By Lawrence C. Becker
What may stoic ethics be like at the present time if stoicism had survived as a scientific method of moral idea, if it had coped effectively with the demanding situations of recent philosophy and experimental technology? a brand new Stoicism proposes a solution to that query, provided from in the stoic culture yet with no the metaphysical and mental assumptions that sleek philosophy and technology have deserted. Lawrence Becker argues secular model of the stoic moral venture, according to modern cosmology and developmental psychology, offers the foundation for a classy type of moral naturalism, during which nearly the entire demanding doctrines of the traditional Stoics will be basically restated and defended.
Becker argues, according to the ancients, that advantage is something, now not many; that it, and never happiness, is the right kind finish of all job; that it by myself is sweet, all different issues being purely rank-ordered relative to one another for the sake of the nice; and that advantage is adequate for happiness. furthermore, he rejects the preferred cartoon of the stoic as a grave determine, emotionally indifferent and able mostly of persistence, resignation, and dealing with ache. on the contrary, he holds that whereas stoic sages may be able to suffer the extremes of human agony, they don't have to sacrifice pleasure to have that skill, and he seeks to show our cognizance from the general, healing a part of stoic ethical education to a reconsideration of its theoretical foundations.
"From the start to the top of this compact yet lucid ebook, Becker skillfully brings to lifestyles either the arguments and the intuitive attraction of stoicism.... In its necessities [the new stoicism] is recognizable, with its rather astringent rational appeal more advantageous by means of Becker's centred and self-disciplined argumentation. Zeno, i think, will be pleased."
-Brad Inwood, Apeiron
"A stimulating dialogue of ethics that's freed from the jejune or overly technical attitudes attribute of a lot present writing at the subject."
-Joseph Shea, n.b.: new from The Reader's Catalog
About the Author
Lawrence C. Becker is William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor within the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy on the collage of William and Mary. he's the writer of numerous books, together with Reciprocity and estate Rights: Philosophic Foundations. he's the coeditor, with Charlotte B. Becker, of the Encyclopedia of Ethics.
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Extra info for A New Stoicism
The fact that we had a function in a goal-directed universe would merely generate some ﬁrst-order normative propositions that might or might not survive conﬂicts with normative propositions from other sources. Stoic ethical theory is not enslaved by nature, gods, emperors, or the status quo. Stoics have been slaves (and emperors), but have opposed the institution of slavery. Stoics have lived in parochial settings, but have argued for cosmopolitan politics and 1 Recall that we use “norms” here to refer to the facts that normative propositions represent, and never to refer to the propositions themselves insofar as they are merely representations.
Not every conﬂict is in principle resolvable in this way, however. Sometimes norms of the same ordinal rank conﬂict. We resolve such conﬂicts with forced choices—that is, with rules of the following sort: conﬂicting requirements at level n to choose between mutually exclusive courses of conduct generate a normative proposition that resolves the matter at level n + 1. There are a good many technical complications in this escalation process, but the important point is getting a sound rule of closure for every case.
Matters of possibility and necessity ﬁgure prominently in stoic ethics, and so our normative logic includes modal operators, interpreted as uncontroversially as possible. The technical issues here we leave to the Appendix, and make only this informal observation about our use of the alethic modalities. We distinguish three ranges of modality: logical, theoretical, and practical. What is logically possible may not be possible in terms of our theories of the way things work. Einsteinian physics, for example, holds that travel at speeds greater than that of light is not possible; Kohlberg’s theory of moral development holds that people cannot reach stage 6 without going through stages 1–5 in order.
A New Stoicism by Lawrence C. Becker