The Roman Stoics: Self, Responsibility, and Affection

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9780226710266: The Roman Stoics: Self, Responsibility, and Affection
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Roman Stoics of the imperial period developed a distinctive model of social ethics, one which adapted the ideal philosophical life to existing communities and everyday societal values. Gretchen Reydams-Schils’s innovative book shows how these Romans—including such philosophers as Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Hierocles, and Epictetus—applied their distinct brand of social ethics to daily relations and responsibilities, creating an effective model of involvement and ethical behavior in the classical world. 

The Roman Stoics reexamines the philosophical basis that instructed social practice in friendship, marriage, parenting, and community life. From this analysis, Stoics emerge as neither cold nor detached, as the stereotype has it, but all too aware of their human weaknesses. In a valuable contribution to current discussions in the humanities on identity, autonomy, and altruism, Reydams-Schils ultimately conveys the wisdom of Stoics to the citizens of modern society.

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Roman Stoic thinkers in the imperial period adapted Greek doctrine to create a model of the self that served to connect philosophical ideals with traditional societal values. Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, Hierocles, and Marcus Aurelius all engaged in rigorous self-examination that enabled them to integrate philosophy into the practice of living. Gretchen Reydams-Schils's innovative new book shows how these thinkers applied their distinct brand of social ethics to everyday relations and responsibilities.

The Roman Stoics reexamines the philosophical basis that instructed social practice in friendship, marriage, parenting, and community. From this analysis emerge Stoics who were neither cold nor detached, as the stereotype has it, but all too aware of their human weaknesses. In a valuable contribution to current discussions in the humanities on identity, autonomy, and altruism, Reydams-Schils ultimately conveys the wisdom the Stoics have to bestow upon citizens of modern society.

About the Author:

Gretchen Reydams-Schils is associate professor in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of Demiurge and Providence: Stoic and Platonist Readings of Plato’s "Timaeus," and An Anthology of Snakebites: On Women, Love and Philosophy.

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