Stoicism: A Very Short Introduction [#570]
Stoicism: A Very Short Introduction [#570]


  • Provides an introductory account of Stoic philosophy
  • Addresses ancient Stoicism, its enduring legacy, and how the two are connected
  • Situates ancient Stoicism in the context of the rest of ancient philosophy
  • Offers an account of the reception of Stoic thought in the western tradition
  • Considers the place of Stoicism in modern life.

Stoicism is two things: a long past philosophical school of ancient Greece and Rome, and an enduring philosophical movement that still inspires people in the twenty-first century to re-think and re-organize their lives in order to achieve personal satisfaction. What is the connection between them? 

This Very Short Introduction provides an introductory account of Stoic philosophy, and tells the story of how ancient Stoicism survived and evolved into the movement we see today. Exploring the roots of the school in the philosophy of fourth century BCE Greece, Brad Inwood examines its basic history and doctrines and its relationship to the thought of Plato, Aristotle and his successors, and the Epicureans. Sketching the history of the school's reception in the western tradition, he argues that, despite the differences between ancient and contemporary Stoics, there is a common core of philosophical insight that unites the modern version not just to Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius but also to the school's original founders, Zeno, Cleanthes, and Chrysippus. Inwood concludes by considering the place of Stoicism in modern life.


1: Ancient Stoicism and modern life
2: Reading Stoics today: Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius and even Seneca
3: The origins of the school: Stoicism and Plato
4: The parts of philosophy: physics
5: The parts of philosophy: ethics
6: The parts of philosophy: logic
7: Conclusion
Further reading


Brad Inwood, Professor of Philosophy and Classics, Yale University
Brad Inwood teaches ancient philosophy at Yale University, where he moved in 2015 after many years at the University of Toronto. Educated in Ontario, at Brock University and the University of Toronto, he benefited from a year of post-graduate research at Cambridge and a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford, as well as research fellowships at the National Humanities Centre and the Centre for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences. While most of his research has been devoted to Stoicism, he has also worked on the Presocratic Empedocles and on other areas of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy.

"Stoicismis a wonderful guidebook to the essential concepts and basic precepts animating this most popular of the Hellenistic schools of wisdom. ... Specialists eager for a refresher course will find no better place from which to launch a reexamination. This is an eminently useful addition to the "Very Short Introductions" series. Summing up: Highly recommended" - CHOICE

"Brad Inwood's "short introduction" offers an incisive overview of how Stoicism developed - and why it might still be relevant." - Times Higher Education

"In sprightly prose, Brad Inwood maps the doctrines and personalities of ancient Stoicism. His book is particularly good at assessing this history and philosophy for today's aspiring stoics." - A.A. Long, Emeritus Professor, University of California, Berkeley

"This is an indispensable book. In a short compass, Inwood recounts the history and philosophical theory of Stoicism in a memorable, crisp, and deservedly authoritative way. He also does something important for the popular revival of stoicism now underway. Inwood's treatment of all of this is illuminating, balanced, and concise." - Lawrence C. Becker, Author of A New Stoicism


ISBN : 9780198786665

Brad Inwood
136 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Stoicism: A Very Short Introduction [#570]

Stoicism: A Very Short Introduction [#570]

Stoicism: A Very Short Introduction [#570]