Meaning of Stoicism

What is Stoicism:

What stoicism is called the philosophical doctrine that practiced the control of the passions that disturb life using virtue and reason. As such, its object was to achieve happiness and wisdom regardless of comforts, material goods and fortune. Hence it also designates a certain moral attituderelated to strength and equanimity in character.

The ideal of the Stoics was achieve imperturbability and a certain degree of independence from the external world. Although it was a fundamentally ethical doctrine, it also had its own logical and physical conceptions. It was influenced by the Cynics and by Heraclitus.

The Stoic school was founded by Zeno of Citium around the year 301 a. of C. in Athens. They used to meet in a portico of the city, from which it derived its name, which comes from the Greek Στωϊκός (Stoikós), derived from στοά (stoá), which means ‘portico’.

It was one of the most influential Hellenic philosophical schools. Its boom period is recorded between the 3rd century BC. of C. and the II d. C. Its weakening coincided with the rise of Christianity.

In the stoic doctrine Three phases are recognized: a first, headed by Zeno and Chrysippus, called ancient stoicism; the second, characterized by the contributions of Panetius and Posidonius, is known as middle stoicismand finally, we find the new stoicismrepresented by figures of the stature of SenecaEpictetus and Marcus Aurelius.

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See also:

  • Cynicism.
  • Equanimity.

Stoic ethics

The stoic ethics It is the best known facet of this school. As such, it proposes that happiness implies living according to our rational nature; that the only good is virtue and the only evil is vice and passionate and irrational conduct; that passions that disturb reason are contrary to the Stoic ideal; that material goods or aspects of human life, such as health or illness, pain or pleasure, are indifferent to the Stoic and that is where his strength comes from. All this is aimed at achieving apathy, which is acceptance of ascetic ideals. In this sense, it is a system that opposes the hedonism of Epicurus and the eudemonism of Aristotle.

Stoicism, Epicureanism and Skepticism

Stoicism, Epicureanism and skepticism are three currents of philosophical thought that emerged in Ancient Greece. While both the stoicism as of Epicureanism they are doctrines that intend to achieve happiness —the first through the control of the passions that disturb life, and the second through the balance of pleasures based on the well-being of the body and mind—, the skepticismmore than a doctrine, is an attitude or a current of thought based on distrust or doubt extended to all things, including the skeptic’s own judgment.