Ideas of Stoic school, by Theme

[, fl. 200 BCE, General ideas attributed to the school (not individuals), c.300-40 BCE]

green numbers give full details    |    back to list of philosophers    |     expand these ideas
1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 2. Wise People
Wise men participate in politics, especially if it shows moral progress [Stobaeus]
Wise men are never astonished at things which other people take to be wonders [Diog. Laertius]
1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 3. Wisdom Deflated
No wise man has yet been discovered [Cicero]
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 4. Divisions of Philosophy
Stoic physics concerns cosmos, elements and causes (with six detailed divisions) [Diog. Laertius]
Ethics studies impulse, good, passion, virtue, goals, value, action, appropriateness, encouragement [Diog. Laertius]
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
True philosophising is not memorising ideas, but living by them [Stobaeus]
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 3. Analysis of Preconditions
Some facts are indispensable for an effect, and others actually necessitate the effect [Cicero]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 2. Logos
The Stoics distinguished spoken logos from logos within the mind [Plotinus]
Stoics study canons, criteria and definitions, in order to find the truth [Diog. Laertius]
Stoics believed that rational capacity in man (logos) is embodied in the universe [Long]
2. Reason / C. Styles of Reason / 1. Dialectic
Dialectics is mastery of question and answer form [Diog. Laertius]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 3. Value of Truth
Falsehoods corrupt a mind, producing passions and instability [Diog. Laertius]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 5. Truth Bearers
The truth bearers are said to be the signified, or the signifier, or the meaning of the signifier [Sext.Empiricus]
4. Formal Logic / A. Syllogistic Logic / 2. Syllogistic Logic
Stoics like syllogisms, for showing what is demonstrative, which corrects opinions [Diog. Laertius]
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 1. Logical Form
Stoics avoided universals by paraphrasing 'Man is...' as 'If something is a man, then it is...' [Long]
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 2. Logical Connectives / c. not
The contradictory of a contradictory is an affirmation [Diog. Laertius]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Vagueness / g. Degrees of vagueness
Stoics applied bivalence to sorites situations, so everyone is either vicious or wholly virtuous [Williamson]
7. Existence / E. Categories / 3. Proposed Categories
Stoics have four primary categories: substrates, qualities, dispositions, relative dispositions [Simplicius]
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / d. Forms critiques
Platonic Forms are just our thoughts [Ps-Plutarch]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / a. Substance
Stoics say matter has qualities, and substance underlies it, with no form or qualities [Chalcidius]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
How is separateness possible, if separated things are always said to be united? [Alexander]
How is divisibility possible, if stoics say things remain united when they are divided? [Alexander]
Stoics say wholes are more than parts, but entirely consist of parts [Sext.Empiricus]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 1. Possibility
A proposition is possible if it is true when nothing stops it being true [Diog. Laertius]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 8. Conditionals / c. Truth-function conditionals
Conditionals are false if the falsehood of the conclusion does not conflict with the antecedent [Diog. Laertius]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 1. Knowledge
Knowledge is a secure grasp of presentations which cannot be reversed by argument [Diog. Laertius]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / b. Elements of beliefs
Two sorts of opinion: either poorly grounded belief, or weak belief [Stobaeus]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 1. Nature of the A Priori
There are non-sensible presentations, which come to us through the intellect [Diog. Laertius]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 3. Innate Knowledge / c. Tabula rasa
Stoics say we are born like a blank sheet of paper; the first concepts on it are sensations [Ps-Plutarch]
At birth the soul is a blank sheet ready to be written on [Aetius]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / d. Secondary qualities
Non-graspable presentations are from what doesn't exist, or are not clear and distinct [Diog. Laertius]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 5. Interpretation
Stoic perception is a presentation to which one voluntarily assents [Stobaeus]
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 1. Empiricism
All our concepts come from experience, directly, or by expansion, reduction or compounding [Sext.Empiricus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 1. Epistemic virtues
Dialectic is a virtue which contains other virtues [Diog. Laertius]
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 4. Tracking the Facts
For Stoics knowledge is an assertion which never deviates from the truth [Diog. Laertius]
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 2. Demonstration
Demonstration derives what is less clear from what is clear [Diog. Laertius]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / a. Mind
The Stoics think that soul in the narrow sense is nothing but reason [Frede,M]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / c. Features of mind
Eight parts of the soul: five senses, seeds, speech and reason [Diog. Laertius]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 2. Psuche
Division of the soul divides a person, reducing responsibility for the nonrational part [Frede,M]
Stoics say the soul is a mixture of air and fire [Galen]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 1. Faculties
Our conceptions arise from experience, similarity, analogy, transposition, composition and opposition [Diog. Laertius]
16. Persons / A. Concept of a Person / 4. Persons as Agents
For Stoics the true self is defined by what I can be master of [Foucault]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 3. Constraints on the will
Stoics expanded the idea of compulsion, and contracted what counts as one's own actions [Frede,M]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 5. Against Free Will
The free will problem was invented by the Stoics [Berlin]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 6. Determinism / b. Fate
The nearest to ancient determinism is Stoic fate, but that is controlled by a sympathetic God [Frede,M]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 3. Emotions / b. Types of emotion
Stoics classify passions according to the opinion of good and bad which they imply [Taylor,C]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 3. Emotions / e. Basic emotions
There are four basic emotions: pleasure or delight, distress, appetite, and fear [Cicero]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 6. Judgement / a. Nature of Judgement
Stoics said that correct judgement needs an invincible criterion of truth [Fogelin]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / a. Nature of concepts
Concepts are intellectual phantasms [Ps-Plutarch]
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 3. Predicates
Predicates are incomplete 'lekta' [Diog. Laertius]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 4. Mental Propositions
Humans have rational impressions, which are conceptual, and are true or false [Frede,M]
19. Language / F. Communication / 1. Rhetoric
Rhetoric has three types, four modes, and four sections [Diog. Laertius]
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / a. Will to Act
Earlier Stoics speak of assent, but not of choice, let alone of a will [Frede,M]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 4. Responsibility for Actions
Stoics said responsibility depends on rationality [Sorabji]
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 7. Art and Morality
Stoics use 'kalon' (beautiful) as a synonym for 'agathon' (good) [Bury]
22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / b. Rational ethics
Stoics say that folly alone is evil [Sext.Empiricus]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / a. Nature of value
Prime values apply to the life in agreement; useful values apply to the natural life [Diog. Laertius]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Subjective value
The appraiser's value is what is set by someone experienced in the facts [Diog. Laertius]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / f. Ultimate value
The goal is to live consistently with the constitution of a human being [Clement]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / d. Health
Stoics said health is an 'indifferent', but they still considered it preferable [Pormann]
The health of the soul is a good blend of beliefs [Stobaeus]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / f. Altruism
Stoic morality says that one's own happiness will lead to impartiality [Annas]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / g. Love
Virtuous men do not feel sexual desire, which merely focuses on physical beauty [Diog. Laertius]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / h. Fine deeds
Stoicism was an elitist option to lead a beautiful life [Foucault]
22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 1. Goodness / b. Types of good
Final goods: confidence, prudence, freedom, enjoyment and no pain, good spirits, virtue [Diog. Laertius]
22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 2. Happiness / a. Nature of happiness
Happiness for the Stoics was an equable flow of life [Sext.Empiricus]
22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 2. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
Happiness is the end and goal, achieved by living virtuously, in agreement, and according to nature [Stobaeus]
22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 3. Pleasure / c. Value of pleasure
Stoics say pleasure is at most a byproduct of finding what is suitable for us [Diog. Laertius]
22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 3. Pleasure / f. Dangers of pleasure
Rapture is a breakdown of virtue [Diog. Laertius]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / a. Nature of virtue
If humans are citizens of the world (not just a state) then virtue is all good human habits [Mautner]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / f. The Mean
An appropriate action is one that can be defended, perhaps by its consistency. [Diog. Laertius]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / e. Honour
Honour is just, courageous, orderly or knowledgeable. It is praiseworthy, or functions well [Diog. Laertius]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / g. Contemplation
The Stoics rejected entirely the high value that had been placed on contemplation [Taylor,C]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / a. External goods
Stoics do not despise external goods, but subject them to reason, and not to desire [Taylor,R]
Crafts like music and letters are virtuous conditions, and they accord with virtue [Stobaeus]
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 2. Duty
For Stoics, obligations are determined by social role [Taylor,R]
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 1. A People / a. Human distinctiveness
Man is distinguished by knowing conditional truths, because impressions are connected [Long]
24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 3. Constitutions
Stoics favour a mixture of democracy, monarchy and aristocracy [Diog. Laertius]
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 1. Ideology
The Stoics saw the whole world as a city [Long]
The best government blends democracy, monarchy and aristocracy [Diog. Laertius]
25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 2. The Law / c. Natural law
Stoics originated the concept of natural law, as agreed correct reasoning [Annas]
25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 4. Suicide
Stoics say a wise man will commit suicide if he has a good enough reason [Diog. Laertius]
Suicide is reasonable, for one's country or friends, or because of very bad health [Diog. Laertius]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 1. Nature
Stoic 'nature' is deterministic, physical and teleological [Annas]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 5. Infinite in Nature
Unlike Epicurus, Stoics distinguish the Whole from the All, with the latter including the void [Sext.Empiricus]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism
The cosmos has two elements - passive matter, and active cause (or reason) which shapes it [Seneca]
27. Natural Reality / E. Cosmology / 2. Eternal Universe
The cosmos is regularly consumed and reorganised by the primary fire [Aristocles]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
Early Stoics called the logos 'god', meaning not a being, but the principle of the universe
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 2. Pantheism
Stoics say god is matter, or an inseparable quality of it, or is the power within it [Chalcidius]
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 2. Immortality / a. Immortality
Virtuous souls endure till the end, foolish souls for a short time, animal souls not at all [Eusebius]
Stoics say virtuous souls last till everything ends in fire, but foolish ones fade away