Seneca - Seneca: Roman writer Turn away form the Greek...

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Seneca: Roman writer Turn away form the Greek city-state. Roman world of the first century AD. Different world than that of Plato and Aristotle. Writing in an age of Empire, in which the city-state has been eclipsed. Roman empire was a kind of world state, so enormous that it seemed to take over the world. End to Greek experiment in self-rule. No longer, what does it mean to be a virtuous citizen or create a virtuous city-state. What does it mean for an individual to live in empire for which the duties of the citizen is far less clear and obvious and how one should behave is much more in question. Poses question how individual is to navigate their way through a large empire. Political rule was largely arbitrary. Time of great political turmoil. Horizon in which Seneca is attempting to make sense out of. Three different philosophical answers to the chaos of the Roman Empire. Platonic school has broken up and has fragmented into different competing traditions. - Ephicurians : founded by Ephicurus. Lived from 342 to 270BC. Ephicurians argued that pleasure was the only good and pain was the only evil. Happy man is one who has many pleasures and few pains. Argued for a temporary draw from political life. State was a necessary evil, did not see it as in indispensable element of human self-development. They are like Plato with an emphasis on pleasure but without the elaborate political theory. - Cynicism: Cynics were radical. Many argue we are cynics. Cynics rejected the conventional goods of the city-state, everything Aristotle stood for. Annihilates in some sense. Argued for a return to nature, like the Romantics in the 1800s. Reject mainstream, middle class values. Outrageous. Argued that they were citizens of the world. Saw the community that they belong to as being that of the world. Particularly communities were arbitrary conventions. Arbitrary borders. Cynic comes form this philosophical movement. - Seneca: Stoicism- rooted in cynicism rejection of convention, but did not reject politics. Eventually became dominant philosophy/ political philosophy of the Roman Empire. Essentially trying to describe how we can live effectively under empire, under an autocratic regime, in an unstable, terrifying society. Seneca
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Seneca - Seneca: Roman writer Turn away form the Greek...

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