Cynics, Stoics, Epicureans
- Extra Reading
Several different schools of philosophy emerged at the same time and shortly after the famous traditions of Platonism and Aristotelianism in ancient Greece. The most significant, which have had a lasting impact on philosophy since antiquity, were Cynicism, Stoicism and Epicureanism, each of which offered a moral programme advocating the best way to live and a more abstract physical, scientific model of the workings of the universe.
This lecture traces the main intellectual strands in each, focussing on the differences between them. The great thinkers whose works will be considered in detail are the fragments of Diogenes and of Zeno, the founders of Cynicism and Stoicism respectively, and Lucretius, the author of the great Epicurean poem of the 1st century BCE, On the Nature of Things.
Gresham College has offered an outstanding education to the public free of charge for over 400 years. Today, Gresham plays an important role in fostering a love of learning and a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Your donation will help to widen our reach and to broaden our audience, allowing more people to benefit from a high-quality education from some of the brightest minds.