City of Friends and Lovers

in Stoicism & Emotion

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226305578
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226305202 | DOI:
City of Friends and Lovers

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This chapter argues that Zeno's conception of healthy relations between persons and within social groups incorporates a robust role for what is recognized as genuine love, affection, and friendship. It is clear that the sharing of goods and intentions between wise friends replicates a relational pattern which is supposed to obtain among all members of the normative polity. Perhaps the most radical element in the Stoic theory of friendship is the claim that relations among good people can be warm and genuine without also compromising the self-sufficiency of the individual. Closely linked to the position on friendship is the Stoic claim that the person of perfect understanding will also fall in love. Erotic love was an important theme for early Stoic authors. An affectionate disposition may instead be a disposition of strength, the capacity to identify one's own needs and motives with those of a larger social unit when circumstances allow this.

Keywords: erotic love; affection; friendship; Stoic theory; self-sufficiency

Chapter.  7985 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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