinope
Diogenes of Sinope
Diogenes the Cynic was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. Also known as Diogenes of Sinope , he was born in Sinope , an Ionian colony on the Black Sea , in 412 or 404 BCE and died at Corinth in 323 BCE.Diogenes of Sinope was a controversial figure...

, who said "I am not an Athenian or a Corinthian
Ancient Corinth
Corinth, or Korinth was a city-state on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta. The modern town of Corinth is located approximately northeast of the ancient ruins...

, but a citizen of the world."

They held that external differences such as rank and wealth are of no importance in social relationships. Instead they advocated the brotherhood of humanity and the natural equality of all human beings. Stoicism became the most influential school of the Greco–Roman world, and produced a number of remarkable writers and personalities, such as Cato the Younger
Cato the Younger
Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis , commonly known as Cato the Younger to distinguish him from his great-grandfather , was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic, and a follower of the Stoic philosophy...

 and Epictetus.

In particular, they were noted for their urging of clemency toward slaves. Seneca exhorted, "Kindly remember that he whom you call your slave sprang from the same stock, is smiled upon by the same skies, and on equal terms with yourself breathes, lives, and dies."

Stoicism and Christianity



The major difference between the two philosophies is Stoicism's pantheism
Pantheism
Pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek meaning "all" and the Greek meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of...

 where God is never fully transcendent but always immanent
Immanence
Immanence refers to philosophical and metaphysical theories of divine presence, in which the divine is seen to be manifested in or encompassing of the material world. It is often contrasted with theories of transcendence, in which the divine is seen to be outside the material world...

. God as the world-creating entity is personalized in Christian thought, but Stoicism equates God with the totality of the universe; the Stoic idea that all being is corporeal was deeply contrary to Christianity. Also, Stoicism, unlike Christianity, does not posit a beginning or end to the universe, nor does it assert that the individual continues to exist beyond death.

Stoicism was later regarded by the Fathers of the Church as a 'pagan philosophy', nonetheless, some of the central philosophical concepts of Stoicism were employed by the early Christian writers. Examples include the terms "logos
Logos
' is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason," it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus ' is an important term in...

", "virtue", "Spirit", and "conscience". But the parallels go well beyond the sharing (or borrowing) of terminology. Both Stoicism and Christianity assert an inner freedom in the face of the external world, a belief in human kinship with Nature (or God), and a sense of the innate depravity—or "persistent evil"—of humankind as well as the futility and temporarity of worldly possessions and attachments. Both encourage Ascesis with respect to the passions and inferior emotions (viz. lust, envy and anger) so that the higher possibilities of one's humanity can be awakened and developed.

Stoic writings such as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius have been highly regarded by many Christians throughout the centuries. The Stoic ideal of dispassion
Apatheia
Apatheia in Stoic philosophy refers to a state of mind where one is free from emotional disturbance. This might be translated as equanimity or indifference...

 is accepted to this day as the perfect moral state by the Eastern Orthodox. St. Ambrose of Milan was known for applying Stoic philosophy to his theology.

Modern usage


The word "stoic" commonly refers to someone indifferent to pain, pleasure, grief, or joy. The modern usage as "person who represses feelings or endures patiently" was first cited in 1579 as a noun
Noun
In linguistics, a noun is a member of a large, open lexical category whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition .Lexical categories are defined in terms of how their members combine with other kinds of...

, and 1596 as an adjective
Adjective
In grammar, an adjective is a 'describing' word; the main syntactic role of which is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified....

. In contrast to the term "epicurean", the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on Stoicism notes, "the sense of the English adjective ‘stoical’ is not utterly misleading with regard to its philosophical origins."

Stoic quotations


Below are some quotations from major Stoic philosophers, selected to illustrate common Stoic beliefs:

Epictetus
Epictetus
Epictetus was a Greek sage and Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia , and lived in Rome until banishment when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece where he lived the rest of his life. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses...

:
  • "Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men's desires, but by the removal of desire." (iv.1.175)
  • "Where is the good? In the will. Where is the evil? In the will. Where is neither of them? In those things that are independent of the will." (ii.16.1)
  • "Man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them." (Ench. 5)
  • "If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." (iii.24.2)
  • "I am formed by nature for my own good: I am not formed for my own evil." (iii.24.83)
  • "Permit nothing to cleave to you that is not your own; nothing to grow to you that may give you agony when it is torn away." (iv.1.112)


Marcus Aurelius:
  • "Get rid of the judgement, get rid of the 'I am hurt,' you are rid of the hurt itself." (viii.40)
  • "Everything is right for me, which is right for you, O Universe. Nothing for me is too early or too late, which comes in due time for you. Everything is fruit to me which your seasons bring, O Nature. From you are all things, in you are all things, to you all things return." (iv.23)
  • "If you work at that which is before you, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract you, but keeping your divine part pure, as if you were bound to give it back immediately; if you hold to this, expecting nothing, but satisfied to live now according to nature, speaking heroic truth in every word which you utter, you will live happy. And there is no man able to prevent this." (iii.12)
  • "How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life!" (xii.13)
  • "Outward things cannot touch the soul, not in the least degree; nor have they admission to the soul, nor can they turn or move the soul; but the soul turns and moves itself alone." (iv.3)
  • "Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also" (vi.19)
  • "Or is it your reputation that's bothering you? But look at how soon we're all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of those applauding hands." (iv.3)


Seneca the Younger
Seneca the Younger
Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero...

:
  • "The point is, not how long you live, but how nobly you live." (Ep. 101.15)
  • "That which Fortune has not given, she cannot take away." (Ep. 59.18)
  • "Let Nature deal with matter, which is her own, as she pleases; let us be cheerful and brave in the face of everything, reflecting that it is nothing of our own that perishes." (De Provid. v.8)
  • "Virtue is nothing else than right reason." (Ep. 66.32)

Stoic philosophers


  • Zeno of Citium
    Zeno of Citium
    Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher from Citium . Zeno was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, which he taught in Athens from about 300 BC. Based on the moral ideas of the Cynics, Stoicism laid great emphasis on goodness and peace of mind gained from living a life of virtue in...

     (332–262 BC), founder of Stoic and the Stoic Academy (Stoa) in Athens
  • Aristo of Chios, pupil of Zeno;
  • Herillus of Carthage
    Herillus of Carthage
    Herillus or Erillus of Chalcedon , was a Stoic philosopher and a pupil of Zeno of Citium.He differed significantly from Zeno's teachings and held that knowledge was the goal of life:...

  • Cleanthes (of Assos)
    Cleanthes
    Cleanthes , of Assos, was a Greek Stoic philosopher and the successor to Zeno as the second head of the Stoic school in Athens. Originally a boxer, he came to Athens where he took up philosophy, listening to Zeno's lectures. He supported himself by working as water-carrier at night. After the...

     (330–232 BC), second head of Stoic Academy
  • Chrysippus
    Chrysippus
    Chrysippus of Soli was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was a native of Soli, Cilicia, but moved to Athens as a young man, where he became a pupil of Cleanthes in the Stoic school. When Cleanthes died, around 230 BC, Chrysippus became the third head of the school...

     (280–204 BC), third head of the academy
  • Diogenes of Babylon (230–150 BC)
  • Antipater of Tarsus
    Antipater of Tarsus
    Antipater of Tarsus was a Stoic philosopher. He was the pupil and successor of Diogenes of Babylon as leader of the Stoic school, and was the teacher of Panaetius...

     (210–129 BC)
  • Panaetius of Rhodes (185–109 BC)
  • Posidonius
    Posidonius
    Posidonius "of Apameia" or "of Rhodes" , was a Greek Stoic philosopher, politician, astronomer, geographer, historian and teacher native to Apamea, Syria. He was acclaimed as the greatest polymath of his age...

     of Apameia
  • Diodotus
    Diodotus the Stoic
    Diodotus was a Stoic philosopher, and was a friend of Cicero.He lived for most of his life in Rome in Cicero's house, where he instructed Cicero in Stoic philosophy and especially Logic...

      teacher of Cicero
  • Cato the Younger
    Cato the Younger
    Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis , commonly known as Cato the Younger to distinguish him from his great-grandfather , was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic, and a follower of the Stoic philosophy...

     (94–46 BC)
  • Seneca
    Seneca the Younger
    Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero...

     
  • Musonius Rufus
    Musonius Rufus
    Gaius Musonius Rufus, was a Roman Stoic philosopher of the 1st century AD. He taught philosophy in Rome during the reign of Nero, as consequence of which he was sent into exile in 65 AD, only returning to Rome under Galba...

  • Rubellius Plautus
    Rubellius Plautus
    Gaius Rubellius Plautus was a Roman noble and a political rival of Emperor Nero. Through his mother Julia, he was a relative of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He was the grandson of Drusus , and the great-grandson of Tiberius and his brother Drusus...

  • Thrasea Paetus
  • Epictetus
    Epictetus
    Epictetus was a Greek sage and Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia , and lived in Rome until banishment when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece where he lived the rest of his life. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses...

     (55–135 AD)
  • Hierocles
    Hierocles (Stoic)
    Hierocles was a Stoic philosopher. Nothing is known about his life. Aulus Gellius mentions him as one of his contemporaries, and describes him as a "grave and holy man."...

     
  • Marcus Aurelius (121–180 AD)

See also

  • Glossary of Stoic terms
    Glossary of Stoic terms
    This is a glossary of terms which are commonly found in Stoic philosophy.-A:adiaphora: ἀδιάφορα: indifferent things, neither good nor bad.agathos: ἀγαθὸς: good, proper object of desire....

  • Megarian school
  • Pneuma
    Pneuma (Stoic)
    In Stoic philosophy, pneuma is the concept of the "breath of life," a mixture of the elements air and fire . Originating among Greek medical writers who locate human vitality in the breath, pneuma for the Stoics is the active, generative principle that organizes both the individual and the cosmos...

  • Ekpyrotic
    Ekpyrotic
    The ekpyrotic universe, or ekpyrotic scenario, is a cosmological model of the origin and shape of the universe. The name comes from a Stoic term ekpyrosis meaning conflagration or in Stoic usage "conversion into fire"...

     (cosmological theory)
  • Plank of Carneades
    Plank of Carneades
    In ethics, the plank of Carneades is a thought experiment first proposed by Carneades of Cyrene; it explores the concept of self-defense in relation to murder....

  • Categories (Stoic)
    Categories (Stoic)
    The term Stoic Categories refers to Stoic ideas regarding Categories: the most fundamental classes of being for all things. The Stoics believed there were four categories which were the ultimate divisions...

  • List of ancient Greek philosophers
  • Stoic Natural Law

Primary sources

  • J. von Arnim Stoïcorum Veterum Fragmenta (S.V.F.), 4 vol. Leipzig, 1903-1924. T. I: Zeno et Zenonis discipuli, 1905; t. II: Chrysippi fragmenta logica et physica, Leipzig, 1903; t. III: Chrysippi fragmenta moralia. Fragmenta succesorum Chrysippi, Leipzig, 1904; t. IV: Indices, édi. par M. Adler, Leipzig, 1924. The standard edition for the original texts.
  • Hülser K., Die Fragmente zur Dialektik der Stoiker, 4 voll. Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1986-1987, ISBN 3-7728-1034-9.
  • A. A. Long
    A. A. Long
    Anthony Arthur Long is a British and naturalised American classical scholar and Professor of Classics and Irving Stone Professor of Literature at the University of California, Berkeley....

     and D. N. Sedley
    David Sedley
    David Neil Sedley is the seventh Laurence Professor of Ancient Philosophy at Cambridge University.Sedley was educated at Trinity College, Oxford where he was awarded a first class honours degree in Literae Humaniores in 1969...

    , The Hellenistic Philosophers Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
  • Inwood, Brad & Gerson LLoyd P. (eds.) The Stoics Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia Indianapolis: Hackett 2008.
  • Long, George Enchiridion by Epictetus, Prometheus Books, Reprint Edition, January 1955.
  • Gill C. Epictetus, The Discourses, Everyman 1995.
  • Hadas, Moses (ed.), Essential Works of Stoicism (1961: Bantam)
  • Harvard University Press Epictetus Discourses Books 1 and 2, Loeb Classical Library Nr. 131, June 1925.
  • Harvard University Press Epictetus Discourses Books 3 and 4, Loeb Classical Library Nr. 218, June 1928.
  • Long, George, Discourses of Epictetus, Kessinger Publishing, January 2004.
  • Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger (transl. Robin Campbell), Letters from a Stoic: Epistulae Morales Ad Lucilium (1969, reprint 2004) ISBN 0-14-044210-3
  • Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Meditations, translated by Maxwell Staniforth; ISBN 0-14-044140-9, or translated by Gregory Hays; ISBN 0-679-64260-9.
  • Oates, Whitney Jennings, The Stoic and Epicurean philosophers, The Complete Extant Writings of Epicurus, Epictetus, Lucretius and Marcus Aurelius, Random House, 9th printing 1940.

Studies

  • Bakalis, Nikolaos, Handbook of Greek Philosophy: From Thales to the Stoics. Analysis and Fragments, Trafford Publishing, May 2005, ISBN 1-4120-4843-5
  • Becker, Lawrence C.
    Lawrence C. Becker
    Lawrence C. Becker is an American philosopher working mainly in the areas of ethics and social, political, and legal philosophy. He is the author of books and journal articles on stoicism, reciprocity, property rights, justice, and metaethics. He was an associate editor of the journal Ethics from...

    , A New Stoicism (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1998) ISBN 0-691-01660-7
  • Brennan, Tad, The Stoic Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005; paperback 2006)
  • Hadot, Pierre
    Pierre Hadot
    Pierre Hadot was a French philosopher and historian of philosophy specializing in ancient philosophy, particularly Neoplatonism. Hadot was ordained in 1944 but following Pope Pius XII's Encyclical "Humani Generis" left the priesthood...

    , Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault, (Blackwell, 1995) ISBN 0-631-18033-8
  • Inwood, Brad (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to The Stoics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
  • Irvine, William, A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) ISBN 978-0195374612
  • Long, A. A.
    A. A. Long
    Anthony Arthur Long is a British and naturalised American classical scholar and Professor of Classics and Irving Stone Professor of Literature at the University of California, Berkeley....

    , Stoic Studies (Cambridge University Press, 1996; repr. University of California Press, 2001) ISBN 0-520-22974-6
  • Robertson, Donald, The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy: Stoicism as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy (London: Karnac, 2010) ISBN 978-1855757561
  • Sellars, John, Stoicism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006) ISBN 1-84465-053-7
  • Stephens. William O., Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom (London: Continuum, 2007) ISBN 0-8264-9608-3
  • Strange, Steven (ed.), Stoicism: Traditions and Transformations (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004) ISBN 0-521-82709-4
  • Zeller, Eduard
    Eduard Zeller
    Eduard Gottlob Zeller , was a German philosopher and theologian of the Tübingen School of theology.- Life :Eduard Zeller was born at Kleinbottwar in Württemberg, and educated at the University of Tübingen and under the influence of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel...

    ; Reichel, Oswald J., The Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1892

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