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Russian Academy of Sciences




  Polina A. Gadjicurbanova. Stoic Ethics as object of philosophical reflection
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Polina A. Gadjicurbanova. Stoic Ethics as object of philosophical reflection

Polina A. Gadjicurbanova

Stoic Ethics as object of philosophical reflection
Research project, Russian Foundation for Humanities, 2004–2005.

 

 

The project is devoted to the analysis of different treatments of Stoic ethics in the works of E. Zeller, M. Polenz, E. Brehier, A.F. Losev, G. Deleuze. The analysis allows to describe peculiar features of different strategies of research into Stoic ethics.

Classical strategy (E. Zeller) demonstrates an objectivist approach; the research is oriented at the immanent historical reconstruction of the classical philosophical heritage. With a manifest ban on the use of models taken for granted in history of philosophy, this strategy still shows an unspoken tendency to view Stoic thought in the light of Platonic-Aristotelian tradition.

It is typical of the modernist strategy of research (M. Polenz, E. Brehier, A.F. Losev) to take a more subjectivist standpoint in research. This approach shows itself in the search for a key idea that would account for the original phenomenon of Stoicism as distinct from the classical doctrines of Plato and Aristotle. This type of study aims at the interpretation of Stoic philosophy against the background of modern philosophical theories.

The postmodern strategy (G. Deleuze) of destruction is to demystify the predominant ideologemes and to revise the deep-laid ontological foundations of the European thought. Rather than working at a new interpretation of Stoic philosophy, Deleuze intended to discover within Stoicism certain basic principles that would contribute to a new ontology, radically parting with classical Platonic-Aristotelian tradition. As a result of this the antique thought receives a fresh and strikingly up-to-date reading. This reading involves, however, putting under question the formerly unquestioned and widely accepted descriptions of Stoic teaching as monism, rationalism, and panlogism, the coincidence of physical, logical, and ethical laws and, consequently, the intellectualism itself of Stoic ethics.