What is Stoicism exactly?

Stoicism is a philosophy that grew out of Hellenism. Its foundation rests upon the notion that one must exercise control over and dominate all passions, events and objects, as they can be considered to disturb the life. This is an indication of courage and the reason for a relationship. Stoicism is a philosophy that aims to achieve happiness. However, Stoicism also believes in wisdom, which comes from the rejection and abandonment of material possessions.

Origins of Stoicism

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Stoicism was born during the Hellenistic period. It began around 323 BC with the death of Alexander the Great and ended with the fall of the Roman Republic about 31 BC. It was founded by Zeno of Citium. Zeno has strong links with Socratic philosophy and leans towards the Megaric and Cynic schools. He initially preferred Cynicism over his beliefs but he later rejected it due to the exaggerations made by the current. It didn’t offer a good figure to live with.

Zeno moves on and studies philosophers of the Megaric and Platonic schools. However, none of these satisfied his needs or ideas. Zeno created his school in order to incorporate many aspects of the cynics. A possible influence of Zeno’s ideas was studied for a while with the Semitic doctrines. These include Judaism, and the general philosophies that the Middle East oscillates. From which Christianity emerges. This relationship is based on essential principles of ethics and philosophy.

What does stoicism mean in english?

Today, the term “stoicism” refers to a set of beliefs and practices based on the teachings of Zeno. These beliefs emphasize personal responsibility, acceptance of fate, and the pursuit of virtue.

Stoicism’s Periods

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These are the three major stages which led to Stoicism’s development and emergence.

This period was dominated by a fundamental dogmatic tendency that was against Epicureanism, another great branch of Hellenism. The Cynicism-like nature of this period made it stand out. It is founded on an ethical doctrine criterion, which is supplemented by Heraclitus’ philosophy, but also contains several Aristotelian components. This stage is called Stoicism.

Second Period Surge under the influence Diogenes from Babylon. This period is known as Middle Stoicism. It’s where many changes occur primarily due to exhaustion from the endless struggles. In these encounters, they are required to give up their dogmatic topic and principle. Then they begin to strive for ethics.

The third period was known also as the age of the Roman Empire. It is here that it was born. The Stoics were able to use a wide range of material resources from ancient philosophers as their third stage. They take Aristotelian Hylomorphism in physics and in theology, compile data and evidence from Plato and Aristotle. Finally, for ethics they extend the views and attitudes of the Cynics which will be a significant influence on the growth of the Stoic school.

The teachings of Zeno

Zeno teaches public lessons in Athens’ painted portico. His followers include Crispus and Cleanthes. These are the Stoic period’s core. Zeno’s lessons and teachings are notable for their ability to teach rhetoric. 

Zeno’s Philosophy

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It was in Athens that Zeno, aside from founding the school and establishing the foundation of his intellectual development, begins. Zeno shows that living a moral life is the only way to achieve rationality. Harmony with nature is a prerequisite. This philosophy grew exponentially in the Hellenistic and Roman Empire periods. Zeno will incorporate elements from Aristotle and Heraclitus as well as the Cynic school.

Zeno has been heavily influenced by his studies at Thebes’ School of Crates. Zeno is not averse to the concepts he has learned through logic and physics. He regards these two steps as the basis of Zeno’s philosophy. These steps can be virtues in themselves. While logic is the virtue or knowing the right perceptions, logic is the virtue or knowing the wrong actions to take in order to attain virtue.

Zeno thinks that any ideas contrary to Epicurus’ canonical school of thought are invalid. Zeno believes that the senses are all that can acquire knowledge and there is no way of creating innate ideas. Common concepts, or the universal moral concepts, can only be perceived once knowledge has been achieved. Stoic philosophy teaches that logic knowledge does not develop naturally, but it is shared by all.

The Cardinal Stoicism Virtues

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The cardinal virtues established by Stoicism are: strength, wisdom or prudence, justice and temperance. Stoicism seeks that each human being can obtain the four cardinal virtues, since this makes him a being without the need to envy or request the Divinity, since he manages to reach a position close to that of God, although his maximum difference is the duration of its own existence.

Because virtue is self-controllable, it’s the highest form of happiness. Vice, however, can only be considered as true. Virtue and morality are indifferent to everything else. The noble nature of virtue is demonstrated by characteristics such as the constancy and willfulness of human beings.

It is important to remember that Stoics lead fulfilled and happy lives through inner freedom. This is based on the following virtues.

It is the inability or unwillingness to have feelings of affection. It is a state of being unable to feel or express emotions. Virtue is what is capable to satisfy itself. When a person reaches certain levels of wisdom and knowledge, they are able to take hold of virtue in order to enjoy the many pleasures that may be available to them.

Ataraxia virtue

Ataraxia is a virtue that refers to coldness. This is the most serene state a person can achieve, the essential equilibrium that cannot be altered. According to the thought of Stoicism, ataraxia is a virtue of serenity, of the stillness of the soul, one of the qualities and main points of difference between the gods and to which the sage aspires.

The sage can then exercise control over his own feelings and endure the pains and sorrows that his soul causes. He is able to reaffirm the passions in his heart. Virtue is the essential goal of Sages. The true Sage seeks virtue in all circumstances. This can be used to protect against outside combat. This is the perfect balance.

Autarchy virtue

Autarchy is a virtue that enables a person to be completely self-sufficient. This means they can act according to their morals and use their virtues when necessary. This is what an individual should possess.

In Conclusion

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Photo by Artur Aldyrkhanov

In conclusion, I would like to say that Stoicism is a very interesting philosophical system. It is also a practical philosophy. It focuses on the development of the mind and body for anyone who wants to live a life full of meaning and purpose.


Who is Zeno?

A Greek philosopher was born in Cyprus in the fourth century BCE. He moved to Athens when he was a young adult and studied under some of the most prominent thinkers of his time, including two famous Cynic teachers.

What are the names of famous Stoics?

Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor), Epictetus (former enslaved person) and Seneca (famous writer and advisor) belonged to, respectively, a former Roman emperor, a prominent teacher and philosopher, and a renowned author and politician.

Why did Stoicism have a strong influence?

Stoicism had a strong influence because of its lack of fantasy and pragmatic aspects that are based on transparency. This aspect has remained through the Renaissance. This school of philosophy/religion divides its doctrine on the three main axes logic, physics and morality. We will discuss these elements in more detail later.

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