Abelard and the Stoic influence The work of the Christian philosopherPeter Abelard in the early 1100's is starkly influenced by the first Stoic movements ideas. His ideas on personal consciousness are the same in many respects although dealing with varied subjects. Although it is doubtful as to whether or not stoicism is directly responsible for Abelard's book on Ethics many of the same concepts are explored.
Peter Abelard had most of his work burned during the inquisition, Monks who were copying form the originals transcribed what we do have of his work. He was a brilliant man who was constantly in trouble with his teachers for besting them. Consequentially the teachers were all part of the church so humiliating them was a dangerous thing to do thus many of his books where burned.
Perhaps the most influential event in his life and possibly in the development of his thought was his involvement with the niece of a wealthy man named Canon Fulbert.
After a brief but passionate affair that resulted in a child Fulbert had his men castrate Abelard. Thus most of his works from that point on deal with the sin of passion.
In his papers on Ethics Abelard say that it is not the act, or the will, as St. Augustine had said, but the consent of the mind that causes sin. In one of his anaogi The Stoics on the other hand had a somewhat more noble beginning. A slave by the name of Epictetus, the story goes that his master jealous of the slave's intellect had his leg broken, where upon Epictetus said something to the effect of "you can break my body but if I deny the pain it does not affect me."Ã¯Â¿Â½ He believed that all desires must be ordered as to...