Who founded stoicism?
The founder of Stoicism was Zeno of Kithia.
Initially, it was known as “Zenonism”.
It was a philosophical school that arose in Athens in 300 BC.
Before this school was identified, the Atolls in Athens called the community of poets who gathered in the Stoa of Poikil a hundred years before the appearance of Zeno and his students and like-minded people.
Zeno and his followers gathered there to discuss their ideas.
When Zenon first began teaching, he could not afford a building like the Academy of Plato or the Lyceum of Aristotle, so he and his followers gathered under the canopy of Stoa Poikile on a market where everyone could listen and join the debate. Therefore, sometimes Stoicism is simply called ” stoa ” or the philosophy of ” portico “.
Stoicism flourished throughout the Roman and Greek world until the 3rd century AD.
Prominent representatives of Stoicism in Ancient Rome were Lucius Anney Seneca Epictetus and Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Stoicism experienced a decline after Christianity became the state religion in the 4th century AD.
Since then, it has experienced a revival, especially in the Renaissance and in the modern era.
Three main periods are distinguished in the history of Stoicism:
- The Ancient Stoya – end of the IV century BC to the middle of the II century BC
- The Middle – 200 to 100 BC),
- New – 100 to 300 A.D.).
What is Stoicism?
The doctrine of the stoics
The doctrine of the Stoics has been divided into three parts: physics ethics, and logic.
Their comparison of philosophy with the orchard is known: logic corresponds to the fence that protects it, physics is a growing tree, and ethics is the fruit.
The Stoics also compared their classification system with animals and eggs.
In the first case:
bones = logic,
meat = physics,
the soul of an animal = ethics;
In the second Case:
shell = logic,
protein = physics,
and egg yolk = ethics.
The Stoics did not extol the mind as something intrinsic, capable of directly learning the truth.
In their conception, truth is no longer simply recognized as something unchanging and given from without; it is formed in the process of understanding the perceived reality by the intellect.
Moreover, the sensed is not true directly, but only “through its relationship to the thoughts that correspond to it”.
Truth is a product of a person’s intellectual analysis of his perceptions.
Truth is not only something external, but does not belong directly to intellectual thinking, but is a product of the consent of the intellect with the objective essence of the phenomenon/object, and such consent requires intellectual efforts, which not everyone is capable of, but only wise men.
The Stoics retained their mind as the root cause of everything, but precisely in the doctrine of nature, “physics”.
In the theory of knowledge, “logic,” the mind acquired a new power: the ability to determine truth precisely in terms of assessing the phenomena of reality.
Earlier, to achieve the truth it was enough to “just think,” but now an act of agreement of thinking with the conceivable is required.
Although the Stoics adhered to the concept of the divine mind in their physics, for the most part, they paid attention to the “applied”, human mind, and concerning it adhered to a rather skeptical position, and dealt with the topic of the criterion of truth.
If earlier philosophers believed that it was only necessary for everyone to think correctly and thereby the society of truth and justice would come automatically, then the Stoics pointed to the contradiction of the ideals of philosophy and reality.
Logic consisted of rhetoric (the science of speaking) and dialectics (the science of arguing). Logic implied the doctrine of representations, judgments, inferences, and evidence.
The starting point of the stoic theory of knowledge is matter Chrysippus said: “… that perception changes the state of our material soul.” Zeno believed that it is imprinted in the soul, as in wax.
The Stoics represent the world as a living organism controlled by the immanent divine law of the Logos Human fate is a projection of this logo, so the Stoics objected to the idea of a dispute with fate or its trials.
The main obstacle to harmony with your destiny is passion The ideal of the Stoics was a calm sage.
According to Stoicism, everything that exists is bodily and differs only in the degree of “coarseness” or “subtlety” of matter.
Strength is not something intangible or abstract, but the subtlest matter.
The power governing the world as a whole is God.
All matter is only modifications that are in the eternal change of this divine power and again and again dissolving in it.
Things and events are repeated after each periodic ignition and purification of space.
In ethics, stoicism is close to cynics but does not share the latter’s contempt for culture.
All people are citizens of outer space as a world state; Stoic cosmopolitanism equated (in theory) in the face of world law all people: free and slaves; Greeks and barbarians; men and women.
Every moral action is, according to the Stoics, nothing more than self-preservation and self-affirmation, and this increases the common good.
All sins and immoral acts are self-destruction, the loss of one’s own human nature.
Correct desires and abstinence, actions, and deeds are a guarantee of human happiness, for this we need to develop our personality in every way as opposed to everything external, not to bow to any force.
Hans von Arnim – Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta
Diogenes of Laertes. About the life of philosophers. Book 7
Marcus Aurelius. Reflections