Start Date

1-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2019 10:15 AM

Disciplines

Military History | Philosophy

Subjects

Command of troops -- Philosophical aspects, Stoicism, Epictetus -- Influence, Command of troops -- Moral and ethical aspects

Abstract

Military leaders have historically relied on different justifications for violence and war, including philosophy. A perennial favorite of the military has been stoic philosophy, often based on the teachings and work of Epictetus. However, a careful examination of the actions of three well known military leaders, Marcus Aurelius, Frederick the Great, and the modern United States military, show that philosophical beliefs, no matter how firmly held, rarely translate into military actions or policy. Many leaders claim to value stoic teachings, however these internal and personal worldview is hard to scale into a specific type of action on the battlefield or a nation’s laws and actions.

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/28569

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May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 10:15 AM

The Role of Stoic Philosophy in Military Leadership and Values

Military leaders have historically relied on different justifications for violence and war, including philosophy. A perennial favorite of the military has been stoic philosophy, often based on the teachings and work of Epictetus. However, a careful examination of the actions of three well known military leaders, Marcus Aurelius, Frederick the Great, and the modern United States military, show that philosophical beliefs, no matter how firmly held, rarely translate into military actions or policy. Many leaders claim to value stoic teachings, however these internal and personal worldview is hard to scale into a specific type of action on the battlefield or a nation’s laws and actions.