Principal Topics of a Stoic Ethics

A) Principles of Morals

1. Do Good, Avoid Evil

2. The only Good is Virtue

B) Metaphysics of Morals

1. Virtue – those things under our control are comprised of: a. Wisdom – Personal knowledge of good and evil (or, a disposition to properly interpret our impressions, and act accordingly) b. Justice – Fairness in personal and political thought and action c. Courage – Neither rash nor cowardly when facing dangers or difficulties d. Temperance – Neither too much nor too little when dealing with emotions and desires but just the right amount e. Compassion – Based on the ‘ natural affection ‘ or caring of parents for offspring f. Logic – Excellence using reason

2. Indifferents – those external things, like fame or wealth, which are not in our control and which should be overcome, ignored, or used in pursuit of virtue.

3. Evil – Lack of good.

C) Foundation of a Metaphysics of Morals

1.Categorical Imperative

a. Universal Law

b. Kingdom of Ends

D) Human Action

1.Reactive or controlled based on compulsion

a. External (Civil law or physical force)

b. Internal (Hunger, passion, instincts, habits, addictions, personality type)

2. Deliberative based on self-reflection and virtue

a. Intentional

b. Goal directed

c. Using reason

d. Cognitive process of evaluating judgements

3. Discipline of action.

E) Human Freedom

1. Choice formed by virtue

2. Growth of personal freedom thru deliberation

3. Making progress in self-reflection

4. Discipline of assent.

F) Human Happiness and Flourishing

1. Fulfillment of desires

2. Desires in accord with virtue

3. Discipline of desire.

G) Emotions of the Sage

1. Joy rather than pleasure

2. Watchfulness rather than fear

3.Wishing rather than lusting

4. Irritation rather than anger.

H)  God (Logos) and the Afterlife

1. Logical, physical, or practical necessity

2. A good probability

3. Religious Experience.

I) A Stoic Code of Honor

1. Love the truth, and seek Wisdom.

2. Act with Justice, Fairness, and Kindness toward others.

3. Master your fears and be Courageous.

4. Master your Desires and live with Self-Discipline.