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The Stoa

Religion project on the history of The Stoa/Stoics and the effect that it has had

Kevin Murphy

on 4 February 2011

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Transcript of The Stoa

The Stoa The Stoa's Start , Work Cited Page http://www.iep.utm.edu/stoicism/ http://www.rafed.net/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3378%3Aancient-philosophy&catid=231&Itemid=973&limitstart=16 http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stoicism/ The history of the Stoa is broken up into three eras. In each era thre are two to three Stoics who contribute a new kind of doctrine or idea. The first era is called the Early Stoa. It began in the Hellenistic era. In it is the founding of the Stoas by Zeno of Citium, Chanthes of Assos, and Chrysippus of Soli. Each of these men created the base doctrines of The Stoa. Zeno established the iea of the "ischus kai kratos," or strength of character in ethical and political actions. Cleanthes was called the "visionary" of the group, and Chrysippus was responsible for developing Stoicism into a system. After the Early Stoa, there came the Middle Stoa. This era lasted for about two centuries. The Stoa flourished during this era. Its leaders brought Stoicism into the Roman empire, and adjusted Stoicism so that it could survive without gving up its identity. The leaders softened the sense of ascetiscism that had been created in the Early Stoa and contributed detail to the Stoa's logic. Overall the leaders remade Stoicism into a military, social, and political aspect of Rome. The final era, was the Late Stoa. Which flourished but eventually died in the second century A.D. During this period Stoicism beacame more tranquil and more useful to everyday society. The distinction between the things we control and the things we do not control was established. The ideas of inward self-control and useful citizenship in the universe were two other ideas that gained more and more wieght as Stoicism developed and died out. Logic, Physics, and Thoughts One idea that was created by the Stoics and has been edited as time has gone on. Is the idea of the "Strong man." This is the idea that a real man, a "strong" man should be in full control of himself at all times, and should never under any circumstances reveal any "weak" emotions, like sadness, fear or empathy. A man should never express his emotions, and if he does then it should be masculine emotions. Another idea, that was created by the Stoics is the focus on the material world, and the idea that nothing "incorporeal." Inrecent years this idea has gained more strength than it previously had. There are many reasons why it has gained more strength, but one possible reason is beacuse in recent years there has been a surge in people who do not believe in a "incorporeal" world. This is not to say that Stoicism encouraged its followers to not believe in "God." Its more like Stoicism believed that "God," was present throughout the material world, and existed without the incorporeal world. This "God" is also actively present. Changing things as it sees fit. The Stoics created a a lot of different ideas, and edited their ideas throughout the three different eras. The Stoics also had an ascetic system of morality. It involved a life that had an emphasis on nature and a focus on virtues, but for some strange reason it also taught its followers to be indifferent to everything external, because everything external is neutral. So anything that is good to us, like wealth, had the same value to them, as something that is bad to us, like being poor. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of writings from the Early Stoa era, so there is not a lot of information about their more basic doctrines. The Stoics also have some strange ideas about the elements. Water, wind, earth, and fire. They believed two of the elements, fire and air, were active, and these active elements create the "breath of life," also known as pneuma. The Stoas have survived. Stoic ideas have survived throughout the ages. They have evolved as different societies picked them up. The Stoics have left a lasting impression on modern society, and will probably continue to do so as time goes on. The Stoics ideas have, like I said before, been picked up and adapted by many different people. There are groups such as early Christian theologians who used parts of Stoic doctrine to support or build upon their own arguments. There are also Medieval and Renaissance writers and philsophers who drew upon the ideas of the Stoics. Another idea that the Stoics created that has affected society is the idea of a true, strong man. I have already touched on this, but a true man is a man who is in full control of himself at all times. Lately this idea has been in conflict with the idea of a modern man, a man who can freely express his emotions, but I do not think that the idea of a modern man will replace the idea of a "true" man, anytime soon. V.S Time for a quiz. Get a half sheet of paper out. Review Questions 1. What are the three eras in which the history of Stoicism is broken up into? 2. What does pneuma mean? 3. What does ischus kai kratos mean? (basic def. is fine) 4. Name two out of the three original founders of Stoicism. 5. When did Stoicism start? (not one of the three eras from #1) Zeon. Extra credit: Whose picture did I have at the very beginning?
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