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Read e-book online A New Stoicism PDF

By Lawrence C. Becker

ISBN-10: 0691009643

ISBN-13: 9780691009643

What could stoic ethics be like this day if stoicism had survived as a scientific method of moral concept, 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 sleek philosophy and technology have deserted. Lawrence Becker argues secular model of the stoic moral undertaking, in accordance with modern cosmology and developmental psychology, presents the root for a complicated type of moral naturalism, during which almost all of the tough doctrines of the traditional Stoics should be sincerely 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 on my own is nice, all different issues being simply rank-ordered relative to one another for the sake of the great; and that advantage is adequate for happiness. additionally, he rejects the preferred sketch of the stoic as a grave determine, emotionally indifferent and able normally of patience, resignation, and dealing with ache. on the contrary, he holds that whereas stoic sages may be able to undergo the extremes of human agony, they don't have to sacrifice pleasure to have that skill, and he seeks to show our consciousness from the generic, healing a part of stoic ethical education to a reconsideration of its theoretical foundations.

Editorial Reviews

"From the start to the top of this compact yet lucid ebook, Becker skillfully brings to lifestyles either the arguments and the intuitive allure of stoicism.... In its necessities [the new stoicism] is recognizable, with its fairly astringent rational allure better via Becker's centred and self-disciplined argumentation. Zeno, i believe, 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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Sample text

Readers who are gripped by the desire to see symbols may turn directly to the calculus. Enough informal exposition is repeated there to make it intelligible, and it has the advantage of giving a fuller and more precise account. Nothing in the arguments of subsequent chapters will involve manipulating the calculus, but everything in them depends on the existence and coherence of it (or of something like it). We think that ethics too often proceeds with unjustified confidence that the assemblage of assumptions and logical operations it employs are clear and adequate for its purposes.

The stoics of antiquity were as diverse as plebeians and aristocrats, rhetoricians and physicians, career soldiers and career poets, apolitical logicians and political advisers, slaves and emperors. And while modernity has narrowed that range (and postmodernity, for all its flash and fury, has done nothing to reverse the trend), such narrowing is a local phenomenon. In principle, the diversity of possible stoic lives—and the lives of stoic sages—is very great. The argument for that assertion is also a task addressed in Part Two.

Striker is quite critical of the logic of stoic arguments using only the first formulation, but suggests (at pp. 48–49) that Posidonius’ use of the second is more promising. 13 that when the Stoics speak of the supreme good as “living conformably to nature,” they mean, as I take it, something like this: that we are always to be in accord with virtue, and from all other things that may be in harmony with nature to choose only as such are not incompatible with virtue. Admittedly, he puts this forward in the context of discussing the conflict between expediency and moral duty.

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A New Stoicism by Lawrence C. Becker

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