By Lawrence C. Becker
What may stoic ethics be like this day 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 query, provided from in the stoic culture yet with no the metaphysical and mental assumptions that sleek 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 complicated kind of moral naturalism, during which nearly all of the challenging doctrines of the traditional Stoics might be in actual fact restated and defended.
Becker argues, in accordance with the ancients, that advantage is something, no longer many; that it, and never happiness, is the right kind finish of all job; that it by myself is sweet, all different issues being simply rank-ordered relative to one another for the sake of the great; and that advantage is adequate for happiness. furthermore, he rejects the preferred comic strip of the stoic as a grave determine, emotionally indifferent and able almost always of patience, resignation, and dealing with discomfort. on the contrary, he holds that whereas stoic sages may be able to undergo the extremes of human ache, they don't have to sacrifice pleasure to have that skill, and he seeks to show our consciousness from the regular, 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 booklet, Becker skillfully brings to lifestyles either the arguments and the intuitive charm of stoicism.... In its necessities [the new stoicism] is recognizable, with its really astringent rational attraction more desirable via 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 numerous 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
134–35) on this point. Good lives. It is useful to divide conceptions of the good life into plural and unitary ones. A plural conception holds (a) that the goods realizable in a human life are genuinely diverse—that is, not reducible to a single species; (b) that genuinely diverse combinations of goods are sufﬁcient to make a life a good one, and thus that good lives differ in kind as well as degree; and (c) that any theoretical cover to be found for the diverse array of good lives will be purely formal, or schematic, or perhaps merely heuristic.
Striker, in “Following Nature: A Study in Stoic Ethics,” is more skeptical, but the way she reads the stoic slogan about living in agreement with nature (or following it) invites such skepticism. She says (p. 3) As Aristotle’s ethics is an investigation of virtue and what belongs to it because the end is supposed to be a life in accordance with complete virtue, so Stoic ethics, I believe, is an investigation of what it is to live in agreement with nature. The ﬁrst question to ask about Stoic ethics would therefore seem to be: why is it good to follow nature?
There is no reasoned assessment endeavor external to the exercise of practical reasoning all-things-considered. Axiom of Moral Priority. Norms generated by the exercise of practical reasoning all-things-considered are superordinate to all others. Axiom of Futility. Agents are required not to make direct attempts to do (or be) something that is logically, theoretically, or practically impossible. We turn now from formal to substantive matters, including the defense of these axioms. 5 Following the Facts SLOGANS oversimplify, and in a contentious intellectual environment they invite misunderstanding.
A New Stoicism by Lawrence C. Becker