On the surface, stoicism and emotion seem like contradictory terms. Yet the Stoic philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome were deeply interested in the emotions, which they understood as complex judgments about what we regard as valuable in our surroundings. Stoicism and Emotion shows that they did t simply advocate a suppression of feeling, as stoicism implies in today's English, but instead conducted a searching examination of these powerful psychological responses, seeking to understand what attitude toward them expresses the deepest respect for human potential. In this work, Margaret R. Graver gives a compelling new interpretation of the Stoic position. Drawing on a vast range of ancient sources, she argues that the chief demand of Stoic ethics is t that we should suppress or deny our feelings, but that we should perfect the rational mind at the core of every human being.
Margaret R. Graver is professor of classics at Dartmouth College.