In John Sellars (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Stoic Tradition. Routledge. pp. 56-69 (2016)

Authors
Abstract
Seneca asserts in Letter 121 that we mature by exercising self-care as we pass through successive psychosomatic “constitutions.” These are babyhood (infantia), childhood (pueritia), adolescence (adulescentia), and young adulthood (iuventus). The self-care described by Seneca is 'self-affiliation' (oikeiōsis, conciliatio) the linchpin of the Stoic ethical system, which defines living well as living in harmony with nature, posits that altruism develops from self-interest, and allows that pleasure and pain are indicators of well-being while denying that happiness consists in pleasure and that pain is misery. Augustine divides the narrative of his own development into the stages of babyhood (infantia), childhood (pueritia), adolescence (adulescentia), and young adulthood (iuventus) in the Confessions, a text wherein he claims familiarity with more than a few works of Seneca (Conf. 5.6.11). Furthermore, he had access to Stoic accounts of affiliation not only in Seneca’s Letter 121, but also in Cicero’s On Goals, and in non-extant sources of Stoic ethical theory. After pointing out that Augustine endorsed the notion of self-affiliation outside of the Confessions, I raise the question of whether he also makes the notion of affiliation thematic in his philosophical autobiography. I argue that he does indeed present himself and some of his primary relationships – with his mother and his long-term girlfriend – in terms of personal and social oikeiōsis. In addition, his self-critiques in the early books of the Confessions can be more fully understood if compared to Stoic developmental theory. He depicts himself as failing to progress intellectually, socially, and morally: although he passed through the successive constitutions, becoming physically larger and cognitively capable, he did not mature correctly by the standards of his Stoic sources.
Keywords oikeiōsis  self-affiliation  Stoic developmental theory  Confessions  Stoic proper functions (kathēkonta)  ethics of family  Augustine  Confessions  Stoic right actions (katorthōmata)  self-awareness
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation.Richard Sorabji - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):245-247.
Following Nature: A Study in Stoic Ethics.Gisela Striker - 1991 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 9:1-73.

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reservation in Stoic Ethics.Tad Brennan - 2000 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 82 (2):149-177.
Logic: The Stoics (Part Two).Susanne Bobzien - 1999 - In Keimpe Algra, Jonathan Barnes & et al (eds.), The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
Paul and Augustine's retrospective self : The relevance of Epistula XXII.Felix Baffour Asiedu - 2001 - Revue d' Etudes Augustiniennes Et Patristiques 47 (1):145-164.
Stoic Naturalism, Rationalism, and Ecology.William O. Stephens - 1994 - Environmental Ethics 16 (3):275-286.
A Puzzle in Stoic Ethics.Rachel Barney - 2003 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 24:303-40.
Stoic Gunk.Daniel P. Nolan - 2006 - Phronesis 51 (2):162-183.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-06-27

Total views
1,637 ( #2,914 of 2,498,211 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
322 ( #1,431 of 2,498,211 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes