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Emotion and Peace of MindFrom Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation$
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Richard Sorabji

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256600.001.0001

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The Traditions Of Moderation and Eradication

The Traditions Of Moderation and Eradication

(p.194) 14 The Traditions Of Moderation and Eradication
Emotion and Peace of Mind

Richard Sorabji (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The Stoic advocacy of freedom from emotion (apatheia) is opposed to Aristotle's of moderate emotion (metriopatheia), which was the majority preference, although Plato has shifting emphases. Some saw the two states as ideals for different people or (Plotinus) for different stages of progress. Freedom from emotion is associated with Anaxagoras, the Socratics and Cynics. Pyrrhonians claimed to free themselves from emotion but not from unpleasant sensation. Philodemus' ‘natural anger’ is not so far from Stoic freedom from anger, but the substantive dispute was wrongly called merely verbal. This was part of an attempt not to take opponents seriously, which also often misunderstood the idea of first movements, good emotions (eupatheiai), or selection of indifferents as if these let in emotion, and tendentious paraphrases of the idea of emotion as perturbation or disease were exploited to make the dispute seem verbal.

Keywords:   metriopatheia, apatheia, Aristotle, Stoics, Plotinus, Philodemus, verbal dispute, Socratics, Cynics, Pyrrhonians

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