The Routledge Handbook of the Stoic Tradition (Routledge Handbooks in Philosophy)

The Routledge Handbook of the Stoic Tradition (Routledge Handbooks in Philosophy)

John Sellars

Language: English

Pages: 429

ISBN: B01BP9S58I

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The ancient philosophy of stoicism has been a crucial and formative influence on the development of Western thought since its inception through to the present day. It is not only an important area of study in philosophy and classics, but also in theology and literature.

The Routledge Handbook of the Stoic Tradition

is the first volume of its kind, and an outstanding guide and reference source to the nature and continuing significance of stoicism. Comprising twenty-six chapters by a team of international contributors and organised chronologically, the Handbook is divided into four parts:

  • Antiquity and the Middle Ages, including stoicism in Rome; stoicism in early Christianity; the Platonic response to stoicism; and stoic influences in the late Middle Ages
  • Renaissance and Reformation, addressing the impact of stoicism on the Italian Renaissance, Reformation thought, and early modern English literature including Shakespeare
  • Early Modern Europe, including stoicism and early modern French thought; the stoic influence on Spinoza and Leibniz; stoicism and the French and Scottish Enlightenment; and Kant and stoic ethics
  • The Modern World, including stoicism in nineteenth century German philosophy; stoicism in Victorian culture; stoicism in America; stoic themes in contemporary Anglo-American ethics; and the stoic influence on modern psychotherapy.

An invaluable resource for anyone interested in the philosophical history and impact of stoic thought, The Routledge Handbook of the Stoic Tradition is essential reading for all students and researchers working on the subject.

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project forward. The impact of Calvin’s efforts is much more difficult to determine, but clearly lags behind that of Erasmus. His commentary was apparently ignored in his own day; he claims to have printed the text at his own expense and wrote letters to friends imploring them to use the text in their lectures (Calvin 1969: 387–90). The commentary was included in collected editions of his works beginning in 1576, and several passages were plagiarized by Erasmus’s secretary Gilbert Cousin (1506–72)

themes. For although he shared Erasmus’s criticism of the Stoic ideal of apathy and his emphasis on the need for grace (if at the same time dissenting from Erasmus’s view of its nature and operation), Calvin’s anthropology differed from Erasmus’s in his deeper sense of the noetic and volitional effects of human sinfulness. This key difference leads him to echo the understanding of fallen human nature and divine sovereignty expressed in Luther’s On the Bondage of the Will. But in exploring the

Hamlet’s engagement with Stoicism is indicated by his praise of Horatio for being “As one in suff’ring all that suffers nothing, / A man that Fortune’s buffets and rewards / Hast ta’en with equal thanks” (3.2.66–8). “Give me that man,” Hamlet says with a passion bordering on irony, “That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him / In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart” (3.2.71–3). Then he catches himself – “Something too much of this” (3.2.74) – and tells Horatio of his plans for the

natural constitution, spontaneously seeking out what serves their well-being and avoiding what harms them. Pleasure and pain are by-products of these healthy and unhealthy conditions. As humans mature, their self-regard naturally extends to others who are like themselves. Initially, immediate family comes under the scope of the individual’s care, but with the development of human conceptual ability one can recognize the appropriateness of concern for all human beings. Rationality also allows for

both belong to prudential reasoning. These two acts distinguish the higher level of rational insight from that of moral action and recalls how, for the monastic tradition, discretion was connected to moderation. The first judgment, iudicium discretivum, is a scientific act of rational discernment. The second is an act of moral 103 Mary Beth Ingham determination, iudicium diffinitivum, which belongs to the virtue of prudence (Summa aurea 3.20.1, William of Auxerre 1986: 389). William’s distinction

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