The Hellenistic Philosophers:
Zeno, Chysippus

Zeno of Citium (334-262BC)

The founder of stoicism

Chrysippus of Soli (279-206BC)

The second founder of Stoicism

Stoicism in Greek Life

[Books] are not the real preparation for living, for living is made of of things very different... [a contemplative stoic is] as if a champion, when he enters the ring, should begin crying because he is not still exercising. It was for this that you were exercised.

Stoic Epistemology

Zeno's Classification

Perception < assent < cognition < knowledge

Chrysippus' Elaboration

All (correct) perception involves classification, comparison, induction

Stoic Value Theory

The Primary Impulses of Nature

  1. Love of Self
  2. Love of Family, Children
  3. Cognition

Modified by Wisdom

Man's first attraction is towards the things in accordance with nature. But as soon as he has understanding... and has discovered the order and so to speak harmony that governs conduct, he thereupon esteems this harmony far more highly... reason infers the conclusion that herein lies the Chief Good of man.

The Stoic Definition


To Exercise Choice Among Things in Accordance with Nature

Virtue is the only good. Don't mistake the medium for the message.


Exercise of choice---not achieving ends.

Analogy to dancing, good aim.

The Puzzle of External Goods

If virtue is all that matters, how can there be good choices?





Preferred or "Promoted" indifferents

Life According to Nature

Cosmopolitanism and Pandeism

the universe is governed by divine will; it is a city or state of which both men and gods are members, and each one of us is a part of this universe...


Just as the laws set safety of all above the safety of individuals, so a good, wise a law abiding man studies the advantages of all more than that of himself

The mere fact of their common humanity requires that one man should feel another man to be akin to him

Note: philanthropy vs. sympathy


Perception, and emotion, are cognitive---they're a form of judgement.

False judgement is "aproegmena" and willful stupidity is vicious.

Hence, we should quiet immoderate emotion.


Men are not disturbed by things, but by the views which they take of things.

You can be unconquerable if you enter into no combat, in which it is not in your own power to conquer.

Anytus and Melitus may kill me; but they cannot hurt me.

Roman Stoicism, Neo-Stoicism, Modern Stocism: (,

Against Epicurianism

Even Epicurus is sensible that we are by nature sociable beings...why then, do you, Epicurus, dissuade a wise man from bringing up children? But Epicurus knew, that, if once a child is born, it is no longer in our power not to love and be solicitous for it.


Not even a sheep or a wolf deserts its offspring; and shall man? What would you have? That we should be as silly as sheep... or as savage as wolves? For my part, I am of the opinion, that your mother and father, even if they could have forseen that you would be the author of such doctrines, would not have thrown you away.