Meditations, Books 1-6 (Clarendon Later Ancient by Marcus Aurelius

By Marcus Aurelius

Christopher Gill presents a brand new translation and observation at the first 1/2 Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, and a whole creation to the Meditations as an entire. The Meditations represent a distinct and noteworthy paintings, a reflective diary or pc by means of a Roman emperor, that's in accordance with Stoic philosophy yet awarded in a hugely exact manner. Gill specializes in the philosophical content material of the paintings, specifically the query of the way a long way it truly is in line with Stoic thought as we all know this from different assets. He argues that the Meditations are mostly in line with Stoic theory—more than has been frequently intended. The paintings attracts heavily on middle topics in Stoic ethics and likewise displays Stoic considering at the hyperlinks among ethics and psychology or the examine of nature. To make feel of the Meditations, it will be important take into consideration its total goal, which looks to assist Marcus himself take ahead his personal moral improvement through developing events for mirrored image on key Stoic topics that may support to lead his lifestyles.
This re-creation can assist scholars and students of historic philosophy make feel of a piece whose highbrow content material and standing have frequently been discovered confusing. in addition to volumes within the Clarendon Later old Philosophers sequence on Epictetus and Seneca, it is going to support to chart the background of Stoic philosophy within the first and moment century advert. the interpretation is designed to be obtainable to fashionable readers and all Greek and Latin are translated within the advent and commentary.

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81 The picture of ethical life as an ongoing quest is closely linked with the idea of ethical development as ‘appropriation’ or ‘familiarization’ (oikeio¯sis), which was, probably, an innovation of Stoicism and was, certainly, a distinctive and central feature of the theory. The idea involves a number of interconnected claims. One is that animals, including human beings, are naturally disposed to maintain their constitution, rather than to pursue pleasure, as the Epicureans maintained. Another is that adult human beings, as rational animals, are constitutively capable of developing from self-preservation and selection of natural advantages such as health towards the recognition that virtue is the only good; this development is presented as natural, rather than being imposed by social forces.

More problematic is his use of the contrast ‘providence or atoms’, at least in cases where he leaves open the question whether the Stoic providential world-view or the Epicurean atomic one is the true one. This aspect of the Meditations is the one that is most puzzling, on the assumption that the work reflects an essentially Stoic framework of thought. But I will suggest that the puzzle diminishes—if it does not wholly disappear—if we hold in view his core ethical concerns, as reflected in the first strand.

4). Compare Cic. Fin. 64 (= LS 57 F(4–5) (which falls in Cicero’s account of social appropriation in Fin. 68), also Plu. Mor. 329 A–B (=LS 67 A). , text to nn. 87–90. 106 For differing responses to this point, see Inwood 1983: 193–9, 1984: 179–83, Annas 1993: 275–6, Ramelli 2009: lxiii–iv. 103 104 introduction xliii the practically oriented approach we find in Epictetus and Marcus to underline the integral linkage between these two dimensions of ethical development. 11, for instance, the two aspects are juxtaposed in a way that implies that the two kinds of development run in parallel with each other and reinforce each other.

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