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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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HOW UNIFIED IS STOICISM ANYWAY?

HOW UNIFIED IS STOICISM ANYWAY?

Chapter:
(p.223) HOW UNIFIED IS STOICISM ANYWAY?
Source:
Virtue and Happiness
Author(s):

BRAD INWOOD

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646043.003.0012

Sweeping claims about the internal unity of Stoic philosophy are common, but careful analysis of what is meant by those claims is less usual. After raising general questions about the unity of Stoic thought over the long history of the school and about the way its various parts and doctrines fit together to form an alleged unity, this chapter examines a key text of Cicero (De Finibus 3.74-75) which is universally cited to support unity claims. Once it is properly situated in its dialogue context and once proper account is taken of the characters and their motivations, it becomes apparent that this text will not support any strong unity claims about Stoic philosophy as a whole. Rather, it underscores the tight inferential fit which the Stoics asserted to hold between their value theory and the rest of their ethics. The grander claims made here are hyperbole and should not be used as evidence for the nature of Stoic philosophy as a whole.

Keywords:   Stoicism, ethics, meta-ethics, Cicero, De Finibus, consistency

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