© 2020

Stoic Philosophy and Social Theory

  • Offers original perspectives on social theory by way of comparison with the thoughts of Stoic philosophers

  • Crosses disciplinary lines by combining philosophy and sociology

  • Offers something different for all readers, from experienced scholars to the uninitiated

Palgrave Macmillan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Subjectivity

  3. Knowledges and Epistemologies

  4. Physical Conditions

  5. Collective Ethics

  6. Emotions

About this book


This book puts recently re-popularized ancient Stoic philosophy in discussion with modern social theory and sociology to consider the relationship between an individual and their environment. Thirteen comparative pairings including Epictetus and Émile Durkheim, Zeno and Pierre Bourdieu, and Marcus Aurelius and George Herbert Mead explore how to position individualism within our socialized existence. Will Johncock believes that by integrating modern perspectives with ancient Stoic philosophies we can question how internally separate from our social environment we ever are. This tandem analysis identifies new orientations for established ideas in Stoicism and social theory about the mind, being present, self-preservation, knowledge, travel, climate change, the body, kinship, gender, education, and emotions.


Levi-Strauss Durkheim Herbert Spencer Henri Bergson Barbara Adam Marcus Aurelius Zeno of Citium Pierre Bourdieu Julia Kristeva Musonius Rufus Hierocles

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.SydneyAustralia

About the authors

Will Johncock researches social theory, continental philosophy, and Stoic philosophy, with a particular interest in themes concerning time. He is the author of Naturally Late: Synchronization in Socially Constructed Times (2019) which studies how social science and philosophy differentiate natural time from human time structures. He has lectured at UNSW Sydney.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Stoic Philosophy and Social Theory
  • Authors Will Johncock
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-43152-5
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-43155-6
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-43153-2
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 352
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Social Philosophy
    Sociological Theory
    Personality and Social Psychology


“In this accessible and engaging book, Will Johncock links contemporary social theory to the wisdom of the ancient Stoic philosophers, who were asking the first questions about how to live in a cosmopolitan world. There is something very useful pedagogically in connecting the present with the distant past in this way that enlivens inquiry and draws attention to the timeless importance of those very questions.” 
Douglas Porpora, Professor of Sociology, Drexel University, USA


“This comparative study is original and creative. Johncock presents a much needed, well researched corrective to those who skew Stoicism as narrowly individualistic.”
William O. Stephens, Professor of Philosophy, Creighton University, USA