Thomas Aquinas: Against Stoicism

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
[T]here were two opinions held by ancient philosophers about the passions. The Stoics said that there was no place in the wise man for sorrow. The Peripatetics said that the wise man is indeed sad, but in sad things he conducts himself with a moderation in accord with reason. This opinion accords with the truth.

For reason does not take away the condition of nature. It is natural to sensible nature to rejoice and be pleased about fitting things, and grieve and feel pain about harmful things. So reason does not take away this natural disposition, but so moderates it, that reason is not deflected from its right course because of sorrow. This opinion also accords with Holy Scripture which places sorrow in Christ, in whom there is every fullness of virtue and wisdom.

For the reference, see Thomas Aquinas: Against Stoicism.
 

Gwallard

Puritan Board Freshman
This seems to be part of what Ecclesiastes 11 teaches, "So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity. Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment." Enjoy the sweetness of the light, but do not forget we live in a cursed world.
 

Haeralis

Puritan Board Freshman
Aquinas appears to disagree with Jonathan Edwards on the Stoics. Probably not surprising because, whereas Aquinas learned heavily on Aristotle, Edwards denounced Aristotle and preferred Plato and the Stoics.

"There were many important truths maintained by the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, and especially the Stoics, that are never the worse for being held by them. The Stoic philosophers, by the general agreement of Christian divines, and even Arminian divines, were the greatest, wisest, and most virtuous of all the heathen philosophers; and, in their doctrine and practice, came the nearest to Christianity of any of their sects. How frequently are the sayings of these philosophers, in many of the writings and sermons, even of Arminian divines, produced, not as arguments for the falseness of the doctrines which they delivered, but as a confirmation of some of the greatest truths of the christian religion, relating to the unity and perfections of the Godhead, a future state, the duty and happiness of mankind, &c. and how the light of nature and reason, in the wisest and best of the heathen, harmonized with and confirms the gospel of Jesus Christ." (Edwards, Freedom of the Will).
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Aquinas appears to disagree with Jonathan Edwards on the Stoics. Probably not surprising because, whereas Aquinas learned heavily on Aristotle, Edwards denounced Aristotle and preferred Plato and the Stoics.

"There were many important truths maintained by the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, and especially the Stoics, that are never the worse for being held by them. The Stoic philosophers, by the general agreement of Christian divines, and even Arminian divines, were the greatest, wisest, and most virtuous of all the heathen philosophers; and, in their doctrine and practice, came the nearest to Christianity of any of their sects. How frequently are the sayings of these philosophers, in many of the writings and sermons, even of Arminian divines, produced, not as arguments for the falseness of the doctrines which they delivered, but as a confirmation of some of the greatest truths of the christian religion, relating to the unity and perfections of the Godhead, a future state, the duty and happiness of mankind, &c. and how the light of nature and reason, in the wisest and best of the heathen, harmonized with and confirms the gospel of Jesus Christ." (Edwards, Freedom of the Will).

While I don't want to read too much into the Edwards quote, that makes a lot of sense. Edwards' take on being at some parts is very consistent with the Stoics.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Aquinas appears to disagree with Jonathan Edwards on the Stoics. Probably not surprising because, whereas Aquinas learned heavily on Aristotle, Edwards denounced Aristotle and preferred Plato and the Stoics.

"There were many important truths maintained by the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, and especially the Stoics, that are never the worse for being held by them. The Stoic philosophers, by the general agreement of Christian divines, and even Arminian divines, were the greatest, wisest, and most virtuous of all the heathen philosophers; and, in their doctrine and practice, came the nearest to Christianity of any of their sects. How frequently are the sayings of these philosophers, in many of the writings and sermons, even of Arminian divines, produced, not as arguments for the falseness of the doctrines which they delivered, but as a confirmation of some of the greatest truths of the christian religion, relating to the unity and perfections of the Godhead, a future state, the duty and happiness of mankind, &c. and how the light of nature and reason, in the wisest and best of the heathen, harmonized with and confirms the gospel of Jesus Christ." (Edwards, Freedom of the Will).

Thanks for that reference, Koty. It is very interesting to see that Jonathan Edwards had such a high view of the Stoics.
 
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