The book argues that the theological motifs in Stoic philosophy are pivotal to our understanding of Stoic ethics. Part One offers an introductory overview of the religious world view of the Stoics. Part Two examines the Stoic characterizations of virtue and the virtues. Part Three deals with Stoic theories of how human beings can become virtuous. Part Four studies the practices of Stoic ethics. It shows inter alia how the Chrysippean table of virtues is still an (unacknowledged) influence behind Panaetius’ (...) matrix of kathekonta, but how little agreement on the practical implications of their virtue ethics the Stoics could reach. The book suggests that the identity over time and cohesion of the Stoic school depended less on a commitment to the school founder’s memory and writings than on a common core of shared theological principles. (shrink)
In Western public discourse there is a long tradition of opposing secular and religious values. In consequence, religion has been increasingly excluded from the public domain and relegated to the realm of personal motivation. From different perspectives, the present collection of essays shows that religion still has an important role to play in the public domain. In exploring the possibility of a rapprochement between religious and secular values, the contributions to this volume offer important insights for ongoing debates on the (...) question whether Western, and particularly European, democracies have entered a ‘postsecular’ phase. (shrink)
ein späteres Konstrukt. Dementsprechend sei es, wenn schon kein Willensbegriff bei Aristoteles vorliege, trivialerweise unmöglich, bei Aristoteles eine Willensfreiheit zu entdecken.2 Dieser Einwand könnte sich etwa, wie A. Dihle es getan hat, ...
Was ist der Mensch? Das ist eine der "großen" philosophischen Fragen, und immer wieder werden bei der Beantwortung dieser Frage antike Denker zitiert. Das vorliegende Buch ist die erste Gesamtdarstellung des anthropologischen Denkens in der Antike. In fünfzehn Beiträgen behandelt der Band alle wichtigen antiken Philosophen und Philosophenschulen, von den Vorsokratikern bis zu Augustinus. Bewusst schaut der Band dabei über die Grenzen dessen hinaus, was wir heute "Philosophie" nennen, und wendet sich auch Denkern aus den Gebieten der antiken Literatur, Theologie (...) und Medizin zu. Der Band richtet sich an Philosophen und Altphilologen ebenso wie Historiker und Theologen. Die Beiträge eignen sich auch als Einführung in die jeweiligen Autoren und Schulen für Studierende und interessierte Leser aus anderen Disziplinen. Speziell für diesen Leserkreis liefern die Beiträge Hinweise für die weitere Lektüre. (publisher) -/- Mit Beiträgen von Ursula Bittrich, Yves Bossart, Jan N. Bremmer, Thomas Buchheim, Christoph Horn, Ludger Jansen, Christoph Jedan, Geurt Henk van Kooten, Zbigniew Nerczuk, Matthias Perkams, Joachim Söder, Niko Strobach, Hartmut Westermann und Jula Wildberger. (shrink)
The article attempts to put the undervalued cultural phenomenon of offering comfort by means of persuasive speech acts (‘arguments’) on the research agenda of the human¬ities. The article proceeds in four steps. First, it defines ‘argumentative consolation’. Second, it argues that there has been a broad overlap of ancient philosophical and Christian modes of argumentative consolation. Third, it would be misguided to attribute today’s uneasiness with argumentative consolation to a process of ‘secularization’; the uneasiness stems from a radicalized intensification of (...) life that is played out against the possibility of consolation in the face of death. Fourth, the ensuing emphasis on the notions of desires, plans and projects to measure the completeness of a life is self-defeating. The article argues the continued relevance of pre-modern argumentative consolation that identified virtue as the key factor in the completeness of a biography. (shrink)
The article argues that frequently-voiced critiques of Rawls’s political liberalism have been misguided, because the ignore the extent to which Rawls takes his inspiration from a particular historical experience, namely that of the USA. The article suggests that a better model to accommodate the European historical experience would be a ‘symbolic’ presence of religion in public political argument: In a situation of world-view pluralism, politicians are well advised to show how the values and coercive laws they promote can be derived (...) from within one or a number of) particular religious traditions. Such attempts will be particularly valuable where they are symbolic, in the sense that they are undertaken by politicians who do not themselves belong to the religious tradition(s) in question. (shrink)
The position of Socrates in Plato’s earlier dialogues is often seen as an anticipation of contemporary political theories. This article takes issue with the claim that Socrates anticipated modern theories of deliberative democracy. It examines three early Platonic dialogues and argues that the Socrates presented in the dialogues is actually far more dogmatic in ethical as well as religious matters than such annexations of Socrates can acknowledge. Furthermore, Socrates does not develop a theory that would support Athenian democracy. Although politically (...) inactive within the Athenian political framework, Socrates is nonetheless depicted in the Gorgias as formulating an “ethical” view of politics. According to this conception, true politics is always virtue‑ oriented. It is a matter of improving the characters of one’s fellow citizens, and is detached from the question of how political power should be distributed. Socrates’ political outlook is echoed in several Hellenistic philosophical schools, the Stoics in particular. (shrink)
It is often assumed that a single, diachronically persistent motif of imitating god can be identifijied in Ancient philosophy and early Christianity. The present article takes issue with this assumption and seeks to establish the conceptual framework for a more sophisticated discussion of homoiôsis. The article identifijies eight crucial junctures at which homoiôsis stories can diverge. For all the variance of homoiôsis narratives, the category of imitation of the divine remains a useful analytical tool. The article supports this claim by (...) a comparison of Platonic and Stoic narratives of homoiôsis. It established their distinctness and shows how the rhetoric of imitating the divine offfers important linguistic markers that allow us to trace the transgressive potential of (ancient) theologies. (shrink)