Chapter

The Stoics<sup>1</sup>

J. C. B. Gosling and C. C. W. Taylor

in The Greeks On Pleasure

Published in print December 1982 | ISBN: 9780198246664
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681035 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198246664.003.0022
The Stoics1

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This chapter examines the theory of perhaps the most influential of all the post-Aristotelian schools, the Stoics. It presents a brief survey of the view of pleasure which appears to have been developed by the first three heads of the school — Zeno, Cleanthes, and Chrysippus — during the lifetime of Epicurus and the period of approximately 70 years after his death in 271 bc. Like its Epicurean rival, the Stoic theory of pleasure succumbs to the dangers of over-generalization, but its defects are perhaps attributable in some measure to its virtues. It was a considerable merit of Stoic theory to recognize, following the lead of Plato, the close connection of pleasure with belief, and to see that at least some forms of pleasure are second-order attitudes, being evaluative responses to the contents of beliefs. Their main deficiency lies in taking this account as adequate for pleasure as a whole, with the consequence that they were unable to deal satisfactorily with enjoyment.

Keywords: Stoic; pleasure; Epicurus; Zeno; Cleanthes; Chrysippus

Chapter.  5109 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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