FILO 1396B Happiness and the Care of the Self in Hellenistic Philosophy
All ancient philosophy since Socrates bases its ethics on a conception of happiness or of the good life, and while Plato and Aristotle have presented the accounts of these themes best known to us, their philosophical successors, especially the Epicureans and Stoics, developed these themes in novel ways and articulated them with exceptional sophistication. This class provideS an introduction to Epicurean and Stoic philosophy starting from their conceptions of human happiness and in particular of the care of the self. For explicit in these philosophers was the idea that the good and ethical life (the life of virtue) was attainable through a series of philosophical practices and techniques whose object was the cultivation of the self or character. Through extensive readings in the texts of both philosophical schools, we will examine these themes as are they are presented in the context of the stoic and epicurean philosophical systems.
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