Reading Seneca: Stoic Philosophy at Rome

Paperback | April 17, 2008

byBrad Inwood

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Brad Inwood presents a selection of his most influential essays on the philosophy of Seneca, the Roman Stoic thinker, statesman, and tragedian of the first century AD. Including two brand-new pieces, and a helpful introduction to orient the reader, this volume will be an essential guide foranyone seeking to understand Seneca's fertile, wide-ranging thought and its impact on subsequent generations. In each of these essays Seneca is considered as a philosopher, but with as much account as possible taken of his life, his education, his intellectual and literary background, his career, and his self-presentation as an author. Seneca emerges as a discerning and well-read Stoic, with a stronginclination to think for himself in the context of an intellectual climate teeming with influences from other schools. Seneca's intellectual engagement with Platonism, Aristotelianism, and even with Epicureanism involved a wide range of substantial philosophical interests and concerns. Hisphilosophy was indeed shaped by the fact that he was a Roman, but he was a true philosopher shaped by his culture rather than a Roman writer trying his hand at philosophical themes. The highly rhetorical character of his writing must be accounted for when reading his works, and when one does so theunderlying philosophical themes stand out more clearly. While it is hard to generalize about an overall intellectual agenda or systematic philosophical method, key themes and strategies are evident. Inwood shows how Seneca's philosophical ingenium worked itself out in a fundamentally particularisticway as he pursued those aspects of Stoicism that engaged him most forcefully over his career.

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Brad Inwood presents a selection of his most influential essays on the philosophy of Seneca, the Roman Stoic thinker, statesman, and tragedian of the first century AD. Including two brand-new pieces, and a helpful introduction to orient the reader, this volume will be an essential guide foranyone seeking to understand Seneca's fertile,...

Brad Inwood is Canada Research Chair in Ancient Philosophy and Professor of Classics and Philosophy at the University of Toronto

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:300 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.91 inPublished:April 17, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199250901

ISBN - 13:9780199250905

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Seneca in his Philosophical Milieu2. Seneca and Psychological Dualism3. Politics and Paradox in Seneca's De Beneficiis4. Rules and Reasoning in Stoic Ethics5. The Will in Seneca6. God and Human Knowledge in Seneca's Natural Questions7. Moral Judgement in Seneca8. Natural Law in Seneca9. Reason, Rationalization, and Happiness in Seneca10. Getting to Goodness11. Seneca on Freedom and Autonomy12. Seneca on Self Assertion

Editorial Reviews

`...thirteen sparkling essays...successfully opened an intelligent dialogue between ancient and modern theories. 'George Boys-Stones, Greece and Rome