Practical Reasoning in Stoic Ethics

Michael Andrew Vazquez, University of Pennsylvania


The aim of Stoic practical wisdom is to live in agreement with nature. That is the goal, but how does a Stoic get there? That is, how does a Stoic figure out what she ought to do? Deliberative guidance is one of the most foundational aims of ethical theory, but the deeper we look at core Stoic doctrines—about virtue, selection, value, and appropriate action—the further we seem to get from satisfying this desideratum. In this dissertation I address this problem. By foregrounding issues in Stoic value theory, I offer a novel interpretation of Stoic practical reasoning that links up with all aspects of their philosophy, including their providential and physicalist picture of the world. What emerges is an unparalleled view in the history of ethics that is instructive both for our understanding of ancient eudaimonism and for contemporary debates in ethical theory.

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Recommended Citation

Vazquez, Michael Andrew, "Practical Reasoning in Stoic Ethics" (2020). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI27960127.