The Hellenistic Philosophers

The Epicureans, Stoics, and Academics and Pyrrhonians

The Hellenistic Age is a period in history, not philosophy, but the philosophers in this period have something philosophical in common that makes it reasonable to think of them as a group within the ancient philosophical tradition.

This critical reaction began to disintegrate around 100 BCE as non-skeptical forms of Platonism underwent a resurgence and eventually gave rise to Christianity. This disintegration marks the end of the Period of Schools.
The Hellenistic philosophers take their name from the Hellenistic Age. This is the period in history from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE to the end of the Roman Republic in 31 BCE. These philosophers were united by their critical reaction to what they thought were the excesses of the prior classical tradition, the tradition of Plato and Aristotle.

What is now known about the thought of the Hellenistic philosophers depends mostly on what others wrote about them. Most of what they themselves wrote has not survived.

Return to these passages once the main lines of what these philosophers thought is clearer.

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