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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2016, Vol. 11 Issue (1) : 104-121     https://doi.org/10.3868/s030-005-016-0008-3
Orginal Article |
The Early Stoics and Aristotelian Ethics
Teun Tieleman()
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 13, 3512 BL Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Abstract

Aristotle’s philosophical legacy should be accepted as one of the historical influences that shaped Stoic moral and psychological thought, even if this influence needs to be demonstrated in each individual case rather than be taken for granted in general. Having discussed the methodological issues raised by the state of our documented evidence, I focus upon the particular philosophical agenda bequeathed by Aristotle, the issue of the structure of the human soul, and the theory of character and emotion. I argue that Aristotle’s influence upon the Stoics is not only a matter of their adoption of Aristotelian themes or concepts but that, given the aporetic quality of much of Aristotle’s writing, they accepted options as discussed, and actually rejected, by Aristotle. In particular, the Stoics have been influenced by deliberations in which Aristotle discusses, adapts or rejects positions associated with the philosophical hero of the Stoics, Socrates (in particular in De an. II, 9–10 and EN VII, 1–11). Seen in this light, the Aristotelian legacy appears to be even more relevant to explaining distinctive and in particular Socratic features of Stoic moral psychology than has been previously assumed.

Keywords Stoicism      Aristotle      ethics      Socrates      happiness      virtue      soul      character      emotion      weakness of will     
Issue Date: 01 April 2016
 Cite this article:   
Teun Tieleman. The Early Stoics and Aristotelian Ethics[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2016, 11(1): 104-121.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/10.3868/s030-005-016-0008-3
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/Y2016/V11/I1/104
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