The Risk in the Educational Strategy of Seneca

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To his pupil Nero and to Lucilius (friend and, as metonymy, representative of the entire mankind), Seneca testifies to his pedagogic vocation. With conviction he applies himself to demonstrate the perfect correspondence between the Stoic doctrine and the edu¬cational strategy that he proposes. Firstly, the reciprocity of the relationship between educator and pupil appears fundamental; both further their individual knowledge. Secondly, the limitations of an ethical precept that is not anchored in the intensity and concreteness of human life becomes clearly apparent. Furthermore, it brings to question the weakness of a world vision not inspired by an innovative and original path. The starting point is therefore a rigorous examination of conscience to ultimately reach the revolutionary experience of risk in the moment of the last decision. In the name of truth the wise man must have the courage to embrace fate in order to really understand who he is (in a process of oikeiosis both as experience and as target), and he must instil in his pupils the courage to take risks along their own independent journey. In so doing, self-scrutiny and politics can become intertwined. It is herein that the educator’s risk and responsibilities lie.
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Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism.Engberg-Pedersen, Troels & Inwood, Brad

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