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.

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

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase 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!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

Purchase
Online Subscription

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


RENEW your online subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

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.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

6.1—Winter 1993

Civilization Without Religion?

by Russell Kirk

33.1—January/February 2020

Forbidden Lies

Speaking Truth About the Sexes Is Not Optional by Anthony Esolen

27.3—May/June 2014

Sex & the American Experience

Facts versus Stereotypes About Love & Marriage in the Land of the Free by Allan C. Carlson

00