Is There a Male Will in Stoicism?
The Case of Aggression
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.