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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 2, Issue 3, 2018
Ancient Greek Philosophy: Hellenistic Philosophy

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1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Dimitrios Dentsoras Intermediate and Perfect Appropriate Actions in Stoicism
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The essay examines the Stoic notion of appropriate actions (καθήκοντα), focusing on the relationship between the perfectly appropriate actions of the virtuous person (the Stoic κατορθώματα) and “intermediate appropriate actions” (καθήκοντα μέσα). I present some of the philosophical motivations behind the general Stoic theory of καθήκοντα, and argue against the common interpretation of μέσα καθήκοντα as action types that make no reference to the manner of their performance, and of κατορθώματα as μέσα καθήκοντα that are rightly performed by an agent with a virtuous disposition. Instead, I claim that the different types of καθήκοντα should be distinguished with reference to the kinds of things they aim at, rather than the manner in which they are performed. So, μέσα καθήκοντα should be understood as actions aiming at natural advantages that are indifferent, and κατορθώματα as actions aiming at the only true good, i.e., virtue. I discuss some of the advantages of the alternative view and outline the account of virtuous motivation that arises from it.
2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Panos Eliopoulos Passions and Individual Responsibility in Seneca
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For Seneca passions are not just bad judgments that need to be defeated. Even though he generally agrees with Chrysippus on the matter of the ontology of passions, Seneca differentiates mainly in his emphasis that passions are the reason why man leads an inauthentic, unhappy and undignified life. The Roman philosopher employs practical techniques that refer to the ordinary man, the man who rationally desires to change his merely-being into well-being. But that action requires the energetic engagement of the individual and the admittance of his particular responsibility. The role of individuality is particularly stressed, especially on the premises that man needs to make this constant and conscious effort to help himself, and to cure his own soul, often with the aid of others who share the same path. Under this prism, the treatment of passions leads to a culmination where man is not only bound to achieve his ontological excellence, but also to relieve his soul from the traumas of passions and to connect himself with the moral and existential safety that the presence of “recta ratio” guarantees. Seneca in De Ira defines passion as the result of an ‘impetus’, an horme, which lacks self-control and is closed to reason and counsel. As such, a passion makes the soul unfit to know the right and the true. In such a condition, man loses contact with the firm cognitive criteria that would allow him this knowledge and would ensure a eudaemonistic living “secundum naturam”. Although Seneca is convinced that the stoic teaching should address literally everyone in order to ameliorate one’s life and make it authentic and right, he upholds that it is better to totally exclude passions from the soul than try to control them. That gives certain gravity to the recognition that virtue, although it potentially belongs to every human being, is an absolute good, the only good that can be attained. But virtue, through this condition of emancipation from passion and of correction, is not an idealistic situation. Virtue is necessary, because only virtue can save man from leading an unhappy life, since it is the crucial prerequisite for the life of a rational and conscientious being.
3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Tristán Fita The Socratic Aporia in Ancient Skepticism
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The study of the figure of Socrates, although infinite, is necessary not only for understanding the work of Plato and the Platonists of every time, where it is a fundamental piece, but also for the study of the so called “Socratics” and their influence during the Hellenistic period. In this paper, we will try to define these most prominent ‘tools’, “ideas” or ‘qualities’ about which we can say - without fear or ‘trembling’ - that skepticism, especially academic skepticism, was inherited by the philosophy of the historical person, Socrates. Or rather, what kind of simple connections can be set between the “gadfly” of Athens and the late skeptics? We will try to show how there are close resemblances in the core of these philosophers’ conceptions, even though their way of philosophizing leads them to different conclusions and different stances.
4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Laura Liliana Gómez Espíndola Chrysippean Theory of Co-fated Events
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In this paper, I will deal with the Chrysippean theory of co-fated events. In order to do so, in the first part, I will present Chysippus’ simile of the dog tied to a car and its fatalistic implications. In the second part, I will present the ancient critique known as lazy argument (ἀργὸς λόγος). In the end, I will propose a new interpretation of Chrysippus’s distinction of fated and co-fated events in order to re-examine how he answered this critique. This Chrysippean theory shows how relevant philosophical understanding of fate is in order to avoid fatalism, and safeguard the value of our personal efforts and practical thought.
5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Robert Heller Tensile Motion, Time and Recurrence in Stoicism
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The Stoic theory of recurrence is founded on Stoic biological and cosmological doctrines. This paper argues that these connections are far more elaborate and well-determined than generally assumed. Evidence from the Stoic theory of the motion of pneuma is brought to bear and a rival geometric model of time is supported against the standard linear and circular models supported by Salles and Long. The new ‘torus model’ is inspired by Alexander of Aphrodisias’ inquisitive questioning of what form the peculiar motion of pneuma may possibly have and based on the evidence in which the Stoics discuss the simultaneous inward/outward motion of pneuma. A new perspective is offered as to what form this motion may take, which ultimately offers an insight into the mechanics of recurrence as also some of the long-standing paradoxes of recurrence.
6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Archontissa Kokotsaki Physical Theories of the Soul: Democritus, Epicurus, Lucretius
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The Epicurean philosophy is based upon the theory of Democritus, who believed that everything is composed of ‘atoms’, physically but not geometrically indivisible, and lie in a void. Democritus paid a great deal of attention to the structure of the human body, the noblest part of which is considered to be the soul. These all-pervading souls - atoms perform in different functions. In this case, Epicurus and his followers believed that the soul, just like the body, was somehow material, consisting of atoms as well. The body by keeping soul-atoms together without much dispersion allows them to vibrate with the motions that generate sensations. Lucretius also describes the atomic theory in his De rerum natura and observes the materiality of the soul. At last, Epicurean “pleasure” is the greatest good, but the one and only way to attain such pleasure is living modestly and be of the limits of one’s desires. This can lead everyone to attain a state of equanimity (ataraxia) and freedom from fear of death, as well as absence of body pain (aponoia). The combination of these two states is supposed to constitute happiness in its highest form.
7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Tomohiko Kondo The Birth of Stoic Freedom from Plato’s Republic
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This paper will show how the Stoic Chrysippus appropriated Plato’s Republic by picking up the Platonic definition of justice as ‘doing one’s own’ (ta hautou prattein) and by applying it to the Stoic concept of freedom as ‘the authority of self-action’ (exousia autopragias). I argue, based on the analysis of Plutarch’s De Stoicorum repugnantiis 1043A-B - and other related sources - that Chrysippus in his On ways of life, employed the concept of freedom and explicated it in terms of ‘autopragia’ or ‘ta hautou prattein’. He did so by showing that, given the correct understanding of freedom, not only life of leisure, but also the active life of politics can be said to lead to freedom. Chrysippus’ strategy of reading Plato’s texts will be seen as a kind of appropriation used to extract the best from them by making certain conceptual adjustments; an approach which he must have thought necessary to achieve a unified and consistent theory. Accordingly, he re-interpreted the Platonic phrase ‘ta hautou prattein’ along with terms, such as: ‘uninvolved’ (apragmōn), ‘to will’ (boulesthai), and the ‘authority’ (exousia). Chrysippus, in extracting the Stoic concept of freedom from Plato’s Republic, took particular care to overcome the introverted and escapist tendency, lurking therein by radically re-reading the Platonic texts.
8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Andityas Soares de Moura Costa Matos, Marina Palmieri Stoicism is Not a Proto-Christianity
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This paper intends to discuss the relations between Stoicism and Christianity, demonstrating that the approach between both doctrines is artificial and moved by ideological purposes. Firstly, some conceptions, which tend to unify Stoicism and Christianity, will be shown. In the second part of the article, those positions are criticized, and Stoicism shall be redirected to its philosophical patterns.
9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Pedro Savaget Nascimento The Influence of Stoic Language Theory on Classical Roman Law
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This paper will discuss the insertion of the Stoic dialectic or, more exactly, the differentiation between the signifier and signified of Stoic language theory, regarding the hermeneutics of words in the Roman Law. The development and expansion of Roman territories allowed the jurists to be in close contact with the Hellenistic philosophical systems, which represented a moment of historic cleavage whose consequences have been reflecting in the contemporary world: the juridical thinking, previously characterized by excessive rigor, started realizing its fallibility, becoming epistemologically more sophisticated and open to interconnecting with knowledge produced by other cultures. The juridical argument of Romans reached its peak of efficacy on the threshold of practicality and rationality inherited from the Greeks, however, without losing its original characteristics of simplicity and concision.
10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Paulo Fernando Tadeu Ferreira A Note on τὸ παρ’ ἡμᾶς and τὸ ἐφ’ ἡμῖν in Chrysippus
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The present paper draws a contrast between the notions of τὸ παρ’ ἡμᾶς and τὸ ἐφ’ ἡμῖν to the effect that, according to Chrysippus, each has a different role to play and different requirements to meet, the former being especially tailored to suit the exigencies of praise and blame taken as exhortations, the latter those of desert and justice in praising and blaming as well as honoring and punishing.
11. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Olga Theodorou Epicureanism of Pierre Gassendi
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Pierre Gassend, or, as he is widely known, Gassendi, was a French materialist philosopher, physicist, astronomer, theologian and Catholic priest. He was the son of Antoine Gassend2 and Françoise Fabry, and was born on January 22nd in 1592 in Champtercier, a village of Provence, and died on October 24th in 1655 in Paris. He received his first education in the cities Digne and Riez and by the age of twelve (1604) he began his initiation to Catholicism. He belonged to the Franciscan Order.3 The continuation of his formal education was supported by the Catholic Church as an aspect of his preparation for priesthood.4 He studied Aristotelian philosophy and Catholic theology for the next eight years (1604-1611) at the College of Aix in Provence. Pierre Gassendi is typically remembered for introducing the ancient atomic philosophy of Epicurus in 17th century European thought. Gassendi aspired to articulate a new philosophy of nature, in order to replace Aristotelianism, which had been prominent in the context of scholastic thought for centuries, and had constituted the foundation of physics as well as moral philosophy. Gassendi was a priest and an ardent follower of the new scientific methodology of empiricism and of experimental trial. He devoted his life’s work to bringing together the Christian doctrines with the principles of the new science. Gassendi, along with Francis Bacon and Descartes, was one of the most significant figures who exerted influence on the development of science and mechanistic philosophy in the second half of the 17th century, especially in England. His views can be seen throughout the summary of Francois Bernier (1678/84), a work that emphasizes the atomic views, and materialistic tendencies, of philosophical thought. Gassendi’s adapted Epicurean philosophy spread to Britain with Opera Omnia and the Abregé of Bernier, and also due to Walter Charleton, who published a modified English translation of parts of Animadversiones in 1648. There was also a group of enthusiastic empiricists, who belonged to the circle of Newcastle, as well as a small Epicurean club whose members were among others Kenelm Digby and Nathaniel Highmore. All of the above saw a deep and pervasive influence of Gassendi’s views on British thought. His influence is seen in the writings of major thinkers, such as Boyle, Locke, Hobbes, Newton, Hume, Reid, and in the early works of Leibniz. The multi-dimensional personality of Gassendi, as a pastor, humanist and physical philosopher, accords with a moral and the physical universe in which the Creator God of the Christian faith holds a prominent role. He has been characterized by many researchers as the founder of mechanical philosophy, and as the successor of humanistic historiography. He was a defender of atomic theory, which was flourishing in the second half of 17th century, and also inspired Locke, one of the major proponents of moral theory. Gassendi’s contribution in moral philosophy is unexceptionable; his notions of freedom and pleasure formed the basis of the liberal tradition of late 17th and 18th centuries.
12. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Miriam van Reijen Stoic Philosophy as Inquiry and a Way of Life in the 21st Century
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Stoic philosophy and, above all, one sentence of Epictetus (55- 135), still is very important as a philosophical inquiry and a happy way of life. Albert Ellis’ wrote about his rational emotive therapy (RET) in the 20th century that he borrowed from philosophy: especially from the Stoics. My claim is that I restore the philosophy in his method. The A(ctivating situation) - B(elief) - C(onsequences) refer to the sentence of the stoic Epictetus: Things themselves or other people (A) don’t hurt (C) us; it is how we view (B) these things. The insight (D) follows another sentence of Epictetus: happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: some things are within our control, and some things are not. Keep your attention focused entirely on what you can do, and accept all other things. To distinguish between the one and the other, philosophy can help you, and practicing this is, is the true art of living. It is a misunderstanding that Stoic philosophy makes passive, because it concerns only the acceptance of what you cannot change. It makes you active, concerning the things that are under your control.
13. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Christos Yapijakis Ethical Teachings of Epicurus Based on Human Naturein the Light of Biological Psychology
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Epicurus observed nature with the aim to achieve serenity and a blissful life. This article discusses current knowledge, regarding the human brain in comparison to Epicurus’ understanding of human nature. The human brain actually consists of three interconnected brains that arose during evolution: the ‘reptilian brain’ (instincts), the ‘mammalian brain’ (emotions) and ‘the primate brain’ (cognitive functions). The philosopher emphasized on the fact that the basic needs of humans lay in instincts, and he determined the purpose of human life on emotional grounds and considered prudence as the supreme agent of selection of physical needs and of satisfaction and preserva-tion of emotional balance through virtue and friendship.
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14. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Ignacio Leyra Pajón Los imperceptibles y la ‘οὐκ ἀντιμαρτύρησις’ en la lógica Epicúrea de validación del conocimiento
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La diferenciación entre entidades observables e inobservables y su diversa caracterización ontológica es una de las cuestiones principales relacionadas con la comprensión del papel y alcance de las teorías científicas con las que analizamos y explicamos el mundo. Una gran parte de la teorización que la filosofía de la ciencia ha llevado a cabo sobre estas cuestiones se debe a la inevitable participación de entidades demasiado pequeñas (o grandes) para ser apreciadas por los sentidos humanos en casi todas las teorías fundamentales de la mayoría de las ciencias. El objetivo de esta ponencia es señalar el papel que este tipo de entidades tiene en la teoría del conocimiento propia de la filosofía de Epicuro, expuesta en la Carta a Heródoto. Para ello, trataremos de poner en relación este tipo de entidades con la tercera de las clases de validación del conocimiento, la no-refutación (οὐκ ἀντιμαρτύρησις), que la teoría epicúrea distingue, a la luz del esquema de los modos de conocimiento que Sexto Empírico ofrece en HP, II, 97-99.
15. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Fidel Argenis Flores Quiroz El fundamento cínico de transmutar la moneda
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El presente trabajo es un intento por mostrar la importancia del oráculo délfico “transmuta la moneda”, dictado a Diógenes de Sínope y que servirá de fundamento a la llamada escuela cínica. Primero, se plantean las siguientes preguntas, ¿Qué quiere decir el oráculo referido al filósofo griego Diógenes? ¿Qué implica este revaluar la moneda? Y, finalmente, siguiendo el oráculo al igual que en la antigua Grecia ¿Existe hoy la posibilidad de esta filosofía cínica? Para dar respuesta a estas interrogantes, se establecen algunos rasgos importantes del cinismo antiguo y, sobre todo, se realiza un marcado énfasis en la practicidad vital del cinismo, para concluir que hoy, resulta menester la aparición, como en la antigua época helenística, de nuevos cínicos capaces de construir una ética práctica, vitalista y pensante.
16. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Patricio Ismael Jeria Soto El cínico y el imaginario político Griego clásico
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In relation with Aristotle’s quotation, this paper takes a view over imaginary of polis, civilization and citizen in Classical Athens and the anecdotes of Diogenes the Cynic gives us a contrast with this imaginary about social and political concepts. The paper assumes that Diogenes performs in public, space the negation of the social practices which defines the human being.
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17. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Χρυσάνθη Π. Κεχρολόγου Επικούρεια θεολογία: προς μια ανθρωπολογική αυτονομία
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Η επικούρεια θεολογία υποστηρίζει ότι, όταν ο άνθρωπος απελευθερωθεί από τις ανησυχίες και τους φόβους του προς τους θεούς («ἄφοβον ὁ θεός») θα μπορέσει να οδηγηθεί στην ηδονή και στην αταραξία που είναι το υπέρτατο αγαθό. Ο Eπίκουρος, ενώ παραδέχεται την ύπαρξη των θεών, δεν τους φοβάται. Αντίθετα τους σέβεται και τους τοποθετεί στα μετακόσμια. Κατά το φιλόσοφο οι θεοί είναι «μακάριοι, αθάνατοι και ανθρωπόμορφοι». Δεν συμμετέχουν στα συμβεβηκότα του κόσμου, οι δε εικόνες τους προέρχονται από συνεχόμενες απορροές και η συνήθης γνώση τους προέρχεται από πρωταρχικές προλήψεις. Ο «αθάνατος μάκαρ θεός» είναι ένας αντικειμενικοποιημένος επικούρειος σοφός. Η διαδικασία ακολουθεί την εξής πορεία: δεν προσπαθεί ο θεός να γίνει άνθρωπος, αλλά ο άνθρωπος να γίνει θεός («ὁμοίωσις θεῷ»). Ο Επίκουρος στην ουσία εναντιώνεται προς τους υπάρχοντες θεούς, οι οποίοι με την αυθαίρετη παρέμβασή τους υποβαθμίζουν την ανθρώπινη ζωή και την οδηγούν στην αμάθεια και στην υποτέλεια, ενώ στην πραγματικότητα ο άνθρωπος είναι το ενεργό υποκείμενο που καταλύει τον προσωπικό φόβο. Έτσι o φιλόσοφος αντιτάσσει στο υπερβατικό στοιχείο του σύμπαντος και της θρησκείας τις ανθρωπολογικές σταθερές της αυτονομίας. Εν τέλει η θεολογία του Επικούρου καθίσταται οιονεί πόλος έλξης και αναζήτησης νοήματος, ενώ αποτελεί παράλληλα «αίρεσιν βίου».
18. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Γεώργιος Σκουλάς Ανάλυση της επικούρειας φιλοσοφίας: Ποιό είναι το δίδαγμα και η αναγκαιότητά της σήμερα;
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Σκοπός του παρόντος άρθρου είναι να εστιάσει στις κύριες διαστάσεις της επικούρειας φιλοσοφίας, ώστε να μπορεί να διαγνώσει, εάν παρέχει κάποιο δίδαγμα για τη σύγχρονη κοινωνία ή όχι. Αφού μια τέτοια φιλοσοφία στην εποχή του αρχαίου φιλόσοφου δείχνει ότι δεν ήταν μονάχα μια επιστήμη, αλλά κι ένας τρόπος ζωής, θεωρείται άκρως αναγκαίο να διερευνηθεί ο τρόπος εκείνος ζωής ή η επιστήμη εκείνη κι αν πέρασε σε άλλες γενιές ή χώρες. Είχε ως τρόπος ζωής συνέχεια ή διαχρονικότητα ή όχι και τί μπόρεσε ή μπορεί να μας διδάξει σήμερα; Ως εκ τούτου δίδεται έμφαση στις θεματικές που απασχόλησαν την επικούρεια σκέψη, όπως στις επιθυμίες, στις αρετές και στον σοφό. Ο Έλληνας φιλόσοφος έδιδε μεγάλη σημασία στον σοφό, πράγμα που σημαίνει ότι διά του σώφρονος και του ενάρετου σοφού μπορεί να επιτευχθεί ο σκοπός της δικής του φιλοσοφίας καλύτερα. Έτσι, όταν γνωρίζουμε τα πλεονεκτήματα ή τις αρετές του σοφού, μας παρέχεται πολύτιμη γνώση και ικανότητα κατάλληλης ανταπόκρισης, εδραιώνοντας σταθερότητα σε εποχές που χαρακτηρίζονται από ρευστότητα και ανασφάλεια όπως ο αβέβαιος κόσμος του σήμερα. Η ρευστότητα αυτή διακρίνεται αρκετά έντονα στις μέρες μας μιας και βιώνουμε καθημερινά λεπτές και εύθραυστες διεθνείς ισορροπίες όπου η διδασκαλία για τις αρετές κυρίως του σοφού κρίνεται άκρως αναγκαία.
19. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Θεόδωρος Λ. Τσώλης H στωική αρετολογία: Φύση και κατηγοριοποίηση των αρετών κατά την αρχαία στοά
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Η στωική θεωρία περί των αρετών αποτέλεσε την πιο ολοκληρωμένη και συστηματική προσπάθεια συγκρότησης ενός ερμηνευτικού προτύπου για όλες τις λειτουργίες και τις ιδιότητες που σχετίζονταν με την ψυχολογία του ανθρώπου κατά την εμπλοκή του στις καταστάσεις του κοινωνικοπολιτικού βίου. Στη στωική διανόηση η σωστή ερμηνεία των συγκεκριμένων λειτουργιών και ιδιοτήτων συνδέεται με μία εκτεταμένη προσπάθεια παιδαγωγικής παρέμβασης στα διάφορα στάδια της ψυχολογικής και της νοητικής ωρίμασης του ανθρώπου. Η παιδαγωγική αυτή προσπάθεια είχε ως κύριο στόχο αφενός τη θέσπιση κριτηρίων για τον τρόπο αξιολόγησης των καταστάσεων του βίου και της έλλογης δράσης και αφετέρου την επίτευξη της ατομικής και της κοινωνικής ευδαιμονίας. Στο παρόν άρθρο θα επιχειρήσουμε να παρουσιάσουμε τα κυριότερα σημεία της στωικής θεωρίας περί των αρετών αναφορικώς προς: α) τη φύση και τη λειτουργία των αρετών ως γνώσεων και έξεων που δύνανται σταδιακά να εξελιχθούν σε επιστήμες και διαθέσεις της ψυχής του ανθρώπου, και β) την κατηγοριοποίηση των αρετών κατά την ορθόδοξη παράδοση της αρχαίας στοάς καθώς και το ειδικό περιεχόμενο και τη λειτουργία των αρετών που υπάγονται σε διάφορες γενικές κατηγορίες.