On Foucault's Stoicism and Hegel's Critique of the Stoic Point of View in Relation to the Problem of Freedom

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SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA, vol.33, no.2, pp.539-554, 2018 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.21464/sp33215
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.539-554
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


I argue that to understand Hegel's critique of Stoicism in relation to the problem of freedom it is important to appreciate some Foucault's ideas and those of the Foucauldian circle influenced by his thought. I will begin by discussing Foucault's reference to Greco-Roman Philosophy in his lectures at College de France. In those lectures, by using Hadot's concept of spiritual exercises, he tries to constitute ethics of the self based on a conception of subjective freedom. Afterwards, I will deal with Hegel's critique of Stoicism on the ground of the Stoic theory of oikeiosis. Hegel's interpretation of this theory is the basis of his critical attitude towards Stoicism. There is a connection between Stoicism and Foucault's late period in respect to the conception of freedom, which is entirely based on subjectivity. At the end of this paper, I hope to show that Hegel's critique of Stoic ethics, beginning with an examination of the theory of oikeiosis, can provide us with an opportunity to criticise the subjective point of view in the problem of freedom.