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By Lawrence C. Becker
What could stoic ethics be like at the present time if stoicism had survived as a scientific method of moral idea, if it had coped effectively with the demanding situations of recent philosophy and experimental technological know-how? a brand new Stoicism proposes a solution to that question, provided from in the stoic culture yet with out the metaphysical and mental assumptions that glossy philosophy and technological know-how have deserted. Lawrence Becker argues secular model of the stoic moral undertaking, in response to modern cosmology and developmental psychology, offers the root for a classy kind of moral naturalism, during which almost the entire demanding doctrines of the traditional Stoics could be essentially restated and defended.
Becker argues, in line with the ancients, that advantage is something, now not many; that it, and never happiness, is the right kind finish of all job; that it by myself is sweet, all different issues being in basic terms rank-ordered relative to one another for the sake of the nice; and that advantage is enough for happiness. additionally, he rejects the preferred comic strip of the stoic as a grave determine, emotionally indifferent and able generally of patience, resignation, and dealing with soreness. on the contrary, he holds that whereas stoic sages may be able to suffer the extremes of human pain, they don't have to sacrifice pleasure to have that skill, and he seeks to show our realization from the normal, healing a part of stoic ethical education to a reconsideration of its theoretical foundations.
"From the start to the tip of this compact yet lucid ebook, Becker skillfully brings to lifestyles either the arguments and the intuitive attraction of stoicism.... In its necessities [the new stoicism] is recognizable, with its really astringent rational attraction better by way of Becker's concentrated and self-disciplined argumentation. Zeno, i think, will be pleased."
-Brad Inwood, Apeiron
"A stimulating dialogue of ethics that's freed from the jejune or overly technical attitudes attribute of a lot present writing at the subject."
-Joseph Shea, n.b.: new from The Reader's Catalog
About the Author
Lawrence C. Becker is William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor within the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy on the collage of William and Mary. he's the writer of a number of books, together with Reciprocity and estate Rights: Philosophic Foundations. he's the coeditor, with Charlotte B. Becker, of the Encyclopedia of Ethics.
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Extra resources for A New Stoicism
Discovering what will not work is valuable, however, and in the case of this book it turned out to be indispensable. Most of the published text was written from July through December of 1995, when I was on a semester’s research assignment from the College of William & Mary. I am grateful to both the NEH and William & Mary for their support. An early draft was presented as a short course at the college in the spring of 1996, and the twenty students who took it made many valuable suggestions, as did my colleagues Mark Fowler and Adam Potkay, who attended the sessions.
50–120 Epictetus, c. 50–130 Hierocles, c. early 2d century Diogenes Laertius, 2d century? Sextus Empiricus, 2d century? Marcus Aurelius, 121–180, Emperor 161–180 Galen, c. 130–201 Justus Lipsius, 1547–1606 Guillaume Du Vair, 1556–1621 Contemporary sources. Interest in Hellenistic philosophy is now very much revived, thanks in no small measure to the work of A. A. Long, beginning in the late 1960s. Many excellent modern summaries of stoic doctrine now exist, ranging from Gisela Striker’s elegantly compressed “Stoicism” article in the Encyclopedia of Ethics (1992), through more detailed accounts such as the one she gives in Striker, “Following Nature: A Study in Stoic Ethics,” or the one given in Long, Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Skeptics, or treatises for a scholarly audience such as Inwood, Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism, to booklength treatments for a general readership such as Sandbach, The Stoics.
Stoic normative logic deﬁnes moral norms formally as the ones that are elements of our most inclusive and controlling endeavor. See the Axioms below (p. 42). It is the task of Chapters 5–7 to describe and defend a conception of what that endeavor (virtue) is. Possibility and necessity. Matters of possibility and necessity ﬁgure prominently in stoic ethics, and so our normative logic includes modal operators, interpreted as uncontroversially as possible. The technical issues here we leave to the Appendix, and make only this informal observation about our use of the alethic modalities.