The Stoic Tradition Essay

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The Stoic Tradition

In the approximate year of 320 B.C., one could be walking down the street with a high probability of passing a house where several men would be gathered out on the porch. It is likely that this was a gathering of individuals discussing philosophy. The gatherings became a more common occurrence, and since they would take place out on the porches, the school of philosophy derived from them takes its name from the Greek stoa, or porch. The ideology of that movement is henceforth known as Stoicism. Also, the Stoics have come to use the statement made by Socrates as the cornerstone of their judgments, being that "no harm can come to a good man." However, this concept is taken a bit further by the Stoics, as they …show more content…

This is also the place where Socrates and Plato are heard in the endeavor towards human excellence by means of focusing on the actions of the self as opposed to the actions of others, which cannot be controlled.

Marcus Aurelius wrote that one is to "let no action be done at random, or in any other way than in accordance with the principle which perfects the art," (Aurelius 518). This statement reinforces the notion of following a trajectory. By performing actions with the intention of becoming a better human being, one is following the personal trajectory towards human excellence. This intention in every action undertaken does not make it random, and keeping on course towards self-improvement causes the action in particular to be one which perfects the art. The action becomes an action of being in accordance with the principles of nature, and thus reinforces the venture towards human excellence perpetually. So in acting to improve, one is improving the actions that help to improve in a self-propagating cycle.

Furthermore, following nature is remaining in a state of calm and peaceful apathy in response to the stressing events of life. Epictetus writes,

Remember that you ought to behave in life as you would at a banquet. As something is being passed around it comes to you; stretch out your hand and take a portion of it politely. It passes on; do not detain it. Or it has not come to you yet; do not project your desire to meet it, but wait

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