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Ariston of Chios (early to mid 3rd century BC)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-A020-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 23, 2024, from

Article Summary

The Greek philosopher Ariston (alternatively Aristo), from the Aegean island of Chios, was an exceptionally independent-minded member of the early Stoic school. A pupil of the founder Zeno of Citium, he was among the most prominent philosophers working at Athens in the mid-third century bc. He concentrated on ethics, dismissing logic and physics as irrelevant.

Like many contemporary philosophers, including Zeno, Ariston undoubtedly saw his own views as the ones most authentically capturing those of Socrates. Virtue he considered a unitary intellectual state, its conventional fragmentation into kinds being misleading at best. He resisted Zeno’s doctrine that nonmoral desiderata like health, although indifferent, were naturally ‘preferable’. Total indifference to them, rather than rationally choosing between them, was the true goal of life. He rejected rules of conduct – much favoured by Zeno – as founded on the same mistake of treating indifferent things as if they could be ranked in terms of intrinsic values.

Citing this article:
Sedley, David. Ariston of Chios (early to mid 3rd century BC), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-A020-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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