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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

First Movements as Answering Posidonius

(p.66) 4 Seneca's Defence
Emotion and Peace of Mind

Richard Sorabji (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

First movements of the soul for the Stoic materialists include bites, which are small contractions of the physical soul sensed in distress. First movements of the body include pallor, tears, and sexual irritation. All are involuntary shocks unlike the judgements which constitute emotion, and emotional therapy should ignore them as unimportant. First movements are first clearly described by Cicero, bites by Galen. For Seneca (1st century CE), Posidonius' revision of Stoicism around 100 BCE was wrong to say that emotion can occur without the relevant judgements in the case of animals, of disowned judgements, and of emotion changed by wordless music. In all three cases we have not emotion, but only first movements.

Keywords:   bites, contractions, therapy, animals, Posidonius, Seneca, Galen, music, disowned judgements

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