Hellenistic philosophy concerns the thought of the Epicureans, Stoics, and Skeptics, the most influential philosophical groups in the era between the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE) and the defeat of the last Greek stronghold in the ancient world (31 BCE).
The Routledge Handbook of Hellenistic Philosophy provides accessible yet rigorous introductions to the theories of knowledge, ethics, and physics belonging to each of the three schools, explores the fascinating ways in which interschool rivalries shaped the philosophies of the era, and offers unique insight into the relevance of Hellenistic views to issues today, such as environmental ethics, consumerism, and bioethics. Eleven countries are represented among the Handbook’s 35 authors, whose chapters were written specifically for this volume and are organized thematically into six sections:
- The people, history, and methods of Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Skepticism.
- Earlier philosophical influences on Hellenistic thought, such as Aristotle, Socrates, and Presocratics.
- The soul, perception, and knowledge.
- God, fate, and the primary principles of nature and the universe.
- Ethics, political theory, society, and community.
- Hellenistic philosophy’s relevance to contemporary life.
Spanning from the ancient past to the present, this Handbook aims to show that Hellenistic philosophy has much to offer all thinking people of the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
Introduction Kelly Arenson
Part I: Methods and Background
1. Epicurean Philosophy and Its Parts J. Clerk Shaw
2. The Stoics and their Philosophical System William O. Stephens
3. Argumentative Strategies of Pyrrhonian and Academic Skeptics Renata Zieminska
4. Documenting Hellenistic Philosophy: Cicero as a Source and Philosopher Thornton C. Lockwood, Jr.
Part II: Early Influences
5. Epicureans, Earlier Atomists, and Cyrenaics Stefano Maso
6. Cynic Influences on Stoic Ethics Christopher Turner
7. Stoics and Presocratic Materialists Ricardo Salles
8. Aristotelian and Stoic Virtue Jacob Klein
9. Socratic Ignorance and Ethics in the Stoa René Brouwer
10. Academic Skepticism and the Socratic Method Svavar Hrafn Svavarsson
Part III: Soul, Perception, and Knowledge
11. Stoic Epistemology Ian Hensley
12. The Stoic Theory of the Soul Tamer Nawar
13. Impressions and Truth in Epicurean Epistemology Andree Hahmann
14. Epicurus on Sense-Experience and the Fear of Death Emily Austin
15. Skeptical Defenses Against the Inaction Objection Whitney Schwab
16. Skeptical Responses to Stoics and Epicureans on the Criterion Scott Aikin
Part IV: First Principles, Nature, and Teleology
17. Epicureans on What There Is Jan Maximilian Robitzsch
18. Epicureans on Teleology and Freedom Attila Németh
19. Nature, God, and Determinism in Early Stoicism Anna Maria Ioppolo
20. Stoics and Epicureans on Language and the World Catherine Atherton
21. Free Will and Fate in Carneades’ Academic Skepticism James Allen
22. Piety and Theology in the Stoics, Epicureans, and Pyrrhonian Skeptics Harald Thorsrud
Part V: Ethics, Politics, and Society
23. Tranquility as the Goal in Pyrrhonian Skepticism Casey Perin
24. Epicureans on Pleasure, Desire, and Happiness Benjamin A. Rider
25. Epicureans on Friendship, Politics, and Community Anna Christensen
26. The Medicine of Salvation: Epicurean Education as Therapy Michael McOsker
27. Moral Philosophy in the Imperial Roman Stoa Georgia Mouroutsou
28. Academic Skeptics and Stoics on "Trying Your Best" and the Ultimate End of Action Christiana Olfert
Part VI: The Hellenistic Legacy in Contemporary Issues
29. Is Skepticism Natural? Ancient and Modern Perspectives Richard Bett
30. Stoicism and Contemporary Medical Ethics James A. Dunson III
31. Stoic Therapy for Today’s Troubles Massimo Pigliucci
32. Stoic Cosmopolitanism and Environmental Ethics Simon Shogry
33. Feminism and Stoic Sagehood Lisa Hill
34. Epicurean Advice for the Modern Consumer Tim O’Keefe
35. Hellenistic Philosophy and the Origins of Economic Thought Phillip Mitsis
Kelly Arenson is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University. She is the author of Health and Hedonism in Plato and Epicurus (2019).