Re: looking for stoicism

Gerold Firl (
25 Jul 1996 19:20:45 GMT

In article <>, (Beatrix Murrell) writes:

|> I suspect if we dug deeper, we might find some
|> aspects of Stoicism...from cosmology to ethics...lingering around the
|> academic and ecclesiastical backrooms today! :)

Definately. Stoicism was an organic outgrowth of the western
philosophical outlook, reconfigured to adapt to the particular
circumstances of the early first millenium. Those principles are
recurrant themes which still typify western culture, and which were
already visible thousands of years earlier in in I-E mythology.

An interesting thought which occured to me while reading your post is
the possible relationship between stoicism and existentialism. They
share a number of characteristics: both acted as a philosophical bridge
between obsolete worldviews and their succesors. Stoicism arose as
faith in western paganism melted away under the eye-opening multi-
cultural cross-currents of roman imperialism, while existentialism
appeared as science dissolved the christian foundations of the 19th
century PoV. Neither found wide acceptance, perhaps largely because of
their lack of celebratory joyousness. There is a certain amount of
negativity in both, which is ultimately unsatisfying to western
sensibility, stemming from the uncertainty and fear associated with
abandoning long-held fundamental tenets about how the world works and
how man fits-in.

I believe that the best aspects of these transition philosophies do get
incorporated into their succesors; the idea of a sort of cyclical
evolution is intriguing.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf