Question: Are there some similarities between Stoicism and Objectivism?
Answer: Yes, both are committed to a causal, naturalistic universe, more of a tendency in Stoicism. There's a notion of fate or perhaps divine reason operative in Stoicism that's not there in Objectivism, which is more robust and naturalistic.
Both are also importantly focused on the distinction between what one can control and what one cannot control, that maps on strongly to Rand's distinction between the metaphysical and the man-made, and being especially concerned with what one can in-fact control.
Both also are committed to the idea of emotional self-management; that one, as a human being, should be rational, and emotions can and properly should be governed by one's reason. And that one's dignity as a human being, the pursuit of wisdom, ultimately requires a philosophical, rational perspective that is achievable by any of us.
Now there are important differences between Stoicism and Objectivism. That's for another question.
Stephen R. C. Hicks, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University, Executive Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship, and Senior Scholar at The Atlas Society.
He is author of The Art of Reasoning: Readings for Logical Analysis (W. W. Norton & Co., 1998), Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Scholargy, 2004), Nietzsche and the Nazis (Ockham’s Razor, 2010), Entrepreneurial Living (CEEF, 2016), Liberalism Pro and Con (Connor Court, 2020), Art: Modern, Postmodern, and Beyond (with Michael Newberry, 2021) and Eight Philosophies of Education (2022). He has published in Business Ethics Quarterly, Review of Metaphysics, and The Wall Street Journal. His writings have been translated into 20 languages.
He has been Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Visiting Fellow at the Social Philosophy & Policy Center in Bowling Green, Ohio, Visiting Professor at the University of Kasimir the Great, Poland, Visiting Fellow at Harris Manchester College of Oxford University, England, and Visiting Professor at Jagiellonian University, Poland.
His B.A. and M.A. degrees are from the University of Guelph, Canada. His Ph.D. in Philosophy is from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.
In 2010, he won his university’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Instagram Takeover Questions:
Every week we solicit questions from our 100K followers on Instagram (a social media platform popular with young people. Once a month we feature Stephen Hicks' answers to select questions, transcripts below:
Also several articles, selected for likely interest to Objectivist audiences: