By Lawrence C. Becker
What may stoic ethics be like this day if stoicism had survived as a scientific method of moral thought, if it had coped effectively with the demanding situations of contemporary philosophy and experimental technological know-how? a brand new Stoicism proposes a solution to that question, provided from in the stoic culture yet with no the metaphysical and mental assumptions that glossy philosophy and technology have deserted. Lawrence Becker argues secular model of the stoic moral venture, in response to modern cosmology and developmental psychology, presents the foundation for a classy type of moral naturalism, within which almost the entire demanding doctrines of the traditional Stoics may be truly restated and defended.
Becker argues, in response to the ancients, that advantage is something, no longer many; that it, and never happiness, is the correct finish of all job; that it on my own is nice, all different issues being purely rank-ordered relative to one another for the sake of the great; and that advantage is enough for happiness. in addition, he rejects the preferred comic strip of the stoic as a grave determine, emotionally indifferent and able quite often of patience, resignation, and dealing with discomfort. 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 cognizance from the prevalent, healing a part of stoic ethical education to a reconsideration of its theoretical foundations.
"From the start to the top of this compact yet lucid e-book, Becker skillfully brings to existence either the arguments and the intuitive allure of stoicism.... In its necessities [the new stoicism] is recognizable, with its fairly astringent rational appeal more suitable by way of Becker's centred 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
So we resolve such cases with an inference that the agent ought to make an arbitrary choice between the means that are in equipoise. Other oughts. In some endeavors the desires of the participants are allowed to trump all other considerations; the mere desire to do (or be) X counts as a sufﬁcient reason for doing or being X, nothing-elseconsidered. Improvised games come to mind as an example—games in which the shifting whims of the players are allowed to overturn any of the rules, so that what begins as (say) a backyard game of croquet can mutate ﬁrst into a test of love and then into an indeﬁnite range of games that are not croquet.
Much more valuable accounts are to be found in Cicero, De Finibus; Tusculan Disputations; De Natura Deorum; De Fato; and De Ofﬁciis. But Diogenes at least gives us the names and some information about some of our prominent ancient brethren. Many of the dates are approximations subject to change. Hellenists recalculate these matters regularly—perhaps not as often or as dramatically as modern cosmologists recalculate the age of the universe, but enough to make lay readers properly cautious. E. E.
What we have from those periods are fragments, often in the form of quotations in books about the stoics (and other “professors”), often as not in books by authors hostile to stoicism. Galen, for example, who was no friend to us, nonetheless quoted extensively from Chrysippus, and preserved crucial passages from Posidonius (in Galen, On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato). , The Hellenistic Philosophers. Volume I (translations and commentary) is particularly valuable for directing readers to complete texts such as Galen’s, where we can then read an important fragment in an illuminating, if vexing, context.