Stoics reader

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The Stoics Reader
Selected Writings and Testimonia

Translated, with Introduction, by Brad Inwood and Lloyd P. Gerson

The Stoics Reader


The Stoics Reader
Selected Writings and Testimonia

Translated, with Introduction, by

Brad Inwood

Lloyd P. Gerson

Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
Indianapolis/Cambridge iii

Copyright © 2008 by Hackett Publishing Company,Inc. All rights reserved

14 13 12 11 10 09 08


For further information, please address: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. P.O. Box 44937 Indianapolis, IN 46244-0937 w w Cover design by Listenberger Design and Associates Text design based on a design by Dan Kirklin Composition by William Hartman Printed at Edwards Brothers, Inc. Library of CongressCataloging-in-Publication Data The stoics reader: selected writings and testimonia / translated, with introduction by Brad Inwood and Lloyd P. Gerson. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13: 978-0-87220-952-7 (pbk.) ISBN-13: 978-0-87220-953-4 (cloth) 1. Stoics. I. Inwood, Brad. II. Gerson, Lloyd P. B528.S6825 2008 188—dc22 2008016794 eISBN 978-1-60384-047-7


PrefaceIntroduction Abbreviations and Conventions Lives of the Stoics (Zeno, Ariston, Herillus, Cleanthes, Sphaerus, Chrysippus) On Philosophy Logic and Theory of Knowledge Perception, Knowledge, and Skeptical Attack The Stoic-Academic Debate and Cicero’s Testimony Conceptions and Rationality Physics Theology Bodily and Non-bodily Realities Structures and Powers The Soul Fate Ethics The General Account inDiogenes Laërtius The Account Preserved by Stobaeus The Account in Cicero On Goals Other Evidence for Stoic Ethics Passions and the Goal: Criticism within the Stoic School and the Evidence of Galen A Critique from the Academic-Peripatetic Point of View Pyrrhonist Critique of Basic Ethical Concepts

vii x xvi

1 8 11 25 38 47 51 58 85 92 97 101 113 113 124 151 157 164 170 172



Later Stoic Ethics: A Sampler Musonius Rufus Seneca Epictetus Glossary Philosophers and Philosophical Sources Index of Passages Translated Index

177 177 185 195 206 212 216 220


We are delighted that Hackett Publishing Company asked us to produce The Stoics Reader on the model of The Epicurus Reader. This book bears roughly the same relationship to Hellenistic Philosophy:Introductory Readings, Second Edition, as that one did. To a great extent, we have reproduced and rearranged the texts from the Stoicism section of that book and made only a few improvements and corrections to the original translations. We have also taken the opportunity to consolidate related texts into larger, more continuous selections, a feature of our original plan that has proven to be usefulto students. We have also added material originally appearing in the Skepticism section of Hellenistic Philosophy, where the skeptical attack on Stoicism provides unique or particularly good evidence for Stoic theory; naturally, this material has been regrouped and occasionally expanded as well. Further, we have added a modest amount of wholly new material, which falls into two parts. The evidencefor two post-Chrysippean Stoics, Panaetius and Posidonius, has been enhanced, though it is of course by no means adequate to give a full picture of their thought any more than the rest of our texts provide a full picture of earlier Stoicism. These two thinkers were treated rather stingily in the book as we first conceived it, because the generally prevailing view in the early 1980s was that theyrepresented a quite distinct period in the history of the school, one that would inappropriately complicate the picture of early Stoicism that we aimed to provide. But research over the past twenty-five years has convinced us that the distinctiveness of what used to be called ‘middle Stoicism’ was seriously overstated, and it makes more sense now to regard Panaetius and Posidonius as part of the...