Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 06 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The Stoics notoriously held that virtue was the perfection of human-scale rational agency; that such perfection was rare but humanly possible; that it was both necessary and sufficient for happiness; that it was, in fact, the only unqualified good for human beings; and that it was an all-or-nothing achievement—there were no intermediate degrees of virtue. The mere recital of that list of Stoic doctrines has often been enough to disqualify Stoicism as a viable form of virtue ethics. This chapter, however, describes Stoic ethics as a systematic and attractive alternative to Aristotelian ethics. The implicit suggestion is that the usual caricatures of Stoicism can be erased, and that contemporary virtue ethics can benefit from working in the Stoic tradition—particularly with its naturalistic account of moral development.

Keywords: Stoics, moral motivation, moral psychology, naturalism, naturalistic ethics, practical wisdom, rational agency, stoicism, virtue ethics, virtue

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.