Philo of Alexandria forged his theory of the soul and its passions while expositing the meaning of Torah. Though writing as a Jewish teacher and disciple of Moses, his biblical reflections display a strong orientation toward Middle-Platonic philosophy. On the topic of the soul and its passions, however, Philo also exhibits significant Stoic influence. The introduction notes Philo’s apparent incompatible use of both the complex Platonic and the monistic Stoic psychological models. After assessing the degree to which Philo understood 'passion' to be a type of Stoic impulse or opinion (chapter one), chapter two demonstrates that Philo consistently drew upon the Stoics’ depiction of all passions as irrational, excessive, and unnatural. Though Philo also joined the Stoics in condemning the passions and championing their extirpation, he is unique, even among the Stoics, in the extent and degree to which he emphasized their blameworthiness. Chapters three and four examine Philo's Stoicizing treatment of the tripartite and bipartite Platonic elements in his psychology, including Plato’s chariot metaphor and variants. In each of these areas, Philo’s key deviations are noted. Chapter four concludes by demonstrating that Philo arranged the Stoic and Platonic accounts of the soul and its passions within a biblical and spiritual narrative of spiritual progress that moves from Stoic fool to Platonic progressing soul and finally arriving at the ideal of the apatheiac Stoic sage. The outlook summarizes the results and suggests lines of further research.
Kerns, Loren, "Platonic and Stoic Passions in Philo of Alexandria" (2013). Faculty Publications - Portland Seminary. 6.