Topic-Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.
7) Zeno’s (of Citium) philosophy offered a middle way between the Cynics’ complete rejection of society and the Stoics’ obsession with duty. Comment.(250 words)
Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding of the philosophy of Zeno of Citium. We have to bring out in detail how his philosophy was a middle way between the Cynics’ complete rejection of society and the Stoics’ obsession with duty.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the Zeno of Citium. E.g He is considered the founder of the Stoicism school of philosophy (which became the dominant philosophy of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, and an influence on early Christianity).
Body- Discuss in detail about his philosophy and teachings and discuss how he propagated a philosophy which offered a middle way between the Cynics’ complete rejection of society and the Stoics’ obsession with duty. E.g Zeno recognized a single, sole and simple good, which is the only goal to strive for and which can only consist of Virtue. However, he deviated from the Cynics in his view that things which are morally indifferent could nevertheless have value to us.
Zeno preached that “man conquers the world by conquering himself”. He lectured his students on the value of “apatheia” (or the absence of passion), arguing that only by controlling one’s emotions and physical desires could one develop wisdom and the ability to apply it. He held that the practicing Stoic could suppress the influence of the passions by developing an indifference to both pain and pleasure by means of meditation.
Zeno’s philosophy offered a middle way between the Cynics’ complete rejection of society and the later Stoics’ obsession with duty. The famous Stoic acceptance of Fate, in Zeno’s formulation, is nothing more than that: what happens, happens, and there is no point in complaining about it. Despite the influence of Stoicism on later Christian doctrines, Zeno’s worldview was probably closer to that of Taoism, Hindu Vedanta or some varieties of Sufism than to orthodox Christianity or Islam.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.