Politically Correct Stoics

Politically Correct Stoics:

In the opening pages of Dr. Lara Denis' "Kant's Conception of Virtue, we find an interesting account of the Stoic position on happiness.

No matter how poor, ill, or hated the virtuous person is, Stoics claimed she is happy.
I would love to see the citation for any Stoic writer who "claimed she" would be happy.

I understand that the idea behind this sort of locution, and I realize that it's probably the editors of the journal applying a "standard" to the author's text. Nevertheless, in the interest of making female readers feel good about being included, or perhaps making the point that women should always be included, they have introduced an inaccuracy into the text.

You might say that's a small thing, but philosophers have written papers over whether "London is pretty" and "Londres est jolie" can be said reliably to express the same belief. Not only does substituting "he" and "she" fail to express the same proposition, one of the propositions is true and the other is false.

Aside from the political correctness that bedevils academic writing these days, the piece is a good one; it offers a brief history of how the concept of "virtue" has evolved, at least as far as Kant. However, I think she misses the real truth about these different visions of virtue: they aimed at producing different kinds of people. Particularly with the ancients, it won't do to say that Aristotle thought X was virtuous, and St. Thomas Aquinas added Y to the concept. Aristotle was trying to create a man who was a Homeric hero, with a love of wisdom ("Cunning as the gods in council," as they said of Odysseus), personal courage, friendships and magnificence. St. Thomas Aquinas was ready to dispense with magnificence in the Homeric sense of the term, defined wisdom completely differently, and in addition added Christian charity (caritas), faith, and hope.

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