Neo-stoicism and the Shaping of the Modern Mind(Panel)
Andres Orejuela (Graduate Center, CUNY)
Shyam Patel (University of California, Irvine)
Few philosophies have had the chance to appear on the world stage more than once over the course of history. Even fewer have appeared as frequently and consistently as Stoicism has. In their mediation of classical authors including Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca, Neo-Stoics constituted an important component of philosophical thought in nearly every major historical period following Antiquity. Whether in concert with Christian moral teaching – and in support of absolutist monarchies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Spain and France – or as a subtle influence on the ascendancy of liberalism in Victorian Britain and the entrepreneurial principles of twentieth-century finance capital in the United States, Neo-Stoic thinkers have adapted their source materials to combine with and appeal to the ideological positions of their contemporary environments. This panel will explore the ways – both subtle and overt – in which Stoicism has resurfaced to shape the considerations later writers and thinkers gave to themselves, to others, and to the problem of ‘the good life.’ Of particular interest are the varied and multiple ways that Neo-Stoics bridged the Classical age of the Stoics to their own in the pursuit of Stoicism’s transhistorical relevance. The transmission of Stoic sources involved cross-linguistic and cross-cultural movements that played a role in the recreation of specific literary genres, which is also a topic of this panel. Submissions are welcome in English from a broad range of disciplines.