PHIL-520 Stoic Ethics
Offered academic year 2017-2018
In this course we take up Stoic ethics, both ancient Greek and Roman redactions. We consider the doctrines of the Greek founding fathers (Zeno, Cleanthes, Chrysippus,); some selections from the middle period, and then the works of later Stoics, such as Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, as well as Cicero’s redactions of Stoicism. The focus will be on ethics, with attention to Stoic responses to Aristotelian ethics and the Stoic reframing and answering of the ancient question: What is a flourishing or eudaimon life? Conceptions of virtue, moral luck, external goods, practical reason, the emotions and their control will be part of our discussion of Stoic flourishing. We will draw considerably from the plethora of excellent, contemporary work on the ancients and Stoics, including new books by John Cooper and Julia Annas, as well as work by Tad Brennan, Martha Nussbaum, Gisela Striker, Richard Sorabji, Margaret Graver, Nancy Sherman, among others.
Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Philosophy or permission of the instructor
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