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From Epicurus to Epictetus: Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy A. A. Long

9780199279128

Abstract

This book presents eighteen essays on the philosophers and schools of the Hellenistic and Roman periods: Epicureans, Stoics, and Sceptics. The discussion ranges over four centuries of innovative and challenging thought in ethics and politics, psychology, epistemology, and cosmology. The focus is on the distinctive contributions and methodologies of individual thinkers, notably Epicurus, Zeno, Pyrrho, Arcesilaus, Lucretius, Cicero, Seneca, and Epictetus. Placing their philosophy in its cultural context, and considering it in relation to the earlier ideas of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, the author invites readers to imagine themselves choosing between Stoicism and Epicureanism as philosophies of life. All but one of these pieces has been previously published in periodicals or conference volumes, but the author has revised and updated everything, and has also added postscripts to many of the essays.

CONTENTS

Part I General
1 Hellenistic Ethics and Philosophical Power
2 Hellenistic Ethics as the Art of Life
Part II Scepticism
3 Aristotle and the History of Greek Scepticism
4 Timon of Phlius: Pyrrhonist and Satirist
5 Arcesilaus in His Time and Place
6 Scepticism About Gods
7 Astrology: Arguments Pro and Contra
Part III Epicureanism
8 Chance and Laws of Nature in Epicureanism
9 Pleasure and Social Utility: The Virtues of Being Epicurean
10 Lucretius on nature and the Epicurean self
Part IV Early Stoicism
11 Zeno’s Epistemology and Plato’s Theaetetus
12 Stoic Psychology and the Elucidation of Language
13 The Stoics on World‐Conflagration and Everlasting Recurrence
Part V Cicero, and Roman Stoicism
14 Cicero’s Plato and Aristotle
15 Cicero’s Politics in De officiis
16 Stoic Philosophers on Persons, Property‐Ownership, and Community
17 Seneca on the Self: Why Now?
18 Epictetus on Understanding and Managing Emotions

OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP

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