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Paper Information

Journal:   ETHICS   summer 2017 , Volume 7 , Number 26 (48) ; Page(s) 63 To 85.

The Structure of Man and Universe, and Its Role in Achieving Moral Perfection: The Stoics and Spinoza

The Stoic thought has been very influential on Western philosophy. The influence has been very decisive on the modern era, i. e. 16th to 18th centuries. In the following essay I analyzed and compared the ethical system of the Stoics and that of Spinoza seeking to explain the relationship between them. The pattern of Stoic-Spinozan ethical thought is importantly different from the pattern of Aristotelian ethical thought (which had a great impact on the Ethics of the Islamic era). There is a close bond between Aristotelians ethics and theoretical principles but such principles are not ultimately the foundations of morality. But ethics from the Stoics viewpoint is vehemently grounded on logic and physics. Ethics, in their view, was the most important part of philosophy, and other philosophical discussions are bases or mere preliminaries of Ethics. In the same vein, Spinoza, as it is obvious from the title and structure of his book, Ethics, . has discussed Metaphysics as the basis of Ethics. Delving into Stoic-Spinozan Ethics brings us to the conclusion that moral virtue and perfection necessitates deep knowledge of Man and Universe. Virtuous man is wise and therefore has stronger mental capabilities comparing to other individuals. On one hand, Virtuous man is positively active and some submissive feelings such as sorrow, fear, depression, disillusionment, on the other hand, are signs of weakness and inability. Virtuous man is not beset by these feelings. Therefore virtue is power. This inner power affects outer power.
Keyword(s): Stoic ethics,ethics of Spinoza,ethical virtue,deep knowledge of the Man and universe,rational man,activity,submissiveness,power
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