Philosophic Pride is the first full-scale look at the essential place of Stoicism in the foundations of modern political thought. Spanning the period from Justus Lipsius's Politics in 1589 to Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Emile in 1762, and concentrating on arguments originating from England, France, and the Netherlands, the book considers how political writers of the period engaged with the ideas of the Roman and Greek Stoics that they found in works by Cicero, Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. Christopher Brooke examines key texts in their historical context, paying special attention to the history of classical scholarship and the historiography of philosophy.
Brooke delves into the persisting tension between Stoicism and the tradition of Augustinian anti-Stoic criticism, which held Stoicism to be a philosophy for the proud who denied their fallen condition. Concentrating on arguments in moral psychology surrounding the foundations of human sociability and self-love, Philosophic Pride details how the engagement with Roman Stoicism shaped early modern political philosophy and offers significant new interpretations of Lipsius and Rousseau together with fresh perspectives on the political thought of Hugo Grotius and Thomas Hobbes.
Philosophic Pride shows how the legacy of the Stoics played a vital role in European intellectual life in the early modern era.
Christopher Brooke is lecturer in political theory and the history of political thought in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, where he is a fellow of King’s College.
"It is one of the strengths of Christopher Brooke's fascinating new study, Philosophic Pride, that he is aware of the multifarious nature of his subject; he knows that he is dealing with a fluid cluster of ideas and themes, not a unitary philosophical movement. Not that he has set out, in any case, to write a history of (Neo-)Stoicism; his task is both narrower and harder than that. The subject of this book is the relationship between Stoicism and early modern political thought; since there was scarcely such a thing as a worked-out body of Stoic political theory (unless we count Seneca's fanciful portrayal of the monarchical ruler--Nero, of all people--extending the empire of reason), this means that an already elusive subject is considered here from a variety of oblique angles."--Noel Malcolm, Times Literary Supplement
"I'm a little unsure whether Stoicism really is as powerful an interpretive lens as Brooke here seems to suggest but I, along with doubtless many others, will delight in taking up the provocative interpretive challenges Philosophic Pride lays down."--Ross Carroll, Journal of Intellectual History and Political Thought
"Brooke has made a significant contribution towards filling in some important lacunae in our understanding of the relationships between ancient and modern thinking about morality and politics, and intervened deftly in a broad range of interdisciplinary debates on major figures in the history of practical ethics. These are achievements that will insure this book is welcomed by scholars and general readers with all sorts of investments in his subject matter. They will also enjoy its sincere humanism and remarkable erudition."--Cambridge Humanities Review
Table of Contents:
Augustine of Hippo 1
Justus Lipsius and the Post-Machiavellian Prince 12
Grotius, Stoicism, and Oikeiosis 37
From Lipsius to Hobbes 59
The French Augustinians 76
From Hobbes to Shaftesbury 101
How the Stoics Became Atheists 127
From Fénelon to Hume 149
Jean-Jacques Rousseau 181