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Is There a Male Will in Stoicism?

The Case of Aggression

Jula Wildberger    The American University of Paris, France    

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abstract

Seneca characterises Stoicism as a philosophy for men. Stoic authors offer ample opportunities for a misogynist to feel validated, as Donna Zuckerberg (2018) shows. Focusing on Seneca’s account of anger, I argue that references to hegemonic masculinity are a therapeutic device to address a cause for weakness of assent: agents’ ignorance of their own strength and the erroneous belief that what they recognise as the right thing to do is too hard for them. However, the hypermasculine framing of this therapy is not essential. Stoic excellence is gender neutral. What is at stake is not manhood but maturity: that one comes to see one’s innate strength and assumes responsibility for oneself.

Published
Dec. 13, 2021
Accepted
Nov. 23, 2021
Submitted
April 26, 2021
Language
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-584-1
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-583-4
Copyright: © 2021 Jula Wildberger. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.