the Roman Stoics emphasized ethics and practical wisdom. — Ciceronianus
The Roman Stoics are generally believed to have "softened" Stoicism and making it more human, less committed to the perfection of the ideal Stoic Sage. — Ciceronianus
:up: I stand corrected. It was my impression that Epictetus, along with Seneca, primarily influenced late Roman thinkers and mores. — 180 Proof
How could anyone emphasize ethics more than Socrates, Plato and Aristotle? — Athena
Perhaps you can give us an example of the greater humanism Rome introduced? — Athena
Would Nietzsche be a good stoic? — Athena
It is difficult for me to respond to many of your ideas because my experience with these various texts has been more along the line of trying to see a point of view I did not understand rather than forming a cogent view of history and the history of philosophy. I don't know what is happening. — Paine
I agree that the emergence of classical Greek thinking was a conscious recognition of nature where beings are understood to have come into being according to what they are.
I don't share your confidence that the logic of history is a path from the purely theological to the purely secular. If one is to see history as having a telos, that perspective becomes a theory of the human condition of the sort Hegel developed. That sort of dynamic is interesting to me and has merit in making models but I am not convinced by it as a theory of the world above all others.
12 — Paine
Aristotle favored Sparta's very authoritarian organization, where ethics is not an individual matter but a state decision strictly enforced. Sparta won the war. Why? Why would Aristotle favor Spartan authoritarianism? — Athena
Which text from Aristotle supports this view? — Paine
Lycurgus of Sparta, legendary founder of the city's constitution
Laconophiles nevertheless remained among the philosophers. Some of the young men who followed Socrates had been Laconophiles. Socrates himself is portrayed as praising the laws of Sparta and Crete. Critias, a companion of Socrates, helped bring about the oligarchic rule of the Thirty Tyrants, who were supported by Sparta. Xenophon, another disciple of Socrates, fought for the Spartans against Athens. Plato also, in his writings, seems to prefer a Spartan-type regime over a democratic one. Aristotle regarded the kind of laws adopted by Crete and Sparta as especially apt to produce virtuous and law-abiding citizens, although he also criticises the Cretans and Spartans themselves as incompetent and corrupt, and built on a culture of war.
Greek philosophy, therefore, inherited a tradition of praising Spartan law. This was only reinforced when Agis IV and Cleomenes III attempted to "restore the ancestral constitution" at Sparta, which no man then living had experienced. This attempt ended with the collapse of the institutions of Lycurgus, and one Nabis established a tyranny in Laconia.
In later centuries, Greek philosophers, especially Platonists, often described Sparta as an ideal state, strong, brave, and free from the corruptions of commerce and money. These descriptions, of which Plutarch's is the most complete, vary in many details. Many scholars have attempted to reconstruct which parts of these utopias the classical Spartans actually practised, which parts Cleomenes, and which later classical authors invented. — Wikipedia
Aristotle favored Sparta's very authoritarian organization, where ethics is not an individual matter but a state decision strictly enforced. — Athena
Just acts occur between people who participate in things good in
themselves and can have too much or too little of them; for some beings
(e.g., presumably the gods) cannot have too much of them, and to oth-
ers, those who are incurably bad, not even the smallest share in them is
beneficial but all such goods are harmful, while to others they are ben-
eficial up to a point; therefore justice is essentially something human.
10 Our next subject is equity and the equitable (to epiekes), and
their respective relations to justice and the just. For on examination they
appear to be neither absolutely the same nor generically different; and
while we sometime praise what is equitable and the equitable man (so
that we apply the name by way of praise even to instances of the other
virtues, instead of ‘good’ meaning by epieikestebon that a thing is bet-
ter), at other times, when we reason it out, it seems strange if the equi-
table, being something different from the just, is yet praiseworthy; for
either the just or the equitable is not good, if they are different; or, if
both are good, they are the same.
These, then, are pretty much the considerations that give rise to the
problem about the equitable; they are all in a sense correct and not
opposed to one another; for the equitable, though it is better than one
kind of justice, yet is just, and it is not as being a different class of thing
that it is better than the just. The same thing, then, is just and equitable,
and while both are good the equitable is superior. What creates the prob-
lem is that the equitable is just, but not the legally just but a correction
of legal justice. The reason is that all law is universal but about some
things it is not possible to make a universal statement which shall be
correct. In those cases, then, in which it is necessary to speak univer-
sally, but not possible to do so correctly, the law takes the usual case,
though it is not ignorant of the possibility of error. And it is none the less
correct; for the error is in the law nor in the legislator but in the nature
of the thing, since the matter of practical affairs is of this kind from the
start. When the law speaks universally, then, and a case arises on it
which is not covered by the universal statement, then it is right, where
the legislator fails us and has erred by oversimplicity, to correct the
omission—to say what the legislator himself would have said had he
been present, and would have put into his law if he had known. Hence
the equitable is just, and better than one kind of justice—not better than
absolute justice but better than the error that arises from the absolute-
ness of the statement. And this is the nature of the equitable, a correc-
tion of law where it is defective owing to its universality. In fact this is
the reason why all things are not determined by law, that about some
things it is impossible to lay down a law, so that a decree is needed. For
when the thing is indefinite the rule also is indefinite, like the leaden rule
used in making the Lesbian moulding; the rule adapts itself to the shape
of the stone and is not rigid, and so too the decree is adapted to the facts.
It is plain, then, what the equitable is, and that it is just and is better
than one kind of justice. It is evident also from this who the equitable
man is; the man who chooses and does such acts, and is no stickler for
his rights in a bad sense but tends to take less than his share though he
has the law oft his side, is equitable, and this state of character is equity,
which is a sort of justice and not a different state of character. — Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, Book 5, section 10, translated by WD Ross
The Stoic contribution would probably be through Stoicism's conception of the "brotherhood of man." The Stoic Musonius Rufus, Epictetus' teacher, taught the equality of men and women. Aristotle thought all non-Greeks inferior. The Roman contribution would likely be through its law and natural law jurisprudence (an offshoot of Stoicism), and the eventual extension of Roman citizenship to everyone in the Empire. — Ciceronianus
I did not mean to hijack the thread. I just thought that Aristotle was not well represented as a strict Draconian. — Paine
Note: philosophy is not therapy and beliefs that make people happy and more successful are not thereby shown to be true. (Philosophy is the enterprise of using reason to try and find out what's true. It is not the enterprise of trying to make people happy or successful or psychologically robust).
So, what claims about the nature of reality - and what supporting arguments - do you understand Stoicism to denote? (Because I think they'll either be banal or obviously false). — Bartricks
At the recommendation of others, I recently dove head-first into the world of Stoicism. And I'm shocked at what I am discovering. The quality and (above almost all else) practicality of the lessons and dialogues is stunning.
Stoicism reminds me of Buddhism in many ways, especially in terms of framing desire, suffering and what is optimal for growth. Also in terms of the asceticism, and simplicity.
Has anyone else here researched or even practiced Stoicism? What was your experience with this particular philosophy? I ask, because I am interested in being pointed in the correct direction when it comes to furthering my understanding of Stoicism.
Maybe I'm missing something? Maybe there is a dark side to Stoicism that I'm not appreciating. Which is exactly why I'm starting this thread; to peek behind the veil. — Bret Bernhoft
I studied it so I guess I can respond to this. It was practiced in daily life -- you're supposed to not be perturbed about things you cannot change and things that already happened. Do not cry over spilled milk. This is the mind over matter mantra.What is attractive about Stoicism tho? This is the part that baffles me. — Sumyung Gui
"God" is a creative addition to the writings about Stoicism, as the movement came about before Christianity, whose conception of God is quite the religious conception we know now. "Nature" or mythological is more in line with it.According to Jordan (1987), the Stoics thought that “God, who is Nature, knows the whole system of interrelated causes and ‘what every future event will be,’ including every event in the life of each person. — Gnomon
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