Platonic philosophers of the late Hellenistic Age and early Imperial Age draw a complex and somewhat muddled picture of their moral philosophy, influenced as they are by the conflicting stances of Stoic ethics on the one hand and of Aristotelian ethics on the other. They seek to distinguish their own doctrine of the ultimate goal of life from competing telos-conceptions by framing the ideal of assimilation to God (homoiosis theoi) within a typically Platonic hierarchy of gods and divinities. As far as the contribution of external gods to happiness is concerned, these philosophers tend to minimize its importance, which brings them close to the Stoics. In their evaluation of theoretical over practical life, however, they are closer to the Peripatetics. Finally, in their doctrine of conditional Fate, though sticking to a strong notion of Providence and Fate, they strive - evidently against the Stoics - to assign a significant amount of freedom and autonomy to the human soul.
Keywords: Platonic tradition, ethics, history of ancient ethics, determinism and human freedom.