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Virtue and HappinessEssays in Honour of Julia Annas$
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Rachana Kamtekar

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646043

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646043.001.0001

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CHRYSIPPUS AND THE ACTION THEORY OF ARISTO OF CHIOS

CHRYSIPPUS AND THE ACTION THEORY OF ARISTO OF CHIOS

Chapter:
(p.197) CHRYSIPPUS AND THE ACTION THEORY OF ARISTO OF CHIOS
Source:
Virtue and Happiness
Author(s):

ANNA MARIA IOPPOLO

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646043.003.0011

Aristo of Chios’ total denial of moral value to objects intermediate between virtue and vice prevents selection or rejection of indifferents from being a basis for rational action. Moral action appears arbitrary, irrational and incomprehensible, as Cicero concludes (Fin. IV.43). A testimony of Plutarch (Stoic Self-refutations, ch. 23) suggests that Chrysippus too was compelled to take in consideration the notion of indifferent as ‘that by which impulse or rejection is moved no more in one direction than another’ (Sextus Empiricus M XI 60), showing that not only Aristo, but the whole Stoa, had this problem. To confront this difficulty, Chrysippus tried to harmonize the Stoic notion of indifference with rational action. He used Aristo’s theory of rational behavior as a possible answer for his school.

Keywords:   Chrysippus, Aristo, rational action, indifferents

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