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Akrasia And Enkrateia In Ancient Stoicism: Minor Vice And Minor Virtue?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines what the author calls ‘standard Stoicism’. By this expression, he means Stoicism as it is presented in doxographic or polemical sources, without any mention by name of an individual author to whom this doctrine may be attributed. Akrasia and enkrateia are defined in the two main classical lists of Stoic virtues and vices, Diogenes Laertius VII, 92–93 (SVF III 265) and Stobaeus, Eclogae, II, 7, p. 60, 9 ff. Wachsmuth (SVF III 264). In addition to the standard Stoic doctrine one may find in doxographic sources like Stobaeus and Diogenes Laertius, there are some more precise accounts of some relevant points in texts by opponents to Stoicism. These texts give literal quotations from two major Stoic thinkers, Cleanthes and Chrysippus. From a comparison with the doctrines of Zeno and Cleanthes, there is no doubt that what has been described here as ‘standard Stoicism’ reflects Chrysippus’ doctrine.

Keywords: akrasia; Chrysippus’ doctrine; Cleanthes; Diogenes Laertius; doxographic source; enkrateia; standard Stoicism; Stobaeus; Zeno’s doctrine



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