free ebooks

A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

The result of this gives us either STOICISM


propounded by the Sophists,

was at length, after numerous struggles, victorious, though its triumph was gained upon the ruins of the Grecian civil and artistic life; the individual has become emancipated, the subject is no longer to be given up to the objective world, the liberated subjectivity must now be perfected and satisfied. This process of development is seen in the post-Aristotelian philosophy, though it finds its conditioning cause in the character of the preceding philosophical strivings. The dualism which formed the chief want of the systems both of Plato and Aristotle, has forced itself upon our attention at every step. The attempt which had been made, with the greatest expenditure of which the Grecian mind was capable, to refer back to one ultimate ground both subject and object, mind and matter, had produced no satisfactory result; and these two oppositions, around which all previous philosophy had struggled in vain, still remained disconnected. Wearied with the fruitless attempts at mediation, the subject now breaks with the objective world. Its attention is directed towards itself in its own self-consciousness. The result of this gives us either STOICISM, where the moral subject appears in the self-sufficiency of the sage to whom every external good and every objective work is indifferent, and who finds a good only in a moral activity; or EPICUREANISM, where the subject delights itself in the inner feeling of pleasure and the calm repose of a satisfied heart, enjoying the present and the
past, and never fearing the future while it sees in the objective world only a means by which it can utter itself; or, again, Scepticism, where the subject, doubting and rejecting all objective truth and science, appears in the apathy of the Sceptic, who has broken both theoretically and practically with the objective world. In fine, NEW-PLATONISM, the last of the ancient philosophical systems, bears this same character of subjectivity, for this whole system turns upon the exaltation of the subject to the absolute, and wherever it speculates respecting God and his relation to man, it is alone in order to establish the progressive transition from the absolute object to the human personality. The ruling principle in it all is the interest of the subjectivity, and the fact that in this system there are numerous objective determinations, is only because the subject has become absolute.

SECTION XVII.

STOICISM.

Zeno, of Cittium, a city of Cyprus, an elder contemporary of Antigonus Gonatas, king of Macedon, is generally given as the founder of the Stoical school. Deprived of his property by shipwreck, he took refuge in philosophy, incited also by an inner bias to such pursuits. He at first became a disciple of the Cynic Crateas, then of Stilpo, one of the Megarians, and lastly he betook himself to the Academy, where he heard the lessons of Xenocrates and Polemo. Hence the eclectic character of his teaching. It has in fact been charged against him, that differing but little if at all from the earlier schools, he attempted to form a school of his own, with a system wherein he had changed nothing but names. He opened a school at Athens, in the "variegated porch," so called from the paintings of Polygnotus, with which it was adorned, whence his adherents received the name of "philosophers of the porch" (Stoics). Zeno is said to have presided over his school for fifty-eight years, and at a very advanced age to have put an end to his existence. He is praised for the temperance and the austerity of his habits, while his abstemiousness


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us