• Agustino
    11.3k
    In Ethics and political philosophy, stoicism and Platonism seem to be quite close to one another, and yet the schools remained quite distinct historically. Stoics did not call themselves Platonists, nor Platonists called themselves Stoics.

    The main similarities seem to be in the role that both Plato and the Stoics attribute to the importance of society for the individual (namely that the quality of society is determined by the quality of individuals "society is man writ large", but at the same time the individual ought to serve the interests of society), the centrality of virtue to happiness, and the idea that the good man will benefit both in this world and in the next.

    So what are the significant differences that stopped a closer relationship between the two schools when it came to ethics?
  • Ying
    251
    The stoics traced their lineage back to Socrates: Zeno of Citium was a student of Crates of Thebes, who supposedly studied under Diogenes of Sinope who supposedly studied under Antisthenes who was a student of Socrates. By the time stoicism was in full swing, the platonic Academy was taken over by the sceptics with guys like Arcesilaus and Karneades openly attacking the tenets of stoicism in their writings.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Yeah, I was more trying to refer strictly to the teachings of Plato (as found in The Republic, for example) in comparison to Stoicism.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    One question that interests me, is why did the Platonist school, even though it was more widespread than Stoicism, didn't produce important historical figures like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and the like. Would it be because of the overly theoretic aspect of Platonism?
  • Ying
    251
    One question that interests me, is why did the Platonist school, even though it was more widespread than Stoicism, didn't produce important historical figures like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and the like. Would it be because of the overly theoretic aspect of Platonism?Agustino

    Well, apart from the people I already mentioned (Arcesilaus and Karneades where scholarchs of the Academy), Cicero also went to the Academy during his time in Athens. Cicero wasn't exactly a platonist though.
  • Caldwell
    296
    One question that interests me, is why did the Platonist school, even though it was more widespread than Stoicism, didn't produce important historical figures like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and the like. Would it be because of the overly theoretic aspect of Platonism?Agustino

    With my utmost respect, are you even serious about asking this question?
  • Cavacava
    2.4k
    One question that interests me, is why did the Platonist school, even though it was more widespread than Stoicism, didn't produce important historical figures like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and the like. Would it be because of the overly theoretic aspect of Platonism?

    Esoteric vs exoteric
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    With my utmost respect, are you even serious about asking this question?Caldwell
    What's wrong with asking that?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Well, apart from the people I already mentioned (Arcesilaus and Karneades where scholarchs of the Academy), Cicero also went to the Academy during his time in Athens. Cicero wasn't exactly a platonist though.Ying
    What about, for ex. Plutarch?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Esoteric vs exotericCavacava
    I doubt that - if you read Plato's works, most of them have a fair balance between the esoteric and the exoteric. And there are Platonists like Plutarch who are very much focused on social issues.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k


    Every narrative is a mix, but Plato never suggested a set rules for behavior like some of the Stoics. The substance of Plato's dialogues is between the lines, and not in the lines. Plato teaches how to think, not what to think.

    Which do you think was more accessible to those that followed?
  • Ying
    251
    What about, for ex. Plutarch?Agustino

    Uh, sure. I don't know much about that dude so didn't mention him. :)
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Uh, sure. I don't know much about that dude so didn't mention him. :)Ying
    Okay, so then on ethical matters, do you agree more with the Platonists or the Stoics?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I was actually discussing this here recently too:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/149344
  • Ying
    251
    Okay, so then on ethical matters, do you agree more with the Platonists or the Stoics?Agustino

    Classical scepticism/daoism. I'm basically against prescriptive ethics, dualistic value judgement systems etc. 8-)
  • Caldwell
    296
    One question that interests me, is why did the Platonist school, even though it was more widespread than Stoicism, didn't produce important historical figures like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and the like. Would it be because of the overly theoretic aspect of Platonism?Agustino
    What's wrong with asking that?Agustino
    I was wondering why not ask, why had Stoicism been adopted as a practical philosophy and practiced in everyday life? (Stoicism was purported to be the basis of Christianity). And meanwhile, you could also argue that Platonism was truly a scholastic endeavor.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    (Stoicism was purported to be the basis of Christianity).Caldwell
    As was Platonism for that matter, in fact, more so in the case of Platonism.

    I was wondering why not ask, why had Stoicism been adopted as a practical philosophy and practiced in everyday life?Caldwell
    What's the significant difference between this question and mine?
  • Caldwell
    296
    What's the significant difference between this question and mine?Agustino

    You blurred the difference between the two, instead of highlighting it. Short of saying you didn't know the significant difference, I suspect you were eating a really good sandwich when you blurted out this thread, no?
  • Nada
    1


    Hope there is no problem in arriving late at the debate but the two philosophies are considerably different and seem to agree only that virtue is the way to happiness. One possesses dualism between matter and spirit, as far as I know it was not dogmatic, it is strongly based on logic and has math as necessary in its curriculum, its members were practicing vegetarians and animal rights activists. The other is a non dualist and dogmatic, mainly ethical, philosophy with little logical requirements and advocating flesh eating.
    Why did one not seem to produce important politicians and the other did? I honestly don't know if it did or not but except for some branches of Stoicism there doesn't seem to be a bias about a philosopher engaging in such an activity while you can see that it was not the ideal occupation in Platonism.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment