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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 Emotions As Value Judgements In Chrysippus

The Emotions As Value Judgements In Chrysippus

(p.29) 2 The Emotions As Value Judgements In Chrysippus
Emotion and Peace of Mind

Richard Sorabji (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chrysippus (Stoic, 3rd century BCE) gives an intellectualist account of emotions: they are value judgements stating that the situation is good or bad, and that it is appropriate to react accordingly. In appetite and fear, pursuit and avoidance, in pleasure and distress, a felt expansion or sinking (contraction) of soul are judged appropriate. All other emotions fall under these four generic emotions. Shocks to soul (e.g., expansion and sinking) and to body are not part of the emotion, but only necessary accompaniments. The judgements are not involuntary appearances, but voluntary assents to how things appear. Most should be reconsidered, as mistaken, assent withheld, and the emotion thus eradicated. This leaves motivation intact, since we can keep both good emotions which involve no mistake (eupatheiai), and unemotional judgements (eklogai) about what is natural and preferable, though it falls short of being good. Preferable things can be desired ‘with reservation’.

Keywords:   emotion, judgement, good, contraction, Eupatheiai, Eklogai, reservation, eradicate, generic emotions

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