A Puzzle in Stoic Ethics

Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 24:303-40 (2003)
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Abstract

It is very difficult to get a clear picture of how the Stoic is supposed to deliberate. This paper considers a number of possible pictures, which cover such a wide range of options that some look Kantian and others utilitarian. Each has some textual support but is also unworkable in certain ways: there seem to be genuine and unresolved conflicts at the heart of Stoic ethics. And these are apparently due not to developmental changes within the school, but to the Stoics’ having adopted implicitly incompatible solutions in response to different philosophical challenges.

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Rachel Barney
University of Toronto, St. George

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