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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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Seneca's Defence

Seneca's Defence

Third Movements as Harmonizing Chrysippus and Zeno

(p.55) 3 Seneca's Defence
Emotion and Peace of Mind

Richard Sorabji (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Zeno of Citium, the Stoic founder, had tried out other definitions of emotion. One, defended by Chrysippus, was that emotion involves oscillating, like Medea, between accepting the right value judgement and disobeying it. But disobedience to reason is not the same as mistake. How can it be, and is it ever, combined with mistake? The Stoic Seneca (1st century CE) allows this by distinguishing three movements in anger. The first movement is the appearance that revenge is appropriate and the resulting shock to soul or body. The second is the mistaken assent to the appearance that revenge is appropriate. The third movement — the full emotion — moves from mistake to disobedience with the judgement that revenge is to be pursued, appropriate or not.

Keywords:   Zeno, third movement, mistake vs. disobedience to reason, anger, Seneca, appropriate, oscillating, shock

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