Progressively Stoic by Max Longley

Progressively Stoic

Stoicism and the Western Political Tradition by Lisa Hill and Eden Blazejak

This book's topic is narrower than its title would suggest. It is not a history of every Western intellectual movement (like the Neo-Stoics) that received influence from the ancient Stoics. The authors' narrower thesis is that the philosophy of Stoicism influenced the development of several things they approve of: egalitarianism, cosmopolitanism, utilitarianism, universal (secular) human rights, and feminism. The focus is on intellectuals in early modern Britain who gifted the world with these Enlightenment ideas. Hill and Blazejak discuss the influence on these intellectuals of the Roman Stoics Seneca, Epictetus, Musonius Rufus, and Marcus Aurelius, along with such fragments or summaries as we have of the earlier Greek Stoics.

As the authors note, Stoicism is undergoing a modern revival, but this revival often focuses on individual Stoic spiritual and mental attitudes: focusing on what is within our control and not suffering anxiety over what isn't. But as the authors emphasize, classical Stoicism had a political dimension, and it is this dimension that allegedly influenced Hill and Blazejak's favorite intellectuals.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Max Longley is a writer in Durham, North Carolina. He is the author of Quaker Carpetbagger (McFarland, 2020), For the Union and the Catholic Church (McFarland, 2015), and numerous articles.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more from the online archives

24.2—March/April 2011

Our Numbered Days

Certain Death & the Last Lectures of Socrates & Jesus by Randall B. Smith

31.1—January/February 2018

Vikings Under the Son

on Ragnarök, an Extreme Weather Event & the Paths to Conversion by Timothy J. Burbery

32.6—November/December 2019

Strategic Christians

The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis by Alan Jacobs by Jesse Russell

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00