Coming This Fall: Stoic Paradoxes

Stoicism has proven itself to be an enduring and influential philosophy.

It may not have attracted the greatest number of adherents when compared to other schools of philosophy, but the men that it did attract tended to be the best men.

Cicero, whose name is synonymous with eloquence, wrote a great deal on Stoicism.

I will be releasing a new book this coming fall.

I have decided to issue a fresh, new translation of one of Cicero’s lesser known works, a treatise called Stoic Paradoxes.

The book will be an annotated edition, with commentary, interpretive essays, and index.  I am excited to present this work, as it has occupied me for some time now.

Why Stoic Paradoxes?  There are several reasons.

In many ways, Stoic Paradoxes is well-suited as an introduction to the major Stoic questions.  It is a short work, but dense with meaning.  It deals with the following topics, all of them key Stoic questions:

  • What is morally good?
  • Is virtue alone sufficient for a good life?
  • How do good and bad actions differ from each other, if at all?
  • What makes a man foolish?
  • What is the difference between a free man and a slave?
  • What makes a wise man?

Stoic Paradoxes is long overdue for a modern, fresh interpretation.  The last major translation was done over seventy years ago.  The needs of the modern reader demand a new perspective.  Times change, and a good translation can breathe new life into a neglected classic.

I have carefully gone through every line of the Latin text in order to provide an English rendering that is faithful to the spirit of the original, yet lucid and accessible.

As far as I have been able to determine, Stoic Paradoxes has never been the subject of a separate, independent book.  This will be the first time.

But you will not just get an annotated text of Cicero’s work.  You will get much more.

I have also included separate explanatory chapters on these topics:

  • A detailed biographical sketch of Cicero and his role in Western philosophy.
  • A detailed history of Stoic thought in antiquity as professed by its major thinkers.
  • A translation of Cicero’s visionary short essay The Dream of Scipio, a unique work that highlights Cicero’s ideas about the soul, the afterlife, and the meaning of virtue.  This essay is not part of the text of Stoic Paradoxes, but adds additional depth to comprehension of the whole.

All in all, this book is intended to be a complete introduction to Stoic thought as understood by Cicero.  None of it has been published before by me.  It is all new material.

The book is scholarly enough for the specialist, but accessible enough for the layman.

I will be providing additional release details at the end of the summer of 2015.