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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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Emotional Conflict and the Divided Self

Emotional Conflict and the Divided Self

(p.303) 20 Emotional Conflict and the Divided Self
Emotion and Peace of Mind

Richard Sorabji (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Plato's Socrates denies akrasia (wanting the course one thinks worse), but his Republic allows that Leontius did that, at the cost of revealing a divided soul, since one thing cannot simultaneously have opposite desires about the same thing. Pseudo-Plutarch protests one can have simultaneous opposite capacities. Plato becomes increasingly sensitive to different reasons why one can want the course one thinks worse, but Aristotle concedes Socrates' position that ignorance must be responsible, while explaining the ignorance as types of attention-failure, that allow violation of one's deliberate policy (prohairesis). Since Chrysippus denies Plato's division of the soul, he has to postulate that one's unitary reason oscillates between the better judgement and the worse. The Christians Origen and Augustine deny two souls in us, but accept two wills. One may act with less than one's full will. Christ engaged in a conditional willing comparable to Stoic willing with reservation.

Keywords:   Plato's Socrates, Aristotle, Origen, Augustine, divided soul, akrasia, attention, oscillate, two wills, conditional willing

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