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Old December 24th, 2017, 07:07 AM   #1

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Stoicism


From the Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Stoicism originated as a Hellenistic philosophy, founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium (modern day Cyprus), c. 300 B.C.E. It was influenced by Socrates and the Cynics, and it engaged in vigorous debates with the Skeptics, the Academics, and the Epicureans. The name comes from the Stoa Poikile, or painted porch, an open market in Athens where the original Stoics used to meet and teach philosophy.
Stoicism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Stoicism later gained ground in the Roman Empire, and most famous of the Late Stoic school was Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his famous work 'Meditationes'.

I consider it as being one of the most significant Hellenistic philosophies, even though it remained spread mostly among the Greco-Roman elite.

Perhaps we could discuss the influence of Stoicism on later European civilization, especially in relation to other Hellenistic Philosophies.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 07:32 AM   #2

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What about stoicism as a modern day practice? A philosophy and mindset to adopt and adhere to?

My apologies though, if you were really just wanting to discuss the history of stoicism, rather than how its practice might be made to apply to our day to day lives.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 03:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Valens View Post
From the Encyclopedia of Philosophy



Stoicism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Stoicism later gained ground in the Roman Empire, and most famous of the Late Stoic school was Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his famous work 'Meditationes'.

I consider it as being one of the most significant Hellenistic philosophies, even though it remained spread mostly among the Greco-Roman elite.

Perhaps we could discuss the influence of Stoicism on later European civilization, especially in relation to other Hellenistic Philosophies.


epicurean stoicism is actually the foundation of all modern culture.

The founding fathers of the US were all Stoics... in their conduct, their writings, and their worldview- even if they did not call it that by name.

The enlightenment is a stoic philosophical position. The rights of man, and the masonic tradition are all recognizable as Stoic constructs.

Today- we have allowed hedonism to supersede the stoic foundation on which the US culture was originally founded, and seem to celebrate the avarice of the rich in a very un-stoic manner... but the concept of maximal personal freedom coupled with maximal personal responsibility is still fundamentally stoic.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 05:53 PM   #4

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Originally Posted by sculptingman View Post
epicurean stoicism is actually the foundation of all modern culture.

The founding fathers of the US were all Stoics... in their conduct, their writings, and their worldview- even if they did not call it that by name.

The enlightenment is a stoic philosophical position. The rights of man, and the masonic tradition are all recognizable as Stoic constructs.

Today- we have allowed hedonism to supersede the stoic foundation on which the US culture was originally founded, and seem to celebrate the avarice of the rich in a very un-stoic manner... but the concept of maximal personal freedom coupled with maximal personal responsibility is still fundamentally stoic.
Were they?

How does slavery fit into being a stoic?


And what about Washington, specifically? He seemed very vain when it came to "keeping up with the Joneses." He spent quite a lot to ensure that his material possessions were up to par.

And what about his relationship with Sally Fairfax? I don't know if there is any proof that he actually ever did anything with her, but it seems he certainly lusted after her.

Are these stoic virtues?
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Old December 31st, 2017, 05:41 PM   #5
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Were they?

How does slavery fit into being a stoic?


And what about Washington, specifically? He seemed very vain when it came to "keeping up with the Joneses." He spent quite a lot to ensure that his material possessions were up to par.

And what about his relationship with Sally Fairfax? I don't know if there is any proof that he actually ever did anything with her, but it seems he certainly lusted after her.

Are these stoic virtues?


There is NOTHING in stoicism that denies lust.
Nothing that denies sex.

Rather the opposite- epicurus' modification of Zeno's original allowed for pleasure. In moderation. To delight in the joys of life without allowing those joys to subsume you.


The founding fathers lived in an era of extreme christian religiosity.
They did not call themselves stoics, but deists- however- they WERE mostly MASONS... and Masons were stoics

They are all derivative of the original stoic ideals.
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Old December 31st, 2017, 08:59 PM   #6

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Originally Posted by sculptingman View Post
There is NOTHING in stoicism that denies lust.
Nothing that denies sex.

Rather the opposite- epicurus' modification of Zeno's original allowed for pleasure. In moderation. To delight in the joys of life without allowing those joys to subsume you.


The founding fathers lived in an era of extreme christian religiosity.
They did not call themselves stoics, but deists- however- they WERE mostly MASONS... and Masons were stoics

They are all derivative of the original stoic ideals.
That's my point. I think there is a lot of evidence that suggests that Washington wasn't always someone who practiced moderation, or that he didn't always behave moderately.

How about his temper and his inability to control it?

"I wish I could say that he governs his temper," wrote Thomas, Lord Fairfax, to Mary Ball Washington in 1748. "He is subject to attacks of anger on provocation, sometimes without just cause." Time would cure his sixteen-year-old friend of the vice, predicted Fairfax, adding that young George was "a man who will go to school all his life." There was a fair element of prophecy in this, for while Washington's formal education consisted of a few months' tutoring in geography, composition, the science of numbers, and the arts of deportment, he would travel more extensively and meet a wider range of people than any American of his age. From each experience he gained something, and neither time nor the dulling incense of public adulation would dim his curiosity.

Yet Lord Fairfax was not entirely prescient, for the hot-tempered youth would never fully succeed in curbing his temper. According to his secretary Tobias Lear, few sounds on earth could compare with that of George Washington swearing a blue streak. And to Thomas Jefferson we owe the memorable scene of a redfa
ced chief executive throwing his hat on the floor before stomping on it."

https://www.archives.gov/publication...hington-3.html

And his debt.....

"Yet there were setbacks. The expression “land rich, cash poor” applied to Washington at times in his mid-life career as tobacco farmer. Although his long-term goal of accumulating acres paid off after his death, there were periods when debts mounted and his financial outlook lost its rosy glow. As Washington prepared for his inauguration in New York City in 1789, he borrowed £100 at 6 percent interest from a friend to make the trip. The Mount Vernon agricultural enterprise was often mired in cash-flow problems."

Excessive spending.....

"The difficulty stemmed from Washington’s pretentions to “keeping up with the Joneses” or, in his case, the Fairfaxes, Carters, and Robinsons of Virginia. He lived beyond his means, and he pushed the limits. Buying outlandish, expensive fripperies from London merchant Robert Cary led Washington into debt. Cary purchased Washington’s Mount Vernon tobacco crop and in return shipped exotic English goods, along with agricultural accessories like plows and grass seed to Virginia. On Washington’s want list was a chariot “made in the newest taste, handsome, genteel and light . . . on the harness let my crest be engraved,” along with ivory-handled sets, and a seven and a half foot tester bed with blue and white curtains to match the wallpaper. Busts of historical worthies, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and the King of Prussia, were to ornament the mantelpiece."

Pursuit of riches.....

"So where does the United States of America's first president fit into the grand scheme of wealth assessment, and how did he get there? Some purveyors of legend have it that he was the richest American ever. Others suggest that he was but the wealthiest American of his time. Certainly, in his later years Washington could claim to be a wealthy man, and when he died in 1799 his estate was pegged at about $780,000. But it is an estimate. In a schedule of property that accompanied his twenty-eight-page handwritten will, Washington lists the properties and holdings he wishes sold and what he thinks they are worth. There is real estate from Virginia to the Ohio Valley to New York to the District of Columbia, $35,000 worth of shares and bonds, as well as Mount Vernon livestock. The total is $530,000—an enormous sum for the time."

Read more here....How Did Washington Make His Millions? : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site
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Old December 31st, 2017, 09:24 PM   #7

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I have to admit some confusion at this term "Epicurean Stoicism." My impression is that Epicureanism and Stoicism were rival philosophic schools, rather than one being a sect of the other, such that the term in question would make sense. Perhaps some clarification or additional explanation of that is in order?
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