Tag Archives: Natural Law

Entering the Stoic World Pt. 2- Metaphysics

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Marcus Auerlius, Roman Emperor and Stoic

Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and Stoic. I was not able to source this quote but it looks cool.

This article examines the metaphysics or philosophy of nature behind the Stoic views on community and detachment described in Part 1, and how this metaphysics changed in the later centuries of the school’s history. Before going into detail it will be helpful to contextualise the Stoics’ metaphysics within their broader tradition of philosophy. Despite preferring their porticoes to the horticultural environs of their Epicurean contemporaries, a popular Stoic metaphor depicts philosophy itself as a garden where:

“Logic is the walls, metaphysics the soil, and ethics the fruit”. [G. & S., (2012)] Read the rest of this entry

Entering the Stoic World Pt.1- Cynicism 2.0

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Epictetus on Stoicism's fundamental principle.

Epictetus on Stoicism’s fundamental principle.

This article of mine was written for The Partially Examined Life.

This week, Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th November 2015, is the fourth annual international Live Like A Stoic Week. The organisers, Stoicism Today, have provided lots of resources on mental exercises and principles of virtue to assist you in the endeavor, along with psychological reasons for aspiring to this practice in the modern world. So why I am here? To provide some less practical, historical and philosophical background to the deeply inspiring, pragmatic tradition of Stoicism. The Partially Examined Life’s recent podcast focused on the Enchiridion, the popular handbook from the later Roman Stoic Epictetus (55-135 CE). This was wise because about half of Epictetus’ work survives, whereas as they noted, sadly very little survives from the earlier Greek tradition.

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Perhaps inevitably, the focal point becomes the willy.

As someone who feels they engage with issues of real controversy daily it is hard to underestimate the frustration of seeing debates one regards as long-settled inflame people again and again month after month. Presently, one such issue has been brought to the fore by Non-Prophet Week, a week of charitable giving by the non-religious, 29 October – 4 November. This is the third annual incarnation of the event organised by the British Federation of Atheist, Humanist, and Secularist Student Societies (AHS).  Read the rest of this entry

Atheism and Morality; Plato and Natural Law

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An Assessment of the Positivist Critique of the Natural Law Claim that Law and Morality are Inseparable

hitler460The central claim in the positivist approach to the place of morality is that the law draws its authority from the legitimacy of the law-making body and that this has nothing to do with morality. So long as certain conditions (varying between philosophers) are fulfilled, such as that the laws this body makes are generally respected, that they are made known for citizens to learn if they wish, and that the specific law was passed according to the correct procedures in that system, it qualifies as an authoritative law. Another way of putting this is that it is the form of the law, solely those factors that are extrinsic to that law itself which determine its authority. Read the rest of this entry

Legal Positivism and the Separation Thesis