History of Philosophy podcast series
Peter Adamson, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King's College London, takes listeners through the history of philosophy, "without any gaps." Beginning with the earliest ancient thinkers, the series will look at the ideas and lives of the major philosophers (eventually covering in detail such giants as Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna, Aquinas, Descartes, and Kant) as well as the lesser-known figures of the tradition.
For more information, please visit the Department of Philosophy web pages.
In this collection
In this episode, Peter interviews Dr John Sellers, senior lecturer in Philosophy from the University of the West of England, about the Roman Stoics.
The life and thought of Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and author of the classic text of Stoic self-examination, the Meditations.
The greatest of the Roman Stoics is Epictetus, arguably the first thinker to discuss the nature of human will, and author of some of the most powerful and demanding ethical writings in history.
Peter starts to explore the Roman Stoics, beginning with Seneca and the Stoic attitude towards the emotions.
David Sedley of Cambridge University chats with Peter about the development of the Stoic school, from the early days to the imperial age.
Peter considers two of the Stoics' most challenging ideas, a determinism that leaves room for moral responsibility, and the ideal of an ethically perfect sage.
Peter looks at the Stoic idea of god, a providential fire that pervades nature, and considers their idea of a deterministic and eternally recurring cosmos.
The Stoics think there could be a perfect sage, so wise that he is never wrong. Is this a big mistake? Peter investigates their epistemology to find out.
Peter arrives at the most influential of the Hellenistic schools, the Stoics, focusing on the early school from Zeno to Chrysippus, and on Stoic innovations in logic.
James Warren of Cambridge University talks to Peter about Epicurus, his atomism, his hedonism and the Epicurean arguments against the fear of death.