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Ancient Greek thought saw the birth, in Western philosophy, of the study now known as moral psychology. In its broadest
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Emotions in Plato, through a detailed analysis of emotions such as shame, anger, fear, and envy, but also pity, wonder,
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This book traces, for the first time, a revolution in philosophy which took place during the early centuries of our era.
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THE EMOTIONS IN HELLENISTIC PHILOSOPHY
The New Synthese Historical Library Texts and Studies in the History of Philosophy VOLUME46
Managing Editor: SIMO KNUUTIILA, University ofHelsinki
Associate Editors: DANffiL ELLIOT GARBER, University ofChicago RICHARD SORABJI, University ofLondon
Editorial Consultants: JAN A. AERTSEN, Thomas-lnstitut, Universität zu Köln, Germany ROGER ARIEW, Virginia Polyrechnie Institute E. JENNIFER ASHWORTH, University ofWaterloo MICHAEL AYERS, Wadharn College, Oxford GAIL FINE, Cornell University R. J. HANKINSON, University ofTexas JAAKKO HINTIKKA, Boston University, Finnish Academy PAUL HOFFMAN, University ofCalifornia, Riverside DAVID KONSTAN, Brown University RICHARD H. KRAUT, University of Illinois, Chicago ALAIN DE LIBERA, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Sorbonne JOHN E. MURDOCH, Harvard University DAVID FATENORTON, McGill University LUCA ÜBERTELLO, Universita degli Studi di Genova ELEONORE STUMP, St. Louis University ALLEN
Wooo, Cornell University
THE EMOTIONS IN HELLENISTIC PHILOSOPHY
JUHA SIHVOLA University of Helsinki, Finland
TROELS ENGBERG-PEDERSEN University ofCopenhagen, Denmark
SPRINGER-SCIENCE+BUSINESS MEDIA, B.V.
A C.I.P. Catalogue record for this book is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-90-481-5123-3 ISBN 978-94-015-9082-2 (eBook) DOI 10.1007/978-94-015-9082-2
Printed on acid-free paper
Ali Rights Reserved
© 1998 Springer SciencetBusiness Media Dordrecht Originally published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in 1998 Softcover reprint of the hardcover I st edition 1998 No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the copyright owner
SIMO KNUUTTll..A and JUHA SlliVOLA I
How the Philosophical Analysis of the Emotions was Introduced TAD BRENNAN I The Old Stoic Theory of Emotions JOHN M. COOPER I Posidonius on Emotions CHRISTOPHER Gll..L I Did Galen Understand Platonic and Stoic Thinking on Emotions? RICHARD SORABII I Chrysippus - Posidonius - Seneca: A HighLevel Debate on Emotion JOHN PROCOPE I Epicureans on Anger RICHARD BETT I The Sceptics and the Emotions T.H. IRWIN I Stoic lnhumanity AMELIE OKSENBERG RORTY I The Two Faces of Stoicism: Rousseau and Freud MARTHA NUSSBAUM I Eros and the Wise: The Stoic Response to a Cultural Dilemma TROELS ENGBERG-PEDERSEN I Marcus Aurelius on Emotions EYJ6LFUR KIALAR EMll..SSON I Plotinus on the Emotions
271 305 339
INDEX OF NAMES
1 21 71 113 149 171 197 219 243
JUHA SIHVOLA AND TROELS ENGBERG-PEDERSEN
Since the nineteen-seventies, the emotions have been among the most intensively debated topics in the philosophy of mind and action. This philosophical reflection has led to thoroughgoing criticism of certain stereotypical views, e.g. that emotions are irrational bodily and psychic movements which just happen to people because of their psychophysical constitution. According to these views, they are essentially passive reactions to external stimuli, which give rise to certain behavioral tendencies but cannot be much modified through teaching and argument. Recent philosophical Iiterature on the emotions has paid attention to the fact that even the everyday use of the paradigmatic instances of emotionterms, such as anger, fear, pity, grief, and joy, involve prominent features that are neglected in the notion of emotion as an irrational feeling or passive psychophysical reaction. First, emotions are intentional; they have an object at which they are directed or about which they are. Secondly, emotions are closely related to the representational and evaluative acts of those undergoing them. Thirdly, occurrent emotions are regarded as adequate or inadequate reactions. The emotions seem to involve elements that are often understood as functions of reason: cognition, evaluation, judgment. In spite of a growing recognition of the intentionality of the emotions and the role of cognition in them, the notion of emotion has remained quite controversial in modern discussions. Cognitive philosophical theories concerning the emotions can roughly be divided into judgment theories, which more or less identify the emotions with the judgment involved, and componential theories, in which the emotions are understood as complexes of cognitions, desires, and affects. Discussion is still much at what Aristotle would have called a dialectical stage. Analyses concerning the emotions have been focused on what is designated by the paradigmatic instances of emotion-terms, but no consensus has been reached either on the overall definition of the notion of emotion or on the general demarcation lines of discussion. In such a Situation, it is not surprising that the ancient discussions of the pathe have been thought to be directly relevant for philosophical analyses of the emotions. However, the conceptual tools provided by ancient philosophy
Juha Sihvola and Troels Engberg-Pedersen (eds.), The Emotions in Hellenistic Philosophy, vii-xii. @ 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
JUHA SIHVOLA AND TROELS ENGBERG-PEDERSEN
do not at first sight seem too promising for a theory of what we would call the emotions. The basic meaning of the term pathos is not "emotion"; pathos stands for a much more general notion which covers all accidental and contingent changes that happen to somebody in cantrast to what he or she actively does. The broad sense of pathos, familiar from Aristotle's Categories and Metaphysics, comes out in translationssuch as "affection", "experience", "undergoing" or "attribute", as opposed to "emotion" or even "passion". However, both Plato and Aristotle also focus attention on pathe in the sense of the emotions as we understand them, although it may be questioned whether the discussions in the Philebus and the Rhetoric amount to actual theories of the emotions. By contrast, there is no doubt that the Stoic doctrine of the pathe is a systematic theory in which the term pathos is given a strict technical meaning. Moreover, the class of psychic phenomena which the Stoics call pathe clearly refers to what we call emotions, but it also considerably revises commonsense beliefs - both ancient and modern - about them. It is questionable whether these pathe include everything that we or the ancient contemporaries of the Stoics recognized as emotions, and accordingly, whether all emotions are really extirpated in the Stoic ideal of apatheia. In fact, the Stoic doctrine, araund which the Hellenistic discussions of the emotions to a large extent circled, drew heavy criticism from early on. On the other hand, it has also been praised for achieving a Ievel of sophistication and precision not even matched in the modern Iiterature on the topic (see Sorabji below). Scholarly interest in the Hellenistic theories of the emotions has been lively during the last couple of decades. But even though several excellent articles on the topic have appeared and the emotions have been perceptively discussed in volumes on Hellenistic ethics and philosophy of mind, no booklength comprehensive treatment has been available so far. This collection aims to fill this gap in the Iiterature and to give a many-sided overview of the Hellenistic theories of the emotions, their background, the main controversies, and the later developments. The idea for the volume originated at a conference on the Hellenistic philosophy of mind organized by the Philosophical Society of Finland in Helsinki in 1994. A considerable number of papers at the conference focused on the analysis of the emotions and seemed to form a nucleus for a volume of essays. However, in order to gain comprehensiveness, several prominent scholars in the field were invited to contribute new essays to the volume. The editors are grateful to all those who accepted- or who allowed us, in a few cases, to reprint older essays. In the end, the volume turned out to be a little less complete than planned,
with a less than wholly adequate coverage of non-Stoic views like those of Cyrenaics and Epicureans. Still, there are enough essays to balance the emphasis on the Stoics. As already noted, practically all Hellenistic thought on the emotions must be understood in relation to the early Stoic analysis of the pathe. The Chrysippean doctrine gave rise to the main controversies: What kind of background psychology, a unitary or a tripartite soul, is needed to explain the emotions? Are the emotions functions of reason or of some lower parts or Ievels of the soul? What kind of therapy is needed to modify or extirpate the emotions? What, if any, is the possible value of the emotions in a flourishing life? The intrinsic centrality of Stoic analyses of the emotions within Hellenistic thought is clearly visible in the structure and contents of this volume. The emergence of the philosophical analysis of emotions in Plato and Aristotle is outlined by Simo Knuuttila and Juha Sihvola. Their aim is to show that the Hellenistic discussions did not come out of the blue but bad deep roots in classical philosophy. They also pay attention to interesting reflections by Plato and Aristotle on the feeling aspect of emotion which was less discussed in the Hellenistic period. With the scene thus set, Tad Brennan presents a detailed introduction to the early Stoic theory of the emotions, as weil as a critical survey of a few areas of disagreement among modern interpreters of the doctrine. This is followed by three articles, by John Cooper, Christopher Gill, and Richard Sorabji, which trace the later development and criticisms of the Stoic theory from different points of view and reach rather different conclusions. Cooper argues that Galen unfairly represents Posidonius's psychology as being much more Platonist than it actually was. To a large extent it was consistent with orthodox Stoicism. According to Cooper, Posidonius understood the pathe as functions of the rational faculty that express the agent's beliefs of what is worth reacting to and acting for, but, differing from Chrysippus, he thought that some of the force of the impulse derives from an independent nonrational power which resembles Platonic appetite or spirit. Thus, Posidonius's main intention would have been to preserve the basic structure of the Stoic doctrine against criticism. Gill agrees with Cooper on Posidonius, and further argues that even Plato's psychology was in fact much closer to Stoicism than Galen and other later Platonists allowed. Gill finds two alternative explanations of psychic conflict in Plato: sometimes it is explained in terms of different functional parts of the soul, but sometimes, in anticipation of the Stoic view, as being between different sets of beliefs and reasonings.
JUHA SlliVOLA AND TROELS ENGBERG-FEDERSEN
Sorabji dissents from the Cooper-Gill interpretation and finds little evidence for challenging Galen's reading of Posidonius. In Sorabji's view, Posidonius recognized the role of judgment in an emotion but did not identify it with a judgment or even regard judgments as either necessary or sufficient for an emotion. Thus there seem to have been clearly different views of the emotions in Chrysippus and Posidonius, and an attempt at resolution between the two lines of thought can only be found in Seneca's De ira. After this first round of articles follows another round, by John Procope and Richard Bett, on views on the emotions in two other Hellenistic schools: Epicureans and Skeptics. John Procope bad accepted to write a new essay on the Epicureans for the present volume in continuation of bis excellent article 'Epicureans on Anger' from the Festschrift for Albrecht Dihle. Unfortunately, bis sad death in June 1995 prevented this. lnstead, we gratefully reprint 'Epicureans on Anger' with the kind permission of Mrs Julia Procope and the publisher. In this article Procope in effect covers both Epicurus hirnself and the later important text on anger by Philodemus. He suggests that in the late Epicurean discussion there are important connections to the Stoic doctrine of the passions. Philodemus's view of anger can be understood as seeking a moderate middle ground between Epicureanism in its more extreme forms and Stoicism. Richard Bett has two aims in bis article on the sceptics. First, he suggests that the relative silence of the sources with respect to dogmatic psychology can be explained in terms of the specific version of scepticism outlined by Sextus in Against the Ethicists. If Sextus 's point was to argue that nothing is good or bad by nature, the discussion of any other basic Stoic doctrine could not be expected to go into very great details. Secondly, Bett argues that the preferable emotional condition which the Pyrrhonists claimed to be able to produce to a large extent shared a common ground with the Stoic ideal of apatheia. A new round of articles, by Terence lrwin, Amelie Rorty, and Martha Nussbaum, returns to the Stoics. Now the aim is not to consider the details of developments and criticisms within the Stoic school itself. Rather, writing in their characteristic, widely diverging styles, these authors attempt to situate the overall, philosophical profile of the Stoics on emotion by comparing them, in different respects, with Plato (Nussbaum), with Aristotle (lrwin), and even with Rousseau and Freud (Rorty). Terence Irwin's paper deals with the common accusation of inhumanity levelled against the Stoic ideal of apatheia. He argues against the accusation claiming that those aspects of the emotions that are allowed to the sage are
sufficient to give a Stoic good reason for doing something to relieve the sufferings of others and, in general, to care about pretty much the same things that ordinary people care about. Amelie Rorty also proposes a charitable reading of the Stoic theory of the pathe and defends the Stoics from charges of offensiveness and inconsistency. She argues that the difference between the wise and the fool, drawn by the Stoics, has been considerably exaggerated: the sage and the common man share at least some psychological reactions, and although the common man is mistaken about many things, many of bis impressions and impulses are, as far as they go, correct. In the last part ofthe paper, Rorty moves on to sketching how Rousseau and Freud used Stoic doctrines for different sorts of therapeutic purposes. In her paper, Martha Nussbaum asks which of the two conceptions of erotic relationships found in Plato's Phaedrus the Stoic wise would side with: that of Lysias, who banishes passionate Iove as a dangeraus form of madness, or that of Socrates, who regards loving madness as a necessary source of generosity and kindliness, and thus, as productive of the greatest of goods. According to Nussbaum, the Stoic wise man will choose a nonpassionate form of eros, which may offer something beyond the Lysianic conception, but rejects the Ionging and passivity involved in real, Socratic Iove. The volume is concluded by two essays, by Troels Engberg-Pedersen and Eyj6lfur Kjalar Emilsson, that address two late Hellenistic philosophers: Marcus Aurelius and Plotinus. Here the main focus is not so much on the place of these philosophers within the history of Hellenistic analyses of the emotions. lnstead, the two essays focus on how the emotions are situated within the comprehensive philosophical frameworks of the two philosophers themselves. Thus, Engberg-Pedersen suggests that it is to worthwhile to clarify Marcus Aurelius's own views ofthe emotions, before trying to insert him into the standard framework of the Hellenistic philosophical schools. His conclusions are that Marcus's adaptation of a Stoic type of "view from above" does not imply complete emotional detachment from the particular and temporal world and that Marcus's view makes it possible to distinguish between sane and morbid emotions. Addressing what may in fact be seen as a closely similar problern about emotions in relation to the rational self, Emilsson shows how Plotinus's view of the emotions should be understood in the context of the complex Neoplatonic anthropology and divisions of the soul. According to Emilsson, Plotinus is able to stick to bis main thesis that the soul cannot in any way be affected or changed by the so-called affections of the soul, even though they
JUHA SlliVOLA AND TROELS ENGBERG-PEDERSEN
may change the soul's dispositions and indeed corrupt it morally. The essays in this volume provide searching and provocative argument in an important field of classical and philosophical studies. Perspectives and conclusions differ and even conflict. Together, they show that the Hellenistic debates about the nature and value of the emotions are full of material that is directly relevant to modern concerns and far from exhausted with a view to future study.
Academy of Finland University of Copenhagen
SIMO KNUUTTILA AND JUHA SlliVOLA
HOW THE PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS OF EMOTIONS WAS INTRODUCED
The aim of this paper is to delineate the emergence of the philosophical analysis of emotions in Plato and Aristotle. Our main thesis is that certain philosophical questions pertaining to what might be called occurrent emotions were first formulated in the works of Plato and Aristotle, and that the same questions to a large extent shaped Hellenistic and later ancient discussions. The Hellenistic theories provided material for early medieval thought concerning the emotions. Of special importance was the Stoic doctrine of spontaneous first movements as modified by Augustine. The general background of early medieval discussion was, however, Platonic psychology. Aristotle's theory came into the scope of interest in the thirteenth century. Even though some new systematic ideas were developed in later medieval thought, it seems that ancient theories and classifications dominated the Western discussion of the emotions until the seventeenth century. (See Knuuttila forthcoming.) We use the term "emotion" as a translation for a certain type of pathos. (For discussions of some questions pertaining to this term, see Annas 1992, 103 -105; Nussbaum 1994, 319; cf. Rorty 1984.) THE EMOTIONS AND THE PARTS OF THE SOUL
The conception of the tripartite soul was among the best known Platonic doctrines in the Hellenistic age and in later antiquity. In discussing the good state and the good human life in his Republic, Plato divided the human soul into three parts, the reasoning (logistikon), the spirited (thumoeides), and the appetitive (epithumetikon) (Resp. 4.435a-441c; 9.580d-583a). The reasoning part is able to love wisdom and the good. Ideally, it should govern the entire soul. The appetitive part pursues immediate sensual pleasure and avoids suffering, whereas the intermediate spirited part is the seat of emotions connected with self-assurance and self-affirmation. Plato simultaneously applied the idea of tripartition to the moral psychology of an individual human being and the political psychology related to the three classes in the state. Some of the basic difficulties concerning Plato's
Juha Sihvola and Troels Engberg-Pedersen (eds.), The Emotions in Hellenistic Philosophy, 1-19. © 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
SIMO KNUUTTILA AND JUHA SIHVOLA
philosophy of mind derive from the hybrid nature of this approach. (On the tripartition of the souland Plato's moral psychology in general, see Cooper 1984; Kahn 1987; Irwin 1995, 203 -222; Price 1995, 57 -67; Gill below.) In his earlier dialogues, especially in the Phaedo, Plato was inclined to see all appetites and emotions which are outside the reasoning part as changes in the body, thus stressing their irrational nature. The philosopher was understood to aim at complete detachment from all passions and desires of the mortal body (Phd. 65e, 66b-c; seealso Nussbaum 1986, 151-152; Price 1995, 36-40). In the Republic, Plato connects the animal urges, directed mechanistically at the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain, with the appetitive part of the soul. The basic biological urges and drives do not exhaust the functions of the appetitive part, as it also feels pleasure and pain and is capable of evaluating things on the basis of anticipated pains and pleasures (Resp. 9.584c-585a). The desire for wealth belongs to the more cognitive powers ofthe appetitive part (Resp. 9.580a-581a). The responses of the spirited part are always cognitive. The tripartite model is argued for on the basis of the observation that people who are tossed about by their irrational desires may at the same time think: that they should act otherwise and they may feel anger at their behavior. This was illustrated by Plato in the farnaus story about Leontius, whose reason told him not to watch the dead bodies of executed criminals, but who, at the same time, wanted to view the corpses. He could not resist the temptation, but felt anger at bis conduct (Resp. 4.439e-440b). Plato states that "the same one thing cannot simultaneously act or be acted on in opposite ways in the same respect andin the same context" (Resp. 4.436b8) and concludes that simultaneaus desires to pursue and avoid the same thing must be ascribed to different parts of the soul (Resp. 4.439a -441c; seealso Price 1995, 40-57; Irwin 1995, 203-209). In commenting on the story of Leontius, Plato describes the spirited part a as strengthener of the voice of reason. It shares with the appetitive part the connection to physiological changes, but, unlike this, the spirited part is also able tobe habituated to become a servant of reason (Resp. 4.441a-442c). As a seat of admiration, honor, and pride, it can help a good soul in its strivings, but in a disordered soul its passions nourish exaggerated aggression and vain glory (Resp. 8.553d; 9.586c-d). All three parts of the soul are dynamic in the sense that each can initiate action (Resp. 8.550a-b, 553b-d, 560a-e). In fact, Plato sometimes treats them as if they were three separate agents, each with its own representations and beingable to form evaluative beliefs. The evaluative preferences of the appetitive part are simple and its suggestions always one-sided in com-
HOW THE PHll...OSOPHICAL ANALYSIS OF EMOTIONS WAS INTRODUCED 3
parison to those of the rational part which has a tendency to consider what is best for the whole soul. The spirited part has more respectable evaluative capacities, but the scope of its interests is rather limited. Some scholars have criticized the moral psychology of the Republic as a homuncular theory: if mental conflicts are explained by referring to parts each of which has both desiderative and cognitive resources of its own, the reduplication of the contending factors of the soul at the Ievel of its parts seems to bring us back to the very same problems (see Penner 1971; De Sousa 1987, 24-27). On the other band, the tripartition can also be seen as a heuristic model, the functions of which are to illustrate the different Ievels at which human beings can see themselves as agents and to call attention to the tensions between these Ievels (Thesleff 1990; Irwin 1995, 218-25). In the Republic, the reasoning part is portrayed as immortal and purely rational. The lower parts are mortal and it is only through the soul's union to the body that they belong to the composite (Resp. 10.608d -611a). The same view appears in the Timaeus (42c; 69c-d). In this dualistic conception, the philosophical development of the soul is based upon Iove of the good and the beauty of ideas. One should leam detachment from the goals of the appetitive part, except those expressing the necessary requirements of health. The spirited part may have some instrumental value in the fight against the lowest one. There are signs that Plato hirnself was to some degree conscious of the liniitations of the tripartite modelas applied to the analysis of the emotions. In dealing with more complicated emotions, such as distress, sorrow, pity, and joy, which are activated through poetry, Plato refers to a distinction between the reasoning part and the non-reasoning part, and the latter is said to be of complicated character (Resp. 10.603e-606d). In the Phaedrus, Plato seems to revise his indictment of the passions in a radical way. The simile of the two horses, which represent the spirited and appetitive parts of the soul, and the charioteer, which represents reason, gives a more positive role to the emotions, at least in regard to erotic appetite (Phdr. 246a256d). It has been said that erotic desire involves a complex selective response of the entire soul, and even though the unruly horse requires continuous control by reason, it has intrinsic value of its own and an important motivating role in the pursuit of the good. So the intellectual element is not sufficient for making good and correct choices; important information is also provided by the passions. (See Nussbaum 1986, eh. 7, where Plato' s new positive appreciation of the emotions is connected with his personal experience in relation to his Syracusan friend, Dion. See also Nussbaum below.)
SIMO KNUUTTll...A AND JUHA SlliVOLA
Despite the surprising amount of praise given to erotic madness in the
Phaedrus, Plato' s attitude towards the emotions and appetites remains rather reserved in his later dialogues. The Phaedrus even seems to integrate the
emotional responses with the immortal soul, but in a later dialogue - the Timaeus- they are again in the mortal soul (Ti. 69 c-d) as they had been in the Republic. lt has been argued that, in spite of Plato's scepticism conceming the value of the emotions, one can find a new interest in their psychology in his later works. This seems to reflect discussions in the Academy in which some problems of the ethical and political theory of the Republic were associated with its inadequate analysis of emotions. In his book Aristotle on Emotion (1975), W.W. Fortenbaugh connects the development of Plato's conception of the emotions with a transition from tripartite theory towards a bipartite moral psychology. The dichotomy can be seen in the I..aws as a distinction between calculations and reflections, on the one hand, and pleasant and unpleasant emotions, on the other, both being treated as cognitive phenomena. According to Fortenbaugh, the dichotomy between reason and emotion as two sources of cognitive activities was later fully formulated in Aristotle's dichotomy between logical and alogical halves of the soul. Aristotle gathered together all desires and emotions which involve judgment and evaluation, and contrasted this group of psychic phenomena with deliberation, reflection, and calculation (Fortenbaugh 1975, 23-44). Fortenbaugh is right in maintaining that a dichotomy between considered and non-considered cognitive phenomena becomes visible in Plato's later discussion of emotion and that this distinction is dominant also in Aristotle's discussion. This change of emphasis did not, however, imply a complete rejection of the doctrine of the thumoeides and epithumetikon as the lower parts of the soul. (Cf. Cooper 1984; 1996a.) The question of the parts or levels of the soul remained a much discussed theme in the ancient philosophy of mind. Plato, Aristotle, and most of their followers kept the idea that the human soul was divided into different functional levels, whereas the Stoics stressed the unity of the soul and criticized its division into rationalandnon-rational parts. Early Stoic theory regarded the soul as entirely rational and the emotions as mistaken evaluative judgments of the rational soul. The unitary and non-unitary conceptions of the soul led into correspondingly different views of psychic therapy. According to the standard version of the unitary conception, a purely cognitive therapy is sufficient for the complete extirpation of the passions. In the other theories it was assumed that, even though emotional responses are cognitive and occurrent emotions can be influenced through
HOW THE PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS OF EMOTIONS WAS INTRODUCED 5
arguments, the emotional dispositions cannot be completely eliminated through the acquisition of new beliefs, since these dispositions are connected to psychophysiological functions of the soul which are distinct from those of the reasoning part. (For the Stoic theory of the passions see Brennan, Cooper, Gill, and Sorabji below). The difference between these two conceptions is also visible in the interpretations of weakness of will, akrasia. Plato and Aristotle referred to a conflict between the psychic parts, and to a weakening of the right judgment due to an emotional impulse, whereas the Stoics tried to explain alleged acts of akrasia by reference to swift changes in one and the same executive reason. (See Gosling 1990, 56-60; Joyce 1995.) THE STRUCTURE OF AN OCCURRENT EMOTION
In the Academy of Plato's later period, the emotions were interpreted as states which included evaluative cognitions or were caused by them, and the view that the emotions are, in some sense, cognitive became dominant in ancient philosophy. However, only the Stoics strictly identitied the occurrent emotions with self-regarding judgments. Other schools referred to several constituent parts, such as cognition, feeling, and practical suggestion. (For component theories in modern discussions of emotions, see De Sousa 1987; Greenspan 1988; Oakley 1992.) In the Philebus, Plato calls attention to the feeling aspect in bodily pleasures and extends the analysis to the emotions. In this section, we shall make some remarks on this idea as found in Plato and Aristotle, sketch its influence on the emergence of the componential theory of the emotions, and compare this approach with the Stoic theory. In the Philebus, Plato first characterizes bodily pleasures and pains as processes of replenishment and dissolution (31e), but he later adds the qualification that pleasures and pains must be perceived (33d; 43a-c). The bodily process itself is not a pleasure or pain. One must also have an awareness of it. Aristotle takes this view as his starting point in Rhetorie 1.11, where pleasure is characterized as a movement of the soul by which it is perceptibly brought into its normal state (1369b33-35). The characterization of pleasure as a process of restoration is later rejected in the Nieomaehean ethies and the Eudemian ethies, where pleasures are understood as unhindered activities of natural faculties (Eth. Nie. 7.12.1153a914) or as the completing moments of such activities (Eth. Nie. 10.4. 1174b14-75b1; 5.1175b32-5). Even though Aristotle replaces the Phileban process view of pleasure with an activity view in his ethical works, he retains the Platonic distinction between the object of awareness in
SIMO KNUU'ITILA AND JUHA SlliVOLA
pleasure (i.e. what is enjoyed, whether it be a process or an activity) and the feeling of pleasure which is a matter of being aware of its object (i.e. enjoyment itselt). Therefore, the distinction between enjoyable things and enjoyments, which was taken by G.E.L. Owen (1986) to explain the apparent tension between Aristotle's two discussions of pleasure in the Nicomachean ethics books 7 and 10, was in fact already introduced by Plato in the Philebus. According to Owen, Aristotle's critical target in the book 7 is the process view of pleasure: processes are mistakenly called pleasures and in reality the pleasures are the activities of the faculties which produce them. The discussion in the book 10 deals with a quite different theme; it aims at distinguishing enjoyment itself from what is enjoyed. (For a critical evaluation of Owen's interpretation, see Gosling and Taylor 1982, 204224.) The discussion in the Philebus is historically significant since it is the first attempt to explicate the feeling aspect of pleasure and pain. Both Plato and Aristotle understood the feeling of bodily pleasure or pain as an awareness of something which could be called a pleasure or a pain in the derived sense of being an object of awareness which constitutes enjoying or suffering. In Plato's view, there are bodily processes that arenot perceived and bodily processes that are perceived (Phlb. 33d). Of the latter, some are perceived neutrally, and some are perceived as being pleasant or unpleasant (Phlb. 43c). Perception of something as pleasant or unpleasant differs from neutral perception in a way which is clear to those who are acquainted with such perceptions. Pieasant and unpleasant experiences can be accompanied by certain expressive movements and they can influence behavior by generating attraction and aversion with respect to their objects. In this function, they are advisors and to some extent serve the well-being of the body. They are, however, foolish advisors, since their behavioral suggestionsarenot based on deliberation (Leg. 1.644c-d). Plato' s main problern in the Philebus is connected with the question of false pleasures. The theme is divided into discussions of (1) false pleasures of anticipation (36c-41a), (2) over-estimation of future pleasures (41a42a), (3) mistaking a neutral intermediate state for pleasure (42c-44a), and (4) falsity arising from a mistaken understanding of a mixed condition (44a-50e). Plato first distinguishes the pleasures and pains attached to actual bodily events from the pleasures and pains of anticipation (31e-32c). The pleasures of the latter group especially occur in association with appetites which Plato describes as complex states, including an unpleasant feeling conceming the actual bodily condition and an activated image of a remedial pleasure. The ability to anticipate pleasures is based upon memory,
HOW THE PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS OF EMOTIONS WAS INTRODUCED 7
which stores pleasant experiences and is ahle to remind the pained suhject how to improve its condition (Phlb. 35c-d). The quality of the feeling aspect in expectation depends on whether it seems ohvious to the suhject that it will achieve the desired goal or not. In the first case, the pleasant feeling increases, hut in the second case, the expectation turns into an unpleasant frustration (Phlb. 35e-36c). By using an analogy hetween opinion and pleasure, Plato goes on to show how pleasures may he called true or false (Phlb. 36d-41a). Believing an opinion and enjoying a pleasure are hoth intentional states of the soul; they are attitudes with respect to a mental representation. If "pleasure" refers to a thought which is the content of an actual feeling, it is easy to understand how a pleasure can he seen as true or false. According to Plato, wicked people, in anticipating future events, for the most part enjoy false pleasures (40c). The contents of their present enjoyments are formed hy false thoughts concerning future pleasant experiences. The operations of memory and perception generate mental representations in the soul in two corresponding ways: (a) they are, as it were, written in the soul and ahle to he expressed in spoken language, and (b) they are illustrated hy pictures formed hy imagination (Phlb. 39a -40d). To remernher how to answer a question is to read it from the hook of the soul; to remernher how one feit on a certain occasion is to recollect the perceptual representation of that experience. When an experience of a hodily pleasure is stored in the hook of the soul, it contains a sentence which teils that a certain activity was pleasant, and a corresponding image of oneself as enjoying it. Remernhering the feeling quality of a past experience hy feeling it is similar to rememhering a color hy seeing it in the soul. A vivid mental revival of a past experience may affect the suhject, and this is what happens in the anticipation of future pleasure and pain. The anticipated pleasure is false if its intended ohject will not he actualized in the future, hut if the ohject in question is pleasant, it can produce a pleasant mental content. Enjoyment is hased on memory, hut anticipatory pleasure is not enjoyment of what has happened, although people can enjoy past pleasure through recollection. In pleasant anticipation, a picture of what has heen experienced hy the suhject is revived, and the feeling caused hy it is regarded as a preamhle to more intensive experiences in the future. Gosling and Taylor (1982) argue that Plato's concept of anticipatory pleasures is hased on the idea that people enjoy imaginative picturing: Plato thought that this enjoyment can he seen as true or false, hecause he mistakenly identified the content of a picture with the act of picturing. However, Plato maintains that pleasure in anticipation is hased on memory,
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and this clearly does not suggest that one remembers how to use one's imagination. We agree with Dorothea Frede (1993) that anticipatory pleasures are enjoyments of representations, thoughts, and pictures of assumed future things. After dealing with the easily mistaken estimations in regard to the amount and intensity ofpleasure and distress (Phlb. 41a-42c) and the identification of a neutral state for pleasure (Phlb. 42c-44b), Plato discusses the impurity and mixed character of pleasures as another source of mistaken evaluations (Phlb. 44c-50d). All physical pleasures are relevant here, because the awareness of replenishment is simultaneaus with the awareness of a need or disturbance. Mixed pleasures and distresses are divided into three classes: the components are (a) perceptions of actual bodily conditions, (b) perceptions of the conditions of the soul, and (c) combinations of these two types (Phlb. 46b-c). Emotions such as anger, fear, longing, Iamentation, Iove, jealousy, and malice are said to exemplify the second group. They are actualized in the soul as distresses which are mixed with pleasures (Phlb. 47d-50d). Theseemotionsare taken to include a component similar to the feeling aspect of present and anticipated bodily pleasures and distresses, the difference being that emotional feelings are not modes of awareness concerning changes in the body. The mixed emotional pleasures and distresses are modes of being aware of what happens to oneself and others in the various Situations described in poetry, "the tragedies and comedies of human life" (Phlb. 50b). In Aristotle, early interest in emotional paradigms is clearly visible in the Rhetoric book 2, which is the first extended analysis of singular emotions in Greek philosophy. The discussion is structured to serve the rhetorician's purposes, but there is no reason to doubt Aristotle's philosophical commitment to his discussion of the emotions in the Rhetoric (see also Cooper 1994; Nehamas 1994; Striker 1996; Sihvola 1996). Pleasure and distress are analyzed in the Rhetoric 1.10-11. These chapters can be understood as an introduction to the discussion of the emotions in the Rhetoric book 2, because, in this book, pleasant or unpleasant feeling is taken to be a constituent of the emotion. The Rhetoric 1.10 begins Aristotle's discussion of topics useful in judicial oratory by distinguishing two types of wrong-doing: vicious and akratic behavior (1368b12-14). These notions of are illuminated by dividing voluntary (hekousion) action- i.e. action that is due not to nature, chance or force, but to people themselves - into types that have their origins in habit, non-rational desire and rational desire (1368b32-1369a2, see also Eth. Nie. 3.1-2). In accordance with Platonic terminology, rational desire
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is called boulesis, and the two types of non-rational desire are called thumos and epithumia (1369a2 -7). An act has its origins in rational desire if reasoning concerning ends and means has taken place. Acts initiated by thumos and epithumia are results of direct reactions to what is regarded as pleasant or hurtful. There is no practical reasoning involved here. The distinction between actions which have their origins in rational and nonrational desire does not correspond to the distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive behavior. Acts based on irrational desire may involve judgment and evaluation, but they do not have investigations or considerations concerning their appropriateness in their causal history (Nehamas 1994, 265; Cooper 1989, 31). Aristotle believed that it was usually better to act on a rational desire. However, one can see from the discussions of the Rhetoric book 2 that non-considered emotional responses and feelings can be important sources of information for rational decision-making, and Welleducated emotions are useful as a supporting motivation for virtuous action. (The ambivalent nature of the emotions is mentioned in, e.g., 1369a1724.) Since all action that is due to people themselves is motivated by what is regarded as good (a topic that has been discussed in Rh. 1.6) or pleasant, Aristotle' s next task, taken up in 1.11 , is to investigate the notion of the pleasant. The conception of pleasure as a movement of the soul by which its subject is perceptibly brought into its normal state of being is accepted as a starting-point (1369b33- 35). However, Aristotle remarks that what takes place in accordance with the normal state, what is habitual, and what is not forced, are also pleasant things (1370a3 -9). This is an indication that Aristotle wanted to enlarge the category of pleasant and unpleasant things associated with the body. He found the Phileban restoration model too narrow. Aristotle's terminology in Rhetoric 1.11 is, to a large extent, derived from the Philebus. According to him, perceivable processes and activities are pleasures, and to enjoy them is to perceive them (1370a27-28). Since enjoyment lies in perception, remembering or expecting something is in principle sufficient for feeling pleasure (1370a30-31). There are pleasures for both those who remernher and those who hope, because phantasia is a feeble sort of perception (1370a28-29; on phantasia in Aristotle, see Nussbaum 1978; Modrak 1987; Schofleid 1992; Caston 1996). Enjoying a pleasure is to be aware that something pleasant takes place in oneself, and when one remembers something or hopes for something as pleasant, there is in one's mind an impression similar to the one that was there when something pleasant was actually taking place. The only difference is that
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when the impression is connected to a past or a future event, it is less vivid. All that is said about pleasure can also be applied to distress. Therefore, the terms "pleasure" and "distress" can be applied to both physical or nonphysical processes or activities, and also to awarenesses of these processes and activities. In the latter case, pleasure is a pleasant awareness of something convenient taking place in oneself, whereas distress is an unpleasant awareness of something inconvenient taking place in oneself. Here it may be noted that Aristotle takes for granted the view expressed both in the De Anima and the Nieomaehean Ethies that when human beings perceive something there is also a perception of the perceiving (De an. 3.4.429b6-430a9; Eth. Nie. 9.9.1170a27-34; cf. Metaph. 12.7.1072b20, 9.1074b33-35). This view implies that perception is always a conscious act and that pleasures as perceptions are conscious as weil. The discussion of pleasant and unpleasant feelings in respect to past and future events explains the relation between pleasure and appetite (epithumia). Appetites are desires for the pleasant, and they are divided into nonrational appetites and appetites associated with reason (1370a18-19). Nonrational appetites are natural and activated spontaneously through psychosomatic changes. Their non-rationality does not, however, imply noncognitivity: when they are actual, human beings know what they are and also what their intentional objects are. Appetites associated with reason are more conditioned by culture and, as a result, presuppose certain types of beliefs. According to Aristotle, there are logical and alogical functions of the faculty of intelligence (Eth. Nie. 1. 7 .1097b33 -1098a5; 1.13.1103a1- 3; cf. Fortenbaugh 1975, 27 -28). Emotional judgments belong to the latter ones. Of the appetites, some have bodily causes. They differ from those grounded upon thought and accordingly resemble emotions in this respect. An actual appetite is directed towards an end usually thought to be pleasant. Consequently, a pleasant feeling is connected with most appetites, and a representation of the object of the appetite is connected with representations ofpleasant experiences in similar situations. Those distressed by fever and having an appetite for a drink, recalling how they have once drunk and thus having a representation of pleasant drinking, feel pleasure. In a similar way, Iovers feel pain in the absence of their loved ones, but while Ionging for their presence they also enjoy the memories through which they perceive the object of their affection (1370b15 -22). In the Philebus, Plato suggested that, in addition to the pleasant and unpleasant feelings associated with bodily changes, we also have such feelings caused by the mental representations of ourselves and others in situations which he called the comedies and tragedies of life (Phlb. 50b).
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Plato did not develop this idea further. In the Rhetoric, Aristotle extends bis discussion of pleasures and enjoyments from those connected with bodily changes to cases where pleasant awareness is self-regarding and its object is not a bodily process but a change in one's image of oneself in a certain situation. Victory is pleasant, not merely to competitive people but to everyone, for there is produced an appearance of one's superiority and everyone has more or less a keen appetite for that .... Honor and good repute are among the most pleasant things, because they produce the appearance of oneself as possessing the qualities of a fine man .... A friend is also among pleasant things, for it is pleasant to Iove ... and to be loved, for here again an appearance that one is good is produced, a thing desired by all people who are aware of it (Rh. 1.11.1370b32-1371a20).
The process model of pleasure is used straightforwardly to illustrate pleasant feelings related to one's self-estimation. When one's position in the social scale or some other relevant order is improving, one feels pleasure, and when it becomes worse, one feels distress. Turning now to the Rhetoric book 2, we see achange in Aristotle's focus from motivation to the question of how the orator may influence the judgments of bis audience through pathe. At the beginning of book 2, the emotions are connected with an alteration of judgment: Emotions are things on account of which the ones altered differ with respect to their judgments and which are accompanied by pain and pleasure, such as anger, pity, fear, and all that are similar to these and their opposites (1378a19-22).
1t is relevant for the orator to know about the consequences of occurrent emotions. Aristotle gives a separate treatment of twelve emotions in the Rhetoric 2.1- 11. Even though he does not analyze the structure of emotion as such, the analysis of the various emotions involves the same elements that are also mentioned in bis later works. (1) The emotional evaluation states that something positive or negative is happening to the subject or to someone eise in a way that is relevant to the subject. (2) A pleasant or unpleasant feeling aroused is an awareness of one's or someone else's changed position in a typical situation. (3) The behavioral suggestion is a spontaneaus impulse towards action. (Cf. Cooper 1996a.) Aristotle states in De Anima 1.1 that there are also physical changes associated with the emotions and that a physicist would find interest in the exploration of them (403a25-b 19). The fact that Aristotle, in bis works on ethics and rhetoric, does not pay much attention to bodily changes shows that the emotional feelings are not primarily perceptions of physical reactions, even though these reactions may influence one's emotional state.
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Some Aristotelian formulations suggest that he identified an actual emotion with the feit affect caused by an evaluation. (See e.g. Rh. 2.5.1382a21-22: "Let fear be a pain or a disturbance due to imagining some destructible and painful evil in the future. ") In some places the evaluation itself is called an emotion ("shame is the imagination of disgrace," Rh. 2.6.1384a22) and sometimes it is the dynamic inclination ("anger may be defined as a desire ... " Rh. 2.2.1378a30). This variation shows that one can refer to an occurrent emotion by referring to the whole or to one constituent part ofthe whole. Aristotle's approach is compositional and there are causal connections between the parts; referring to one constituent implies that the others are connoted. Aristotle states that anger is attended by a certain pleasure, "because the thoughts dwell upon the act of vengeance and the image they call up causes pleasure like the images called up in dreams" (Rh. 2.2.1378b8-10). The role of the feeling caused by an evaluation of one's changed position in a situation is often mentioned along with the discussions of anger, mildness, and shame. The feeling component of an Aristotelian emotion could be characterized as a propositional attitude: it is a pleasant or unpleasant awareness that something has been or is or will be and so on. David Charles (1984, 8496) has argued that Aristotle tended to analyze all forms of desire as kinds of dynamic acceptances of evaluative propositions. If emotionally moving representations in Aristotle are propositional, one could ask whether they are also judgments. Since references to phantasia and the verb phainesthai figure prominently in the definitions of emotions in Rhetoric book 2, one might conclude that the cognitive element in an emotion should be understood as a type of evaluative representation and not as a belief or judgment, as in the Stoic theory of emotion (Rh. 2.2.1378a30-32, b8-10; 5.1382a21-25, 28-30; 1383a17 -19; 6.1383b12-14, 1384a22; 8.1385b1316; 9.1387a9; 10.1387b23-25; 11.1388a32-35). In discussing the Aristotelian distinction between phantasia and doxa (or pistis) scholarsoften refer to the example in De Anima 3.3 where the sun is said to appear a foot wide but believed to be bigger than the whole inhabited world. Some interpretersunderstand this distinction as based on something similar to the Stoic concept of assent as the specific difference of belief. However, in the same chapter, the notions of belief, conviction, and persuasion, as distinct from that of appearance, are associated with reason which the animals Iack. There are no intellectual apprehensions without assent:
HOW THE PHU..OSOPHICAL ANALYSIS OF EMOTIONS WAS INTRODUCED 13 But belief involves conviction, for one who believes cannot fail to be convinced of what he believes; and conviction belongs to no animal but appearance belongs to many of them. Furthermore, every belief involves conviction, conviction involves being persuaded, and persuasion involves reason. Yet, whereas appearance belongs to some animals, reason belongs to none (428al9-24).
In this section, belief is connected to conviction, persuasion, and reason, and the distinction between phantasia and doxa or pistis is explained by referring to the operations of reason which differ from those of phantasia. One might wonder whether an unreflective representation at the Ievel of phantasia can arouse an emotion. The definition of fear (2.5.1382a21-22) suggests that the mere appearance of something terrible may arouse genuine fear even in the absence of any beliefs about its object. However, in the subsequent discussion, beliefs, not mere impressions or appearances, are clearly involved in the occurrences of fear. The existence of certain beliefs in the mind of the subject are also shown to be able to prevent fear from actualizing. The emotions described in Rhetoric book 2 are embedded in the noetic structures of their subjects' background beliefs, but it does not seem that all emotions presuppose such beliefs as a constituent part or even as a necessary condition. In the Rhetoric Aristotle Iimits his attention to emotions in human beings. When certain background beliefs are among the necessary conditions of an emotion, it does not occur in animals. Animals experience fear and anger but not pity which presupposes certain evaluative beliefs. (On animal emotions, see Sorabji 1993, 55-58; Sihvola 1996.) According to Chrysippus, emotions are conjunctions of two false judgments (Cic. Tusc. 4.14-15; cf. 3.76; Stob. Ecl. 2.90.14-18; PseudoAndronicus Peri pathon 223.12-19; Gal. PHP 4.2.1-4). The first opinion that is wrongly assented to is that an external thing is either good or bad. It is accompanied by another belief, which is directly able to induce movement, viz. that a certain behavioral response is appropriate to the situation. The immediate responses (contraction in distress, elation in pleasure, deflation in fear, and stretchingout in appetite) are psychosomatic changes which are followed by movements that end in external action. The Stoic description of the psychosomatic affection as preparatory to hormetic motion was meant as an account of the feeling aspect of emotion (Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 179-181). However, since the Stoics regarded the emotional movements as intentional, their analysis of the feeling component was quite different from that of Plato and Aristotle, who did not consider it as an act of choice in any ordinary sense. (For the feeling aspect in Epicureanism, see Annas 1992, 191-199). It seems that the later Stoic doctrine of the first motions or propassions was, to some extent, an attempt to revise the theory
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of feeling. At the beginning of De ira 2, Seneca describes the origins of anger as follows. An appearance of injustice induces a mental agitation which is accompanied by bodily changes. This first motion of the mind is involuntary. Seneca calls it a preparation for emotion, because it suggests an emotional interpretation of the situation ("I am harmed and I should exact retribution"). The presence of this proposition in the mind, even if it is voluntarily cogitated, is not an emotion, since the assent of the mind is needed in addition. Unlike the first movement, the assent is voluntary. Emotional assent implies that people are ready to act in accordance with it "at all costs", whereas those having a preliminary acceptance think that it can be qualified by further thoughts (De ira 2.3 -4). In a quotation from Epictetus found in the Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius (19.1.17-18), it is similarly said that a wise man may be disturbed by terrible appearances, but he neither consents to them nor sees anything in them that ought to excite fear. The Stoic theory of spontaneaus first motions was very influential in early medieval thought, as Augustine included it in a revised form in his theory of the emotions. It became popular in discussions of the theological question of when a bad non-voluntary spontaneaus motion of the soul becomes voluntary and an actual sin (Knuuttila 1996). THE CLASSIFICATIONS OF THE EMOTIONS
In the Timaeus and the Laws, Plato makes use of a classification of the emotions which is based on certain systematizing insights. According to the Timaeus (69c5 -d6), the passions of the mortal soul are hedone ("the greatest incentive to evil") and Iupe ("that takes flight from good"), tharros and phobos, which are characterized as "two foolish advisors", and elpis and thumos ("misleading hope" and "anger not easily comforted"). In spite of the negative epithets, the emotions are also said to have a function of their own and to require proper care (89e-90a). In the Laws, the classification is simplified: the passions are hedone and Iupe, which have now become "the two foolish advisors", and elpis is divided into tharros and phobos, which are characterized as opinions about future pleasures and pains (1.644c-d). It is not quite clear how anger, love, and hate (1.645d, 2.653b) are related to this scheme; shame is discussed as a form of fear (1.647a-d). The basic division of emotions into pleasant and unpleasant affections was taken for granted by Aristotle and the Stoics. In the Stoic taxonomy, this dichotomy was combined with the distinction between present and future pleasures and pains, a distinction that was also given a systematic status in the Laws (1.644c-d). In addition to this sketchy model, there are some
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other lists of emotions in Plato's works, one of which is in the Philebus: "anger, fear, longing, lamentations, Iove, emulation, envy, and other things like that" (47e). Aristotle's lists of emotions include similar items. In addition to the Iist in Rhetoric 2.1 (1378a20-23, see above), he provides the following catalogues: By emotions I mean appetite, anger, fear, confidence, jealousy, joy, feeling friendly, hatred, Ionging, emulation, pity, and in generat all those which are accompanied by pleasure or pain (Eth. Nie. 2.5.1105b21-23). By emotions I mean such as anger, fear, shame, appetite, and in generat all things that are, as such, accompanied by perceptual pleasure and pain (Eth. Eud. 2.2.1220b12-14). It seems that all emotions of the soul are with the body, such as anger, calmness, fear, pity, confidence, and moreover, joy, and Iove, and hate (De an. 1.1.403a16-18).
As already noted, it is probable that there was a common Academic background to the discussions in Plato's later dialogues and in Aristotle's works concerning the emotions. (On differences between Aristotle's lists, see Leighton 1996.) The Stoics, who had the most negative attitude towards the emotions, were more concemed than others to classify and define them. In the Stoic taxonomy, the emotions that fall under the generat titles of hedone and Iupe are directed at present things, and those under epithumia and phobos at future things. The detailed lists are purported tobe more or less exhaustive catalogues of affections derived from mistaken attachment to the apparent present or future good or evil (SVF 3.377 -420). They could be used in moral teaching as indices of vicious forms of behavior. In addition to the Stoic catalogues which became known to Latin authors through Cicero's Tusculan Disputations (4.14-16), there were some other ancient lists which influenced later discussions. The Stoic lists of emotions are included in Pseudo-Andronicus' catalogues ofthe definitions ofpassions, which were eclectic combinations drawn from Platonic, Peripatetic, and Stoic sources. Pseudo-Andronicus' Peri pathOn was translated into Latin by Robert Grosseteste (ed. A. Glibert-Thirry 1977). Another eclectic collection of Stoic and Platonic definitions is found in Nemesius of Emesa's De natura hominis (see Migne, Patrologia Graeca 40, 675-691). Augustine sometimes refers to all of these mental events as volitions which could be controlled by the will, regardless of whether the special capacity of the will is actualized in connection with them or not (Knuuttila 1996). lf the controllingwill is good, it Iets only good movements of the soul grow from the initial state. Augustine explains the four basic Stoic
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types of emotions with the help of this notion of will as follows: The right will is therefore a good Iove and the wrong will is a bad Iove. Love then, Ionging to have what is loved, is desire, and having and enjoying it, is joy: and fleeing what is opposed to it is fear; and the feeling what is opposed to it, when it happens, is grief. These emotionsarebad if the Iove is bad and good if it is good (De civitate Dei 14.7.).
This combination of desire and belief became the most prominent paradigm in medieval thought. THE EVALUATION OF EMOTION
Plato remains quite reserved when discussing the value of the emotions and seldom goes into a detailed analysis of particular emotions. Aristotle, on the other hand, was interested in the great variety of emotions connected with different social institutions and occasions. Because he regarded the social practices involving emotions as important constituents of human life and the edification of emotional dispositions as a centrat task of moral education, he considered it worthwhile to analyze the cognitive structures and motivating functions of the emotions. (On Aristotle's views of education, see Bumyeat 1980; Sherman 1989.) Aristotle's evaluation of contingent and temporal matters is a departure from the negative attitude of Plato and the Stoics. Plato's ascetic ideal in the Republic is not very far from the Stoic apatheia. The main difference isthat Plato did not consider the complete extirpation of the passions possible, given the physiological constitution that human beings have. Aristotle thought that a good human life consisted to a large extent of participation in various kinds of activities which constitute the form of life of a civilized society. Such a life is based on a complicated system of socially leamed emotions, and the quality of one's life very much depended on whether one was habituated through education to feel them in an appropriate manner: We can be frightened and bold and have desires and feel anger and pity and in general pleasure and pain both too much and too little, and in both cases not weil, but having these feelings at the right time, on the right occasions, towards the right people, with the right aim and in the right way, is the mean and the best thing, and this is characteristic of virtue (Eth. Nie. 2.6.1106b18-23).
Emotional responses are actualized when contingent external things are found to be important and valuable. Thus, the emotions are typically connected with confronting the contingencies of the extemal world. If one regards them as contituents of the good life, as Aristotle did, one will also accept vulnerability as a basic human condition. Emotions thus connect us tothingsthat arenot wholly under our control. (See also Nussbaum 1994,
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78-101; Striker 1996.) On Plato's understanding of the good life, such links to changing reality should not be too many. In fact, the main reason for Plato's negative attitude to the emotions was his aim to achieve detachment from achanging reality (see, e.g., Ti. 42a-d). Stoic detachment had a slightly different background. For the Stoics, the emotions are extirpated when people realize that as rational beings they are merely moments in the rational structure of the universe. Seeing themselves in the correct light, they cease to make self-regarding evaluations which affect people with a false conception of reality (cf. Brennan below). The Stoic apatheia was much criticized in ancient philosophy. It was regarded as both impossible and inhuman (cf. Irwin below). Even though later Platonists and other thinkers outside the Stoic school were sceptical about the value of the emotions, they usually recommended a moderate degree of emotion, metriopatheia, instead of apatheia as a more realistic ideal and a morehuman condition. Plutarch's On Human Virtue presents a standard version of this type of criticism of the Stoics. In referring to the ideal of metriopatheia, the accusers of extremism and inhumanity did not always pay attention to the fact that the conception of emotion which was based on the theory of the unitary soul was different from the more popular view which was based on the tripartite psychology (Dillon 1983; Striker 1996). The Stoics defended themselves against these criticisms on two main fronts. The doctrine of the so-called first movements was intended to explain how there might be something similar to emotional affections even when genuine emotions were extirpated. The doctrine of eupatheiai could also offer an answer to the accusations of inhumanity. The Stoic wise person was said to feel joy, accompanied by well-reasoned elation, caution, accompanied by well-reasoned shrinking, and will, accompanied by wellreasoned Stretching. Eupatheiai are, however, stable attitudes, not spontaneaus responses, and they do not ascribe any intrinsic value to externals (see Brennan below). It is, therefore, understandable that those regarding the Stoic ideal as inhuman and lacking in social feeling did not accept the doctrine of eupatheiai as a sufficient answer to their criticism.
Academy of Finland REFERENCES Annas, J. 1992 Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind. Berkeley/Los Angeles/Oxford: University of California Press. Anton, J. and A. Preus (eds.) 1983 Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy. 1-11, Albany N.Y.: SUNY Press.
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Bumyeat, M.F. 1980 'Aristotle on Leaming to Be Good,' in: Rorty 1980, 69-92. Caston, V. 1996 'Why Aristotle Needs Imagination?,' Phronesis 41, 20-55. Charles, D. 1984 Aristotle's Philosophy of Action. London: Duckworth. Cooper, J.M. 1984 'Piato's Theory ofHuman Motivation,' History of Philosophy Quarterly 1, 3-21. Cooper, J.M. 1994 'Ethicai-Political Theory in Aristotle's Rhetoric,' in: Furley and Nehamas 1994, 193-210. Cooper, J.M. 1996a 'An Aristotelian Theory of the Emotions,' in: Rorty 1996, 238-257. Cooper, J.M. 1996b 'Reason, Moral Virtue and Moral Value,' in: Frede and Striker 1996, 81-115. De Sousa, R. 1987 The Rationality of Emotion. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Dillon, J .M. 1983 'Metriopatheia and Apatheia: some Reflections on a Controversy in Later Greek Ethics,' in: Anton and Preus 1983, 508-517. Engberg-Pedersen, T. 1990 The Stoic Theory of Oikeiosis. Moral Development and Social Interaction in Early Stoic Philosophy. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press. Fortenbaugh, W.W. 1975 Aristotle on Emotion. London: Duckworth. Frede, D. 1993 Pltlto. Philebus. Translated with introduction and notes, lndianapolis: Hackett. Frede, D. 1996 'Mixed Feelings in Aristotle's Rhetoric,' in: Rorty 1996, 258-285. Frede, M. 1986 'The Stoic Doctrine of the Affections of the Soul,' in: Schofleid and Striker 1986, 93-110. Frede, M. and G. Striker (eds.) 1996 Rationality in Greek Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1996. Furley, D.J. and A. Nehamas (eds.) 1994 Aristotle's Rhetoric. Philosophical Essays. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Gosling, J.C.B. 1990 The Weakness ofWill. London: Routledge. Gosling, J.C.B. and C.C.W. Taylor 1982 The Greeks on Pleasure. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Greenspan, P.S. 1988 Emotionsand Reasons. An Inquiry into Emotional Justijication. New York and London: Routledge. Irwin, T.H. 1995 Plato's Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Joyce, R. 1995 'Early Stoicism and Akrasia,' Phronesis 40, 315-355. Kahn, C.S. 1987 'Piato's Theory of Desire,' Review of Metaphysics 41, 77-103. Knuuttila, S. 1996 'Naissance de Ia logique de Ia volonre dans Ia pensee medievale,' Les etudes philosophiques 3, 291-305. Knuuttila, S. forthcoming The Emotions in Ancient and Medieval Thought. Leighton, S.R. 1996 'Aristotle and the Emotions,' in: Rorty 1996, 206-237. Modrak, D. 1987 Aristotle: The Power of Perception. Chicago: University ofChicago Press. Nehamas, A. 1994 'Pity and Fear in the Rhetoric and the Poetics,' in: Furley and Nehamas 1994, 257-282. Nussbaum, M.C. 1978 Aristotle's De Motu Animalium. Text with Translation, Commentary and Introductory Essays. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Nussbaum, M.C. 1986 The Fragility of Goodness. Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nussbaum, M.C. 1994 The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
HOW THE PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS OF EMOTIONS WAS INTRODUCED 19 Nussbaum, M.C. and A.O. Rorty (eds.) 1992 Essays on Aristotle's De Anima. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Oakley, J. 1992 Morality and the Emotions. London and New York: Routledge. Owen, G.E.L. 1986 'Aristotelian Pleasures,' in: Owen, G.E.L. Logic, Science and Dialectic: Collected Papers in Greek Philosophy. (Ed. by M. Nussbaum.) Duckworth: London, 334-346. (First published in Proceedings ofthe Aristotelian Society 72 (197172) 135 -152.) Penner, T. 1971 'Thought and Desire in Plato,' in: Vlastos 1971, 96-118. Price, A.W. 1995 Mental Conflict. London: Routledge. Rorty, A.O. (ed.) 1980 Essays on Aristotle's Ethics. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Rorty, A.O. 1984 'Aristotle on the Metaphysical Status of Pathe,' Review ofMetaphysics 38, 521-546. Rorty, A.O. (ed.) 1996 Essays on Aristotle 's Rhetoric. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Schofield, M. 1992 'Aristotle on Imagination,' in: Nussbaum and Rorty 1992, 249-278. Schofield, M. and G. Striker (eds.) 1986 The Norms of Nature: Studies in Hellenistic Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/Paris: Editions de Ia Maison des Seiences de L'Homme. Sherman, N. 1989 The Fabric of Character: Aristotle 's Theory of Virtue. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sihvola, J. 1996 'Emotional Animals: Do Aristotelian Emotions Require Beliefs? ,' Apeiron 29, 105-144. Sorabji, R.R.K. 1993 Anima/ Minds and Human Morals. The Origins of the Western Debate. London: Duckworth. Striker, G. 1996 'Emotions in Context. Aristotle's Treatment ofthe Passions in the Rhetoric and His Moral Psychology,' in: Rorty 1996, 286-302. Thesleff, H. 1990 Platon, Lund: Pegas. Vlastos, G. (ed.) 1971 Plato. II, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday.
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS 1
Socrates: Weil then, said I, do you use the words "terror" or "fear"? And do you use them in the way I do? I say this for your benefit, Prodicus. I mean by them - whether you use the word "fear" or "terror" - a sort of expectation of evil. PI. Prt. 358d
The theory of the emotions in the Old Stoa is the subject of unusual agreement among scholars. While some points of detail remain tobe cleared up, the general outlines of the theory are fairly well settled. Given this state of affairs in the literature, the present chapter will fall into two parts. The first part is expository. In it, I shall present the scholarly consensus, adhering to common ground and generally avoiding the areas where opinions diverge. I intend this part to be an independent and self-sufficient introduction to the Old Stoic theory of emotions, that will be of use to nonspecialists. The second part is controversial. In it, I focus on a few areas of disagreement between scholars, attempt to adjudicate between current interpretations, and in a few cases offer my own interpretations. I intend this part to be a guide to the current Iiterature and the locations of remaining disagreements, for those who may wish to read more widely in the topic, or for specialists who wish a more detailed treatment. FIRST PART: AN EXPOSITION OF THE THEORY
Students of Stoicism have always stressed the degree to which individual Stoic theses are connected to one another. This connectedness will seem a good thing, to the extent that it implies that the theory is consistent, and that its separate parts tend to ratify one another. But it carries with it a difficulty, namely that individual theses will often only make sense when understood in light of the other parts to which they are connected. This is particularly important in those cases in which the Stoics developed extensive and sometimes counter-intuitive scientific theories, and then chose to express them in familiar but potentially misleading terms from ordinary language. Such is the case with the Stoic theory of emotions. lt can only be understood by reference to their broader theories of psychology, ethics, epistemology and physics; and once understood in these terms it is no
Juha Sihvola and Troels Engberg-Pedersen (eds.), The Emotions in Hellenistic Philosophy, 21-70. © 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Ionger obvious that it is a theory of "emotions" in the ordinary senseofthat word. The degree to which the finished theory does explain or capture our ordinary intuitions about emotions can only be assessed after the theory is clear before the eyes; in what follows, I shall use the term "emotion" as a translation of convenience for the Stoic term pathos. 2
The Broader Philosophical Background According to the Stoics, rationality permeates the cosmos. Divine Reason, which is also Nature, which is also God, pervades every volume of stuff, and controls every event in the past, present, and future. Every event is caused, and every event is determined; but this, far from interfering with God's control, is instead simply another expression of it. For God is also the active agent in all things. And God works for the best, so that the cosmos and the events that take place in it are all good. Anything contrary to God's plan is ipso facto evil, and irrational, and contrary to nature. Human beings, too, are rational. This much is common to many ancient schools; but the Stoic way of developing this thought is characteristic. In particular, its significance within the school is determined by the fact that the noun "reason" and adjective "rational" are ambiguous: 1) In one sense ofthe word "rational", human beings are only potentially rational, and none of us is actually rational. For our godlike reason fusts in us unused; none of us, at least none alive today or in the time of the Stoics, has developed our mind to its fullest extent. So developed, our minds would contain a huge store of knowledge, including all of the knowledge necessary for perfectly virtuous behavior, and no false beliefs or ill-founded desires at all. Our beliefs would never contradict one another, and our desires never conflict; not only would we know what is virtuous and what is vicious, we uniformly and without exception would desire the one and disdain the other. Someone in this state of perfected rationality is a Stoic Sage; unfortunately, Sages are rather rare, and the best attested candidate for Sagehood is Hercules. And this is not wholly surprising, since someone whose reason is perfected in this way will have a view of things very similar to the view of things that God has (although perhaps lacking God's divine foreknowledge of future events). 3 So the maximally rational view that the Sage has will be largely identical to, and nowhere in conflict with, the divine view of things. What is in accordance with that view is rational in the first sense. 4 2) In another sense of the word, all adult humans are rational, necessarily. This is because upon reaching maturity (at age fourteen) all of our thoughts, perceptions, beliefs, preferences, memories, dreams, and so on-
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all of our mental contents of any kind- are essentially propositional. And this is the second meaning of "rational", namely involving propositions. There may be more to my impression that I am awake than is expressed in the proposition "that I am awake," but every impression, and every other mental item, will contain some sort of "that" -clause. No adult has a brute striving, or a raw sense-datum; seeing is always seeing that something is the case, and wanting is always wanting something tobe the case. Nor is this propositional content somehow added into, or on top of, raw feels, hunches, or urges; in adults, mental contents are intrinsically propositional from the very start. Corresponding to these two senses of rationality, there are two senses of irrationality as weil. Contrary to the first sense above is any behavior or mental activity that is inconsistent with the maximally rational view of things that a Sage would take, or is contrary to the divine view of things, or is contrary to nature. Contrary to the second sense are the mental states and activities of children and beasts, which do not involve propositions. This contrary might better be called "a-rationality" or "non-rationality", to signal that it indicates the complete absence of something, rather than an imperfection. 5 In this sense, it is actually impossible for an adult human being tobe irrational; my belief that I can swallow the ocean, or my desire to do it, no matter how peculiar or pathological they may otherwise be, still each makes reference to propositions. The Stoics also claimed, in opposition to Platonists and Aristotelians, that humans arerational in thesensethat they are only rational; the human soul is uniformly and monolithically rational, and does not contain, as their opponents claimed, irrational parts. There are two denials here: the denial of parts, and the denial of irrational parts. Postponing the question of irrationality, we should first note that it is essential to the psychic parts posited by Platonists and Aristotelians, that they are each of them independently capable of generating intentional action. So in the Republic there are three separate origins of action, each of them capable (ceteris paribus) of causing me to raise my arm. As a result they are also capable of coming into conflict, if the actions that they originate somehow conflict (as for instance, if appetite seeks to move my arm, while spirit holds it back). It is central to Stoic psychic monism - their denial of psychic parts that this kind of conflict cannot arise. There is only one origin of action, called the hegemonikon or "goveming principle", or in David Furley's suggestive translation, the "command center". We shalllater consider how
the Stoics would explain the apparent instances of psychic conflict that had originally motivated Plato to posit his plurality of parts. But in addition to denying that there are multiple parts, the Stoics specifically denied that there are any irrational parts. And in understanding this point, it is important first of all to see that the term "irrational" is not here being used in either of the senses outlined above. In part, this is not surprising, since the idea of irrational psychic elements is the creation of other schools, who would not be bound by Stoic terminology. But the Stoics must have had some notion of what it would mean for a psychic element to be "irrational" in this sense, if only to deny the existence of such a thing, just as the theist and atheist must agree on a rough conception of God in order to disagree over God's actuality. Now the force and point of their denial of irrationality cannot have been to insist that the human soul is rational in the second sense, namely that its contents are intrinsically propositional. For, first of all, the terminology of propositions (or rather, axiomata)6 is very specific to the Stoics, and none of their opponents advocated in so many words the view that there are psychic parts that do not deal in propositions. And second of all, the irrational psychic parts that the Stoics rejected - for example Plato's appetite and spirit - would have been no more acceptable even had they been altered so as to deal in propositions. This would not have been a difficult modification to conceive of; simply give appetite the conceptual vocabulary that it needs to formulate the propositions relevant to it (for example" ... is a pleasure" and the like), and it will be "rational" in this minimal sense. But this merely shows that this second sense of rationality is not the heart of the issue between Stoics and pluralists. But then the first sense of rationality cannot be exactly to the point either. When the Stoics denied that any part of our soul is irrational, they cannot have meant "irrational" in the sense of failing to conform to or possess the perfected rationality of the Sage or of God. For in that sense, the Stoics will be happy to agree that your soul and my soul are already irrational, since neither of us conforms to or posseses the Sage's or God's rationality. So what notion of irrationality was at stake in the Stoic rejection of irrational parts? I take it that there are two main features at issue. The first is that irrational psychic parts, on the typical pluralist conception, embody specific value-orientations; appetite is intrinsically directed towards pleasure, and spirit towards honor and esteem. Appetite does not value anything except pleasure (or what can provide it), and no other considerations can make pleasure seem less valuable or desirable in its assessment. It is locked on to pleasure as its object, cannot deviate from it, and will not be kept
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from pursuing it except by force majeure. The second feature is subsidiary, but still of some importance. Irrational parts are conceived to have cognitive limitations when compared to human abilities as a whole. lt is not that they are incapable of recognizing things (their objects, for example) or even performing something like inferences. But they are typically thought by pluralists to be incapable of the highest Ievels of abstract thought. So the core of the Stoic position is two-fold. First of all, that human beings pursue the good and whatever they conceive to be good with their entire soul, unopposed by any renegade portion of the soul that might intrinsically pursue pleasure, honor, or something other than the good. Second of all, that our cognitive powers are neither limited nor localized; at least potentially, we can understand the workings of the world in a maximally rational and nearly divine way, and this understanding will then characterize the entire soul. This does not make our souls rational in the richer sense, but rather potentially rational in that sense. Accordingly, the second idea being denied, in the Stoic denial of irrational parts, isthat there are parts of us that by their very nature necessarily could not attain the overall, fully rational picture of the world. These two points interact with one another, as weil. The pluralists' appetite, when presented with an argument that some pleasure should not be pursued, may be unable to follow the argument if complex, and will be unswayed by its conclusion in any case; the pleasure will continue to Iook desirable to it, no matter what reasons may be alleged to the contrary. But part of what the Stoics mean in saying that our souls are wholly rational, is that they are wholly responsive to reasons in just this way, so that our assessment of what is good and what should be pursued can be altered by reflection and argumentation. And because there is no division, this alteration takes place without remainder; the whole soul takes on the new view, unanimously. To this extent, the minimal rationality of propositional content is indirectly relevant, for the Stoic theory of argument and inference makes it a matter of juggling propositions; a being that could not work with propositions could not perform inferences. The Stoic soul, then, has this centrat resemblance to the reasoning part of a Platonic or Aristotelian soul: it is characterized not merely by its calculative capabilities, but also and with equal emphasis by its orientation towards one particular object of desire and pursuit, namely the good or apparent good. 7 But it differs from a reasoning part, exactly by not being apart, that is, one part among many; the Stoic soul is unitary and undivided, without even the possibility of internal conflict.
This once again gives a new and stronger significance to the platitude that humans are rational. For it is also a commonplace of antiquity that each of us is most essentially a soul, so that our good and welfare as a human being are most accurately identified with the good and welfare of our soul. And given that, according to the Stoics, this is not merely rational (among other things) but only and solely rational, it tums out that our good as humans is most accurately identified with the good of this unitary reason; in its perfection lies our end. Accordingly, the Stoics argued that the only thing that has any real value is the perfection of our reason in this way. This is sometimes summarized, both now and in antiquity, by saying that only virtue is good, or worthy of pursuit, and that only vice is evil, and that everything eise is indifferent. And this is an accurate summary, so long as it is kept in mind that "virtue" here refers to a double perfection, since reason has this double aspect. Our desires must be correct, and our knowledge must be extensive and untainted by falsehood. But it would be an inaccurate summary, if it were taken to mean, for instance, that the only thing that is good is a good will, orthat our end lies in purifying our intentions. This cannot be the Stoic view, for it would make virtue, in this sense, compatible with the possession of false belief. And such a state of the soul, if even possible or coherent, would not be the perfected state of reason that is our true good. The Stoics were aware, of course, that this view conflicted with many of our ordinary beliefs, as for instance the beliefthat money or pleasure is good, orthebelief that life is tobe pursued and death is tobe avoided; but this conflict did not trouble them. Nor did their complacency consist merely in the reiteration that these ordinary beliefs are false, although they did think this. Rather, they were content to maintain these views in opposition to many ordinary beliefs, because they thought that these very views are also supported by, and to be found among, the ordinary beliefs that each of us holds. The same person who thinks that pleasure is the only good, also thinks that pleasure is not good at all, and that virtue and wisdom are the only good. So the ordinary, non-Stoic view of ethics is not merely false, it is also inconsistent; true conceptions of the good jostle with the false ones in every non-Stoic's mind. 1t is these false beliefs, and the tumultuous, unstable state of mind they produce, that are the source of all error, vice, and crime. To see how this can be so, we should look briefly at Stoic psychology and theory of action. The Stoic theory has two main components, impressions and assents. Any occurrent8 thought or belief that I may have, and any occurrent inclination or desire, will be some combination of these two. In Stoic epistemology we
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leam that there are two main kinds of impressions, the true and the false, with an important subspecies of the true being the kataleptic or comprehensive, whose truth is somehow guaranteed. 9 Assents can be strong or weak, but these terms do not seem to indicate strength of conviction; they are not synonymous with "obstinate" and "hesitant" .10 Rather, a strong assent is one that is not merely firm and certain, but is also irreversible by argument; no rational considerations, no extended dialectical enquiry, would Iead to the withdrawal or reversal of strong assent. 11 We may portray the Stoic account of these things most simply in a chart, which displays how two kinds of assent, to three kinds of impression, can produce six kinds of mental action: Impression false
The Stoics teil us that in knowledge (epistem€) the assent must be strong and the impression must be kataleptic, whereas opinion (doxa) involves weak assent, or assent to what is not kataleptic. Given that the definition of knowledge is conjunctive, and that knowledge and opinion between them exhaust the options, DeMorgan's laws confirm that opinion's definition should be disjunctive in this way. Notice that "opinion" in Stoicism is not like "belief' in modern epistemology; we may think that knowledge is a kind of belief (true, justified, and so on) but the Stoics use "opinion" only of what fails to be genuine knowledge. I shall follow Stoic usage in this regard, but reserve the term "belief' as a covering term for both knowledge and opinion. There is one other term often used, katalepsis or comprehension, which is defined as assent (of any kind) to a kataleptic impression. Some instances of this are also knowledge, and some are also opinion; katalepsis occupies the entire left-most column of the graph above. Since knowledge requires this strong, dialectically irreversible assent, it can only be found in the Sage, whose perfected reason contains no inconsis-
tencies, and whose perfected dialectical skills are prey to no sophisms. All beliefs found in non-Sages, even if true, even if kataleptically true, are considered mere opinions; none of them is any more stable than the faulty and inconsistent mental state of its possessor. Now among the impressions to which we may assent, some are called hormetic or impulsive. 12 Unlike the impression that, for instance, no prime number is composite, these impressions include some evaluative content about the goodness or badness, the value or Iack of value, of a state of affairs, and so seem to suggest or indicate a course of action to be undertaken or avoided. If we assent to them we will have some sort of belief, either knowledge or opinion, depending on the character of the impression and the assent as indicated above. But since these impressions have this special evaluative and practical character, we will also have something eise, namely an impulse (horm€). When I have the impression that this cake is to be eaten by me, and I assent to it, then my assent is an opinion. My assent is also an impulse, namely the impulse to eat this cake. All occurrent practical attitudes - all desires, intentions, pursuits, flights, and so on are impulses on the Stoic theory, and as such are assents to impulsive impressions. These impulsesarenot merely inclinations, or expressions of long-term preference; rather, the impulse itself immediately results in the action of eating the cake, unless some external force intervenes. What we might describe as having, but also checking or restraining, the impulse to eat the cake, would not count in Stoicism as having an impulse. lf the impulse is there, it results in action, and there can be no internal checking or restraining of it. Instead they might argue that we had first had an impulse to eat the cake, and this had caused us to move towards the cake, when the sudden recollection of the doctor's prohibitionbad caused us to withdraw our assent. Changing our assent, we thereby extinguished the initial impulse. But unless canceled in this way, the impulse always results in action, and in some sense is identical with the action itself; having the impulse to eat the cake is trying to or striving to eat the cake, which trying or striving, when successful and unhindered, simply is eating the cake. 13 This was also how the Stoics analyzed cases of weakness of will; there can be no conflicting impulses, only vacillation, an alternation of impulses so fast that it is not perceptible even to the agent. 14 So when I describe my action as a case of eating the cake against my better judgement, what actually happens is that I first have the belief that I should not eat the cake, and then for a period have the belief that I should - and having this belief even for a second, I try to eat the cake, and perhaps succeed. Then I later may feel regrets about this, and retum to my earlier belief that eating the
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
cak:e was not the thingforme to do. And I may even say that I knew all along that I should not eat it, or that I ate it against my better judgement; but both of these claims falsify the real sequence of events. At the time I was eating it, I believed that I should eat it, and my better judgement was that I should eat it - for if I did not believe that, the Stoics argue, where could the impulse have come from? How a single assent to a single impression can be at the same time both a belief and an impulse is not easy to see. It is made more difficult to understand by the explicit elaboration, that beliefs are assents to full propositions (for example, "this cak:e is to be eaten by me"), whereas impulses are assents only to the predicates that are contained somehow in the propositions (for example, "to eat the cak:e"). 15 It would seem from this much alone that the assent that is a belief must be distinct from the assent that is an impulse. But presumably the Stoics would specify that these are two aspects of one assent which, qua belief, is given to a proposition, and qua impulse is given to a predicate; or that the full assent is given to the proposition, but that the portion of that assent which is directed to the predicate is an impulse, so that the impulse is contained in the belief somehow. The state of our sources may forever deny us further insight into the details. For our purposes it is sufficient to understand that impulses and beliefs are both assents, and that impulses are correlated with beliefs in such a way that the impulse to eat the cak:e and the belief that the cak:e is to be eaten by me always entail one another. This alone will explain why the Stoics might say both that every intentional action is caused by an impulse, and also that the cause of a certain action was a belief, namely the belief that this was the thing to do. They will also speak at a further distance of actions caused not merely by beliefs about actions (for example, that eating this cak:e is the thingforme to do), but by beliefs about things, when those beliefs contain some sort of evaluative predicate. So the impulse to eat this cake is in some sense the same as the belief that the thing for me to do is to eat this cak:e; but it may also be the same as the belief that this cak:e is good, or that this cak:e has value. Bither of those beliefs may be accompanied by the impulse to eat this cak:e; and this shows how liberally we must understand the qualifier "somehow", in the claim that our impulse is an assent to a predicate that is contained in the proposition somehow. For the belief that this cak:e is a good thing does not explicitly contain in it any mention of the predicate "to eat"; but the Stoics will still want to say that our impulse to eat it is the result of, and in some sense identical to, our believing that it is a good thing, or seeing it as a good thing. 16
The Definition of Emotions We are now in a position to understand what an emotion or pathos is in Stoicism. Since we are non-Sages, our beliefs about the world, and in particular our beliefs about what is really good and bad, are nothing like the Sage's uniformly true, consistent, unshakable knowledge. And this is reflected in the fact that almost all of us believe that indifferent things like money, or health, or life, are actually goods, whereas in fact nothing is really good other than the perfection of our own reason, which is virtue. At least on some occasions, our belief about the value of something which is actually indifferent, as for instance money, will present it to us as something which is good, and whose goodness is of such a sort that we ought to pursue its acquisition. This belief, that the money is good and that the thing to do is to acquire it, will be identical to or at least correlated with an impulse, namely the impulse to acquire the money. This belief and its attendant impulse are an emotion, in this case desire. The Stoics thought that there were four generic emotions: desire (epithumia), fear (phobos), pleasure (hedone), and pain (Iupe). They defined them as follows: 17 Desire is the opinion that some future thing is a good of such a sort that we should reach out for it. Fear is the opinion that some future thing is an evil of such a sort that we should avoid it. Pleasure is the opinion that some present thing is a good of such a sort that we should be elated about it. Pain is the opinion that some present thing is an evil of such a sort that we should be downcast about it. It is easy to see that these four emotions are the product of two dichotomies, between present and future, and good and evil. So we may arrange them graphically as follows: Value good
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
Now each of these definitions mentions a belief, namely the opinion, and an impulse, namely the reaching out, avoiding, being elated or downcast. 18 This makes sense, given that beliefs of this sort, namely evaluative and practical beliefs, are identical in some way with impulses. This is why we find, alongside of the full definitions just quoted, two sorts of abridgments. 19 Sometimes the emotions are defined solely in terms of opinion (with the impulse implied) and other times in terms of impulse (with the opinion implied): Abbreviated formulations in terms of opinion: Desire is the opinion of a future good (or, the expectation of good) Fear is the opinion of a future evil (or, the expectation of evil) Pleasure is the opinion (or, the fresh opinion) of a present good Pain is the opinion (or, the fresh opinion) of a present evil. Abbreviated definitions in terms of impulse: Desire is irrational reaching out Fear is irrational avoidance Pleasure is irrational elation Pain is irrational contraction (or, being downcast) Other emotions were also defined, but only as species of these four (for instance anger, following Aristotle, was defined as a species of desire, namely desire for retaliation). The Stoics did distinguish emotions from mere physical feelings, as for example whatever it feels like to stub one's toe, or the signals sent from one's starnach to indicate the need for food or drink. The feeling of pain at stubbing one's toe, or the feeling of hunger or thirst, are not in themselves instances of the pains and desires that are emotions, for emotions require assent to propositionally articulated impressions. And indeed, since children and animals do not have such impressions, the Stoics explicitly denied that they have emotions, while naturally agreeing that they have physical reactions to injury and the like. Given these definitions of emotions, it is easy to see why the Stoics would have thought that the Sage never has them, and that it is always wrong to have them. For they are all mistaken opinions about what is truly valuable; they all involve taking something which is indifferent to be actually good or evil. And so they are also inconsistent with the Sage's or with God 's fully rational view of things; this is the sense in which they are said tobe irrational or contrary to nature.20 As false beliefs, then, they are all imperfections of our reason, and so directly deleterious to our end as the Stoics conceive it. But it is actually worse than that, because they are also practical beliefs, and so in some way equivalent to impulses, and so directly
productive of actions. Thus an emotion is not an idle and innocuous false belief, but a false belief taking effect in the agent's behavior; and this may weil strike us as undesirable even if we do not share the Stoic view of the end. But the Stoic view is not merely that having opinions of this kind will cause us to act wrongly. They also think that this is the only and sole cause of wrong action. For there are no other sources of intentional action than our unitary, rational soul; no irrational parts capable of moving our limbs in a way contrary to our beliefs about what we should do. If we did not have the belief that something was the thing to do, we would not do it; and if we did not have false beliefs, we would not do wrong things. Keeping this in mind will help us see why the Stoics are not open to many of the objections sometimes lodged against them. For instance, the Stoics do not teil us very much about the "elations" or "depressions" that are the impulsive component in the emotion. They seem to be some sort of physical alteration around the heart (where the soul is located), of which the agent is directly conscious. 21 And this combination of internal tightening or expansion, along with our awareness of it, might seem like exactly what we meant, pre-theoreticaily, by "emotion" - feeling upset, or anguished, or in turmoil. But then it seems that the Stoics have defined emotions as certain kinds of beliefs, accompanied by emotions; and this will seem less than illuminating .22 The Stoics also granted that even the Sage, who does not feel emotions, will have physical reactions 23 such as falling pale or turning red, and will have internal elations; and it may seem that this concession gives away the whole point of the claim that the Sage has no emotions. Or opponents may attack head on the claim that emotions are beliefs, by pointing to the way that music can affect our emotions without itself containing any propositional content. 24 Objections of this sort overlook the essence of Stoic psychic monism, which is that no action can proceed from anything but belief. From this point of view, the phenomenology of physical reactions - how it feels to stub one's toe, be in need of food, or be tossed about at sea - are ail ethicaily irrelevant, because they are all causally impotent. No number of shocks, bites, andfrissons, no amount of internal thrilling and chilling, will have any effect on the movement of my limbs, unless I add to it the belief that I ought to take some action. But having said this, I am not thereby restricted in my account of what stimuli and what impressions can have effects on my beliefs. The Stoics have no need to deny, and do not deny, that the application of thumbscrews will tend to produce in their victim the impression that something bad is occurring, and so make it more likely that
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
the average victim will actually believe that something bad is happening. So too, there is no reason for them to deny that music may have an effect on our behavior - exactly because it affects our beliefs. 25 True, it has no propositional content; but then, neither do the thumbscrews. Neither do most of the extemal objects that give rise to our impressions. And yet, they all are capable of having some effect on our behavior - if, and only if, we assent to the impressions and so change our beliefs. But then this also accounts for their relative Iack of interest in the phenomena that we think of as emotions - the laughter and tears and whatever may underlie them. They do not wholly neglect them, but the Stoic theory does not have their explanatio.n as its primary focus. That focus is on ethics, not on psychology. The Stoic, then, is not committed to implausible claims about what sorts of stimuli will tend to have an effect on behavior, and so is not refuted by alleged counter-examples like music. Whatever extemal influences other theorists think can Iead to action, the Stoic too can accommodate. The difference is that the Stoic insists that the connection is always mediated by belief. No impression, no physical sensation, no external stimuli of any kind, can ever Iead to an action on the agent's part, except by passing through the bottleneck of belief. It was not the pain in the thumbs, in the sense ofthat physical reaction, which caused me to betray my friends; at most, that could only give rise to the impression that something bad was happening. Rather, what caused me to betray my friends was my assent to this impression; we may say that pain produced the action, but only in the other, Stoic, sense of pain, namely, a belief that something bad was present to me. For an action, like uttering my friends' names or pointing to them, could only proceed from a belief. I bad previously believed that betraying my friends was not the thing to do, and that torture was no evil. But the thumbscrews are now attempting to persuade me to the contrary; they are making it Iook as though torture is really, genuinely bad for me, and indeed they are making it Iook as though tuming over my friends is exactly the thing to do. And so if I lose my grasp on my initial beliefs, I will betray my friends, exactly because of my new beliefs. And this is why the Stoic analysis is not a mere matter of terminology, or a trivial re-writing of the pluralists' analysis; for the Stoic analysis means that it is possible, in the case of the Sage, for knowledge to make a stand, fully in control of the agent's action, successfully resisting the blandishments and threats of contrary appearances. And this Thermopylae cannot be turned. Unless there is false belief, there is no wrong action; so if knowledge can block the one, it can block the other. Someone whose beliefs about
good and evil are not merely true, and not merely uniformly true, but are actually in principle immune from any revision - someone who will never waver in his or her beliefs, no matter how these may come under attackwill never do what is wrong. This also explains why the Stoics divided beliefs into knowledge and opinion. From the standpoint of modern epistemology, it may seem very obtuse to lump tagether false beliefs, true beliefs, and true beliefs whose truth is even somehow guaranteed, and treat them all as a uniform class called "opinion". But from the Standpoint of ethics, it makes perfect sense; only knowledge can guarantee right action. Even when the non-Sage does the right things, and for the right reasons, he does them only because he escaped, as it were by accident, being confronted by a slightly different situation that would have brought out his viciousness. 26 This seems to me the most enlightening context in which to assess the Stoic theory of emotions; emotion provides a sort of middle term, which elucidates the causal pathway underlying the Socratic dieturn that knowledge is virtue. Given that this is the theory's purpose, it is not surprising that its subject seems to be at some remove from the range of phenomena usually indicated by the term "emotions", as these are studied by modern psychologists. If anything, a more accurate translation27 for the Stoic term might perhaps be "vicious motivations"; the theory of pathe is a theory of the motivations of vicious behavior. Accordingly, the fact that the Stoics were opposed to emotions (that is, pathe) teils us nothing, in itself, about whether the Stoics were opposed to emotions in the more familiar sense. And so the Sage, who is free from pathe, might still have emotions. And in fact the Stoics did at least say that the Sage had other conditions, called "good emotions" or eupatheiai, ofwhich there are three: joy (chara), volition (boulesis), and caution (eulabeia). Their definitions and structure are largely parallel to those of pleasure, desire, and fear, but they differ from emotions in being accurate, veridical attributions of goodness and badness- the Sage has knowledge, and never opines. Where the non-Sage routinely mistakes indifferents for goods, the Sage never attributes goodness or badness to anything but genuine goods and evils, which is to say, virtue and vice. Wehave well-attested definitions of the eupatheiai that mirrar the impulse-formulations for the emotions given above (to wit, joy is rational elation, volition is rational pursuit, caution is rational fear), but we must reconstruct the full forms. 28 Presumably they would go as follows: Volition is the knowledge that some future thing is a good of such a sort that we should reach out for it.
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
Caution is the knowledge that some future thing is an evil of such a sort that we should avoid it. Joy is the knowledge that some present thing is a good of such a sort that we should be elated about it. Opinion has been replaced by knowledge, indifferents have been rejected in place of genuine goods and evils; it is for this reason that the impulses in each case are said to be rational. These states also can be put into a two-bytwo grid as follows: Value good
The absence of a fourth eupatheia is not due to any lacuna in our sources, but rather follows organically from their definition. The corollary of pain would have to be the knowledge that some present thing is an evil. Now knowledge entails truth; so some evil thing would have tobe present to the Sage. But vice and folly are the only evil things there are, and the Sage by definition is free from them. So, by definition, the Sage could never have the knowledge that some evil was present to him: thus there can be no fourth eupatheia. 29 This leaves us with the question, what attitude will the Sage take towards indifferents, and what shall we call it? lt cannot be a eupatheia, since those are directed only towards genuine goods and evils, but then neither can it be an emotion, since these are all false and vicious. What is it? One way to approach this question is by reflecting on the inaccuracy of the common characterization of the eupatheiai as "the opposites of emotions". Since emotions are each mistakes, that is, incorrectly taking an indifferenttobe a genuine good or evil, it is not clear what it means to talk about the "opposite of an emotion". What is the opposite of putting a round peg in a square hole? Presumably, if we can make sense of the idea at all, it has two opposites: putting a round peg into a round hole, and putting a square peg into a square hole. So too, it seems that the emotions just from
tbeir nature have two intrinsic Counterparts: correctly taking the good (evil) to be the good (evil), wbicb is a eupatheia, and correctly taking the indifferent to be an indifferent. Tbis is the attitude that the Sage will display towards indifferents; be will bave the knowledge that these indifferent tbing in tbe present or future are indifferent. If wbat is at issue is a future thing, tben be will bave rational impulses towards taking the ones that it is rational for bim to take, and not taking tbe ones tbat it is not rational for bim to take, and towards none of them will be feel tbe emotions of desire or fear. Tbe name for this kind of impulse is "selection" (eklog€). 30 Selection is not confined to the Sage; rather, it is common to tbe Sage and non-Sage, in exactly tbe same way that katalepsis and tbe proper functions (kathfkonta) are. Botb the Sage's and the nonSage's selection are correctly aimed at indifferents qua indifferents, but tbe non-Sage's selection fails all of the counterfactual tests; be has tbe true belief tbat they are indifferent but does not know it. So bis attitude towards tbem may at any time go astray; be may start to think of tbem as genuine goods, relapsing from selection into the emotion of desire. Still, the gradual replacement of emotions by selections will have been an important component of etbical progress; wbere I used to desire food, and feel pleasure at its consumption, I now select it wben it is rational for me to eat, and consume it with indifference. 31 Tbe doctrine of selection is an important complement to the doctrine of emotions, for it tells us two tbings that migbt otherwise not be clear. Critics sometimes write as thougb all of tbe non-Sage's impulses are emotions, and all of tbe Sage's impulses are eupatheiai; 32 but it sbould now be clear tbat neitber of tbese claims is true. If tbe indifferent at issue is a present one, as for instance bis current state of bealth or wealtb, then the Sage will bave the knowledge tbat it is indifferent, but tbat it is rational that be sbould have it, since all events are fated and are tbe work of God, wbo is nature and reason. He will feel neitber elation nor contraction at it, for elation and contraction are never rational responses to indifferents. 33 But tbis stillleaves the Sage with a fairly wide scope for having emotions in tbe subjective or pbenomenological sense. If there are internal feelings consistent witb the veridical, knowledgeable assessment of tbe values of tbe goods and indifferents around bim, tben the probibition on emotions (in the Stoic sense) will not stand in the way of bis feeling them. It may be that, still within tbe scope of tbat probibition, be can have a very rieb and complicated emotionallife, in the modern sense. And tbis outcome sbould not surprise us, for it sbould be clear by now
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
that the Stoics did not advocate the elimination of emotions for the reasons sometimes alleged, namely that our experience of them is subjectively unpleasant or disturbing. What is wrong with emotions is not that they feel this way orthat- dizzying or devastating, savage or sublime- but rather that each of them is, per se, an imperfection of rationality. It is a false belief, and inconsistent with other beliefs we have. And it is just in virtue of its being a false and inconsistent belief that it stands as an impediment to our perfection, and so to our virtue and happiness; for we are, by our nature, most essentially rational souls, creatures whose perfection is reached in the possession of truth and consistency, and in a godlike and scientific understanding of the universe. Now, since the world is providentially ordered, it so happens that when we have attained this state of rational perfection we will also feel tranquil, and not be prey to the violent moods and feelings that are central to our conception, though not to the Stoics' conception, of emotions. But this outcome, no matter how agreeably it may strike us, is aceidentat to the Stoics' conception of the end, and of how the avoidance of emotions contributes to it. The avoidance of subjective feelings is not the end, and if, per impossibile, such feelings were entailed by the end, then I am inclined to think that the Stoics would have bad no objection to our feeling them. The connection between subjective emotional feelings and our rational perfection is slightly closer than the connection between bodily pleasure or pain and our rational perfection, but the same counterfactual considerations apply. The Stoics thought that the life of a Sage would, by and large, be one of good health and comfortable physical sensation. But if the Stoics bad thought that rational perfection entailed physical aches and pains, they would have advocated it none the less. For all of those things are indifferent; it is no part of our essence to be creatures that are physically comfortable, and so the perfection of our nature does not require our physical comfort. The same, I think, applies to the feeling-tones and qualia that we associate with emotions. If thingsbad been otherwise, so that the perfection of our rational souls and their possession of truth and consistency entailed that we should have some subjective feeling-tone, as for instance gloominess or angst, then the Stoics would have advocated that we should perfect our rationality, and feel gloominess or angst. So long as these subjective states were not associated with any falsehood or inconsistency (since then they would be emotions in the Stoic sense), there is no reason why the experience of them should be detrimental to the attainment of our end. What matters is that our minds should be as perfect, as close to divinity, as
possible; what that happens to feel like is really neither here nor there, any more than physical pains or pleasures are. I am inclined to think, then, that the Sensations with which we associate emotions are also, like physical pains and pleasures, indifferent. Now to say this goes beyond the evidence of our sources, and for a good reason; the Stoics never entertained, as I have, the counterfactual detachment of false belief from feeling-tone. They did entertain the possibility that perfect rationality should be contained in a body wracked with physical pain, and their answer about that sort of case is unequivocal. But because the connection between false-belief and feeling-tone in emotions is closer, the possibility in which they come apart is at a much greater and less easily contemplated remove. So I shall borrow from Aristotle the terminology needed; I am inclined tothinkthat it was not qua emotions (i.e. subjective experience) that the Stoics condemned emotions, but rather qua false beliefs. 34 This feature of the Stoic attitude towards emotions is obscured in part by two things. The firstisthat the Stoics will have claimed that their scientifically refined, highly theoretical account of what an emotion is, namely a sort of false belief which is at the same time an impulse, is not at all a deviation from the normal sense of the term. Instead, they will claim that it is a refinement or systematization of it, which exactly captures the causal substructure of what we normally, pre-theoretically mean by "emotion". The charge of linguistic legislation was a common one in the Hellenistic era, 35 and always provoked vehement denials; 36 and in this case, too, the Stoics spent a Iot of time trying to show that there is no real distance between their definition of the pathe in terms of beliefs, and the ordinary picture of emotion as involving characteristic feelings. This ongoing polemic on behalf of the adequacy of their definition will recur prominently in the chapters of this book that explore the later Stoic discussions of emotions. 37 Given this position, the Stoics will not have been inclined to entertain the counterfactual detachment that I considered on their behalf. Secondly, our view of the Stoic theory is obscured by the fact that much of what remains to us is popular exhortation, addressed to non-Stoics whose beliefs about values are necessarily at variance with the Stoic view. In attempting the conversion of such people, the Stoics follow the normal rhetorical course of trying to show that Stoicism is the best and most efficacious means to the ends that the audience already espouses. lf this end is wealth, the Stoics will argue that the Stoic Sage is the only person who is truly wealthy; if it is physical attractiveness, then they will argue that he alone is handsome. 38 But no serious student of Stoicism would be deceived
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by these claims into supposing that wealth and beauty and so on were anything but indifferents. The same interpretive response ought to govern our reading of the Stoic fragments on emotion. When a Stoic speaks to someone who is suffering intense grief or mourning, and who wishes to replace a painful and turbulent feeling-tone by a neutral or tranquil feelingtone, the Stoic will promise that very benefit; you will lose the subjective experiences you dislike, and acquire the subjective experiences that now attract you. But this too gives us no evidence that the Stoics themselves placed any importance on the feeling-tone itself. These last comments have strayed beyond the stated confines of critical unanimity, and so I should caution the non-specialist reader that they are controversial. There are other scholars who take it that the avoidance of feelings was central to the Stoic prohibition on pathe, and not incidental in the way that I have suggested. This issue then takes us up to, and slightly beyond, the boundaries of critical consensus. It thus serves as a suitable transition to the second part of this chapter, in which I focus on other topics that remain undecided in the literature. SECOND PART: SOME ISSUES OF CURRENT CONTROVERSY
Do Emotions Involve Attributions of Substantial Value? There is some controversy about the judgements of goodness and badness made in emotions. Some scholars have claimed that these judgements must involve a "serious or very high value (or disvalue). "39 So, for instance, the belief "this money in front of me is a good thing" would not, on this account, be an emotion. Only some more emphatic version of it, as for instance "this money in front of me is a very good thing," "a wonderful thing," or the like, would count as an emotion in the Stoic theory. Of course, the definitions of emotions say nothing of the sort, but proponents find support for their view in several other passages. One of them talks about "supposing that what should not be pursued is intensely worth pursuing, " 40 where the evidential value lies in the adverb "intensely" _41 Another, even more suggestively, seems to say that in an emotion we must believe that something is the greatest good, not merely a good of some lesser degree. Hereis Long and Sedley's translation of it: 42 The passions are called ailments not just in virtue of their judging each of these things to be good, but also with regard to their running towards them in excess of what is natural .... One might take him [Chrysippus] to say ... that the opinion that possessionsare a good is not yet an ailment, but becomes so when someone takes them to be the greatest good . . . .
However, the problern with both of these passages is that they are not discussions of emotions. Rather, these passages are each discussions of the underlying, dispositional states that incline someone to have an emotion. Now an emotion is an assent to an impression, and so a punctual event, like an occurrent belief or desire. 43 But there are also correlative dispositional states, like the disposition to fear spiders or to love money or to desire sweet foods. These are the items being discussed, and they are called "diseases" (nosemata), or "ailments" (arrostemata) or "pronenesses to falling" (euemptosiai). The point being made in these passages is that we do not characterize a person as suffering from a disposition to have a certain kind of emotion, unless their beliefs about the object involved have a certain intensity, as manifested by the intensity and frequency with which they experience the particular emotional incidents. For instance, someone may on some occasion feel pain at having his reputation slighted. He is then having an emotion, to wit the beliefthat humiliation is a bad thing. However, if this happens to him only once in his whole life, we would not say that he is easily humiliated, or that he is very touchy about his reputation, or that he is prideful. We would only characterize as constitutionally vain or prideful those who put a very high value on their reputation, as evidenced by their frequently falling into the emotional states of desiring praise, feeling pained by humiliation, and so on. So the point being made in these two passages does not show that any individual emotion must involve an attribution of high value, or the belief that something is the greatest good or bad. Rather, it is sufficient for the having of an emotion that the agent merely think that something is good or bad, as the definition suggests. Doing that, one has an emotion. But merely doing that once, or sporadically, does not mean that one has a weakness for that sort of emotion, or an ailment, or a disease; for those, one must place a very high and intense value on the object in question. The first passage, cited in full, makes clear how pronenesses, diseases, and ailments are related: Proneness is a tendency towards passion, or towards one of the actions contrary to nature. For instance, depression, irascibility, malevolence, irritability, and the like .... Disease is an opinion about desire which has flowed into a state and hardened, according to which those who have it suppose that what is not worthy of pursuit is intensely worth pursuing. For instance, women-loving, wine-loving, or money-loving .... When they occur along with weakness, diseases are called "ailments".
The last sentences shows that every ailment is a disease; a certain sort of more intense disease, where the sufferer's soul is weakened. Cicero twice
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teils us that ailments cannot be separated from diseases, except conceptually; in fact, whoever has an ailment also has a disease. 44 And I believe that the relation between pronenesses and diseases is the same; every disease (and so every ailment) is a proneness, although not vice versa. Proneness may be a slight inclination or disposition, a tendency to be depressed or angry. A disease is a more intense version of this, and an ailment a still more intense version. And that it is more intense is confirmed by the continuation of the first passage, in which Chrysippus says of those who have ailments, "it is not unreasonable that [they] are called 'women-mad' or 'bird-mad'". Believing, on some occasion, that sexual gratification is a good means that you have an emotion, a desire, but it does not ipso facto mean that you are prone to it. If in addition you are prone to think that sexual gratification is a good, then you have a proneness, while you may not yet think that it is intensely good. If, however, you do think that it is "intensely worthy of being pursued," then you have a disease (philogunia), and are a "womenlover", while if in addition you have a weakness for it, so that you think it is the greatest good, then you are reasonably called "women-mad" (gunaikomanes).
Now all of this seems like a sensible view to hold about the grounds on which we typify someone's character by the emotions they tend to fall into. But none of it entails that the emotions themselves - those individual episodes - necessarily involve the ascription of any high positive value, or any intensity. What is at issue in these passages arenot occurrent opinions, but dispositional ones- "an opinion that has flowed into a state (hexis) and hardened". The pathological money-lover holds the fixed beliefthat money is the greatest of all goods, and hisindividual desires for it may reflect this. But when someone else desires money without this intensity, thinking it a good though not a great good, they are still having an emotion. Two points need to be addressed to make this claim good. First, it should be noted that Long and Sedley have added the word "passions" into the second passage, where the Greek only speaks of "these things" (tauta). What these things were is unclear; they may have been certain ailments under discussion, as for instance the women-madness or bird-madness next cited, or they may simply have been the dass of diseases that are severe enough to be called ailments. So, what Chrysippus is saying is that if we think about why we call a particular sort of state or disposition an "ailment", then we should note that we do not call it this merely because it involves some sort of dispositionalbelief that certain objects are good. That might suffice to make the condition a proneness, or a disease, but not an ailment.
Secondly, there is a verb ekpiptein, which Long and Sedley translate by "running toward" .45 So translated, it Iooks like a reference to the excessive and irrational impulse that composes one aspect of an emotion, and thus the entire sentence seems to contrast two analyses of the occurrent belief in an emotion, one in which mere goodness is ascribed to something, and another in which some excessive goodness is ascribed to it. However, that is not what the sentence means, because that is not what ekpiptein means. Chrysippus uses this word several other places, andin each case it describes not a single episode of emotional belief, but the gradual acquisition of a bad state of character. Here are the passag es: SVF 3.708 [In Homer, the heroes arenot ashamed to take an active role in the preparation of their own meals]: "They made a practice of being their own serving-men," Chrysippus says, "and even prided themselves on their dexterity in this [he cites examples from Homer] . . . . But now, we have become so debased that we dine lying down. (epi tosouton ekpeptokamen, hOs katakeisthai dainumenot)." SVF 3. p. 195, App. 2, Peri ton me di' hauta Haireton fr. 2 As the noble Chrysippus describes in the work 'On Things That Are Not Per Se Worthy of Pursuit', "Certain people become so debased in relation to money (epi tosouton tines ekpiptousi pros to argurion) that it is related that at the end of bis life one of them swallowed a great deal of gold before he died, and that another bad gold sewn into a sort of cloak, and then put it on, enjoining bis intimates to bury him just so, without cremation or other preparation."
SVF 3. p. 200, App. 2, Peri tou Kalou kai tes Hedones pros Aristokreonta fr. 10
Conceming which Chrysippus says, "I know a glutton who has become so debased with respect to feeling shame before bis neighbors when things happen (epi tosouton ekpeptokota tou me entrepesthai tous plesion epi tois ginomenois), that publicly, in the bath-houses, he habituates bis band to heat by putting it into bot water, and gargles with bot water in bis mouth, in orderthat they will be resistant to heat. For, they say, he has bribed the cooks to serve foods as bot as possible, and then he alone consumes them, since bis companions are unable to follow him."
These three, with the original passage concerning ailments, are the only places in the surviving corpus where Chrysippus uses ekpiptein of a person. 46 In each of them, what is described cannot involve an individual excessive impulse, but rather the gradual acquisition of a vicious state of the character. And at least in the second two cases, the state of character is really most extreme; we all tend to think of money and food, mistakenly, as goods, but few of us are so far gone that we swallow gold on our deathbeds, or scald our throats in order to monopolize the hors d'oeuvres. So in the original passage about ailments, we should not translate ekpiptein by "running towards" certain objects, or "being attracted to" them, but rather, for instance, "becoming decadent about" them, or "becoming debased in
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relation to" them, or "acquiring an unnatural inclination towards" them. So, what Chrysippus says is: [when we refer to certain vicious states of character, e.g. pathological dispositional inclinations to women or birds, as "ailments", then] these things are not called "ailments" because of the judgement that each of these things is good [that is, merely good, simpliciter], but rather because of having become debased in relation to them, to a degree beyond what is natural.
The phrase "to become debased in relation to" (pros) also occurs in the second parallel citation (in relation to money), which is drawn, significantly, from a treatise on "On Things That Are Not Per Se Worthy of Pursuit". This should remind us of the phrase used in the definition of diseases: "Disease is an opinion about desire which has flowed into a state and hardened, according to which those who have it suppose that what is not worth of pursuit is intensely worth pursuing." So the discussion of the pathological Iove of gold in that treatise will have been part of a discussion of how one acquires a vicious disposition towards something that is not worthy of pursuit, namely money, by coming to have the (dispositional) opinion that it is intensely worthy of pursuit. This sort of state or disposition is a disease. And if this becomes so intense that one comes tothink it is the greatest good, and worth doing anything to acquire, then one will have become so debased that one will have an ailment. The important point here, however, is that none of these texts in any way requires us to think that an individual emotion must involve the belief that an object has substantial goodness or badness. Of course, those who do have a pathological Iove of money may weil, in their individual episodes of greed, have the occurrent belief that the money in front of them is an intensely desirable thing. Butthat does not show that the same must be true for all emotions. A last objection to be considered. I distinguish between the occurrent value-judgements constitutive of an emotion, and the long-terrn dispositions of those who are pathologically disposed towards something so as to be actually diseased or even mad about it. But how can I make that distinction, given that, as we know, the Stoics claimed that all non-Sages are literally insanef47 We are all cowardly, unjust, hateful, lustful, and so on, and we are all mad. So we must all suffer from all of these diseases and ailments. And in that case, all non-Sages do have the disposition to attribute intense value, even the greatest value, to the objects of their emotions. Thus all emotions do involve these attributions of intense goodness or badness, not merely any degree of goodness or badness. 48 However, exactly this objection was anticipated and answered by the
Stoics, in both Cicero and Seneca. Seneca distinguishes between two senses in which we may say that someone is "ungrateful"; in the first, it may be said of every non-Sage, exactly because he isanon-Sage (quia stultus est), whereas in the second it may only be said of the person who has a tendency towards displaying this vice. So too, in one sense we say that every nonSage, even Achilles, is cowardly, but in another sense it is said only of the person whose nature is such that he takes fright even at unmeaning sounds. 49 All the vices are present in all people, but not all of them stand out in each person. Nature inclines this one to greed, that one is given over to wine or Iust, or if not yet given over to it, is yet so formed that bis character Ieads him in that direction.50
Cicero's testimony is equally useful: 51 It is one thing to be irascible (iracundum), another to be angry (iratum), just as being temperamentally anxious differs from feeling anxiety. For neither is everyone who sometimes feels anxiety (anguntur aliquando) thereby temperamentally anxious (anxil), nor are the temperamentally anxious always feeling anxiety.
This fits with Seneca; in one sense all non-Sages are irascible, but in another sense only some are, namely those who become angry often (saepe). And even becoming angry now and then (aliquando) would not make one irascible in this sense. Now, this is the sense in which irascibility and love of money are said tobe diseases or ailments. So it is clear that not all nonSages do have these ailments, even if all non-Sages can, in another sense, be said to be lustful, greedy, and irascible, by the very fact that they are non-Sages. Accordingly, the distinction stands; the diseases, by definition, involve the (dispositional) attribution of substantial or intense goodness or badness to indifferents. The emotions do not.
Frede on the Propositional Content of Emotions While not all scholars have thought that the emotion must involve substantial or high value, most have assumed that the belief in an emotion must explicitly predicate at least some goodness or badness of the item in question. It is not entirely clear from the evidence whether the belief must explicitly use the predicates "good" and "bad", or whether there are other ways of predicating the evaluative content.52 But, on this view, the evaluation must be part of the propositional content correlated with the belief. However, there is another view, taken by Michael Frede, 53 which has
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
gained some adherents. Frede pointsout that there is more to the content of an impression, and so more to a belief, than its propositional content; there is also a "way of thinking", such that the same propositional content can appear in different beliefs, being thought in different ways. There is very good evidence for this in Stoicism from the theory of kataleptic impressions; the expert chicken-farmer and I may both believe that there is an egg on the table, but the farmer's impression and belief about this will be vastly richer, more detailed, more clearly articulated, than mine.54 Both of our impressions have the propositional content "that there is an egg on the table", but our way of thinking it is very different. Frede offers the similar example of a blind person and a sighted person having the belief that a traffic light is red. Given this extra, non-propositional content to beliefs, there is an additional location for evaluative content in an emotion; and so it may be that the proposition is completely non-evaluative, but that the belief is still indirectly evaluative, because the proposition is "thought in a way" that involves evaluation. This seems tobe Frede's view. So, two people might have beliefs with the same propositional content, for instance "that Socrates is pale", but one will have, and the other will not have, an emotion. Describing the person who has the fear, Frede writes: 55 He . . . knows from experience that this kind of paleness is the symptom of a fatal disease . . . . He thinks of a fatal disease as something bad, because he thinks of death as something bad. All this enters into his thought that Socrates is pale by modifying the way he thinks that Socrates is pale, without though affecting the propositional content.
If we follow Frede, then the proposition correlated with the belief need no Ionger have any evaluative content whatsoever. So long as the "way of thinking" is evaluative, the proposition may display a great variety of contents- for if "Socrates is pale" may be thought of in such a way as to be a fearful belief, then so too may "the Sacred Ship has retumed from Delos", or even, presumably, any random arithmetical proposition (for instance "560 is greater than 440", supposing this to have been the tally of votes at Socrates' trial). This proposal has not gained universal assent, 56 but no arguments have been brought against it. I think that Frede has not made his position fully determinate, and so it is at least in need of some clarification. 57 Suppose, following his proposal, that Socrates is pale, and that someone has a fearful belief whose propositional content is "Socrates is pale", thought of as a bad thing. The following theses about the belief are inconsistent, but it is not clear which of them Frede wants to maintain, and which he would be willing to reject:
1) 2) 3) 4) 5)
This belief is an emotion This belief (like all emotions) is false and mistaken The "way of thinking" does not affect the propositional content of the belief The propositional content of this belief, "Socrates is pale", is true A belief is false if and only if the proposition correlated with it is false
These cannot all be true. The source of the conflict is that they require us to imagine that two people can have beliefs that share the same propositional content, but differ in truth-value; when the non-Sage is afraid that Socrates is pale, and the Sage notes with equanimity that Socrates is pale, Frede seems to say both that the propositional contents of their beliefs are the same, and that one belief is false and mistaken (since it is an emotion) and the other true (since Socrates is pale - and since a Sage knows it). But there is very good evidence that it is the propositional content of an impression (and so belief), and this alone, that determines its truth-value. 58 In fact it seems to me wrang in general, whether it is a question of emotions or not, to think that the difference between two impressions with the same propositional content can ever result in a difference of truth-value. The discussions in which this difference of non-propositional content is emphasized most clearly are those concerning the difference between the kataleptic, technical impressions of the expert and the vague and nonkataleptic impressions of the non-expert. But in none of these is there a difference of truth-value. When two people have beliefs whose content is "there is an egg on the table" (or, in Frede's example, "the light is red") their impressions may differ in many ways, as for instance when one is kataleptic and the other is not. But if the egg is on the table, then the proposition that occurs in both impressions is true, and so the beliefs themselves are both true, no matter how they may differ otherwise. I don't believe that there is any evidence in Stoicism to the contrary. Now of the inconsistent set, premise 4) is true by Stipulation and by standard Stoic truth-conditions.59 Premise 5) is weB supported, and the only uncertainty in it would be of little help to Frede's overall case. 60 Rejecting premise 3) would leave us with a minor variation on the standard position; if the "way of thinking" does affect the propositional content of the belief whose content had been "Socrates is pale", then presumably the evaluation is added into the proposition, as another conjunct. So it would no Ionger be true to say that the emotion and the unemotional belief have the same propositional content, namely "Socrates is pale". Rather, the emotion might have as its propositional content a lang conjunction, as for instance
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
"Socrates is pale and this means that he will die and his dying is a very bad thing". But this is not an option that is likely to attract any champions; it Iacks the advantages both of the standard view and of Frede's view. We are left, it seems to me, with only two plausible options; either we must reject 1), Frede's suggestion that emotions can have non-evaluative propositional contents, or we must reject 2), the assumption that emotions are false. Reject 1). This would be to follow the majority of critics, and suppose that a proposition like "Socrates is pale" cannot be the content of a fear. The false evaluation must be part of the propositional content of the belief, not just part of the "way of thinking". Thus emotions make an explicit, propositionally-expressed, claim about value, for instance "this money in front of me is a good thing," or "Socrates' impending death is a bad thing," and their falsehood consists exactly in the falsehood of this proposition. In Frede's favor, it must be admitted that such propositions as "Socrates is pale" do frequently appear inside of contexts like "I am afraid that ... " and the like. So the proposal to countenance emotions with non-evaluative propositional contents allows for greater fidelity to usage, as well as greater flexibility in general. Whereas, if the Stoics had chosen to analyze such cases by saying that the fear really had the propositional content "Socrates' impending death is a bad thing," then according to their analysis the person's thoughts would not have been very well reflected by their utterances. But they seem to have been comfortable with this kind of move in other cases; they say, for instance, that weakness of will involves a rapid altemation of beliefs, so swift as to be unnoticeable even to the agent having them. 61 And this analysis involves postulating beliefs that diverge quite broadly from the agent's utterances, perhaps even more broadly than supposing that the fear "Socrates' impending death isabad thing" underlies the utterance "I am afraid that Socrates is pale." So this kind of fidelity may not be a very strong reason to accept Frede's proposal. Reject 2). If we follow Frede in supposing that emotions can have nonevaluative propositional content, then we shall have to reject the normal assumption that emotions are false, and indeed we shall have to suppose that emotions are quite generally true. For on his view, emotions typically will be beliefs like "my child is dead," "I am eating some chocolate cake," and so on, thought in a certain, emotional way so as tobe pains or pleasures, desires or fears. And there is no reason why these should be false- it may well be the case that my child is dead, or that I am eating cake, in which case my beliefs will be true. It is evaluative beliefs, after all, that the nonSage tends to get wrong; the Stoics did not claim that he was especially bad
at telling whether children are dead or cake is cake. 62 Of course, desires and fears refer to the future, and so are more likely to involve false nonevaluative beliefs (since I may not win the lottery as I had desired). But the vast majority of pains and pleasures would turn out to be true, not false, as most critics have thought and as Frede hirnself at least sometimes says. 63 Thus the refutation of the Frede's proposal can be most easily accomplished by demonstrating that, according to the Stoics, all emotions are false. However, this is not at all easy to demonstrate, and in fact it seems to me quite likely that it was not their position at all. A full consideration of the evidence would require more space than this chapter may conveniently occupy, but a few pointswill show the location of the difficulties. The evidence for supposing that all emotions are false in fact seems to me very weak. To begin with, it should be noted that the falsehood of the belief is no part of the definition, although it would have been very easy for the Stoics to say, for instance, that pain is the false opinion of a present evil. But not only do the Stoics decline to specify that the opinion in an emotion is always false, they actually specify something suggestive of the contrary; at two different passages, we are told that by "opinion" in the definition of emotions, what is meant is "weak assent" .64 Now weak assent covers at least three kinds of opinion, namely weak assent to the false, weak assent to the true, and weak assent to the kataleptic (and according to the account of opinion I favor, it actually covers all cases of opinion). 65 So here it seems that, even when taking extra pains to show what kind of opinion is involved in emotions, the Stoics do not say that they are false opinions, but rather any kind of opinion, false, true or even kataleptic. Because of the care with which the Stoics crafted their definitions, this ought to have a great deal of weight with us, and one easy way of explaining it would be to suppose that they, like Frede, wanted to countenance emotions with propositional contents like "Socrates is pale." Later, I shall suggest a rival explanation. 66 Still, there are some passages in which false opinions are mentioned in the context of emotions, and it is these, I suspect, that have persuaded scholars to suppose that all emotions are false beliefs, even though the definition does not require it. One of these has been considered in the last section, namely the passage in which it is said that those who suffer from a disease "suppose that what is not worth of pursuit is intensely worth pursuing." This is certainly a false opinion. But it is a dispositional opinion, betonging to a pathological person. So it cannot be used to show the falsity of all emotions without showing the legitimacy of two independent moves,
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first from pathological people to people at large, and then from dispositional beliefs to occurrent beliefs at large. Now it seems to me that, on the Stoic view, a dispositionalbelief must be a disposition to assent to certain impressions; it is an alteration of the soul, which increases the likelihood that it will respond to new impressions one way rather than another. 67 And so, if someone has a dispositional belief that money is good, then they will have the disposition to assent to the impression that this money in front of them is good, when such an impression arises. 68 So I am content that the evidence about dispositions does show that those who have the disease of money-loving will have beliefs of the form "this money is a (very) good thing," and that these beliefs will be emotions, and that they are false. But, again, this cannot be directly generalized to all emotions. Furthermore, it does not show us that this very disposition could not also have an indirect effect on the way in which its possessor assents to the impression "here is some money in front of me." And if this is possible, then one disambiguation of Frede's proposal still Iooks viable. Namely, we would say that, while some emotions do make explicit valuejudgements, others do not, but instead consist in non-evaluative propositions which are thought in a certain way. And, we would continue, it is exactly this disposition to assent to false evaluative beliefs which affects the way in which the true non-evaluative belief is thought; it is exactly because of my readiness to assent to the impression that Socrates' impending death is a bad thing, that in assenting to the impression that Socrates is pale, I think of his paleness in an emotional and fearful way, and thus have an emotion. Given this, we could also show why, even though some emotions are true beliefs, there would still be passages that suggested that emotions are false beliefs. For on this proposal, all emotions would at least be indirectly false, or have their origins in other, false beliefs, since even those emotions whose propositional contents were true ("Socrates is pale") would still become emotions because of the way in which they were thought, and this would be the result of false dispositional beliefs ("Death is a bad thing"), which, while not themselves emotions, are false beliefs, or at least dispositions to assent to false impressions. 69 As a result, far from refuting it, these texts might fit very nicely with one way of understanding Frede's proposal. And so even texts which discuss emotions instead of emotional dispositions, and say that false beliefs are somehow involved in them, will still need to be treated with great caution. For instance, Galen tells us that Stoics of his day said that "mistaken reason and false opinion (ton hemartemenon logon kai ten doxan ten pseude) are the causes of the motions attendant on
the emotions. " 70 But this does not tell us that the false opinions that cause certain motions are actually identical with the opinions in the emotions; it is still consistent with the proposal being considered. Similarly, when Plutarch teils us that "an emotion is bad and licentious reason, arising from a worthless and mistaken judgement (ek phaules kai diemartemenes kriseos) when it gains force and strength," we still do not have the crucial passage that would identify the emotion with the mistaken judgement. 71 This merely says that the emotion somehow arises from false judgement, and we have just seen how a true non-evaluative emotion might be said to arise from a false evaluative disposition. There will also be another interpretive problem, namely that the emotions in which the belief is evaluative and directly false may well have been taken tobe typical, and have received the greatest attention. So we may find some writers who are less familiar with Stoicism, writing as though this false evaluation was a feature of all emotions - this may be the case with Themistius in SVF 1.208. Furthermore, Galen suggests that people sometimes use the ward "emotion" catachrestically, for "emotional disposition" ,72 so that Statements that emotions are false may merely reflect the fact that all emotional dispositions, that is, diseases and ailments and so on, are dispositions to assent to false impressions. And while it might seem unlikely that anyone could confuse such things, it happens that Diagenes Laertius (or his source) does exactly this, when he explains the doctrine that emotions are judgements (pathe kriseis einai) by saying "for Iove of money (philarguria) is the supposition that money is good, and likewise with drunkenness (methe) and licentiousness (akolasia) and the like .•m Four other passages tell us that Iove of money was not an emotion, but rather a disease, that is an emotional disposition; 74 and it would be natural to suppose the same of drunkenness and licentiousness.75 Now it may have been that such terms as "Iove of money" and "licentiousness" were themselves used catachrestically to refer to the individual beliefs, emotions, and impulses that arose from the dispositions properly so called. But it is more likely that Diagenes has found a passage about emotional dispositions, and is misapplying it to a statement about emotions proper, exactly because he thinks that the pathe referred to are emotional dispositions instead of emotions. These sorts of considerations do not in any sense prove Frede's case, but only go to show how difficult it would be to disprove it. And one further piece of evidence will show that it simply cannot be disproved in the way currently envisioned, namely by confronting it with a demonstration that all emotions are false. This is a passage of Cicero in which Cicero's source,
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
who is almost certainly Chrysippus, countenances emotions that contain true beliefs. I have in mind the story of Alcibiades in Cicero's Tusc. 3.77-78, who was distressed by his own vice when Socrates demonstrated it to him, and begged Socrates to mak:e him a better man. Cicero comments "what shall we say, Cleanthes? that there was no evil in the cause which made Alcibiades feel distress?"76 For Alcibiades had an emotion; but it was directed at a genuine evil, namely his own vice, not an indifferent. And this is a problern for the assumption that every emotion is constituted by or depends on the false belief that an indifferent is a good or evil. Indeed, the anecdote very neatly falsifies the assumption for three emotions at once; for Cicero teils us that Alcibiades also feit an emotional desire for his future virtue, and an emotional fear for his future vice. 77 So none of these - neither pain, desire, or fear - necessarily involves tak:ing an indifferent to be a good. They can also involve tak:ing a good to be a good, or an evil to be an evil. The anecdote does not show us a veridical pleasure, but this is exactly as it should be: the assumption still holds in this fourth case. The emotion of pleasure cannot be veridically oriented, as the other three can be, for the same sort of reason that there can be no fourth, pain-like eupatheia; if someone is elated by the true belief that the good is present to them, then the good must be present to them, and so they must be a Sage, and so they cannot be having any sort of emotion. However, a full discussion of such veridical emotions, and the role they played in Chrysippus' therapeutic method, would tak:e us too far afield. I introduce them here only to suggest one reason why Chrysippus might have intentionally omitted falsehood from his definition of the emotions, and why we will Iook in vain for definitive, unambiguous evidence that all emotions are false beliefs. But notice that even this exceptional case, in which the propositional content of the emotion is for once true, does seem to suggest (though it does not require it) that Alcibiades' emotions had the content "my present viciousness is an evil", "my future viciousness is an evil," and "my future virtue is a good." And if this is the case, then it only gives us more evidence that the typical emotion had the form "this x in front of me is an evil" and so on, where in the typical case the subject is an indifferent. I grant that this is not the only way of reading the definitions. An "opinion of the presence of a good" might describe the miser's true and non-evaluative opinion "here is some money," which would then be emotional only because of his other beliefs about the goodness of money. But that is certainly not the natural way to read it. In summary, it seems to me that the evidence is sufficiently ambiguous
that Frede's proposal, or some modification of it, cannot be ruled out. But at the same time, I find little attraction in it. On balance, it seems to methat we should suppose that all emotions did contain explicitly evaluative propositions.
Nussbaum on the Justijication of the Analysis of Emotions as Beliefs In attempting to see why Chrysippus made emotions a type of judgement, most authors point to the coherence of this view with Stoic psychic monism. Nussbaum calls this answer "superficial" and "quite inadequate." Their monism "was not an item of unargued dogma ... , " since they could have chosen a complex model of the soul, such as the tripartite Platonic soul; instead it was "a conclusion of arguments . . . prominently including arguments about the passions." And so we should not invoke their monism in order to explain their cognitive theory of emotions, because "what needs explaining is precisely the fact that is being invoked as an explanation. " 78 Why then did the old Stoics treat emotions or passions as activities of the rational soul? In one article, 79 Nussbaum has suggested that it derive[s] from Platonic sources ... as a reading of the passionate part of the soul, as Plato presents it in Republic IV. For Plato insists on that part's responsiveness to belief and judgement, calling it an "ally of the reasoning part" (441a) and a "partner of judgement" (440b) ....
This idea works better in English than in Greek; Nussbaum has used "passion" to translate both the Platonic "thumos" and the Stoic "pathos". For Plato does not say that the pathe are specially connected to reason, or that any pathetikon part is, but rather that thumos or the thumoeides part is; and this has only an incidental connection to the Stoic pathe. Furthermore, Plato' s comments about the affinity of the thumoeides part are intended to cantrast it with the epithumetikon part, whereas the Stoic theory treats epithumia as a centrat case of an emotion (indeed thumos in their system is a subspecies of epithumia). There is this much truth in the suggestion, namely that Plato does not deprive the irrational parts of all cognitive abilities. But otherwise the attempt to connect Stoic "passions" with the Platonic "passionate" part of the soul does not seem a promising avenue. Elsewhere, Nussbaum has argued that the cognitive features of the emotions are so complicated that they could not be realized by anything but reason: "The point is, once we make the emotions as cognitive and selective as Chrysippus . . . argued that they must be, Reason Iooks like just the place to house them. "80 Emotions are complicated cognitive activities; only Reason can perform
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
such complicated cognitive activities, therefore the emotions must be activities of Reason. And this argument, in Nussbaum's view, avoids the circularity of relying on Stoic psychic monism as a datum; it gives completely independent reasons, acceptable either to monists or pluralists, for viewing the emotions as activities of Reason. This strategy, too, does not seem wholly satisfactory. For, even accepting the first premise - which receives the bulk of Nussbaum's discussion and illustrations 81 - we may still doubt the second premise. Why couldn't non-rational parts of the soul be capable of sufficiently complicated cognitions? In the views of pluralists such as Plato and Aristotle, the nonrational parts have quite extensive and intricate cognitive capacities. When Odysseus' spirited part is aroused (Resp. 441b), it presumably sees that the housemaids are leaving the hall with the suitors, calculates their intentions in so doing, infers that they are behaving shamefully, reflects on how this shame will rebound upon his own honor, hits on a plan of revenge, conceived of as a means of reestablishing his reputation, and so on. These are the sorts of refined cognitive abilities that Nussbaum, too, thinks the emotions require; but a pluralist will not agree that -Reason alone can have cognitions of this complexity. In fact, Plato might well deny that his reasoning part has anything so crude. For the kinds of cognitive activities that Nussbaum gives the emotions include, among others, "conceiving ofthe beloved person in all his beauty and specialness. "82 This has a suggestive Platonic parallel; it Iooks like the behavior of a sight-lover, who can recognize particular instances of beauty but will not countenance any Form of beauty. And this is not the highest types of cognitive activity, available only to Reason; on the contrary, it is one of the lower types. The really complicated cognitions, the ones that only reason can perform, involve abstract, quasi-mathematical reflections on the structure ofthe Forms, which would not deal in "specialness". Merely liking the way that your Iover looked, and recognizing that he is dead, are cognitions well within the capabilities of irrational psychic parts. The details of Platonic exegesis are controversial and not wholly relevant; my point is that Nussbaum's argument works by trading on a particular conception of non-rational parts, namely that their cognitive capacities are "more brutish" and "less discriminating" 83 than the emotions require. But there is no reason why a psychic pluralist should hold this, and typically they will deny it, if they place the emotions in a non-rational part; Plato's spirit and appetite are not mindless drives, vaunting pride and grunting Iust. So if we accept Nussbaum's argument, then we still need to explain why the Stoics had this impoverished conception of non-rational parts - and of
course Nussbaum will not want to say that it is because they reject psychic pluralism. My own inclination is to agree with Nussbaum that psychic monism does not independently explain or justify the claim that emotions are judgements, as though the Stoics had just found themselves being monists, and then concluded that emotions must be judgements. But I do not think that Nussbaum's arguments do any better at providing an independent explanation of it, for they rely on a conception of non-rational parts that is denied by psychic pluralists. Rather, I am inclined tothinkthat each of these things - psychic monism, the view that emotions are judgements, and the conception of non-rational parts as brute and uncognitive - tend to go band in band, as do their contraries. They consist; and we understand each better by seeing its Connections to the other. That may be as much as we can achieve sometimes.
Nussbaum and Inwood on Eupatheiai Nussbaum concludes her treatment of the emotions with a brief discussion of the eupatheiai. Unfortunately, her comments about the eupatheiai are incorrect. She rightly says that they "are not passions and are not identified with any high evaluation of externals." But she takes them instead to be correct, non-excessive, impulses to external indifferents: They are motivations that ... steer [their possessor] ... among things indifferent .... A response of prudent caution (eulabeia) is approved towards future negative possibilities ... [so that] one can still appropriately be motivated to avoid death and other dispreferred indifferents .. . . Toward their future opposites one can move under the guidance of ... boulesis. And, finally, if good externals should arrive ... [the Sage feels] a certain sort of joy (chara). 84
That this is not correct can be seen in several different ways. First of all, the list of specific eupatheiai given to us by Andronicus, although very deficient, does in a few cases specify the objects of the impulse. 85 In no case is a eupatheia directed towards an indifferent, andin several cases it is directed towards a genuine good. Before we look at the entries on Andronicus' list, we should briefly recall what Sextus tells us of the Stoic definition of the good:86 The good is either benefit, or not other than benefit. By "benefit" they mean virtue and virtuous action (praxis); while by "not other than benefit" they mean "the virtuous human being" and "the virtuous friend".
The items on Andronicus list that specify an object are as follows:
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
Eunoia is bou/esis of goods (agathOn) for the sake of that other hirnself Terpsis is chara that is appropriate to the benefits one has (tais perl auton
opheleiais) Euphrosune is chara at the deeds of the temperate person (tois tou sophronos ergois) Euthumia is chara at the progress and self-sufficiency of the universe87 Aidos is eulabeia at true blame (orthou psogou) Hagneia is eulabeia about making mistakes (hamartemata) concerning the .
Of these six items, the first three very clearly mention goods, or benefit, or the wise man's actions. 88 None of these could be construed as attitudes or impulses directed at indifferents. The definition of euthumia is obscure; my translation may be wrong, but it would be difficult to translate it so as to make it refer to indifferents. The last two refer first to true blame (not using the normal word for reputation, doxa, which is an indifferent), and to mistakes, vicious actions, in relation to the Gods. This last certainly is a genuinely bad thing, which must be avoided if the Sageis to retain virtue. The evidence of Cicero on the eupatheiai also supports the claim that they are only directed to genuine goods and evils, and not to indifferents. 89 Cicero introduces the eupatheiai by pairing them off with emotions; here, for instance, is his treatment of boulesis: By nature everyone pursues what seems good to them (ea quae bona videntur) and avoids the contrary . . . . Where this takes place in an even and temperate way, the Stoics call this kind of impulse "boulesis" .... They say it takes place only in the Sage, and they define it by saying "boulesis is that which desires anything along with reason (quae quid cum ratione desiderat)" .... Where, however, it has turned its back on reason and is excessive, there it is desire and unbridled Iust, which is found in all of the Foolish.90
The same pattern of exposition is taken with the other eupatheiai. We are given two contrasting scenarios, one in which something seems good or bad to the Sage, and one in which something seems good or bad to the nonSage, and told that the first results in some eupatheia, and the second in some emotion. Now the non-Sage gets things wrong all of the time, and so will respond to the presence of wealth, food, disease, death, and so on as though these were goods and bads, when in fact they are not. The Sage, on the other hand, never has opinions; so if something seems good to him, then indeed it really is good. Andin that case, it must be virtue, benefit, and so on- one of the genuine goods, not an indifferent. Finally, there is an indirect but substantial reason to take the eupatheiai
as aimed at genuine goods and evils rather than indifferents. Doing so allowed us to explain the absence of the fourth eupatheia that would correspond to pain. Nussbaum writes, "[t]here is no good affective form corresponding to distress: in other words, no good way to register negatively the presence of a bad state of affairs. "91 But she offers no explanation of this fact, perhaps thinking it obvious that the central aim of Stoicism is to avoid unpleasant feelings. But this begs the question; surely there is a way of responding to dispreferred indifferents that is wise, rational, and not "negative" - why is this not the fourth eupatheia? On Nussbaum's view, the Sage will have a boulesis for food and feel chara when he or she gets it. Supposing that on some other occasion their bou/esis is unrewarded, what state will they be in? Surely they will in some sense "register the presence of the state of affairs", and they will do it wisely and temperately and so on - why is there no name for that reaction? Granted that they will not feel downcast, there still is an appropriate, wise, temperate response to frustrated boulesis, and this would be a natural candidate to receive the name of the fourth eupatheia. Its absence remains unexplained. On my account, its absencewas very easily explained (see above, Part I). It is logically impossible for there to be a fourth eupatheia, because it would require the Sage to be vicious.92 Nussbaum credits her views on the eupatheiai to Inwood, 93 but in fact she makes the very mistake that he explicitly wams against, of supposing that the Sage can have eupatheiai towards indifferents so long as they are accompanied by reservation. Here is bis discussion: Nothing in Seneca's discussion rules out the possibility that the joy [i.e., the eupatheia of chara] of a sage might include a reserved impulse to expansion for the presence of something which is merely preferred. Such a reserved impulse could easily be stopped if god wills that subsequent events bring unfortunate results. lt is tempting to think of this kind of reserved response to something indifferent as a form of joy. But even this should not qualify [as chara], unless there is in the preferred thing some genuine good. Joy is a re~onse to genuine goods, and so can only be feit for virtue orthat which partakes of virtue. 4
Inwood correctly draws the line; the eupatheia is only for genuine goods. An impulse towards an indifferent, whether accompanied by reservation or not, cannot be a eupatheia. Nussbaum succumbs to temptation. Inwood's discussion, however, is not as clear as it could be. For he seems to think that the Sage will have expansions of the soul (although not eupatheiai) towards preferred indifferents: "when [the Sage] has an expansion in bis soul for something which is merely preferred, he does so with the proper reservation ... ". 95 But he also claims that "no impulse to contraction can be correct, not even a reserved impulse to contraction on
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
account of something rejected [dispreferred]. " 96 But this is not supported by the text to which he refers, 97 which teils us only that the Sage is not subject to the presence of evil (since by definition he is exempt from vice). This, as we have seen, explains why there can be no fourth eupatheia, but it does not rule out one of Inwood's hypothetical reserved contractions. And bis decision to attribute reserved expansions to the Sage makes it now completely obscure why the Sage should not feel reserved contractions at the presence of dispreferred indifferents. The Iack of reserved contraction, given Inwood's reserved expansions, is just as arbitrary as was the Iack of a eupatheia directed at dispreferred indifferents, given Nussbaum's eupatheia directed at preferred indifferents. But once again, ail of this is a mistake; for the Sage will not feel expansions of any kind, with or without reservation, to the presence of preferred indifferents. Cicero teils us that the Sage will feel a smooth and consistent expansion at the presence of what seems to him good. But this must be what reaily is good, for a Sage would not be in error about such a thing. Accordingly, there is no evidence that the Sage feels expansions, reserved or otherwise, at the presence of indifferents. The eupatheiai are thus ail directed at genuine goods and evils. 98 As a sage, one feels a sort of calm pleasure at the good state of the cosmos, at one's own virtue and virtuous deeds, and at those of one's wise friends. One has calm volitions, for the continued virtue of oneself and one's friends. And one calmly disinclines from future vice and foily. 99
Yale University NOTES 1 In preparing this chapter, I derived great benefit from recent critical discussions of the topic. The two best brief treatments are Lloyd 1978 and Frede 1986. The two most extensive treatments, both of great value, are Inwood 1985 and Engberg-Pedersen 1990. Naturally, much of use is also to be found in Long and Sedley 1987. 2 I also quote other scholars who employ the terms "passion" or "affection", but all of these are translations of pathos. 3 See Kerferd 1978. 4 In sketching out this notion of rationality, it is possible to emphasize the canonical rote of God's reason, or of an ideally rational but nevertheless human agent. The first route, towards which I am inclined, is advocated by Long and Sedley 1987, 352, 374 and by lnwood 1985, 156-160; Engberg-Pedersen in generat deprecates this sort of appeal to divinity, and prefers to ground this and other issues in Stoic ethics in "consideration[s] of human practical thought" Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 49.
s An impression is not rational unless it is the impression of a rational animal (D.L. 7.51 [SVF 2.61; LS 39A]). A human animal is not rational until it has reason (SVF 2.83; LS 39E]. Reason is not acquired until age fourteen (SVF 1.149; D.L. 7.55 [SVF 3.DB17; LS 33H; SVF 2.83; LS 39E]). So, it seems, the impressions of children below fourteen arenot rational (in the sense of employing conceptions and having propositional content). But is the absence of propositional content in children absolute, so that the transformation at age fourteen takes them from having no rational impressions to having all rational impressions overnight, or is it rather that their impressions are slowly acquiring propositional content throughout the years, so that there is no such abrupt transformation? The evidence is unclear; scholars generally assume the radically discontinuous view, but Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 147 suggests reasons for the continuous view. lt might seem that the best argument against the discontinuous view is its obvious implausibility (from complete irrationality to complete rationality in one step?), but in fact the Stoics seem comfortable with analogaus views about the acquisition of knowledge and virtue. If that parallel does support the discontinuous view, then it should probably be understood as an indication of the high Standards involved in "having the conception of F" on the Stoic view. The Stoics refuse to classify as "virtue" or "knowledge" states of mind or character that most people would be perfectly happy so to classify, because those states Iack the firmness and fixity - the immunity from any imaginable dissuasive force - that alone can justify saying that someone "has virtue" or "has knowledge". I suspect that this is the right way to understand their views about children; we would naturally say that the thirteen year-old "has the concept of dog," but it may be that without a !arge stock of other conceptions, and some practice in seeing their interrelation, the thirteen year-old will not be able to pass all of the counterfactual tests required by the stronger Stoic standard. It is only after all of their proto- or quasi-conceptions have taken on the requisite fixity and defmition that we can then say that any one of them actually is, finally, a conception. And the Stoics would have good reason for such scruples, since they hold that these conceptions are then criteria of the truth, on a par with kataleptic impressions (D.L. 7.54 [SVF 2.105; LS 40A]). Not every mental state that we might casually call "having the concept" (e.g. being able to recognize typical cases, or use the term in standard contexts), will be sufficient for the possession of a criterion. 6 Stoic axiomata differ from propositions in several important and fundamental ways, best discussed in Bobzien 1986. However, the differences arenot relevant to this chapter. 7 See Frede 1986, and also Cooper 1984. 8 Impressions and assents are both event-like entities, typically of brief duration. So when people who tend to suffer from the fear of spiders are not having any impressions of spiders, or assenting to any impressions concerning spiders, they cannot be said at that time to be having the fear in the Stoic sense in which a fear is said to be a belief. What we might call dispositional beliefs and desires were classified as states (hexeis) or dispositions (diatheseis) of the soul, which incline the person who has them to assent in a certain way when the impression arises. See the careful distinction of the occurrent and dispositional sense of "knowledge" (episteme) in [SVF 3.112; LS 41H], and the similar clarification that an emotion is an activity, not a potentiality [SVF 1.206], consistent with its also being called a movement (kinesis, D.L. 7.110 [SVF 1.206; SVF3.377, 3.462]). When the beliefat issue is an emotional one, then the disposition to have such beliefs is called a "disease" or "weakness" (nosema or arrostema), not an emotion or passion; see [SVF 3.421; LS 65F; SVF 3.422], and my discussion later in this chapter. This distinction also helps us to see how the Stoics can say that every emotion is also a practical impulse that immediately issues in
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
action (ceteris paribus). The (dispositional) fear of spiders does not per se produce action, or it would have to be doing so all of the time; rather, it is the occurrent fear, only present when I am assenting to an impression, that causes me to draw back my band. 9 The Iiterature on this question is very large; the reader should consult Long and Sedley 1987, chaps. 39-41; Frede 1983, and Engberg-Pedersen 1990, eh. 7. 10 I am glad to fmd the objective reading of "strength" supported by Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 161-169. 11 So I take it that strong assents can only be given to what is true, and perhaps only to what is kataleptically true; the two species of opinion on the top row of the accompanying diagram will never have instances. This fits with what was said above about the connection between falsehood and inconsistency; whenever someone assents to a false impression, it will also be the case that they have some true beliefs whose discovery through dialectic would Iead them to reject their initial commitment to the false. So no assent to the false, no matter how vehement, could every be strong in the relevant sense. However, the evidence is not clear enough to permit certainty. 12 Stob. 2.86.17 [SVF 3.169; LS 53Q]. 13 Lloyd 1978, 237; Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 175 favors Lloyd's account, and talks of a "conscious moving so as to get". 14 Plut. De virt. mor. 446F-447A [SVF 3.459; LS 65G]. 15 Stob. 2.88.2 [SVF 3.171; LS 331]. 16 Presumably if pressed they would have said, very reasonably, that when we predicate goodness of something like cake, we have it in mind that its goodness consists in its being good to eat, rather than good to read or apply to wounds. Whether they would have followed Aristotle into the further step of saying that the predicate was thereby actually ambiguous in this respect, I do not know. 17 For the defmitions see SVF 3.377-420. I retain the standard translations of their names, but agree with those scholars who warn about their ambiguity. "Pleasure", or hedone in Greek, is the name both of an emotion, and of a physical reaction which is not an emotion. "Desire" too, or epithumia, is different from a mere physical sensation of Iack; the Stoics tellusthat the Sage, who has no emotions, still thirsts (dipsen) PHP 5.7.30 [De Lacy 342; SVF 3.441]. 18 Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 179-181 presents a more complicated account ofthe predicates "to be avoided" and the like, but I am not convinced of the distinctions he discovers. 19 However, I think that historically the formulations in terms of impulse alone came first, and are thus not in the chronological sense abridgments or abbreviations of the full definitions. The question is much debated Inwood 1985, 143; Nussbaum 1994, 372, but it seems to me that there is good reason to attribute to Zeno only two kinds of characterizations, in terms of irrational psychic movement (D.L. 7.110 [SVF 1.205]), andin terms of excessive impulse [SVF 1.205, 206]. We also hear the phrase "fluttering of the soul" [SVF 1.206], but this seems less like a defmition than like a sketch or outline (hupographe). A late Aristotelian says that emotions were defmed as "perversions and mistaken judgements of reason" (Themistius in de Anima 197 [SVF 1.208]) by "those around Zeno", but this probably means nothing more than Stoics in general, as Von Arnim seems to have thought, including this text both among Zeno's and Chrysippus' fragments [SVF 3.382]. Posidonius (PHP 4.7 [De Lacy 280; SVF 1.212]) teils us that the full defmition ofpain as "a fresh belief that an evil is present" was "spoken by Zeno, and written down by Chrysippus". But this cuts both ways; it also indicates that the defmition did not appear in any of Zeno's writings.
And since "spoken" (eiremenol) is used as the past tense of "lego", which very frequently means "meant, intended", I suspect that what this passage shows us is that Chrysippus hirnself formulated the defmitions in terms of opinion, and represented them (whether fairly or not) as an accurate account of what Zeno had meant or intended. This makes better sense of two other things that Galen teils us. First of all, he says (PHP D.238 [SVF 3.463]) that when Chrysippus defined pain as "a fresh opinion of the presence of evil" he "completely abandoned the opinions of his predecessors". But this makes no sense, if Zeno hirnself had already used that definition. Second of all, in another passage (PHP 4.2 [De Lacy 240]), he quotes Chrysippus providing an exegesis of what is meant by saying (pos eiretm) that a passion is an "irrational movement contrary to nature" (of the soul, that is), or an "excessive impulse". Chrysippus in this passage is trying to show that these definitions are consistent with the defmitions in terms of opinion. And he only considers these two. This is important, because these are also the only two that we had reason to attribute to Zeno on independent grounds. Thus in referring to defmitions "spoken by Zeno and written down by Chrysippus", Posidonius is referring to Chrysippus' attempt to show the equivalence of his own definitions with what Zeno "really meant". So I conclude that Zeno only used the impulse and movement-formulations, and that the defmitions in terms of opinion belong to Chrysippus. In particular, I do not put any trust in the Statement of Cicero (Tusc. 3.75 [SVF 1.212]) that Zeno added the characterization "fresh" to the definition in terms of an opinion of a false evil; it simply does not fit with any other evidence. It may be that there is a confusion here with Zeno of Tarsus, Chrysippus' successor, to whom he dedicated several ethical treatises. 20 They are of course still rational in the sense of being propositional. More importantly, they are still rational in the sense in which the Stoics rejected irrational parts; they still pursue or avoid their objects qua goods and evils, not qua pleasures, pains, honors, humiliations or the like. 21 PHP 3.7 [De Lacy 212; SVF2.900]. 22 I owe this objection to Anthony Savile of King's College, London. 23 Plut. De virt. mor. 449A [SVF 3.439]; for elations Cic. Tusc. 4.12 [SVF 3.438]. 24 As Galen in PHP 5.6 [De Lacy 330; EK 168]. 25 Nussbaum 1993, 113 gets this exactly wrong, arguing on behalf of Chrysippus that the music will affect certain non-propositional bodily feelings, but will not affect our emotions. Butthis is a hopeless strategy for him to adopt, because the point of Galen's anecdote isthat the music wrought a change in the boys' behavior, i.e. their actions (diaprattein). On Nussbaum's line, Chrysippus would be saying that mere bodily feelings, without any beliefs, are sufficient for the production of action - and this would be to abandon the sufficiency of knowledge for virtue, along with the core of Stoic psychology. 26 Cf. Arr. Epict. Diss. 1.18; 2.22. Proclus quotes a similar Stoic adage, "grant the circumstance and take the man" [SVF 3.206]. 27 I am grateful for this suggestion to the Sixth-Form Philosophy Club of the South Hampstead High School for Girls. 28 This reconstruction is somewhat controversial; a justification of it may be found in the last section of Part II of the present chapter. 29 I am grateful to Juha Sihvola for the following objection. Doesn't the impossibility of a fourth eupatheia make caution impossible for the same reason? How can there be knowledge that some future thing would be an evil, if there can never be a true belief, at some time in the future, that some present thing is an evil? Like the question why the healthy person is right to take precautions against being ill, even though, qua healthy, no healthy person can
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
be ill, this puzzle trades on an ambiguity of scope. The individual who is a Sage now would cease to be a Sage in the future, if his actions and beliefs were to deviate even once from the path of rectitude; if you invite the Sage on a drunken debauch, he will decline, cautiously but without fear, lest he should become vicious and cease to be a Sage. So there is still sensible work for caution to do, even though there is no fourth eupatheia. But notice that the existence of caution does not entail a positive answer to the question whether virtue can be lost. According to D.L. 7.127 [SVF 3.237; LS 611], Chrysippus said virtue could be lost, while Cleanthes claimed it was inalienable because of the firm comprehensions (anapobleton dia bebaious katalepseis). If Chrysippus thought that becoming vicious was a live option, then it is easy to see why the Sage would exercise caution in avoiding that outcome. But Cleanthes too could agree that the Sage feels caution in avoiding future vicious behavior, and simply go on to say that his caution is also inalienable; indeed, it would be precisely because of the Sage's continuously feeling and acting on it that he would continue not to lose his virtue. But in fact, I am skeptical in general about whether there is a real debate here. For surely Chrysippus would agree that, if the Sage can retain the comprehensions, he will retain the virtue; and surely Cleanthes would agree that, if the Sage lost his firm comprehensions (or abandoned caution), he would lose bis virtue. So the debate, if there was one, cannot have turned on the point emphasized in Diogenes. The tradition that there was dissension on this point [SVF 3.237-244] may simply reflect different answers given to different counterfactual hypotheses. 30 See D.L. 7.104 [SVF 3.119; LS 58B, and SVF 3.190-196]. I use "selection" Ioosely; strictly it is the analogue only of desire, while for the analogue of fear, i.e. rationally not taking or avoiding some indifferent, the Stoics coined the term "disselection" (apekloge). I am grateful to Amber Carpenter of the Yale Philosophy Department for discussion of these issues. 31 This process of replacement, which we might call the domestication of desire, may help explain why sexual Iust posed a singular problern for later thinkers such as Augustine, who were influenced by the Stoics. It is possible to masticate without relish, and to flagellate without wrath, should eating or chastising be the actions rationally required of me. But male human beings suffer from a curious frailty in this regard, being unable to copulate without arousal. The female Sage may be able to follow Victoria's adage and think about the cosmos, but the male, it seems, simply must feel pleasure. And if so, then no Sage he; on this view, only female Sages can reproduce, while the males must remain childless. Now on the original Stoic view, there is really no problern here. There is nothing wrong with the Sage's enjoying bis food; what he must not do while dining is to have a certain kind of belief, e.g. that bis food is a good. There is no reason why he should not have any sort of gustatory sensation imaginable, so long as he does not have false beliefs of this sort, and so long as whatever Sensations he does have play no roJe in motivating this or other actions (and since they could only play that roJe via beliefs, these two conditions are one). The Sage begins to eat, and continues eating, simply from bis knowledge that it is the rational thing for him to do; whatever pleasant sensations he may have do not provide any motivation. But shorn of their motivational and belief-altering force, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the sensations, either. Similarly, it may be that the copulating male must feel certain sensations, popularly termed "pleasures". But there is no reason to think that these commit the Sage to the vicious beliefs that are pleasures in the Stoic sense. So for all that is said about emotions, the male Sage may still engage in copulation, first selecting it as a future indifferent and then
experiencing it as a present indifferent (though not an anaesthetic one). And that this was their view is confirmed by the explicit testimony that the (male) Sage will get children (paidopoiesesthai, D.L. 7 .121, Stob. in SVF 3.686), as weil as by Seneca's statement that the Sage will experience sexual arousal (inritationem umoris obsceni, De ira 2.3). However, when Stoicism is misunderstood in the common and vulgar way, so that it seems to prohibit what are commonly and vulgarly called emotions and pleasures and pains, then it will seem that the Sage must feel no relish in his dinner; he must eat entirely mechanically, without sensation. And if rational selection requires this utter absence of sensation, while copulation (for the male) requires sensations of arousal, then it will be impossible to select sexual activity. Rather, Iust will demand pleasure, and this will demand irrationality and error; Iust will defy domestication, even when all other desires have been replaced by their correlative selections. Thus Iust will be uniquely and irredeemably irrational, necessarily inconsistent with rationality, and so supremely sinful. Something Iike this confusion, I think, may have intluenced Iater attitudes. 32 For instance, Inwood 1985, 173 writes that "an eupatheia is simply the impulse of a fully rational man". Long and Sedley 1987, vol. 2, 407 argue that since the Sage's impulses are all phronimai they must all be eupatheiai; but there is no reason why the Sage's rational selections (i.e. impulses towards indifferents) should not be phronimai even though they are not eupatheiai - the same passage (Stob. 2.69) characterizes the Sage's ambulation (peripatesis) as phronime, too. 33 And contra Inwood 1985, 174, this goes for elations or contractions "with reservation", if such there be. But in fact I think they are an artefact of his analysis, and argue so below in the last section. 34 Posidonius (PHP 5.6 [De Lacy 328; SVF 3.12; LS 641]) brought a parallel criticism against Antipater's definition of the end as "doing everything possible for the sake of the primary natural things." This gets the order of things wrong, because it makes it Iook as though the primary natural things or our acquisition of them actually matter, whereas in fact what is important is a sort of psychic state. Granted, once we have attained that, then we will consistently and reliably "do everything possible etc." as in Antipater's formula. But that outcome "follows of necessity on the end, but is not itself the end," as Posidonius says. And there are lots of other necessary but incidental outcomes of psychic perfection that are not themselves the end; it might be that, of necessity, all and only Sages have an even number of hairs on their head, but this would not mean that the Stoic end was to have an even number of hairs. So too, a kind of tranquillity will ensue on our successful elimination of all false beliefs about what is good and bad, but that tranquillity is not the point of their elimination. I do not mean to invoke Posidonius' authority for my criticism, or to take a stand on what his reference to "tranquillity" (aochlesia) involved - it may be that he thought that pleasure (of some non-emotional kind?- cf. [SVF 3.441]) and tranquillity were other necessary but incidental concomitants of the end, but it is not at all clear. But I do find the parallel enlightening, both because it shows how the criticism can be put in Stoic terms, and because it shows how dialectical pressure from non-Stoics could result in a change of emphasis in the expression of Stoic views. 35 Usually put in terms of the violation of "preconceptions" (prolepseis) or "common conceptions" (koinai ennoiat). But the actual metaphor of linguistic Iegislation (nomothetein) is used against the Stoics by Sextus at Math. 8.125, and Alexander of Aphrodisias at SVF 2.329.
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36 See, for instance, the title of a work by Chrysippus, whose significance Michael Frede pointed out to me: "Concerning the fact that Zeno did make use of words in their proper sense" (peri tou kurios kechresthai zenona tois onomasin, D.L. 7.122 [SVF 3.617]). 37 See especially the chapters on Posidonius, Galen, and Seneca. 38 For claims of this sort see Cicero's Paradoxa Stoicorum, and SVF 3.589-603. 39 The quote is from Nussbaum 1994, 377, but the view is more widely held. Lloyd 1978, 242 similarly approves of the view of Pohlenz according to which emotions must make some reference to the magnitude of the good or evil. 40 Stobaeus 2.93 [SVF 3.421; LS 65S]; Tusc. 4.26 is very similar. 41 sphodra, valde. 42 PHP 4.5.21 [De Lacy 262; SVF 3.480; LS 65L]. 43 Or at least a datable activity, generally of brief duration. What is important is not so much the length of time involved, as the distinction between the activity of assenting, and the state of being disposed to assent. 44 Tusc. 4.24 and 4.29. The first passage suggests that the two always appear together: haec ... cogitatione inter se differunt, re quidem copulata sunt. The second Iooks asymmetrical, as the defmitions would suggest: tantummodo cogitatione possumus morbum ab aegrotatione seiungere. In which case, it would be possible for someone to have a disease without also having an ailment, if the weakness was not present. But the evidence is ambiguous, and it might be that diseases and ailments really were inter-entailing, and perhaps even coextensive, in which case the definition of "ailment" would mean something like "diseases are called 'ailments' when we want to emphasize the weakness involved in them" (consistent with the etymology of arrostema). If this were so, it might explain why Cicero says that mulierositas ( = philogunia) is both a disease (as Stobaeus) and also an ailment (Tusc. 4.25-26). 45 Inwood 1985, 155 translates "is attracted to". His entire discussion of these passages is flawed by a curious confusion: "the error ... which is the root cause of all the passions is not an error about the degree of goodness or badness which certain things have. For the orthodox Stoic view on the nature of good (and of bad) is that it is an absolute, not admitting of any variation in degree" (lnwood 1985, 154). So far so good, but he then uses this to condemn as unorthodox passages that countenance beliefs that some goods are greater than others. But this does not follow, since all of the beliefs in question are explicitly intended to be false beliefs. If I can have the false beliefthat an indifferent is a good, then there is no reason why I cannot have the false belief that indifferent A is better than indifferent B, and no reason why an orthodox Stoic should not discuss false beliefs of this sort. I agree with him that one already has a false belief, merely by thinking that an indifferent is a good, and I agree with him that this is sufficient to make it an emotion, but he is wrong to use this to rule out as unorthodox any passages that refer to false beliefs that some goods are greater than others. 46 The use of ekpiptei in SVF 3.482 involves neither a person (the subject is an impression) nor Chrysippus - the words belong to Posidonius. 47 SVF3.651-610. 48 This objection has another flaw beside the one next considered. It supposes that everyone has the dispositions to attribute intense value, and from this it does follow, I think, that everyone would, when the relevant impressions arose, assent to Statements of the form "x is intensely goodlbad" and so on. Butthat still would not show that they could not also assent to unqualified impressions of the form "x is good", or that these would not constitute emotions.
Ben. 4.27. Curiously, Seneca in each case says that the sense which applies only to the pathological case, and does not include all non-Sages, is the strict sense (proprie dicitur, proprie appellatur). This is a good report of common usage, but seems to conflict with the view of Chrysippus (D.L. 7.122 [SVF 3.617]) that when the Stoics say, for instance that all and only Sages are kings, it is their use ofthe word "king", and not the common application of it to non-Sages wearing crowns, that is the strict sense (kurißs kechresthat). By this standard, it would seem that "coward" in the strict sense should apply to every non-Sage, even Achilles. 50 Ben. 4.27. The repeated emphasis on natural inclination is remarkable, and possibly unorthodox; would the Stoics really want to say that an inclination to think that money is good could be natural? If they did, then this would give us a further way of distinguishing mere pronenesses from diseases and ailments; the proneness would be a natural inclination to think something good, whereas the ailment would be an inclination that had hardened and been intensified even beyond this natural state (epi pleon ... tou kata phusin). But this takes us into uncharted waters. 51 Tusc. 4.27. Since this material derives from earlier sources, probably Chrysippean, it shows that there is nothing unorthodox in Seneca's saying that not all people have all vicious dispositions. 52 Thus Lloyd 1978, 237-238 talks of "pleasant, painful ... shameful, fearful .... " Nussbaum 1994, 377 suggests that the belief might instead be "a very horrible thing is here at band", or even more indirectly "the person that I Iove most is dead," where the evaluative element comes in by "attributing high positive value to the Iover who is said in the proposition to be irretrievably lost." There is overwhelming evidence that the official definitions referred to "a belief conceming a present or future good or evil"; what is less clear is how strictly this was interpreted. 53 Frede 1986, 104-107. 54 Cicero, Acad. 2.57; Delian chicken farmers were said tobe able to tell, by looking at an egg, which of their hens bad laid it! 55 Frede 1986, 105. He writes similarly in Frede 1983, 155: "the way these thoughts [which are emotions] are thought is entirely a matter of certain further beliefs that we have - in particular, beliefs about what is good and what is bad . . . . " 56 Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 258 n. 30 "I am not convinced by Frede's [view] ... "; Nussbaum 1994, 381 claims that "the textual evidence ... supports the [opposite] view .... " But all of the evidence that she cites is deeply ambiguous. I agree with her about its tendency, but cannot agree that it is decisive. 57 I am grateful to Michael Frede for his comments on a draft of this discussion, and agree with him that we may never be able to reconstruct the Stoic position on the canonical form of the propositions in emotions with any confidence. I sympathize with his reluctance to advance a position that is more determinate than the evidence will allow, and I hope that he will understand the present discussion as merely an attempt to determine at least where the indeterminacy lies. He is not responsible for the modification of his position that I consider below. 58 Sext. Emp. Math. 8.10, 7.244. 59 Sext. Emp. Math. 8.93-100 [SVF 2.205]. 60 Premise 5 speaks of "the proposition" correlated with the belief. Does each belief have only one proposition correlated with it? In the other direction, the answer is uncontroversial; one and the same proposition may be the content of different impressions (see the egg and 49
THE OLD STOIC THEORY OF EMOTIONS
stop-light cases mentioned above). But it is quite generally assumed that each impression has only one proposition as its propositional contents - possibly a complex, molecular proposition, but still only one. However, there is one passage (Sext. Emp. Math. 7.244) that gives evidence that one and the same impression can be correlated with or have as its contents two different propositions that differ in truth value, in which case the impression is said to be both true and false. And the rules for assigning truth-values articulated in this passage are consistent with this possibility, since they say that for truth or falsity it is sufficient merely to "be able to make a true [or false] assertion in accordance with the impression (hOn estin alethe I pseude kategorian poiesasthar)." This obviously Ieaves it open that it might be possible to make a variety of assertions of the same impression, some false and some true. Now if one and the same impression may contain multiple propositions, and so be both true and false, then Frede could say that one and the same belief is the nonevaluative beliefthat Socrates is pale (and thus true}, and also, qua emotion, is a false belief (in sofaras it is also the beliefthat Socrates' death is a bad thing). The passage that countenances multiple propositions seems to conflict with other evidence that each impression has only one proposition, and has other curious features that might cause us to reject it (see below). However, even if we were to accept it, it would not help Frede's case. For here too, there will be a difference of propositional content between the Sage's calm beliefthat Socrates is pale (and that Socrates' death is notabad thing) and the non-Sage's fearful belief that Socrates is pale (and that Socrates' death is a bad thing). Although they have one proposition in common, they still differ in respect of others. And if this is so, we still must reject Frede's claim that the "way of thinking" tums the belief into an emotion, but has no effect on its propositional content. Reasons for rejecting the passage outright include its use of the term "kategoria" for assertion, not elsewhere a Stoic term. Furthermore, it seems to me that it would sit very uneasily with the Stoic truth-table for conjunctions, according to which a conjunction formed from one true and one false conjunct is simply false. So if I have an impression whose sole propositional content is that 6 is odd, then I have a false impression. If I have an impression one of whose propositions is that 6 is odd, and another is that 6 is even, then my impression is both true and false. If I have an impression whose sole propositional content is the conjunction that 6 is odd and 6 is even, then it is back to being simply and only false again. But what distinguishes cases in which the content of one impression is given by two propositions (in which case the impression is both true and false) from cases in which the content of one impression is given by a conjunction (in which case it is simply false)? I don't claim that this view is inconsistent or impossible, but it is surely very awkward, and not what we expect from the usually careful Stoics. It would also be strange, if this had been their view, that Sextus should not have seized on it in his attack on the truth-table for conjunctions, in which he advocates (dialectically) the view that a TF conjunction should not get the truth-value false, but rather should turn out no more false than true (Math. 8.124). Long and Sedley 1987,2.243 think the whole passagederives from Antiochus, and he is not always an orthodox source; I would be inclined to demote it from orthodoxy. 61 Plut. De virt. mor. 446F-447A [SVF 3.459; LS 65G]. 62 Yes, the non-Sage will occasionally assent to the non-kataleptic impression that something is cake, or even to the false impression that it is cake, where the Sage will never so assent. But the Stoics also seem to suppose that the vast majority of our sensory impressions are not merely true but even kataleptic, whereas the vast majority of our evaluative judgements are wrong.
Frede 1986, 98 "irrational affections ... are nothing but the mistaken judgements which take the place of true judgements .... " But more carefully at Frede 1986, 100 "they claim that the affections have their origins in a judgement of reason, or even that they themselves are judgements of reason, namely misjudgements to the effect that something is good or bad when, in fact, it is neither .... " And at Frede 1986, 107 "All affections ultimately involve a wrong evaluation of things." These last two claims, because they are phrased in terms of origination or involvement rather than identity, are consistent with saying that the beliefthat is the emotion itself (for instance "Socrates is pale") is neither evaluative nor false. 64 Tusc. 4.15 opinationem autem, quam in omnis dejinitiones superiores [of the einotions] inclusimus, volunt esse imbecillam adsensionem. Stob. 2.88.10 [SVF 3.378] [in the definitions of the emotions] paralambanesthai ten doxan anti tes asthenous hupolepse6s. But "weak supposal" must mean "supposal, i.e. opinion, in which the assent is weak", since weakness is directly a feature only of assent. 65 As noted above, I agree with Engberg-Pedersen that the definition of strong assent makes it not a matter of subjective conviction (i.e. stubborn or obstinate assent), but rather a matter of objective irrefutability and immunity from revision. Accordingly, it can only be had by the Sage, and only be directed towards kataleptic impressions. The non-Sage's assents, no matter whether given to false, true, or kataleptic impressions, are never irrefutable in this way, because of the non-Sage's own inconsistent and patchy system of beliefs. So all of the non-Sage's assents are weak, no matter how vehemently they may be expressed. But this means that in fact there are no strong assents to the false or to the merely true, since a Sage would never assent to what is not kataleptic. And this means that all opinions are weak assents, and vice versa. 66 However, I see little to recommend Nussbaum's suggestion that the specification of falsehood was omitted from the definition because it would have been a "strategic error" that would have interfered with the Stoic program of persuading people "who start with another conception of the good", Nussbaum 1994, 378. If the Stoics had really believed that false belief was an essential definiens of every emotion, does Nussbaum suppose that they would have suppressed this in their official school definition, merely to avoid offending potential converts? This seems implausible on many counts, not least of which is the fact that the Stoics were comfortable publicizing many views that were even more paradoxical than this - making emotions beliefs of any kind, false or otherwise, already puts them at odds with the pre-theoretical view of things. And even if the attempt to start from uncontroversial premises should cause them to set the issue of falsity in abeyance while talking to non-Stoics, why should it prevent them from declaring their own beliefs about the matter in their own technical treatises? This line of thought seems to me a distortion of the way that philosophy was practiced in the era, and it certainly does not explain why the falsehood of the belief was not specified in the definition of the emotion. Since I suggest above that the dialectical requirements of speaking with popular audiences may have left a mark on the evidence we have, I should clarify how my appeal to dialectic differs from Nussbaum's. The avoidance of unpleasant feelings, I claim, was for the Stoics only an incidental outcome of the elimination of emotions, not its focus. lt was no part of their end, either their overall end, or the local end they pursued in eliminating emotions. However, it was still a consequence that could be expected to ensue on the rational perfection that was their end; if you do all of the important work of getting your reason in order, then, as it happens, tranquillity will also result. And, as it happens, this is an outcome that will seem per se attractive to some non-Stoics. In emphasizing this result when talking
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to non-Stoics, the Stoics in no way falsify or conceal their own views. But they do suggest a different emphasis. My claim was that if the popular presentation suggests an emphasis that is different from the emphasis suggested by the official school doctrine, then we should take the official doctrine as authoritative, and interpret the popular pronouncements in light of their audience. This seems to me very different from saying, as Nussbaum seems to say, that we should interpret the official defmition (i.e. explain its silence about falsehood) by referring to its potential reception by a non-Stoic audience. 67 See, for instance, the definition of dispositional knowledge at Stobaeus 2.74 [SVF 3.112; LS 41H]: one sense of episteme is "a state (hexis) that is receptive of impressions and is unchangeable by reason, which [state] they say lies in [the soul's] tenor and in potential [dunamez]". That the last word does mean this, and not "power" as Long and Sedley 1987, vol. 1, 256, translate, may be seen by comparing Stobaeus' report on the emotions [SVF 1.206] in which he contrasts potential and actual senses of "being in excess". 68 How it arises, and whether the disposition also increases the frequency with which it arises, are questions that take us immediately into the issue of one's own responsibility for one's character. And the Stoic view on this is notoriously vexed; see Fat. 43 [SVF 2.974; LS 62C]. 69 Is the dispositionalbelief "death isabad thing" itself an emotion? No, since emotions are occurrent beliefs which are also practical impulses; this is instead a proneness, disease or ailment. Is it false? That is more difficult. It seems to me that as a state or disposition, it does not itself have any truth-value, in the way that an impression does. lnstead, it can only be called "true" or "false" indirectly, as the disposition to assent to impressions that are themselves true or false. And even the impressions, one passage (Sext. Emp. Math. 8.10) suggests, have truth values only indirectly, by virtue of the propositions correlated with them, which are the primary and non-derivative bearers of truth-values. Still, the Stoics also talk more loosely about true and false impressions, and they may weil have talked of true or false dispositional beliefs. 70 PHP 4.5.1 [De Lacy 258]. 71 SVF 3.459. 72 De Locis Affectis 1.3 Kühn 8.32 [SVF 3.429]. 73 SVF 3.456. 74 SVF3.104, 421,424,427. 15 At SVF 3.713 the definition of drunkenness as "minor insanity" (mikra mania) is attributed to Chrysippus. This seems to defme it as a state, only temporary perhaps, that affects all particular assents, rather than as a particular assent itself. 76 Tusc. 3.77- I quote the Loeb translation. 77 Tusc. 3.77: Alcibiades adjlictaret /acrimansque Socrati supplex esset, ut sibi virtutem
traderet, turpitudinemque depelleret . .. . Nussbaum 1994, 373. Nussbaum 1993, 106. 80 Nussbaum 1994, 379. 81 Her illustrations are vividly and emotionally drawn. Some of them are also misleading to the Greekless reader, Nussbaum 1994b, 380:
Sophocles' Creon, confronted by the death of bis only son, says, "I accept this knowledge and am shaken in my reason" (Ant. 1095). What Chrysippus wants us to see is that this can happen; reason is capable of that. But if this is so, why push off the affect into some comer of the soul more brutish, less discriminating, less closely connected with
TADBRENNAN the cognitive and receptive processes that we have seen to be involved in grieving? "I recognize this and (incidentally) I am shaken in my gut." Here we lose the close connection between the recognition and the being shaken that Chrysippus' analysis and Creon's speech give us.
While it is not clear what relevance Sophocles has to the question at hand, it is even less clear what an inaccurate translation of Sophocles can contribute. If Nussbaum wants to claim that reason can do a job that the gut simply cannot, she should fmd a text which uses a word for reason. This one uses a word for the gut. An equally accurate translation would read "I myself know [there is nothing about acceptance] and I am disturbed in my midriff'. The word that Nussbaum translates by "reason" (phrenas) is a word that begins its career as a term for the area of the trunk lower than the heart, around the liver or so, and even in Aristotle's time is a recognized term for the diaphragmatic muscle separating the thoracic from the abdominal cavity. I don't deny that it has a range of cognitive and affective connotations as weil - but then so does our "I have the gut feeling that .... " And the word will not have stopped bearing its strong abdominal sense to a Sophoclean audience; they may have heard something a Iot like "I know it, and it hits me right in the gut." Which translation is closer? Which did Sophocles intend? The fact that these questions need to be asked shows that the passage will not do the work that Nussbaum requires of it. The appearance that it lends support to her thesis is merely due to tendentious translation. 82 Nussbaum 1994, 379. 83 Nussbaum 1994, 380. 84 Nussbaum 1994, 399. By "good" externals she doubtless means "preferred indifferents". 85 SVF 3.432. 86 Sext. Emp. Math. 11.22. 87 This definition contains a hapax legomenon anepizetesia, whose meaning cannot be ascertained with any certainty. LSJ gives the definition "absence of inquiry", but then defines the adjectival form of the word (anepizetetos) as "leaving nothing to be desired". I am inclined to interpret it as part of the Stoic view that the cosmos is a whole, self-sufficient, and in need of nothing, for which see Plut. Stoic. rep. 1052D (Autarkes d'einai legetai monos ho kosmos, dia to monos en hautoi panta echein hon deitm). Note also that to pan is sometimes used for ho kosmos (SVF 4 s.vv.) Now the cosmos is also god, and is also wise, so that it, too, is not other than benefit, and so is a good. 88 I take the erga of the temperate to be the same as the praxeis of the spoudaioi in Sextus. 89 However, I grant that it could be construed otherwise, to mean that the same thing, as for instance some food, is present to both the Sage and the non-Sage, and the first selects it in a temperate and virtuous way, as an indifferent, while the second desires it as a good. If there were good reason to take it this way, I might accuse Cicero of carelessness in setting out the example. But in fact there is no good reason to read it in this way; the natural way is also the one that makes sense of the testimony of Andronicus. 90 Tusc. 4.12-13 [SVF 3.438]. 91 Nussbaum 1994, 399. And note that again by "bad" she clearly means "dispreferred", as the sequel shows. 92 Inwood 1985, 306 argues for this briefly in note 225, but I do not think that his argument is consistent with his overall view about the impulses of the Sage. 93 Nussbaum 1994, 399. 94 Inwood 1985, 175.
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Inwood 1985, 174. The passage from p. 175 quoted in extenso above mentions this as a possibility, but does not obviously commit Inwood to the view. This earlier passage from p. 174 seems to be spoken fully in propria persona. 96 Inwood 1985, 169. rn Tusc. 4.14. 98 Troels Engberg-Pedersen and R.W. Sharples each independently proposed the following objection to me. Grant that I am right, and that the objects of the eupatheiai are genuine goods and evils, and so virtue and vice. Does it then follow that Nussbaum is wrong? For virtuous action will involve a certain relation to indifferents; for instance, it is virtuous for me to take care of my health, even though my health is an indifferent. So my boulesis for future virtuous action will also, in this case, be a boulesis to take care of my health, and so directed at an indifferent, namely my health. Thus my view and Nussbaum's view turn out to be compatible after all, and the establishment of mine does not refute hers. But this does not seem very satisfactory to me. For we are dealing throughout with intensional attitudes and their objects, so that we cannot simply hand along the object from a nested attitude to the nesting attitude. True, boulesis is directed at virtuous behavior, and virtuous behavior does involve the correct attitude towards indifferents; this attitude, as explained earlier, is called selection. But although the indifferent is the object of the selection, and the selection is the object of the boulesis, one cannot conclude that the indifferent is the object of the boulesis. Furthermore, if I am right at all, then the object of a eupatheia is the object of the Sage's true belief, "this thing is a present or future good or evil." And that belief can never be directed at an indifferent and still be true. It may be that my position is wrong and Nussbaum's is right, but in neither case are they compatible. 99 I should like to dedicate this chapter to the memory of John Procope, a contributor to this volume whose untimely death during its preparation brought sorrow to everyone in the world of Ancient Philosophy. He was unfailingly generous, both with his friendship and with his astanishing knowledge of antiquity; I am grateful to have known him, and shall miss him. For help in writing this chapter I have many debts. Richard Sorabji encouraged me to attempt it, and acted as Springboard and stimulus for thinking about emotions. Because of his interest in the topic, the entire London philosophical community was in an emotional ferment for several years; I am especially happy to remernher our discussions in Neal's Yard. Among written discussions, I find by far the most value in Frede's piece, follow it in most respects, and diverge from it meth' hupexaireseös. Among unwritten discussions, John Cooper's seminars and lectures at Princeton shaped my understanding of ancient intellectualism, and Stoicism in particular. The editors of this volume both made helpful suggestions that improved the piece. And as always, my deepest thanks go to Liz Karns. REFERENCES Bobzien, S. 1986 Die stoische Modallogik. Würzburg: Königshausen + Neumann. Brunschwig, J. and M.C. Nussbaum (eds.) 1993 Passions and Perceptions: Studies in Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/Paris: Editions de Ia Maison des Seiences de L'Homme. Burnyeat, M.F. (ed.) 1983 The Skeptical Tradition. Berkeley: University ofCalifornia Press. Cooper, J.M. 1984 'Piato's Theory ofHuman Motivation,' History of Philosophy Quarterly 1, 3-21.
Engberg-Pedersen, T. 1990 The Stoic Theory of Oikeiosis. Moral Development and Social Interaction in Early Stoic Philosophy. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press. Frede, M. 1983 'Stoics and Skeptics on Clear and Distinct Impressions,' in: Bumyeat 1983, 65-93. Frede, M. 1986 'The Stoic Doctrine of the Affections of the Soul,' in: Schofleid and Striker 1986, 93-110. Inwood, B. 1985 Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kerferd, G.B. 1978 'What Does the Wise Man Know? ,' in: Rist 1978, 125-136. Lloyd, A.C. 1978 'Emotion and Decision in Stoic Psychology,' in: Rist 1978, 233-246. Long, A.A. and D.N. Sedley 1987 The Hellenistic Philosophers. 1-11, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nussbaum, M.C. 1993 'Poetry and the Passions: Two Stoic Views,' in: Brunschwig and Nussbaum 1993, 97-149. Nussbaum, M.C. 1994 The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Rist, J.M. (ed.) 1978 The Stoics. Berkeley: University of Califomia Press. Schofield, M. and G. Striker (eds.) 1986 The Norms of Nature: Studies in Hellenistic Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/Paris: Editions de Ia Maison des Seiences de L'Homme.
JOHN M. COOPER
POSIDONIUS ON EMOTIONS
Repeatedly in books 4 and 5 of On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato (PHP) Galen asserts that Posidonius abandoned certain views on the psychology of human action that at least since Chrysippus bad generally been regarded as central and indispensable to the Stoic philosophy .1 Specifically, Galen says he rejected Chrysippus' theory of the pathe. As a term of ordinary Greek pathe are conditions, especially noxious or otherwise objectionable ones, including bodily diseases, that someone undergoes or suffers. But the word is used in a somewhat special way by philosophers to refer generally to anger, grief, fear, sadness, elation, and so on- what we call emotions - as well as excited, agitated desires and aversions, notably agitated desires for food, drink and sex, and agitated aversions to bodily pain, physical harm, financialloss, and death. For convenience I will use the English word "emotions" to refer to the phenomena herein question (though, as we shall see, substantial philosophical issues are raised by any effort to give a clear specification of the phenomena that are to be covered by this term). Here at the outset, the important point to bear in mind is the agitation and excitement involved in all the pathe. Chrysippus held "emotions", so understood, to be functions of the reasoning power, the ability adult human beings have to think out and decide what to do. lnstead, according to Galen, Posidonius adopted the rival, tripartite psychology of reason, spirit and appetite, that is most familiar to us from Plato's Republic but was accepted also, as Galen correctly notes, by Aristotle:2 he regarded each emotion as a function not of reason, but of one or the other of the other two parts of the soul recognized by Plato and Aristotle. Galen supports these assertions with a rieb series of verbatim quotations and paraphrases from Posidonius' treatise On Emotions (Perl Pathon). These make it clear that Posidonius did indeed disagree openly, seriously and explicitly with Chrysippus on these matters, and that he cited and praised Plato precisely for having recognized that human nature encompasses two other psychic powers besides that of reasoning and decision that also play a role in the generation of human actions. But is Galen right to say simply that Posidonius abandoned the © John M. Cooper 1998.
Juha Sihvola and Troels Engberg-Pedersen (eds.), The Emotions in Hellenistic Philosophy, 71-111. © 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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standard Stoic view (Chrysippus') about the psychic source and nature ofthe emotions, in favor of a reversion to the psychology of action defended by Plato (and Aristotle)? Galen quotes Posidonius as maintaining that virtually the whole of an adequate moral theory depends upon the correct understanding of the emotions - in particular, that the theory of the virtues and the theory of the ultimate end of human life itself do so (see pp. 94-95, below). So this was no isolated or minor matter on which he disagreed with Chrysippus. One would expect that on a fundamental point of moral theory defection to Plato and Aristotle, the Stoics' traditional opponents in this realm, would be perceived as the abandonment of Stoicism altogether - as happened in the case of Posidonius' contemporary Antiochus. 3 But Posidonius appears consistently in all our sources as one leading Stoic among the others, and, indeed, with almost the sole exception of Galen, 4 he seems to have been universally regarded as a leading authority for orthodox Stoic moral theory in particular. 5 How can Galen's testimony, and the rest of his evidence, be squared with these facts? Did our other sources for Posidonius simply not know, or even know of, Posidonius' views in the Peri PathOn? (Of our authorities for Posidonius, only Galen ever refers to a work of Posidonius by that name.) Or were his ethical views in other writings significantly different from those attributed to him by Galen, so that the Peri Path6n was for the most part silently discounted by later writers? A third possibility, which I wish to argue for here, is that when carefully examined Galen's own evidence, despite the terms in which he reports and comments on what he found in the Peri Path6n, does not support the extreme claims of unorthodoxy that he hirnself bases on it. 6 The philosophical issues dividing Plato and Chrysippus on the nature of the emotions are extremely difficult ones, more difficult than scholars have recognized. As recent investigations have confirmed, 7 both Plato's and Chrysippus' views on these matters are so complex and intricate that it would be surprising if there were no interesting and plausible alternative positions lying somewhere between the two - positions, to be sure, rejecting important elements in each, but arguably preserving some of the central insights distinctive of the two views and ordinarily thought of as mutually exclusive. I believe Posidonius' theory of the emotions was one such intermediate view. In sum, according to the interpretation I will advance in what follows, Posidonius accepted the traditional Stoic commitment to the thesis that all human motivational states, including, in particular, the pathe, are ultimately functions of the rational faculty, and of it alone: they depend upon and express the agent's decisive opinion, at the time they are experienced, about
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what is worth reacting to and acting for. But the pathe are a very special case. In them, some of the force of the impulse toward action that one experiences derives from an independent, non-rational power (something comparable, but no more, to Plato's appetite or spirit), which is the source of certain feelings, not themselves full-fledged pathe, that reason takes up into the impulse (the pathos) that it creates. In effect, Posidonius attempts, within the traditional Stoic psychology of action, to recognize and assign an appropriate role to the sort of non-rational power of which the Platonists and Peripatetics made so much. His intention was to improve on Chrysippus' analysis, in such a way as to protect the Stoic position from one powerful and frequent line of attack against it. He did not abandon the fundamental Stoic contention that all motivational states of adult human beings depend upon and express judgments reached through the use of the rational faculty, and he did not accept instead the rival Platonist view that some motivating states of mind (the "emotional" ones) are independent of reason. 8 If nonetheless Galen describes Posidonius simply as rejecting Chrysippus' view in favor of Plato's, that can be understood easily enough. Galen's purpose in PHP is to argue, primarily against Chrysippus, that Plato and Hippocrates were right to recognize three distinct psychological forces in human beings (called appropriately by Plato to logistikon, to thumoeides and to epithumetikon), located respectively in three distinct bodily organs- the brain, the heart and the liver. Given this agenda there are obvious rhetorical advantages in beingable to say, as Galen repeatedly does, that even a Stoic, the Stoic most renowned for his careful attention to scientific and philosophical methodology (and possessed of the intellectual honesty that Galen insinuates any true scientist must have), 9 was ashamed to follow Chrysippus in his account of the emotions, and feit constrained to follow the "ancients" instead. To follow Chrysippus would require rejecting the "obvious" facts that point to a plurality of independent psychological powers at work in producing human motivational states, in favor of adherence to alleged principles of reason: but correct methodology requires selecting first principles in accord with the "obvious" facts, and forbids denying the facts because they are inconsistent with one's "principles". Moreover, the Stoic dogmas were thernselves the product of nothing but contentiousness and the desire to glorify oneself at the expense of such eminent ancient authorities as Plato and Aristotle (see PHP 5.1. 10-11, [De Lacy 294.15-25]). This, too, Posidonius refused to do. At the same time, given the complexity of the philosophical issues at stake, there is room for Galen (however mistakenly) to have thought that his own interpretation of Posidonius as a straight-
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forward adherent to the Platonic psychology was a fair and reasonable one, fully responsible to Posidonius' views as he expressed and argued for them in Peri Path6n. One need not accuse Galen of dishonesty - only of inattention to important details of Plato's, Chrysippus' and Posidonius' views. So much, then, for a summary of what I shall try to show. CHRYSIPPUS
Galen implies that Posidonius expounded his own theory of the emotions through criticism of Chrysippus, whose work Peri Path6n may possibly have been the formal target for Posidonius' treatise, similarly named in order to bring out that relationship. 10 The best way to understand Posidonius' views is therefore through seeing their relationship to Chrysippus'. Chrysippus held that pathe are instances of what he, in common with other Stoics, called hormai, "impulses": psychic movements of the kind that directly cause voluntary bodily movements.U Thus anger and fear, for example, are to be thought of as themselves directly causing the behavior which expresses them, in just the same way as an agitated desire (an "appetite," epithumia) for food or sex causes the voluntary behavior in which it is indulged; and the more reactive emotions, such as sadness and depression, or delight, are similarly to be thought of as directly causing the grimaces and groans, grins and whoops, and other more articulate and demonstrative behaviors that express them. In the terminology of contemporary philosophy Chrysippus would dass the pathe as a type of occurrent desires, fully completed psychic movements toward action. This much ofthe Stoic understanding of what the pathe are was generally shared in Hellenistic and later times by philosophers of all schools. And it does not appear that Aristotle or Plato would find anything in it to disagree with - except that for them not every pathos directly causes voluntary bodily movements. For them, as we saw, pathe belang to further parts of the soul alongside reason and though they can effect voluntary bodily movement on their own, they can also be overruled and held in check by reason (while continuing to be felt). So pathe must - and this goes equally for the Stoics and for Plato - be carefully distinguished from feelings that, as we would say, merely incline one toward acting in some way: hunger or thirst, for example, understood simply as the bodily feelings of discomfort usually caused (as we know) by the need for food or drink. If those bodily feelings are at all a cause of
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subsequent action, it is only by giving rise in some way to an intervening desire to eat or drink; it is that intervening desire, if anything, that will be counted by Chrysippus (or by Plato or Aristotle, for that matter) as an epithumia or appetite, i.e. a pathos .12 These discomforts, like actual bodily pains, are objects of awareness betonging to psychic states of a very different category from the one ("impulses") into which Chrysippus places the emotions. Likewise, pleasure consisting simply in the having of pleasant sensations must be sharply distinguished from enjoyment of or delight in anything (even the enjoyment of such sensations). Only pleasure of this second kind (enjoyment or delight) counts as an emotion for the Stoics; the other kind of pleasure, the having of pleasant sensations, belongs to a psychic state of a very different kind. 13 Now Chrysippus also held that in adult human beings, simply as a fact of human nature, any "impulse" (any completed psychic movement toward action) has a certain specific structure or constitution, different from that of the corresponding impulses of other animals and even of biologically immature human beings. His fundamental idea, put simply and as little controversially as possible, is this. Whenever we adults experience a psychic movement that is an immediate cause of voluntary bodily movement 14 one that does not require an intervening psychic event or process in order that the movement in question occur - that psychic movement always expresses a practical view (involving both an asserted evaluative thought and what we would call an intention to act accordingly) that we are actually holding at the time. Whenever I do anything voluntarily, that is because I think something to the effect that that is the thing to do; the immediate psychological cause of my action, the "impulse", is or represents that thought and (as it were) carries it into the action. This means that when, for example, I act from anger (and so am moved by an impulse that is also an emotion), the anger that I feel includes somehow the thought that this act of vengeance (or whatever sort of act it is) is the thing to do in the circumstances, and the intention to do it. In some cases quite an elaborate and well-articulated view may lie behind that summary thought, but in others there may be very little indeed beyond the bare summary thought itself, plus the intention. Chrysippus' claim is only that, however much or little there may be by way of grounds on which the person feeling the anger is basing that judgment and intention, the anger involves essentially (whatever eise it may involve) precisely such a summary practical thought. I believe this fundamental idea provides the grounds on which Chrysippus and the other Stoics rest their contention that human emotions, and indeed all other species of "impulse" in maturehuman beings, are functions of our
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mind, of our power to reason about and decide for ourselves what to do. It seems difficult to deny that in judging that something or other is the thing to do we are employing our rational power (how fully, and how adequately, are further questions); and if such a judgment lies at the center of each of our "impulses", then our "impulses" must be functions of the rational power - the power to think out and decide what to do. At any rate, it certainly seems fair to say that anyone (for instance Plato or Aristotle) who thinks some impulses, emotions for example, are functions of some other psychic power than that of reason must bear the burden of giving some account of how a non-rational power comes by its ability to issue such rational-seeming judgments on things. Or else they have to show us that some "impulses" do not, after all, represent a "summary practical thought" at all, that they are intentions to act, but contain no summary evaluation of the action as tobe done. Aristotle, of course, holds that reason gets control over appetite and spirit (when it does) by "persuading" them to yield to its ownjudgments and directives (see Eth. Nie. 1.13.1102b30- 35), and Plato's account of the virtue of "temperance" in Republic 4 as involving a friendly agreement among the soul-parts as to which of them should rule has a similar effect. So on the Platonic-Aristotelian view appetite and spirit do, at any rate, have substantial conceptual resources in common with reason: but those are not enough, by themselves, to support summary practical judgments, saying (in effect) that this is the thing to do. (See further below, pp. 90-91.) 1t should now be clear why Chrysippus thought that non-human animals have hormai of a fundamentally different kind from human beings. If it is granted that only human beings among the animals have the capacity to formulate judgments, it follows at once that whatever psychic states produce the other animals' "voluntary" bodily movements - I mean the ones that we ordinarily attribute to their desires or instincts - those cannot have the propositional content ("this is the thing to do") that is essential to the impulses of adult human beings. The same consideration does not suffice, however, to show that the impulses of immature human beings differ fundamentally from those of grown-ups. For on any reasonable view of when maturity is attained, and certainly long before the age of fourteen, favored among the Stoics for this event, children acquire enough mastery of language to formulate to themselves and assert the propositions needed for adult impulses: they too in wanting to do something are capable of thinking, and presumably often do think, that just that is the thing to do. If nonetheless Chrysippus insists that their impulses are no less different from ours than those of lower animals are, that is apparently because he
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thinks the role of such thoughts in the constitution of their impulses is different. With us, he thinks, it is essentially because we hold that the action is the thing to do that we are moved toward doing it; if we did not think that, then no matter what eise might be going on in our souls (no matter what other sorts of movements there might be in it), we would not be actually moved at all to do it. (Feeling tempted, or inclined, to do it, or to decide to do it, is something eise again.) But children are on each occasion, in advance of having any such thought, already moved quasi-instinctually to their actions, just like the lower animals; they would continue to be moved to do them (and would actually do them) whether or not they had these particular thoughts - that it is the thing to do, for these or those reasons. They are learning to be, but are not yet, rational creatures, because their ability to think does not yet control how they are moved to act. In them, instinct or other forms of non-rational desire are in control instead. To be sure, in ordinary language we speak equally of young people and adults as being affected on occasion by anger or grief or delight or sadness or agitated desires (appetites). But careful attention to fundamental facts about the psychological processes by which human beings at different stages of maturity are governed in their actions shows clearly, Chrysippus thinks, that the phenomena in the two cases are radically distinct. It should be no surprise that ordinary language, based as it largely is on the surface appearances of things, should fail to reflect underlying differences in similar phenomena. And in any event, these features of our language certainly do not disprove Chrysippus' analysis. Chrysippus' analysis attempts to base itself on careful and thoughtful attention directly to the psychological facts themselves, and only a better account of those facts could effectively undermine it. These, then, are the background principles (the "elements" or stoicheia, cf. Gal. PHP 5.6.39, [De Lacy 334.10-11]) on which Chrysippus attempts to develop his account of the emotions - what they are; how they arise and subside; how they can be assuaged, or avoided, on particular occasions; how they can be prevented altogether from arising; and so on. So far I have simply wished to explain Chrysippus' view about adult human "impulses" and his reasons for holding it; critical examination is best reserved until we come to Posidonius' and Galen's objections. lt should already be clear, however, that his is a serious and well-motivated philosophical view that deserves careful and thoughtful attention. lt is much more than the impertinent effort of a contentious self-glorifier to go one better than Plato and Aristotle that Galen takes it to be.
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Given, then, that all adult human "impulses" are functions of the rational power, what is one to say about this special case, the human emotions? To begin with, everyone agrees that many instances of emotional arousal and response are inappropriate (even as judged by the one experiencing them) and often enough blameworthy as weil: it can be a blameworthy defect of character, for example, even to become angry at some things. Moreover it is common ground among the Greek philosophers, even those who like Plato and Aristotle think there are other sources of motivation as well, that reason is a source ofmotivations (hormai, in technical Stoic terminology) all on its own. 15 Now Plato and Aristotle, holdingthat emotions are functions of our souls' non-rational powers, are free to maintain that some emotions are appropriate (rational in the sense of being the right way to feel in the existing circumstances) and not in the least blameworthy. On the PlatonicAristotelian theory, such motivations can exist simply alongside the motivations of reason itself, as additional "impulses" directed at the actions that reason's motivationsarealso directed at. Butthiscourse is not open to Chrysippus. If reason is functioning as it ought to, it will produce all on its own appropriate and totally blame-free impulses perfectly sufficient to produce all the right actions - and these impulses would be counted even by Plato and Aristotle as reasoned and not emotional motivations. On Chrysippus' view there is simply no room for additional appropriate and blame-free motivations, motivations of an emotional character. Any motivation must, for him, derive from reason itself, and one cannot see why or how a well-functioning reason would sometimes produce two impulses to act - one a calm reason-based decision to act, the other an additional emotional one, also entirely appropriate and correct. From Chrysippus' perspective, the presence of emotional motivation can only betray some sort of defectiveness in reason's own functions. For him, the Platonic-Aristotelian idea that a well-functioning reason might sometimes or always need, or even accept, the help of the emotions in the production of actions must look like the very confused thought that there is an essentially defective way of thinking and feeling that is nonetheless sometimes appropriate and blamefree! Accordingly, Chrysippus condemns as a thorough-going chimera the idea, accepted by Platonic and Aristotelian philosophical theory (but also by common sense), that only some emotions are inappropriate and blameworthy. The allegedly innocent ones are simply less obviously and openly products of a defective reason than the others; they may impel us toward the very actions that reason's own motivations are directed at (or would beifit were functioning correctly), but, being products of a defective reason, they
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must impel us with an incorrect conception of why the actions are worth doing. 16 What incorrect conception is that? Like other Stoics, Chrysippus identifies this defect with that of taking the object of the emotional impulse itself - the event or circumstance or thing reacted to - as being actually good or bad (depending on whether the affect itself is a positive or a negative one). To be moved with an appetitive impulse, for example an agitated desire to get some sexual gratification with some particular person, is on Chrysippus' view to be taking that gratification as something truly good to have, something such that if one does not get it one will miss out on, and if one does get it one will achieve, something important in one's life. Similarly, fear is a response to some threat as of something that, if it happens, will seriously harm one- affect one's life for the worse. On the Stoic theory of what is in fact good or bad for a person, however, none of the things feared or appetitively pursued, or otherwise responded to with emotional impulses, is in fact a good or a bad thing at all. The quality of a human life, for better or for worse, is never affected by any of these events or circumstances; only the person's own inner state, of virtue or vice, makes any difference to that. To be moved emotionally or passionately is therefore to be reacting to circumstances and events in a way that a correct, reasonable, outlook on life cannot approve, but must indeed strenuously reject. lt betrays the fact that one's own inner state is an unreasonable and incorrect - indeed vicious - one. Having sex with some particular person on some occasion, or carefully avoiding some bodily harm may well be the right and appropriate thing to do, but one ought not to do it with that kind of (in the first case) inflated feeling or (in the second case) tight, constricted, narrowly defensive feeling, of its importance. As a class, then, emotions can only be described as incorrect and vicious hormai. For this reason Chrysippus defines them, on the one hand, as movements of the soul that are "irrational and unnatural" (irrational in the sense that they are unreasonable - never rationally justified or appropriate; unnatural in that our permanent, adult nature does not include either our inevitably experiencing them, or our being inclined as a natural norm to experience them). On the other hand, he defines them as impulses that are "excessive"- greater or more intense and agitated than reason, if correctly employed, would judge appropriate and accordingly bring into existence. 17 In connection with this "excess" (pleonasmos) he speaks of emotions as involving "runaway" movement: 18 these are impulses that rush out toward action on their own, beyond reason's ability subsequently to control and direct the action once it is underway. 19 They are thus comparable to
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running, as opposed to walking in a measured way: if you run you cannot immediately stop once you decide to do that, but will, by the force of the body, have to take a few extra steps while slowing down, whereas you can interrupt a walk immediately, before the next step, or even in mid-step. Similarly, when acting passionately the force of the impulse itself, though a function of reason, is such that a sudden change of mind will leave it in place and it will continue (briefly) to affect your action; a proper use of reason, by contrast, will be one where this does not happen, but the impulse is firmly under reason's immediate control. Thinking especially of the conflicts of reason and desire appealed to by Plato and Aristotle in order to establish the existence of a non-rational part of the soul, Chrysippus also describes emotions as movements in the soul that are disobedient to, and indeed dismiss and reject, reason. He has in mind the fact that people in the grip of a passionate desire refuse to Iisten to reason, refuse to attend to the arguments by which reason (their own or someone else's) could establish that what they are, and are bent on, feeling and doing is an inappropriate thing to do or way to feel; they shut the door on reason's essential critical function, that of finding good reasons for believing and acting, and they defiantly accept the course of action on which they are bent, whether there are good enough reasons in favor of it or not. In these definitions and descriptions of the phenomena, Chrysippus professes to be describing a quite particular defect of a person's reasoning power, distinct (as he is careful to point out explicitly) from a merely intellectual incapacity. 20 The person experiencing an emotion is not simply misunderstanding what the right thing to do and the right way to feel is in the circumstances: people being led by emotion to act against their better judgment are proof enough of that. This is not a case of error or oversight, comparable in any way to miscalculation in arithmetic. On Chrysippus' account, it is in fact a perversity of reason itself, a state of mind in which reason resolutely sticks to erroneous views, refusing to concern itself seriously, or at all, with the truth, and as a result gets carried away into an excited state in which (often enough) precipitate and ill-considered action is the outcome. 21 Sometimes the victim of an emotion stubbornly sticks to a practical view despite having hirnself seen clearly just moments before (or interrnittently even while acting) that according to him it is false: this is the case, as Chrysippus understands it, of one "acting against his better judgment as a result of passion. " 22 But even in more humdrum cases, where the anger or delight or agitated desire is perfectly in accord with what the agent thinks the situation calls for, Chrysippus insists that really the same basic perversity is at work: the victim only thinks and feels the way
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she does because she is refusing to raise or tak:e seriously the question whether it is true that the Situation does call for that reaction. There is, apparently, something appealing about the false practical view contained in the emotion, because of which a perverted reason insists on asserting it as true, but without serious regard to whether it really is true or not. In indicating this perversity Chrysippus frequently uses (as in the quotations in the Galen and Plutarch passages cited in n. 21) the striking notion of a "rejection" or "tuming aside" (apostrophe, apostrephesthai) of reason by itself: reason itself refuses to follow its own reason-giving calling.23 I hope I have said enough about Chrysippus' analysis to mak:e it clear that bis account of emotional states as functions of the rational power is perfectly coherent. The sort of perversity of reason that he describes seems perfectly intelligible, even fairly familiar - though one might wonder how purely mental processes, which is all that Chrysippus' view of emotions can recognize, can Iead someone's reason to behave thus pervertedly. And bis novel contention that the agitated feeling involved in the experience of emotional states simply derives from that perversity, and is no evidence of a non-rational origin for the emotions, seems not at allimpossible (however shocking it may be to Galen and other late Platonists, and even to ordinary ways of thinking). Whether such a hypothesis is capable of providing a satisfactory framework into which to fit all the relevant facts, or apparent facts, isafurther question. I turn now to Posidonius' arguments for saying that, as it stands, it does not do so. POSIDONIUS: WHAT THE EMOTIONS ARE
The fundamental cause of Posidonius' dissatisfaction appears to be the difficulty of explaining how it is that reason gives rise to the "excessive impulse" that, as he and Chrysippus agree, is an essential mark of any emotion - the feeling of agitation. As we have just seen, Chrysippus says that it is when one's reason is perverted, disobedient to itself (to its own capacity to discover or recognize good reasons), that it generates such impulses. But why is it that stubbom and irrational clinging to falsehood has just this effect - agitation, excitement, a sense of psychic expansion or (as the case may be) contraction and shock? What is the cause of reason's doing precisely this when it is in this perverted condition? In bis very first reference to Posidonius in book 4 of PHP (4.3.4, [De Lacy 248.6-8]) Galen reports that in bis Peri PathOn Posidonius repeatedly pressed upon Chrysippus this question: what is the cause of an excessive impulse? And in bis subsequent discussion Galen gives much solid evidence of Posidonius'
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persistence in searching out acceptable causes for various agreed-upon phenomena concerning the emotions - not just the "excessive" feelings they bring, but also such facts as that they tend to dissipate over time, of themselves, and that our overall mental state can sometimes favor or exacerbate emotional arousal, sometimes effectively prevent it in us. It seemed to Posidonius that Chrysippus had no satisfactory explanations for these phenomena and (I suggest) it was in order to shore up the Stoic position in the debate with his contemporary Platonists and Peripatetics that Posidonius offered his criticisms of Chrysippus and his revisions in the Stoic theory as he had inherited it. One way of taking Posidonius' challenge is this: "What is the cause of this "excessive impulse" that Chrysippus says is produced under certain conditions by a person's reason?" Putthis way, with the emphasis on the word "reason", it invites the answer: Obviously it can't be produced by reason at all, as Chrysippus thinks. (How could something produced simply by reason exceed reason's dictates?) No: the whole cause of the excessive emotional impulse must lie elsewhere, in an independent, non-rational power of the soul capable all on its own of producing such excesses. This is how Galen hirnself takes the question when he first introduces it; he goes on at once to answer it hirnself in the way I have just indicated (PHP 4.3.4-5 [De Lacy 248.9-13]). But Galen's own evidence shows that that was not how Posidonius meant it.24 Posidonius meant it this way: "What is the cause of this "excessive impulse" that, as Chrysippus correctly says, is produced under certain conditions by a person's reason?" That is, given that reason does turn and transform itself under certain conditions so as to generate excessive impulses, what is responsible for its so transforming itself then? Chrysippus had said that it is due to perversity that sometimes a person's reason stubbornly holds to a false practical view, and that the result of its doing this is an excessive impulse. But surely nothing we can point to in the nature of reason itself explains why just this is what that perversity causes. Something eise must be involved in the generation of these impulses, in addition to (not, as Galen would have it, instead of) reason. 25 What does (or can) Chrysippus think this extra factor is? What is it in fact? 1t is clear how Chrysippus should attempt to meet this challenge. He should argue that, on the contrary, something in the nature of reason itself does explain the agitation in emotional impulses. The practical views held by those undergoing emotional states of all the different kinds have this much in common: They all involve asserting that some event or circumstance (a) believed to obtain in the present or past or expected in the future,
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and (b) not securely in one's own powertobring about or prevent (or cause to cease, or not to have happened), is (c) a serious and important good or bad thing for oneself. The Stoics hold, of course, that no such event or circumstance is or can be a good or bad thing for anyone, Iet alone an important one. The question, then, is why those stubbornly holding a false practical view of this kind turn out to feel impulses having the special features we recognize as betonging to emotional states: anxiety, excitement, a sense of being uplifted or depressed, etc. It seems open to Chrysippus to appeal here to natural, in the sense of reasonably expectable, consequences of holding precisely these beliefs. For example, suppose someone believes an important good has come his way that he has not brought about - he sees it as in some significant measure a matter of luck, or some sort of special favor granted to him personally by someone eise, or by nature or god. Then it might be thought reasonable of him to feel delight and elation. The delight and elation might seem appropriate - and so rationallygenerated - responses to good luck, or to being in a position of special favor, when the result is some important good for oneself: after all, he has not only got (as he thinks) an important good, but one that was unexpected, or such that his getting it showed special interest on the part of the universe or some other person in his good. This extra element deserves a special response, going beyond the welcoming response owed simply to the good thing itself. And similarly mutatis mutandis for the other emotions: the "excess" in the impulse can be treated in each case as an appropriate, reason-generated response (of unpleasant "contraction" or pleasurable "expansion") to these special circumstances of good or bad luck, favor or disfavor, in which (as he thinks) he has received something importantly good or bad for him. Thus one can argue that people holding a practical view oftbis specific type will reasonably judge that this "excessive impulse" is the right way to feel in the circumstances in which they think they find themselves. Here we must bear in mind that on the Stoic analysis the emotions of pleasure and distress include the judgment that the supposed good or bad thing is of such a sort that it is appropriate to feel "expansion" or "contraction" in relation to it.26 Accordingly, their feeling that way can, after all, be due to something in the nature of reason itself, and no cause beyond reason is needed to explain it. A person's reason, in holding the practical views in question, also holds that this kind of feeling is appropriate, and accordingly it is reason itself that brings it into existence. It is a claim of this general type that Chrysippus seems to have made that the emotionally affected person feels the way he does because his reason does judge it appropriate to feel that way. Surprisingly, however,
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tbere appears to be no evidence that be argued as I have just done, from special consequences of the thougbt that some important good or bad one bas received, or expects to receive, was or is outside one's own control, or results from special favor or disfavor on the part of some outside agency. If be bad, Posidonius would bave to have argued differently to defend his view tbat tbe nature of reason itself cannot explain the excess in emotions. Chrysippus seems instead, witbout giving any such detailed account, to bave emphasized alleged natural consequences simply of representing some external tbing to oneself as good or bad, or an important good or bad, tbough be also took note of tbe fact tbat it is only wben such a tbougbt is fresb or vivid (prosphatos) 21 that it produces these emotional effects. 28 But all such explanations run up against a formidable obstacle. For it seems undeniable that different people bolding tbe same practical view may be and often are differently affected; and the same person without apparently changing his state of opinion on a certain matter will at one time experience an emotion in relation to it and at anotber time not. And if it is only vivid thoughts that produce emotional effects, one would bave to explain bow and why vividness always makes this difference. Again, there is the matter of the strength of the emotional feeling. That seems to vary greatly from person to person and witb the same person from one time to anotber, and yet it is extremely difficult to see how these variations could always be explained by differences in tbe state of opinion, or the stubborn attachment to it, of different persons ortbesame person at different times. Posidonius appealed to all tbese considerations in bis effort to undermine Chrysippus' claim tbat the explanation of the "excess" and agitation in emotional impulses is wbolly to be sougbt in a perfectly natural bebavior of a perverted reason. 29 Sometbing more than erroneous practical views stubbornly adhered to, he argued, must be responsible for tbe occurrence of emotions. 30 What more did Posidonius think is involved? Reflection on the sorts of variation just mentioned in the character of the "impulses" experienced by different people, or tbe same people at different times, naturally Ieads to two ideas. These constitute Posidonius' central innovation in the Stoic theory of the emotions. (1) There must exist another sort of psychic energy, besides that which reason itself produces through the holding of practical views, that is capable of being joined to the "impulse" from reason so as to increase its force in the ways required to generate emotions. Every "excessive impulse" is the result of reason's drawing on such pre-existent and reason-independent energies, accepting that they are appropriate to feel in the given circumstances, and thereby joining them to its own "impulse"
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toward action. (2) Because these other psychic energies are reason-independent, we do not voluntarily control how much of them we feel, or when and for how long. These energies are due to other parts of our individual physical and psychological make-up. Different individuals tend to experience differing amounts and degrees of them, andin different circumstances; and because they arise and subside independently of variations (or constancies) in our states of mind, the same individual may experience more or less of them on different occasions in relation to the same or exactly similar circumstances; indeed one may sometimes not feel them at all when this might have been expected (and even desired by the person herselt). Hence the "impulses" reason produces by drawing on these energies will also vary in intensity, and in these other ways, in accordauce with variations in the underlying non-rational psychic energies. Sometimes a personwill feel no emotion, because the relevant energies are not available to be drawn upon; some people will be more given to emotion than others, because of the frequency with which they experience these energies and because of their typical magnitudes; the samepersonwill feel a greater or a lesser degree of emotion at different times in relation to the same or a similar state of affairs, similarly conceived, because it so happe~ that he is experiencing more or less of these energies at the times in question. This explanation of the excessiveness of emotional impulses involves a sharp distinction between the emotion itself (the anger, or delight, or sadness, etc.) and the non-rational psychic energy that underlies it. The emotion is an impulse, and as we have seen all adult human impulses are produced, according to Stoic psychological theory, by the agent's holding a practical view; no psychological phenomenon (iricluding wnatever movements or feelings there may be in the soul) can be an impulse or horme, i.e., a direct psychic \,;ause of volumary bodily movement, unless it involves and depends upon that crucial activity of the reasoning power. But the underlying energy is, in itself, not a horme at all; apart from an act of reason in which it is accepted as appropriate and combined with the impulse that reason creates by adopting a practical view, to experience this energy is not at all to be actively moved toward action. lt is, at most, to feel inclined (to decide) to act in some way. Posidonius marks this distinction by introducing a new quasi-technical term, alongside the established word pathos, used, as we have seen, by the Stoics to refer to fully completed emotional impulses: pathetikai kineseis, affective movements of the soul.31 These derive directly from the further psychic powers, the appetitive and spirited, that Posidonius took over from Plato. 32 Posidonius holds that it is fundamental to human nature that we experience such "affective move-
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ments," just as on the related Platonic-Aristotelian view it is a fixed and ineradicable fact about human beings that they experience some appetitive and spirited desires or other. On Posidonius' view, however, unlike the related view of Plato and Aristotle, these natural affective movements are not (according to Stoic technical terminology) hormai. Accordingly, when he insists that fully virtuous persons never do experience pathe (anger, appetitive desires, and the like), this does not mean (as the corresponding Statement from Plato or Aristotle would) that in the virtuous person the epithumetikon or appetitive aspect and thumoeides or spirited aspect are totally inactive. 33 It only means that, whatever "affective movements" virtuous persons do experience, these are never taken up into a decision of reason in favor of acting and thereby elevated into full-fledged emotional impulses. In order to appreciate the significance of Posidonius' analysis it may help to situate these affective movements in relation to other forms of awareness recognized in the Stoic psychological theory that were also distinguished from impulses but were regarded as in some way causes of them. Earlier (p. 75 above) I pointed out that being in bodily pain, or experiencing the pleasant gustatory sensations obtained from eating while in need of food, are psychological phenomena of a different type from hormai. They are not active movements of any sort toward or away from action. Nonetheless it seems natural to think, and Chrysippus did think, that they play an important causal role in relation to such movements. When for example someone is experiencing excruciating physical pain, that experience is a powerful incentive to hold, anyhow so long as the experience lasts, that the pain is a bad thing and that one's well-being depends crucially upon getting rid of it. Or again, when one remembers the pleasant taste of cake and sees some cake available nearby, that memory is a powerful incentive to think that eating a piece of cake would be a good thing and very much worth doing. On Chrysippus' analysis, in such cases the experience of the pain and the memory of the pleasant sensations give rise to a certain kind of representation of the objects of the envisaged actions, a representation which he calls a hormetike phantasia, an "impulsive impression, " 34 and which represents them as having the character of a bad or a good thing, respectively. But it is only when an agent, with an act of his reasoning power, accepts such an impression as representing things truly that the impulse itself is generated; merely to have the impression is not yet to yield to it, to assert as true the way it represents things as being. Now it seems that Posidonius intended his affective movements as an additional and, as he thought, needed link in this two-step chain of expla-
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nation. For one must ask, as Galen reports Posidonius doing in a slightly different context, 35 why anyone has the tendency to accept such phantasiai, or even to experience them in the first place. What is it in the experience of bodily pain, for example, or of pleasant sensations, that makes people in such very large numbers view them in this light, as bad and good things, respectively, on which one's well-being crucially depends? Sages do not so view them (but then no actual sage is certified ever to have existed). 36 Chrysippus says that is because sages have strong minds, and understand the truth so deeply that even if they should experience such misleading impressions they would not for a moment consider accepting them as representing things truly. But why is it that ordinary people, with their admittedly weak ability to grasp and hold on to the truth, so very uniformly get and accept just these false impressions? Why not the equally false impressions that pain is good and pleasure bad? Again, why is it that all sorts of other false impressions arise and prove so persuasive to people - e.g., the impression, when they think someone has insulted them, that striking back is such a good thing? Posidonius' answer is that because we are all constructed by nature so as to experience (right from birth) the "affective movements" that he has postulated- movements of excitement and so on, in relation to bodily pain, pleasant sensations, insults and so on - we find ourselves already attracted toward or repelled, more or less strongly, by various experiences and events, and it is these excited feelings of attraction and repulsion that give rise to the false "impulsive impressions" and make them so persuasive to us, i.e., to our reasoning faculties. Chrysippus thought that this kind of excitement in the full-fledged emotions was a natural response to a certain sort of belief that external things are (important) goods or bads - one based upon a vivid, detailed representation of them in our minds as such. Posidonius postulates that we already, by nature, experience the excitement in advance of holding the belief: it is the excitement that gives rise to the impression and thence to the belief. According to Posidonius the belief takes up a pre-existing excitement into the full-fledged emotion to which it gives rise. Feeling in this non-rational way attracted toward or repelled from various things, we have already within ourselves something that causes us to represent them as being good or bad, as the case may be, and provides the incentive to accept those representations as true: this is, after all, a way we are already feeling. That this is Posidonius's view comesout in a passage of PHP 5.5 where Galen cites him for his view on the causes of the errors people make in holdingthat pleasure and victory are good, pain and defeat bad. Galen says:
JOHN M. COOPER
In fact, Posidonius criticizes Chrysippus on these points and tries to show that the causes of all the false Suppositions [in question] lie indeed in their theoretical views, due to the force of affect, but this force is preceded by the false beliefs of a rational power that is weak in judgment. For impulse in animals is generated sometimes on the basis of the jud.rment of the rational power but often on the basis of the movement of the affective power _3
Here Galen indicates particularly clearly that according to Posidonius emotions or pathe always depend upon an assent of the rational power. Galen is discussing how moral vice (and with it pathe) arises, arguing that on Chrysippus' assumptions you cannot give an adequate explanation. Chrysippus tries to explain vice and emotions as arising through "the persuasiveness of impressions"- the impression, e.g., that pleasure is good being so persuasive that most people give in to it, come to believe that pleasure is good and therefore to desire it with an emotional desire. It is in this connection that Galen cites Posidonius' criticism, in the passage just translated. Posidonius accepts, with Chrysippus, that for emotions an opinion (a hupolepsis), and so an act of the rational power, is necessary; he only disputes over how a person is induced to make the vicious suppositions in question. To judge from this brief paraphrase-cum-quotation, he gave a complex answer, involving acts of the rational power at two stages. When an emotion arises on some particular occasion the person supposes falsely that some particular thing thought to be present or available is good or bad for him, and he is induced to suppose this by the force of the affect (i.e., of the "affective movement") he happens to be feeling in relation to it at that time. This supposition is something he infers to; it is a conclusion, and so the error is aptly describable as a sort of theoretical one - it lies en toi theoretikoi, in the theoretical sphere. But the affect bas force sufficient to drive him to that conclusion only because, having a generally weak mind, he made prior mistakes of judgment. Galen unfortunately does not indicate which prior false beliefs Posidonius bad in mind here - perbaps erroneous general judgments about the goodness or badness of the relevant types of external things. If so, Posidonius is saying that emotions are false suppositions caused by the force of affect working on a weak intellect, whicb bas made itself susceptible to tbat force by having come to believe that those sorts of things are good or bad and worth getting excited or upset about, as tbe case may be. But in any event, bis view is tbat emotions are caused, not by mere attractive but false appearances, but rather by the force of some affect the agent feels, which Ieads him to form the belief "on the basis of the movement of the affective power" that some thing is good or bad, and so generates tbe emotional state on tbat basis. Tbis brief quotation does not make it clear tbat tbis force influences the judgment by itself causing
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Chrysippus' attractive appearance, but Posidonius is being cited here as pressing the question "why pleasure projects the persuasive impression that it is good" (PHP 5.5.19-20 [De Lacy 320.18-19]), so that is presumably what he thought. Thus, on Posidonius' view, we are all, because of our natures as human beings, inevitably subject to some extent to these "affective movements" and their ill effects; but some of us feel them more insistently and in greater intensity, or have greater difficulty in reducing them to Ievels that do not seriously threaten our ability to form practical views having a sounder basis in the facts than do the emotional ones to which the "affective movements" incline us. In this way Posidonius is able to give a plausible account of the full range of phenomena familiar to us in the psychological Jives of adult human beings for which he challenged Chrysippus for an explanation. 38 By postulating the natural existence in the adult human soul of two non-rational sources of psychic energies, in addition to and completely independent of reason, he can explain: (1) why the bulk of mankind, perhaps all human beings, regularly have the impression that external things are good or bad for them, matter greatly to their well-being; (2) why, having this impression, they are so apt not just to accept it, but in doing so to experience fullfledged emotional states of mind in relation to them; (3) why even among those who accept these impressions some are more apt than others to fall into emotions, and why some typically experience more extreme emotions than others; (4) why the same person at different times experiences different intensities of emotion, and sometimes, apparently, no emotion at all, even though she holds the same opinion about the same or essentially similar states of affairs; (5) why, in particular, the vividness with which one conceives something as good or bad makes such a difference in this respect; 39 (6) why sometimes one is, as we say, emotionally so drained that one cannot again or any Ionger feel an emotion one might wish and think it appropriate to feel. It is an essential condition of any emotion that one experience some relevant affective movement; but it is the specific condition of a person's non-rational capacities that determines when, how intensely and for how long that person experiences these movements. Given plausible assumptions about the functioning of such non-rational capacities, and about individual differences in respect to them, all these phenomena can be seen as natural effects of them. In addition to offering a plausible explanation of these aspects of the agreed-upon phenomena that Chrysippus arguably could not explain satisfactorily, Posidonius' postulation of these natural "affective movements" allows him to offer a more attractive account of the relationship
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between the psychic processes that produce the voluntary behavior of immature human beings and the psychology of the adults into whom they naturally develop. On the standard Stoic theory (accepted by Posidonius: PHP 5.5.34) it is at age fourteen than we become full adults, capable of directing our behavior by assents and decisions of our reasoning power; before that we have been governed by non-rational desires. Butthis cornmon Stoic doctrine takes on new significance in Posidonius' theory. For Chrysippus must simply say, as I noted above (p. 77), that at age fourteen we cease altogether to experience the sort of impulses that we experienced, and experienced exclusively, before that. The discontinuity is total. But Posidonius can say that as adults we continue to experience the same things that, as children, we experienced as hormai - namely, the pathetikai kineseis. Now that we are in possession of the power to reason, these very same feelings no Iongerare full-fledged impulses at all. Once we come into full possession of our power to think out and decide for ourselves what we shall do, we disengage ourselves as voluntary agents from the previously impulsive force of the affective movements. Henceforth they only influence our behavior by inducing us to adopt erroneous practical views and so to sink into full-fledged emotion - something that, of course, in the nature of things as children we could not experience. As children the impulses we experienced were not emotions (those require assent by reason, something not yet possible for children); they were, however, the same sort of affective movement that as adults we experience but are no Ionger ruled by. 40 In this way the Posidonian theory can offer a less extreme account, and one less offensive to cornmon sense, of what it is to be born a nonrational animal but grow up to be a rational one, than standard Stoicism was condemned to do. POSIDONIUS: PREVENTION AND CURE OF THE EMOTIONS
As we have seen, Posidonius' theory of what precisely the functions are of the non-rational powers of the soul differs substantially from Plato's and Aristotle's. For Plato and Aristotle the non-rational powers are the direct source of full-fledged hormai of their own, appetitive and spirited desires that not only express a practical view (the desirability of doing what they are desires for) but do so with what the Stoics call an "assent". Just in experiencing anger or an appetite for food, a person is holding the view that retaliation (say) or eating something that will satisfy his hunger would be a good thing, is something intensely worth doing. In his anger or his appetite he has (as it were) decided to do these things, and is actively moving toward
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acting on this decision of his spirited or appetitive nature. Of course he may simultaneously experience an opposed impulse, for example one coming from his rational evaluation of what is the best thing to do, everything considered; in that case, in different parts or aspects of himself, he will in effect have decided to do two different and incompatible things.41 In Stoic terms, this amounts to saying that the functions of the non-rational powers of the soul are, or include, full-fledged pathe. For Posidonius, however, in accordance with fundamental Stoic principles, all assent is reserved to the reasoning power alone. Hence on his view the actual functions of the nonrational powers (in adults) are limited to the more inchoate movements that he calls pathetikai kineseis: full-fledged pathe (actual anger, appetitive desires, etc.) are not functions of the non-rational powers, but complex functions requiring an activity of one of these powers combined with an activity of reason. Despite these important differences between Posidonius' and Plato's conceptions of spirit and appetite, Posidonius can adopt major portions of Plato's analyses in Republic and Laws of how the education of children should proceed, if they are to grow up tobe free of disturbing bad desires, and how therapy and training should be conducted for adults who already experience them. Galen says (PHP 5.5.32 [De Lacy 324.2-9]) that Posidonius expressed special admiration for what Plato wrote about the rearing and training of children, and in the first book of the Perl Pathon gave a kind of epitome of Plato's views on this topic. lt could weil be that it is Posidonius' acceptance early on in his treatise of Plato's views on the training of spirited and appetitive feelings in children that led Galen (precipitously and wrongly, as we have seen) to gloss over the significant differences between the two philosophers on narrower technical questions about the nature of the emotions, and to classify Posidonius simply as a "Platonist" on the whole topic. Following Plato, Posidonius declared (5.33 [De Lacy 324.9-11]) the best education for children tobe "the preparation of the affective aspect (tou pathetikou) of the soul so as to be most serviceable to the rule of reason (pros ten archen tou logistikou)," and Galen implies (5.6.20-22) that he intended this to be achieved in the Platonic fashion, through making them Iisten to appropriate types of music - music, Galen says, that would arouse, sharpen and strengthen the affective movements of those who are sluggish by nature, and calm and weaken the movements in those who are too high-spirited (see also 5.5.34 [De Lacy 324.15-16]). And, in general, he stresses [De Lacy 324.22; 330.17-20] that because these movements derive from a non-rational psychic power it
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is habituation, not argument and instruction, that is effective in their training. lt is easy to see how Posidonius could have thought proper preparation of the non-rational powers would involve musical training aimed at reducing and weakening their movements; if in childhood and youth these movements are allowed to grow powerful or flare up at the least provocation, one will have as an adult an ingrained tendency to feel strong affective movements, which will draw one to give in to them, with the result that one experiences full-fledged emotions. But it is not clear exactly what value Posidonius could have seen in musical training in the opposite direction- aimed, e.g., at arousing the tendency to have angry feelings in those who are not naturally given to them, or great pleasure at successful endeavors. His declared goal is to eliminate emotions altogether, not to produce the "moderate" emotions that Plato and Aristotle aimed at, and even moderate affective movements, feit in support of the same courses of action as reason decides on taking, will if assented to Iead to the experience of emotions (even if relatively weak ones). Perhaps he envisaged an intermediatestage in moral development, at which, as he supposed, reason needs the help of (moderate) affective movements in order to recognize, and generate effective impulses toward, correct actions, or even to learn to value properly the objects of pursuit and avoidance in correct action. Only later, once reason's independent grasp of the true grounds for selecting a course of action becomes secure, would it cease altogether to be influenced and aided by affective movements - and so, gradually, to cease to feel them, at least in significant degrees. Galen, however, teils us nothing to this effect, and we are left to our own speculation.42 As for the proper methods of treatment for emotions, once one is already adult, Posidonius again held that Plato had developed the correct view (PHP 5.4.15 [De Lacy 316.12-14]). Galen gives few interesting details, but the essential point is clear. Emotions involve reason's assenting, under pressure from the affective movements in the soul, to erroneous practical views about the value (or disvalue) and importance of bodily pleasure and pain, and of external events and circumstances of all kinds. Therefore, to get rid of the emotions will usually require that one reduce the affective feelings which are an essential cause and component of them, so that they are no Ionger severe enough to have these bad effects. In particular, to prevent an emotion to which one is prone from arising under the stimulus of circumstances suitable to it, Posidonius recommended advance preparation, through dwelling in advance (proendemein) on the event that would trigger the emotion - imagining it vividly and so gradually becoming used to it, at a
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time when, since it has not actually happened, the imagination has a much smaller emotional effect, so that when it actually does happen it will seem like something that has already happened to you that you have learned to bear unemotionally (PHP 4.7.7-8 [De Lacy 282.10-14]). To eure an emotion already being feit on some particular occasion, one may only be able to Iet the affective movements run their course (meanwhile delaying action): they will die down in time, and with that the emotionwill disappear as weil. Fora permanent eure, he seems to have relied on recommending redoubled efforts to educate the affective movements through music, as with children. At 5.5.22-29 Galen reports that Posidonius drew on physiognomy and the study of the effects of the environment on animals to buttress his account of the emotions and their eure. According to Galen he adopted the position that in different persons "the affective movements of the soul always follow on the condition of the body" [De Lacy 322.3-4], which is itself determined partly by natural constitution, partly by environment. Indeed, Galen reports Posidonius' view witb tbe language of necessity [De Lacy 322.21-23], saying that in some persons "tbe emotional movements (ldneseis hai kata pathos - I take this to be a variant on pathetikai ldneseis just above, 322.18), whicb occur by necessity (anankaios) because of the constitution of tbe body, are great and intense." Movements that occur by physical necessity, of course, are ones we are plainly not to be blamed for feeling; whereas, for Posidonius as for all other Stoics, we are very mucb to blame for any pathe we may experience - they depend upon an assent of reason, which it is up to us to render or refuse. From this one sees the crucial importance if one is to understand Posidonius correctly of not confusing affective movements with emotions: even if some one, by natural constitution, cannot rid hirnself entirely of "affective movements" or even reduce their intensity as greatly as would be ideally desirable, he can come to know tbe truth tbat being emotionally moved is bad and undesirable, and accordingly not assent to the impressions bis affective movements may cause him to experience and so not take up the energy of those movements into any impulse to action that his reason itself issues. In general, as Galen puts it, Posidonius maintained tbat two things must be done "if one is to point to an improvement in a man's character:" bis reason must "acquire knowledge of the trutb, and tbe emotional movements must be blunted by habituation to good practices" [De Lacy 322.24-26].
JOHN M. COOPER POSIDONIUS: CONSEQUENCES FOR ETHICAL THEORY
At PHP 5.6.2 [De Lacy 326.14-16] Galen quotes Posidonius from near the beginning of bis Peri Path6n as saying that a correct investigation of the nature of the emotions is the necessary foundation on which to develop a correct account of what is good and bad for human beings, the ends of life, and the virtues. In effect, as Galen put the matter earlier on (4.7.23-24), apparently in reference to the passage from which this quotation is taken, Posidonius maintained that all the matters that traditionally define the subject of moral philosophy are bound tagether "as by a single cord" by the knowledge of the three different powers of the soul. Wehave already seen how Posidonius was able to build on this foundation in order to deal with the training of the young and the eure of the emotions, and to reveal the psychological source of the very common error of treating external things, and indeed anything other than virtuous states of mind and virtuous actions themselves, as being either good or bad for us. In order to complete our account of Posidonius' theories, and show where its principal weakness lay from the point of view of Stoic moral philosophy generally, we need to consider briefly what Posidonius bad to say about the "end" and about the nature of virtue. In a lengthy and difficult passagein book 5 of PHP (5.6.3-16), near the end of bis refutation of Chrysippus, Galen discusses Posidonius' views on the correct way of formulating and explaining the telos. From the beginning the Stoics bad always seen a close connection between "living in agreement with nature" (their official formula for the "end") and living in agreement with oneself, i.e. without internal conflict and disharmony, at peace with oneself as well as with the world - in fact, happily .43 And, of course, it was traditional with the Stoics to identify the psychological disturbances, the conflicts and disharmonies, that are to be avoided with the pathe. So it is obviously justifiable for Posidonius to think that until the nature and causes of the pathe. are discovered one cannot correctly grasp the "end". If, as he has argued, emotions are caused by reason's being led by the force of affective movements of the non-rational powers to cling to false practical views, then to attain happiness and our natural end will be a matter of rigorously and constantly refusing to be led by these non-rational powers and so, not experiencing the disturbances that reflect internal conflict and disharmony. Hence Posidonius (as quoted by Galen 5.6.5 [De Lacy 326.26-27]) proposes the following way of explicating the correct end at which to aim our lives: "the principal thing in happiness is being led in nothing by the non-rational and unhappy and godless power in the soul, "44 but instead following one's reason, "the divinity in oneself, which is akin
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and similar in nature to the divinity that rules the whole cosmos" (6.4 [De Lacy 326.21-23]). But would this in fact be enough for happiness? Would it eliminate all stress and internal disharmony? On Posidonius' theory people have no direct voluntary control over the affective movements they experience. Indeed, as we have just seen, he insisted (if Galen is to be trusted) that it is by a physical necessity, deriving from their natural bodily constitution, that some people experience extreme and violent affective movements and others milder, more tractable ones (PHP 5.5.23 and 26 [De Lacy 322.3-5 and 12-13], discussed above). Tobe sure, the sort of necessity he has in mind is such that by altering our physical and psychological state we can change at least to some extent our "natural constitution" and so alter the necessities here at work. And he considers that with proper training it is open to all of us, despite thesenatural differences, tobring our tendencies to feel affective movements into a condition in which we will never be drawn by any such movements as we experience on any occasion into holding false practical views about extemal things and so feeling emotional desires in relation to them. As we have seen, this will partly be a matter of training ourselves not to feel affective movements very strongly and acutely, partly a matter of deepening and solidifying our understanding of the reasons why it is not reasonable to think the objects of these feelings are either good or bad, and accordingly why it is unreasonable to feel "impulses" to which these movements make any contribution. But it is part of Posidonius' theory that experiencing affective movements is a permanent aspect of our nature as human beings. There is no question of ceasing to feel affective movements altogether (coming to cease experiencing full-fledged pathe is of course another matter). This means that even the perfected, fully virtuous person will be beset by feelings (however mild and tractable they may be) of excited attraction to and repulsion from objects and courses of action that he does not and cannot accept or approve of; these movements are constantly inclining him to adopt practical views that he knows are false and must not be agreed to. Would that not mean that the fully perfect person would live constantly subject to inner conflict and disharmony, as he would regularly feel inclined (even if not actually ever pulled) toward objects, experiences, and actions that, and in ways that, he nonetheless firmly rejected as inappropriate? Of course, even for Chrysippus the perfected human being can and will suffer bodily pain, and he will undergo many other psychological experiences that, antecedently, he would have preferred not to experience at all; but it seems to me right to concede to Chrysippus that these do not amount
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to, or otherwise introduce into his life, any feelings of disharmony or conflict, and so they do not reduce his happiness or affect it in any adverse way at all. 45 He controls his own evaluative attitudes, and it is only through these, if at all, that he could suffer any disturbance on their account: in themselves, bodily pain and these other counter-preferred experiences cannot affect one's happiness. What, however, about "impulsive impressions" of pleasure as something good or pain as an evil, and so on the cause, according to Chrysippus, of emotions, when they are assented to (but not otherwise)? On Chrysippus' theory these are involuntary: would not the virtuous person, on Chrysippus' theory, continue to experience these impressions at least some of the time? It is admittedly unclear from our evidence (and so Chrysippus may hirnself have left it unclear) whether we should think the virtuous person does experience such impressions. Seneca reports (De ira 1.16.7) that Zeno (and so, perhaps, Chrysippus too) recognized that the "wise man" would retain a "scar" of his previously vicious state of mind, resulting in an occasional, brief "hint or shadow" of emotion - small feelings of inappropriate excitement or irritation, for example, in circumstances in which he used to feel full-fledged emotion. Presumably these are themselves either "impulsive impressions" or direct consequences of them - in either case, this would be a sign that the wise man retains some susceptibility to inappropriate "impulsive impressions." On the other hand, according to Chrysippus the impressions (phantasiai) of an adult are always "rational" in the sense that they are states (albeit receptive ones) of his reason (see D.L. 7.51 sub fin.), and the acquisition of virtue means a total transformation of one's reason. So it would seem in order for Chrysippus to say that once that transformation has taken place even the "impulsive impressions" themselves that one receives about external things will be permanently different from the ones one received previously, and that ordinary people habitually receive. In any event, even if the wise person does occasionally give evidence of a remaining "scar" any inappropriate impression he may receive is at once set aside or got rid of, so it seems fair to say that that susceptibility would not count as a source of conflict and disharmony in the virtuous person's life. Such fleeting normative impressions, immediately revoked, do not betray any split or conflict within the sources of the wise person's agency. But Posidonius' affective movements cannot so easily be kept at such a distance from what constitutes oneself as an agent. For, though just as involuntary as bodily pain and as impulsive impressions themselves, they also constitute at least inchoate evaluative attitudes: if you are feeling even fairly mildly inclined to depression over the death of a child or a friend, it
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is you who are therein feeling that you have lost something of real value to you. To be sure, the practical view that you adopt and retain throughout may very weil proclaim it as no loss - and that is the view with which, as rational, you principally identify yourself. But the other attitude is there too, and it cannot be denied to be yours as weiL Moreover, since the affective movement does not belong to reason itself, the transformation of reason that virtue brings would not enable the virtuous person simply to set aside or get rid of it once it began to be feit, as we saw Chrysippus and Zeno could say about the inappropriate impulsive impression. Indeed, given that for Posidonius it is the affective movement that gives rise to the impulsive impression, one can assume that for him the virtuous agent could not in fact simply set aside or get rid of that impression either - so long as he continued to experience the movement. lt would seem, then, that the virtuous agent would be in conflict with himself, after all, andin a state of disharmony that should be counted as detracting from bis happiness. Essentially the same difficulty can be approached by considering the consequences for Posidonius' account of the human virtues of bis analysis of the nature and causes of emotions. In book 5 Galen gives only a brief and, as he hirnself admits, incomplete account of Posidonius' treatment of the virtues: for bis purposes in refuting Chrysippus' theory of the emotions this is a side-issue. 46 However, it is clear that, consistently with his account of the emotions as arising from the effects of non-rational movements on our capacities for practical judgment, Posidonius must have maintained that human virtue overall consists of two separate components.47 First, there is the perfection of the rational part through the acquisition of knowledge, and then there is the perfection of the non-rational parts through being habituated to feel in certain ways and not feel in others, depending on the circumstances. Now there areimmediate dangers for any Stoic in recognizing among the human virtues any conditions at all belonging to non-rational powers (however exactly these virtues are conceived). For since according to Stoic first principles all and only virtues are a good (and all and only vices a bad), it will follow that one part of our overall good and bad is not directly under our own control. We do not directly control, even in principle, whether the condition of any non-rational powers we possess is a virtuous one or not: that much follows immediately from the fact that they are non-rational powers. In the case of the capacity for affective movements, conceived as Posidonius conceives these, we have to depend upon the chancy effects of our own and others' efforts to train them by some processes or other of habituation. But what if someone's nonrational powers were by his or her individual nature simply such that they
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could not be brought into whatever condition might be thought required? One cannot just dismiss this possibility; but facing it threatens to force the admission that full human virtue is not after all under our own control to achieve, even in principle. Yet the insistence that we are all fully responsible for our own moral condition is fundamental to Stoicism. In order to meet this objection Posidonius might point out that for the possession of the non-rational virtues it is only required to reduce the tendencies to feel affective movements to a Ievel that would not cause anyone to adopt false practical views if he possessed the full knowledge of what is good, bad, and indifferent that comes with the perfection of human reason. And he might plausibly claim that the required Ievel is such that equally virtuous persons might nonetheless vary fairly widely in the intensity, frequency, etc., with which they experience the affective movements, bothin general and with reference to the different specific types of such feelings. In this way he might attempt to accommodate such natural variations as there may be in individual persons' capacities for achieving control of these feelings through habituation, by maintaining that no one's individual nature is such that they cannot achieve some Ievel of control within the range required for virtue. But in that case he seems forced to admit that some virtuous persons will experience rather more insistent affective movements than others (movements, of course, whose effects they successfully resist, through the strength of their correct understanding of what is truly good and bad for them). But surely at least those virtuous persons will experience the sort of tension and Iack of internal peace and tranquillity that must be regarded as incompatible with a full measure of happiness. Virtue may in principle be achievable by all, and by nothing but their own voluntary efforts, including those involved in the discipline of their non-rational powers, no matter what their individual natures may be like. But then it seems that virtue can no Ionger be held sufficient for happiness - understood as consisting in part of internal peace and freedom from tension - or at any rate not for a full and perfect measure of it. lt would seem, then, that as a Stoic Posidonius is in a very uncomfortable position. Once one admits, as he does, that there are powers in the human soul that need to be trained by more than rational argument and reflection, it appears that one cannot clearly guarantee even in theory, as the Stoics standardly insisted on doing, that it is entirely up to us whether we Iead both virtuous and happy lives or not. I conjecture that it was the recognition of this fact that led most Stoics after Posidonius (as Galen reports)48 to reject his analysis of the nature and causes of the emotions, and to cling to
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Chrysippean orthodoxy - however much an improvement on Chrysippus Posidonius' theory might have seemed if one restricted one's attention simply to the phenomenology of the emotions themselves. Posidonius made much of his insistence that a correct account of the human virtues depends upon the correct account of the emotions. But, as these considerations show, that logical connection itself provides any Stoic good grounds for doubt whether the account of the emotions that Posidonius worked out can after all be correct. One person's modus ponens is another's modus tollens. Despite these difficulties there is evidence that several later Stoics followed Posidonius in accepting the existence of non-rational affective movements, while (again like Posidonius) insisting as strongly as Chrysippus hirnself on the necessity for an assent by reason in order to cause voluntary action (and so, in order to generate an emotion). Most noteworthy is Seneca's carefully articulated account in De ira 2.2-4 of certain agitated movements of the mind that are nonetheless not emotions, for example anger (since they do not involve assent to angry thoughts of vengeance), but at worst "the preliminaries, the prelude" to emotions (principia proludentia adfectibus, 2.5), caused involuntarily, for example by the perception of someone's objectionable or insulting behavior. 49 Elsewhere (Ep. 113.17 -18) Seneca similarly explains the genesis of human voluntary action in generat in three stages that are strikingly reminiscent of Posidonius' account of emotional action (as I have interpreted it). In another Ietter (Ep. 57) he describes a personal experience in terms that clearly draw upon this theory, while adding the significant detail that such an involuntary response is a naturalis adfectio (57.4), a "natural feeling" that all of us (even sages) experience, simply because of our common human nature. Cicero's passing reference in Tusc. 3.83 to morsus et contractiunculae quaedam animi ("bites and minor contractions in the soul") that may remain after one no Ionger assents to the idea of grieving, may similarly reflect Posidonius' analysis. Likewise Aulus Gellius (NA 19.1) teils a story about a Stoic philosopher who in justification of the fear-like disturbance he feit during a storm at sea cites from Epictetus what seems to be the Posidonian and Senecan distinction between involuntary affect and assent-involving emotion. 50 Only scholars' failure to understand Posidonius' own theory has prevented its influence on later Stoics from being widely recognized. 51
lOHN M. COOPER NOTES
See especially PHP 4.3.3, 4.38; 5.1.5-6, 6.42. See also 7.1.9 and 8.1.14. Galen was writing in the 160's AD, more than two centuries after Posidonius' death (see De Lacy 1978-84, 46, referring to Galen's report in De libr. prop., bis account of bis own authorship). 2 Cooper 1989, 28-30 and 1996. 3 Cicero expounds the Stoic theory of the good and happiness in bk. 3 of De finibus, but that of Antiochus in bk. 5, where Piso (Antiochus' spokesman) describes it as the doctrine of the Old Academy and of the Peripatetics (5.8, cf. 5.14), tricked out later in new and misleading language, but without differing in content, by innovation-seeking Stoics (5.74, 88-89). Despite Piso's claim that Antiochus' "Oid Academic" view is also the Stoic one, Cicero bimself refuses to accept this (5.79-85): the "assimilation" of the Stoics to the old Academics and Aristotle really means the abandonment of essential points of their theory. (Antiochus - though he is said to have studied with the Stoic Mnesarchus - was an Academic, indeed head of the school for a time; unlike Posidonius, he was not counted as a Stoic philosopher at all, whether orthodox or not.) 4 Diogenes Laertius attributes to Posidonius, without further explanation, the very unorthodox views (7 .103) that health and wealth are good things (agatha), and (7 .128) that (in consequence?) virtue is not sufficient by itself for a good and happy life, as orthodox Stoicism maintained it was. There is a trace of the same interpretation of Posidonius in a remark of Epiphanius (De fide 9.46). Neither report reveals anything about any textual basis on which it may rest, and they are roundly contradicted by Seneca. In an elaborate discussion (Ep. 87) of Stoic syllogisms aimed at showing wealth nottobe a good thing Seneca provides convincing evidence that Posidonius not only adhered to the orthodox Stoic view that wealth and health and the like are neither good nor bad things but "preferred indifferents," but employed elegant and original arguments to defend it. Seneca quotes the following syllogism from Posidonius (87 .35): "Things that give neither greatness of soul nor self-confidence nor freedom from care are not goods. But riches and good health and the like do not bring about any of these conditions. Therefore they are not goods." And Seneca shows that in developing this view he made excellent use of the Stoic distinction between antecedent and efficient (or "principal" or "containing") causes. He argued that wealth harms us, not by its own nature and force, but as an antecedent cause, by encouraging its possessors to become arrogant and feel false delight with their circumstances (87 .31-32). Plainly, Posidonius' acceptance of the orthodox view on these matters was a settled, fully considered commitment. Given the state of our evidence we can only speculate what Posidonius may somewhere have written that permitted Diogenes Laertius and Epiphanius (or their sources) to misunderstand him so grossly. For some suggestions about this, see Kidd 1988, 639-641. s See e.g. Cic. Tusc. 2.61; Defin. 1.6; Hortensius frg. 18; Sen. Ep. 33.4; 108. 38. J. Fillion-Lahille 1984, 122-123 points out that neither in Seneca's De ira nor in Cicero's Tusc. 3 and 4, nor in any other ancient discussion of the emotions, where one would certainly expect to catch wind of it, does one hear any indication of the abandonment of Stoic psychological principles that Galen attributes to Posidonius. 6 In this generat opinion I am in agreement with Fillion-Lahille 1984, Part Three, chs. 1-3. 7 Cooper 1984; Frede 1986.
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J. Fillion-Lahille 1984 also attempts an interpretation of Posidonius along thesegenerat lines. Her discussion of Galen's evidence is the best, and by far the most complete, in the scholarly literature, and I have learned a good deal from it. She fails, however, to give a clear, philosophically convincing account of exactly how, according to Posidonius, the nonrational powers function in relation to reason in causing emotions, nor does she adequately distinguish Posidonius' conception of the non-rational powers from Plato's. In section m below, pp. 81-90, I attempt to make up for these deficiencies in her account. 9 Posidonius the most scientifically trained of the Stoics: Galen PHP 4.4.38 [De Lacy 258.19-22]; 8.1.14 [De Lacy 482.32-484. 4; F32 EK]; De sequela 819 (Scripta minora, vol. 2.77.17) [T58 EK]. 10 That Posidonius' book was formally directed against Chrysippus' is only a guess, but it is encouraged by the very wide range of topics connected to the emotions on which Galen cites extended criticisms of Chrysippus by Posidonius; and see PHP 5.6.45 [De Lacy 336.10-11], where Galen speaks summarily of all these criticisms as having been directed by Posidonius against Chrysippus' treatise. 11 Stob. Ecl. 2.86.17-87.6 Wachsmuth [SVF 3.169]; Origen De principiis 3. 1.2-3 [SVF 2.988, beginning]; Philo Legum allegoriae 1. 30 [SVF 2.844]. It should be noted that such impulses need not cause action immediately: one may experience one while waiting for the moment for action, as indicated in the impulse itself. Also, though already "set'' on action through experiencing an impulse to act in some particular way, it is possible to revoke the impulse before doing so (by deciding not to act after all, and so ridding oneself of it). 12 When any of the Greek philosophers use as names of types of appetite (epithumia) words that we must translate as "hunger" or "thirst" (or the equivalents in other modern languages), one must take care to realize that it is not the bodily feeling that is in question: the appetite is a certain desire to eat or drink that has the bodily feeling as some kind of cause, but is not identical with it. See for example Plato Phlb. 34d10-35d7 (the epithumia, thirst, requires in addition to the perceptual experience of a bodily depletion the memory of a replenishment perceived in the past, which makes it possible to conceive a desire for another replenishment in the immediate future). 13 Pleasure of the first kind (and the pain that stands in opposition to it) are counted by the Stoics as neither good nor bad. These are caused by our physical constitution and what impinges on it. Given our constitutions and what happens to us, it is not up to us whether we experience pleasure or pain of this first kind. Pleasure of the second kind and the pain opposed to it (being distressed or upset about something), being emotions, are counted as thoroughly bad things, to be avoided in all circumstances: they rest, allegedly, upon erroneous evaluations of the things being so responded to. The Stoics appear to have used the same Greek word (hedone) to refer to pleasure in both these senses (contrast D.L. 7.102 with 7.110-111, 114); the distinction between the two senses is marked by the fact that it is given ponos (i.e., physical pain) as its opposite in the first passage, but Iupe (distress) in the second pair of passages. (The Arius Didymus summary of Stoic ethical theory agrees with D.L. in reporting this double usage of the word hedone, again distinguishing the two uses through the two opposites ponos and Iupe: Stob. 2.81.13-15 vs. 88. 18-21 Wachsmuth.) On this see Long and Sedley 1987-88, vol. 1, 421; vol. 2, 405. Gosling and Taylor 1982, 426-427 seem to overlook these decisive passages when they reject as mistaken the attribution by modern writers of this distinction to the Stoics. 8
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14 I mean to exclude here, as not voluntary bodily movements, not just (1) automatic movements that are not psychologically caused at all, though we are at least sometimes aware of them and they can be affected by our psychological states (e.g., the beating of the heart), and (2) reflexes like being startled by a loud nearby sound, but also (3) automatic doings (blinking, breathing) that we can nonetheless inhibit at will (up to a point), and (4) the involuntary bodily signs of emotional states (blushing, elevated pulse, hot skin, etc.)- even if, as Chrysippus thinks, those states are at bottom themselves voluntary. 15 See Cooper 1984; 1989, and Frede 1986, 100 ff. 16 On this see Frede 1986, 94 ff. 17 For these two "definitions" see Galen, PHP4.2 [De Lacy 240.12-13], and the following discussion. (See SVF 3.462.) 18 Galen speaks (PHP 4.5 [De Lacy 262.4-5)) of ekphoros kinesis as a customary term of Chrysippus', and goes on to quote from him an explanation of the "excess" of an emotion as consisting in ekpheromenai kineseis, Iines 6-12 [SVF 3.479] (cf. 4.2 [De Lacy 240.33 ff.)). Clement of Alexandria gives horme ekpheromene kai apeithes IogOi as one defmition of pathos (SVF 3 .377), obviously drawing on thesepassag es of Chrysippus. Plutarch uses the same language at De virt. mor. 3.441c-d, in describing the Stoic view of the passions. Arius Didymus (Stob. Ecl. 2.89.8 Wachsmuth) uses the same term in describing people in emotional states as "carried away" as if by a disobedient horse - a very striking borrowing, this last, from Plato's Phaedrus (perhaps it owes something to Posidonius; see PHP 5.5.3435 [De Lacy 324.11-23)). Chrysippus' metaphor of a "runaway" motion clearly became part of the standard Stoic doctrine of the emotions. 19 Presumably Chrysippus thought that any impulse that counts external objects, events or circumstances as eilher good or bad would in a sense be "excessive": it ranks their value more highly than can be rationally justified, since they are in fact at best "preferred" or "dispreferred" "indifferent&" (see D.L. 7 .105; Cic. Fin. 3.52-53). But notallsuch impulses would have to involve anything that the person feeling them would describe as agitation (excitement or distress and upset feelings), and so be "excessive" in feit intensity - however much they might be theoretically described as "excessive". Almost everyone regards nicetasting food as good and desires it as such when they are wanting to eat, but they might nonetheless sometimes feel quite unconcemed at the prospect of possibly having to settle for something relatively unappetizing, or even having to abandon for the time being the idea of eating altogether. One's attitude to something as a good (or bad) thing might include the idea that it is nonetheless quite readily dispensable (or tolerable not to have it), that nothing much hangs on one's getting (or avoiding) it. Our sources do not make it entirely clear whether Chrysippus and other Stoic philosophers counted as pathe all impulses directed at "indifferent&" as if they were good or bad, even these undemanding, unintense feelings, or only the (overtly) agitated - excited or upset - ones. When, for example, Arius Didymus tells us (Stob. Ecl. 2.38.18-24 and 39.4-7 Wachsmuth) that Aristotle defined pathe as movements of the soulliable to excess, but Zeno as movements already actually in excess, one supposes he means that Zeno also counted as instances of pathos all the mild feelings that Aristotle had counted as such - but insisted that those too really were excessive. But in speaking of emotions quite generally as "runaway" impulses, it seems that Chrysippus would not be counting mild, undemanding impulses as emotions at all. (Of course, the latter would still be objectionable and morally reprehensible, from the Stoic point of view, on other grounds.) I will concentrate, as Chrysippus and Posidonius themselves do, on instances of overtly agitated states of mind, without attempting to resolve this !arger issue.
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20 See PHP4.2.12 [De Lacy 240.23-29]; 4.4.17 [De Lacy 254.17-19] and 4.23 [De Lacy 256.1-2]. Galen's inability to understand how this can be so is the source of most of his charges of self-contradiction against Chrysippus. In particular, he takes the claims by Chrysippus that emotions are disobedient to reason and that they exceed the measures on feeling about things that reason itself imposes (or would impose) as directly and flatly in contradiction to his centrat claim that emotions are functions of the reasoning power. That he cannot understand what Chrysippus has in mind here is a very serious philosophical failure on Galen's part. He thinks ~o little of Chrysippus' own philosophical ability (see his extraordinary dismissal of Chrysippus at PHP 5 .1.11 [De Lacy 294 .23], as simply "untrained in argument") that he is unwilling to try seriously to follow his line of thought. These deficiencies in his treatment of Chrysippus are sufficient ground for great caution in accepting any of Galen's Statements about the relationships among the various views in this area that he discusses - those of Plato himself, of Aristotle, and of Posidonius, as weil, of course, as Chrysippus' own. It is very surprising to me that scholars who areweil aware of how unreasonable and unfair Galen's interpretations of Chrysippus are nonetheless so willingly and uncritically accept his interpretations of Posidonius. 21 PHP 4.6 [De Lacy 274.35-39 and 276.6-10, 11-17, 19-22]; Plut. De virt. mor. 450. 22 Plut. De virt. mor. 446-441. On the Stoic analysis the oscillation in a person's view about what to do can sometimes be so rapid and continuous even while he is acting that both ordinary people and philosophers have got the erroneous impression that it is a "fact of experience" that people are sometimes subject to simultaneous conflicting impulses, one stronger than and "outweighing" the other. 23 So there is not merely a "recognition, but deliberate rejection, of what a reasonable human being would do in these circumstances" (so Gill1983, 141); one might think (whether rightly or wrongly) that one had good reasons for rejecting the idea of acting as a "reasonable human being" would, butthat is not what Chrysippus has in mind. This is a rejection by reason itself of the very idea of acting on (good) reasons. 24 (1) At 4.3.8 [De Lacy 248.25-27]) Galen, now granting (correctly) that Chrysippus' view is that pathe are kriseis (judgments) and that he understands these kriseis as themselves hormai and sunkatatheseis (assents), but ones reached precipitately, not by thinking the matter out, puts Posidonius' question Iike this: in that case an emotionwill be an excessive assent, so what is the cause of the assent' s being excessive? This way of putting the question grants that reason, through its assent, plays the essential rote in the generation of emotions - that emotions are activities of the reasoning power itself. (2) In 4.5.8 Galen first restates the question as follows: "this paradoxical movement, that is not generated by reason yet is generated by something as its cause- what, we ask you, brought it into being?" And he gives as "our" (the Platonists') answer that the cause is "sometimes the spirited power, sometimes the appetitive" [De Lacy 260.23-26]. But shortly afterward (5.12), developing Chrysippus' analogy with people running, he pointsout that people running downhill proceed with an impetus that is the joint result of their will and the force of their body's weight, and complains that Chrysippus "should have explained what that other thing is in the case of the emotions of the soul that is added to the reasoning power and becomes the cause of the immoderate and, as he himselfhabitually called it, runaway movement" [De Lacy 262.3-5]. Again, this grants that reason is involved in some way in the generation of emotions: reason generates the impulse, something eise generates (or contributes to) the excessive, rushing movement in it. Though Galen is speaking for himselfhere, this seems to reflect his reading of Posidonius' critique of Chrysippus. (3) At 5.5.28-29 [De Lacy 322.17-26], Galen
JOHN M. COOPER
explains how one may achieve the "eure" (iasis) of the emotions, in a context that is clearly marked (see 5.22 [De Lacy 320.29-30]) as deriving from Posidonius. The eure in neither of the two sorts of case he considers consists simply in moderating allegedly irrational feelings belonging to a non-rational power of the soul; in order to get rid of emotions either both the reasoning power and the non-rational power must be trained, in the way appropriate to each, or eise (in the case of those whose pathetikai kineseis, "affective movements," are already weak) only the reasoning power needs attention. This makes it clear that according to Posidonius an emotion is always somehow a joint product of erroneous thinking and decision (in the reasoning part) and some movements of a non-rational part. (On this last passage see below, pp. 87-89.) (See also 4.7.28 [De Lacy 286.23-26] and 7.33 [De Lacy 288.10-12].) Allthese passages make A.W. Price's suggestionimpossible to sustain (1995, 175 -178), that for Posidonius, unlike orthodox Stoics, path€ are not hormai and do not involve "assents" of reason. That idea also conflicts with the evidence of Plutarch cited in the next n. 25 Only on this understanding of Posidonius' theory can one reconcile Galen's quotations from and discussion ofhis Peri PathOn with Plutarch's report of Posidonius' classification of path€ in De libidine et aegritudine eh. 6: according to Plutarch, Posidonius held that epithumiai, phoboi, and orgai (i.e., the pathe of the soul) involve and depend upon rational judgments and suppositions (they are en krisesi kai hupolepsesin). Kidd's comment on this passage (1988, 562) is unsatisfactory. He fails to see that a view Iike the one I argue Posidonius held makes path€ depend upon reason's judgments and assents without however either identifying them with any such judgments (as Chrysippus did) or making them supervene necessarily upon them (as on Galen's - presumably mistaken- interpretation Zeno had done). Hence he is driven into the hopeless position of having first to take en krisesi ktl. here Ioosely, as meaning "in the field or area of' judgments of reason, and then to interpret its meaning in light of his own very unsatisfactory interpretation of PHP 5.5.21 [De Lacy 320, 23-28]. On this Iatter passage see below pp. 87-88. 26 See [pseudo-]AndronicusPeri Path6n 1 [SVF 3.391]; Stob. Ecl. 2.90.14-18 Wachsmuth, Cic. Tusc. 3.74 and 4.14. 27 Scholars are right to emphasize that (as Galen hirnself points out, 5. 7.4 [De Lacy 280.25-26]) prosphatos means, and was understood in this context by Chrysippus as meaning, simply "recent." But it is important to notice that Cicero, who so translates it, also explains it (Tusc. 3.75) in such a way as to make it clear that it was the typical vividness of recent events in a person's mind that Chrysippus and other Stoics meant to convey by their use of this word in this context. 28 In citing Posidonius' criticisms of Chrysippus Galen gives the impression that Posidonius found Chrysippus unclear or undecided on this last point: at 4.7 .5 he suggests that usually Chrysippus sought to explain emotions as due simply to the thought (whether a recently acquired or vivid one or not) of oneself as possessing (or going to possess) some great and important good or bad thing - something intolerable and unbearable, or transcendently wonderful. Accordingly, in 4.5.26 ff. Posidonius is quoted objecting to the idea that what causes a pathos is the opinion that one is, was or will be in the presence of some great or important good or bad (external) things. But at 4.7 .6 ff. Posidonius objects to Chrysippus' appeal to the notion of vividness, on the ground that though the vividness of an opinion does in fact play a causal roJe in generating emotions Chrysippus' rationalist presuppositions prevent him from being able to accommodate this fact within his theory. (Posidonius seems to be wrong about this: see the next n.)
POSIDONIUS ON EMOTIONS
29 In the foregoing I have spoken of Chrysippus' view of emotions as involving assent, and stubborn adherence to, a (false) practical view or opinion, to the effect that some event or circumstance is good or bad for one. That is how, on Galen's evidence, Posidonius conceived (and objected to) it. Frede 1986, 103-107 has argued (and cf. Sext. Emp. Math. 7.154) that in fact for Chrysippus the assents in emotions (and indeed in impulses generally) are not strictly to propositions but rather to those as contained in phantasiai ("impressions "): one assents to a richly detailed representation of the object or circumstance as possessing the features in virtue of which it strikes one as good or bad. I am strongly inclined to think Frede is right on this interpretative point. If he is, then Chrysippus' view is rendered much more plausible, and Posidonius' criticisms would need some refinement: for example, pointing to mere identity of opinion when an emotional state is and is not present will not suffice in order to discomfit Chrysippus; identity of the complex overall assented-to impression is required. I think however that Posidonius' basic points arguably still apply (whether they are decisive against Chrysippus isanother matter, not easy to determine with any assurance). For even if what is assented to in a case of intense sexual attraction, say, is a complex representation of someone as having all the various bodily and mental properties that form the basis for carnal infatuation and wanting to have sex with them as an important good, it still seems arguable that at another time the one now emotionally moved in assenting to that thought will not be moved that way at all in assenting to it (or possibly moved rather to disgust or exasperation that that is how one has to get one's good). Likewise, it seems arguable that some people would always be either altogether unmoved emotionally by assenting to it or moved emotionally in a different way and direction (perhaps to disappointed distress at what one has to do to get what is good). Still, it is noteworthy that on Galen's account Posidonius seems not to have taken note of these interesting complexities in Chrysippus' theory (if indeed Frede's interpretation is correct). Perhaps Chrysippus hirnself did not make much of them or emphasize their significance. Or perhaps Posidonius did take due note of them in his objections, but Galen lefi no sign of it, thinking them needless or even incorrect complications in a basically simple and silly account. 30 Less successfully, he also attacked Chrysippus' explanations head-on. If holding the opinion that you possess or are going to receive some great good entails that you are moved emotionally in relation to it, why do not sages feel an emotion of elation at their own possession of virtue, and why, conversely, do not those who are making progress toward virtue feel very downcast at their continued possession of the vice in their souls they now know tobe such a bad thing for them (PHP 4.5.26-28 [De Lacy 264.18-30])? Chrysippus can reply easily to these objections. Themental state of one holding true practical views, for all the right reasons weil and completely understood (as the sage does) or partially understood (as the prokopt6n or "improving" person does), is necessarily a very different one, and one different even subjectively, from that of a person holding the extremely false views that according to Chrysippus give rise to emotion. If you know the full truth about what is good for a human being, and what makes it such a good thing, this knowledge will be sufficient to prevent you from having the sort of impression (phantasia) of it that will Iead you to think it a good idea to feel elated (with an expanded sense of your own accomplishment) for having it, or (in the case of the "improving" person) depressed and deflated for not yet having achieved it. Your knowledge will tell you that elation and depression are bad, and prevent you from thinking them, even for a brief moment, appropriate things to feel. If, by contrast, you think that having external things is the good (or part of it), at least nothing prevents your holding the opposite opinions. It is surprising that Posidonius did not see this.
JOHN M. COOPER
31 At PHP 5.5.26 [De Lacy 322.13-14], Galen says Posidonius "customarily" used this expression, but instead of noting the special significance of such special terminology Galen treats it simply as an alternative equivalent for pathe: see e.g., 5.1.5 [De Lacy 292.20-25], where in summarizing his own account in book 4 of Posidonius' views, he says that Posidonius showed that "emotions are neither judgments nor things that supervene on judgments, but certain movements of other non-rational powers which Plato called appetitive and spirited." Nonetheless, in the passages Galen quotes, both in book 4 and book 5, and in his paraphrases of other passages, it is easy to see that Posidonius reserved the term "pathos" to denote the completed horme to which the non-rational powers make a contribution, and employed "pathetikai kineseis" for the sub-"impulsive" movements through which they make this contribution. See e.g., 5.5.21 [De Lacy 320.27-28], where the horme is clearly distinguished from the pathetike kinesis; similarly 4.7.28 [De Lacy 286.23-26] and 7. 33 [De Lacy288.10-12]. 32 There is evidence in Galen that Posidonius sometimes used the Platonic term to logistikon as one way of referring to the reasoning power (see the quotation from Posidonius in 5.5.33, translated and discussed below, p. 91); the evidence for his having taken over the standard Academic terminology (to thumoeides and to epithumetikon) for referring to the other two powers is less decisive. Passages like 8.1.14 [De Lacy 482.33-484.3]; 5.6.38 [De Lacy 334.4-8]; and 4.3.3 [De Lacy 248.4-6] seem strongly to imply that he did; but when one reads 5.1.5, in which Galen paraphrases the same passage of Posidonius as in 4.3.3, but says merely that the non-rational powers recognized by Posidonius were called by these names by Plato, one hesitates. Nonetheless, in light of Galen's repeated assertions that he admitted exactly two non-rational powers of the soul, of exactly the same natures as Plato's, it seems likely that he did use this terminology. lt seems unlikely, given that he used the rather archaic Platonic term to logistikon, that he would not also have used the Standard Platonic terms for the other two powers. 33 See 5.2.2, where Galen remarkably says that not only Stoics like Chrysippus held that only the vicious (phaul01) experience pathe, but this was the view also of "the ancients." Here Galen incautiously accepts Stoic usage, according to which anything entitled to the name pathos is "unnatural and irrational," and offers to interpret Plato's and Aristotle's theories in accordance with it. If this were done systematically, the anger, grief, fear, appetitive desire, etc., that on these theories are experienced by a virtuous person (or are such that a virtuous person would experience them in the given circumstances) would have to be treated as psychologically of a very different nature and origin from all other cases of such non-rational feelings; the latter will be without exception pathe, the former quite a different kind of phenomenon - in effect, a Platonic-Aristotelian version of the Stoic eupatheiai or "good feelings" of joy, caution and the rest restricted to morally perfect persons. Plainly, by taking for granted the Stoic usage, as Galen does, he assigns to two different psychological categories phenomena that it was a central concem of Plato and Aristotle to characterize as essentially the same sort of thing. This is not the only place where Galen falsifies Platonic doctrine by imposing on it distinctions and terminology originally introduced through Stoic psychological theory. He presents the evidence for the roJe of the nerves (originating in the brain) in all voluntary movement as supporting the "Platonic" vs. the Stoic theory of human psychology - this shows that the "command center" or hegemonikon is in the brain, where the logistikon is located, not the heart, where in fact only "spirit" is found (see PHP [De Lacy 110.1-3; 156.13-19; 162.2-6; 206.2436; 210.16-25; 480.4-11]). But it would follow that "spirit" and "appetite" do not, of
POSIDONIUS ON EMOTIONS
themselves, give rise to voluntary action or any "impulse" toward it; only reason does that, perhaps under influence from spirited or appetitive attachments. Here Galen's grasp of Plato's own theory is lax at best, or even quite confused. 34 Stob. Ecl. 2.86.17-19 Wachsmuth, and the discussion in Frede 1986, 103-107. 35 At 5.5.16-17 [De Lacy 320.10-14], Galen presses this question in propria persona, in the course of discussing how it is that children who on the standard Stoic story have no natural inclination to wrongdoing nonetheless grow up to be malefactors. He is evidently following Posidonius (see 5.5.9 [De Lacy 318.22-23]) in raising this challenge. In interpreting this whole passage (5.5.9-21) one must however be careful not to attribute to Posidonius the details of Galen's way of developing his point. It is Galen hirnself who introduces (5.5.1-8) the idea of multiple oikeißseis (natural feelings of "kinship") - one coming from each of the Platonic soul-parts: for pleasure, for victory in competitions, and for noble action - that he subsequently uses as his central analytical device in attacking Chrysippus. He formulates this idea in his introductory remarks at the beginning of the chapter, before bringing Posidonius into his discussion; indeed, he concludes this introduction by saying that the ancients (i.e. Plato and Aristotle) were the only philosophers who saw that human beings have all three natural kinships: so, if he is to be taken strictly, no Stoic philosopher, not even Posidonius, saw this. He also says, in a gross misrepresentation of Chrysippus' view that it would be very hard to believe Posidonius capable of, that Chrysippus held our only natural oikeißsis is to that which is morally good! It is a serious error to attribute Galen's own idea of the three natural feelings of kinship to Posidonius (as Kidd does, 1988, 616-618, making it a centrat element in his reconstruction of Posidonian ethics). 36 It is not perfectly clear from our sources whether sages according to Chrysippus (or the Stoics generally) never have such impressions, or only never accept them as representing things truly. I presume that on Chrysippus' view the perfection of the sage's understanding brings with it a change in his tendency to experience phantasiai, so that he certainly does not regularly or often get the strong impression, always experienced by most people when experiencing it, that pain is a bad thing or bodily pleasure a good thing; the impression he gets of pleasure and pain corresponds somehow, at least most of the time, to how he thinks of these things, even although the character of bis impressions is no more a voluntary matter with him than it is with any other human being. If he does still sometimes receive erroneous "impulsive impressions" the strength of bis mind is suchthat these are rejected at once by him and never assented to. See further pp. 95-96 below. 37 5.5.21 [De Lacy 320.23-28]; accepting the ms. reading and finding no indication of a Jacuna, I have translated the following text: Kat yap Kat TaüfJ' oIIouetMmo~ p.Ep.tpeTaL Koa ÖetKPliPaL 7retp&rat 1rauwP TWP 1/levÖwP V7ro"AT,I/IewP Ta~ aiTta~ e11 plP T~ Oewpf/TL~ Öta ril~ 7rCX0f/TLIC~ o"Adj(;. 1rPOf/"'(EÜJ8at ö. aurii(; TOt(; 1/levöeit; oo~a(; lxuOepf,uaPTO(; 1rEpL .,."" ICPWLP Toii AO"'(LUTLKOii· "'(EPP&u8at "'(Otp T~ r~ riJP opp.~P fPtOTE pEP f7rt rij Toii AO"'(LO"TLICOV ICPWEL, 1ro"AMKt~ ö' e1ri rij KtPT,uet Toii 7ra8f/TLKoii. (The text would read more easily if, with Mueller, one adds yi11euOat after o"Aq(;, but I believe it can be construed in the same sense without even that addition; "'(tPeuOat or elPaL is to be understood.) Kidd, De Lacy, and others, following a trend begun by Pohlenz 1898, 560 ff., fmd a lacuna after ~;" pl11 T~ Oewpf/T~. Any inclination to fmd a lacuna disappears once one sees that in Galen's context 1rauw11 TWP 1/levöw" Ü7ro"AT,I/IewP clearly does not mean all false suppositions on all subjects, but only all false Suppositions of the sort he illustrated with examples immediately previously (5.16-20). Theseare false suppositions bad people make to the effect that pleasure, or
JOHN M. COOPER
victory, or honor and praise are good things and that pain, defeat, dishonor and b1ame are bad. I should add that there is no reason to expect some completion for the ~." here, such as De Lacy provides with his supplement < 'YL'YI1t:ufJa, 8,' l:tp.a8i.otc;, e11 8E TijJ rpaiCTuct:,J > (so that that does not give any basis for finding and filling a lacuna here): this ,.,e." is satisfactorily matched by the 8E already in the text after rpori'YfiufJa,. As for the expression e11 Tij! Oewp7JT"'C" in line 24, which I like De Lacy take to mean "in the theoretical realm," two points should be noted. First, we must not in any event assume that this was a term Posidonius hirnself used in the passage being reported; Galen may do no more than paraphrase something he wrote. Second, as noted above, it is extremely likely that raoC;,." TWI1 1/;evßw." vro>.~!J;ew11, whether or not it is taken verbatim from the passage of Posidonius, is being made by Galen to refer not to all beliefs generally but only to all the particular beliefs in question in this context. Hence there is no reason to suppose (as Kidd and De Lacy do) that in the passageGalen paraphrases or quotes from, Posidonius was talking about the causes of error in generat (including "intellectual" error as one sort of error, tobe contrasted then with "practical" error, a reference to which needs tobe supplied in a "lacuna"). There is no reason at all not to accept the fundamental soundness of the text here as transmitted. (On this passage I have profited from reading Fillion-Lahille's sensible discussion, 1984, 156-159; I am in broad agreement with her understanding of the passage and of the issues involved in interpreting it.) 38 See PHP 5.6.13-39 [De Lacy 328.23 ft]. 39 At 5.6.24-26 [De Lacy 330.24-31] Posidonius argues that, being non-rational, the affective movements are not aroused by argument nor simply by beliefs about what is good or bad for you. It is by picturing things (anazographesis tis, [De Lacy 330.28]) (not by describing them) that you arouse non-rational movements in yourself: a vivid image of a ferocious lion poised to leap upon you (whether produced by perception or in imagination) is sufficient to arouse these movements, and so to help generate the emotion of terror, whereas with the belief alone, unsupplemented by such an image, one might indeed run to safety, but would do so without feeling terror. Chrysippus, too, I am inclined tothink (see n. 29 above), believed that it was phantasiai ("impressions" - a sort of picturings), not mere beliefs, that are assented to when any impluse to action is brought into being; as we have seen, Posidonius proposed that, in the case where the result is an emotional impulse, those impressions are caused by "affective movements" of excited expansion or alarmed constriction. Here he is explaining how (in typical cases) the "affective movements" are themselves aroused: by picturing, not describing, terrible alleged evils or great goods. Thus Chrysippus was right to emphasize the importance of vividness in the causation of emotion, but it is not vividness of belief that matters (doxa prosphatos), as he had said, [De Lacy 280.26] (see above p. 84), but vividness in the way one pictures the phenomena to oneself; and vividness matters here because emotions involve movements of non-rational elements in our psychological make-up, which, as non-rational, respond to pictures in ways they would not respond to argument and merely linguistic descriptions. 40 In three passages (5.6.37-38 [De Lacy 332.31-334.8]; 4.7.35 [De Lacy 288.14-19]; 5 .1.9 -10 [De Lacy 294.8-20]) Galen distances Posidonius from the standard Stoic doctrine that neither children nor non-human animals experience emotions, pathe, and does so (no doubt knowingly) in such a way as to give the impression that Posidonius maintained, on the contrary, that children and the other animals experience emotions of basically the same sort as adults do. (That is the view he hirnself holds about children and animals.) If my interpretation of Galen's evidence as a whole is correct, this must be a misinterpretation or
POSIDONIUS ON EMOTIONS
misrepresentation: what Posidonius insisted on was, not that other animals and children experience full-fledged emotions, but only that the very same affective motions that adults experience, and that in adults often give rise to emotions, are experienced also by other animals and children. Galen's references in these passages to Posidonius' views are loose enough not to rule out this alternative interpretation of his views; and if Posidonius, once he had worked out and presented his full view, did occasionally speak of the "emotions" of children and animals, that would presumably have been, in the context of his own writings, an understandable assimilation of the basis for emotion to emotion itself, without implying what Galen takes it to imply. 41 At Eth. Nie. 7.3.1147a35 Aristotle says that epithumia or appetite can move the Iimbs, and the same thing is implied by his description of akrasia at 1.13.1102b16-21 as involving a horme that moves the limbs in a way that goes against the agent's reasoned decision. He holds that such an impulse succeeds in producing action only when, so to speak, the impulse of reason disengages itself, and so no Ionger actively opposes it, but, nonetheless, it is the appetite itself that produces the action - not a co-opted impulse of reason. In the Republic Plato makes appetite itself draw inferences from experience, have thoughts about what it wants and in effect make (something very like) decisions to have it. (Again, as with Aristotle, it is possible that Plato assumes that such "decisions" can have effect only if not opposed by reason.) On the Republic see Cooper 1984, 8-12. 42 In his comments elaborating on Posidonius' use of Plato's account of proper child-rearing Galen, in accordance with his own Platonic predilections, adopts Plato's goal of "duly measured" Ievels of appetitive desire and spirited impulse. We do not have to assume that Posidonius did the samein the texts on which Galen is commenting. 43 This is how Arius Didymus (Stob. Ecl. 2.75.11-76.1 Wachsmuth) explains Zeno's original formulation of the end simply as to homologoumenos zen. For the connection between the telos so formulated and eudaimonia, seefurther 2.77.16-21. 44 In a survey of various leading Stoics' ways of formulating or explicating the telos, Clement of Alexandria gives Posidonius' view as follows: To tij11 OewpofJIITot Tij11 TliJ11 öhc.w &)I.~Oe1.0111 Kotl Ta~L" Kotl UIJ"'(KotTotaKeveooti/Tot otiiTiJ" KotTOt To ßvllotTew, KotTOt 11:"ß'E"
i11ro Toii &)I.O"'(ov p.epovr; Tijr; 1/lvx.ftr: (Strom. 220.127.116.11-5). This is translated by Kidd 1988, 671-672, as follows: "to live contemplating the truth and order of all things together and helping in promoting [or establishing, or organising] it, in no way being led by the irrational part of the soul." The last clause in Clement's formulation is virtually identical to this quotation in Galen from the Peri PathOn, which suggests that Galen may have reported only part of a Ionger and more complete Statement in Posidonius. Clement's more elaborated formulation is of special interest, in that it shows that Posidonius (presumably consciously following Plato and Aristotle) introduced into the Stoic conception of eudaimonia special reference to the value in itself of theoretical knowledge of nature, which had been conspicuously absent from earlier Stoic conceptions. That Galen is silent on this point is no good evidence that Posidonius hirnself omitted it from his discussion of the end in the Peri PathOn, since Galen may simply have thought it irrelevant to the understanding of the pathe, his own chief concern in this work. 45 See Cooper and Procope 1995, xxii-xxiv. 46 Cf. 5.6.1-2 [De Lacy 326.9-16]; and 5.7.10 [De Lacy 338.14-18]. Despite what one might infer from these passages, when Galen does return to the topic of the virtues (in 7.12) he does not offer any substantial account of Posidonius' theory. At 7 .3.1 he abandons the subject, with the promise (not kept) to write a separate work on the differences among the ÖL"'(op.e11o11
JOHN M. COOPER
virtues. At 7 .1.9 he may imply that Posidonius followed Plato (as interpreted by Galen himself, cf. 7 .1.25 - 26) in making courage the virtue of the spirited part and temperance that of the appetitive; but since Galen also admits (5.7.10) that there are differences of opinion between Posidonius and Plato on the natures of the different virtues it is best not to attach much weight to what Galen says there. 47 At 5.5.34-36 [De Lacy 324.11-23], where he professes tobe paraphrasingPosidonius, Galen clearly attributes to him a distinction between the virtue of the rational faculty (knowledge of some sort) and the virtues of the non-rational parts, achievable by some processes of non-rational habituation and training. 48 See De sequela 819-820, in Scripta minora ed. Mueller 77.17-78.7: this passage is noteworthy for its emphasis on later Stoics' adherence to Chrysippus' theory of the virtues, with perhaps the suggestion that this was for them the crucial point. Accordingly, when Galen implies elsewhere (e.g. PHP 4.4.38) that other Stoics heldfast to Chrysippus' theory of the emotions, we can perhaps infer that they did so out of the recognition that otherwise cardinal points of the Stoic theory of the virtues and happiness could no Ionger clearly be sustained. 49 See Fillion-Lahille's discussion, 1984, Part 3 eh. 4. so On the other band, the sage's suspiciones quaedam et umbrae affectuum of Sen. De ira 1.16.7 (mentioned above, p. 96), which Inwood 1985, 177, cites in this connection, are clearly a different phenomenon: they are described as being a consequence of the vicious state of mind the sage was affiicted with before attaining perfection (etiam cum vulnus sanatum est, cicatrix manet), not as a natural and unavoidable mental stirring, of a sort experienced by all human beings simply in consequence of their human nature. SI The first version of this paperwas presented at Cornell University in 1990, with Phillip Mitsis as commentator, and again in the same year as a philosophy department colloquium at Princeton. It circulated in typescript (also under the title "Stoic Theories of the Emotions") and was referred to and discussed in Annas 1992 and Price 1995. In preparing the paper for publication I have taken account also of comments of Mitsis and Michael Frede on the 1990 version, and Daniel Devereux on a somewhat revised version read at the University of Virginia in the fall of 1995. I also wish to thank Christopher Gill and the editors of this volume for a series of very helpful questions and comments, of which I tried to take account in making my fmal revisions in July, 1996. REFERENCES Annas, J. 1992 Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind. Berkeley /Los Angeles/Oxford: University of California Press. Cooper, J .M. 1984 'Plato's Theory of Human Motivation,' History of Philosophy Quarterly
1, 3-21. Cooper, J .M. 1989 'Some Remarks on Aristotle's Moral Psychology ,' The Southern Journal
of Philosophy 21, 25 -42. Cooper, J.M. 1996 'Reason, Moral Virtue and Moral Value,' in: Frede and Striker 1996,
81-115. Cooper, J.M. and J.F. Procope 1995 Seneca: Moral and Political Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
POSIDONIUS ON EMOTIONS
De Lacy, P. (ed.) 1978-1984 Galen: De Placitis Hippocratis et Platonis (On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato), Corpus Medicorum Graecorum V 4,1,2. I-m, Berlin: Akademie. Fillion-Lahille, J. 1984 Le de 1ra de Seneque et Ia philosophie stoi"cienne des passions. Paris: Klincksieck. Frede, M. 1986 'The Stoic Doctrine ofthe Affections ofthe Soul,' in: Schofleid and Striker 1986, 93-110. Gill, C. 1983 'Did Chrysippus Understand Medea? ,' Phronesis 28, 136-149. Gosling, J.C.B. and C.C.W. Taylor 1982 The Greeks on Pleasure. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Inwood, B. 1985 Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kidd, I.G. 1988 Posidonius Volume 11. The Commentary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Long, A.A. and D.N. Sedley 1987 The Hellenistic Philosophers. I-ll, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pohlenz, M. 1898 'De Posidonii libris Peri Path6n,' Fleckeisens Jahrbuchfür Klassische Philologie suppl. 24. Leipzig. Price, A.W. 1995 Mental Conjlict. London: Routledge. Schofield, M. and G. Striker (eds.) 1986 The Norms ofNature: Studies in Hellenistic Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/Paris: Editions de Ia Maison des Seiences de L'Homme.
DID GALEN UNDERSTAND PLATONIC AND STOIC THINKING ON EMOTIONS?
My question, more precisely, is whether Galen understood the relationship between Platonic and Stoic thinking on emotions. I discuss this questionnot in general terms, but in connection with one specific, but very important, topic: the reliability of Galen's account in On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato (PHP) 4-5 of Stoic debate about the passions. Galen's picture is that Posidonius reacted againt Chrysippus' monistic psychology and reintroduced Plato's tripartite model, a move which Galen warmly applauds. In general, like John Cooper above, I think that Galen gives a highly partisan and misleading picture of this Stoic debate (although he is also an indispensable source for it). But I also think that Galen fastens on (though misdescribing) one salient feature of Chrysippus' theory. This is that Chrysippus, in spite of bis psychological monism, sees passion as involving a certain kind of inner conflict. Defining the nature of this conflict is crucial for understanding both Chrysippus' theory and Posidonius' modification of this. Exploring this point can also help us to gain a better understanding of the relationship between Stoic thinking on the passions (both Chrysippan and Posidonian) and Platonic psychology. I believe that this relationship is very different from that suggested by Galen, and that Platonic psychology (even in the Republic) is closer to Stoic thinking, both Chrysippan and Posidonian, than Galen allows. It is possible, though not certain, that the Stoics recognized this similarity; and that Platonic thinking was an important stimulus to the distinctively Stoic form of thinking on the passions. Before looking at these specific theories, I make two general points bearing on the argument which follows. One relates to the concept of reason or rationality (Iogos) in Greek thought. lt is becoming more widely recognized that the immense importance of this idea in Greek thought derives partly from the fact that it conveys a number of different senses or aspects, though these are not generally distinguished explicitly by Greek thinkers. (1) "Reason" can signify one of a set of functions or capacities, such as those of forming beliefs, reasoning, learning, and gaining knowl-
Juha Sihvola and Troels Engberg-Pedersen (eds.), The Emotions in Hellenistic Philosophy, 113-148. © 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
edge. (2) "Reason" can also signify a mode of desire or motivation, for instance, the desire to fulfil the best possible rational function. (3) "Reason" can also serve as a normative idea; thus, to act or feel "reasonably" can mean doing so in a correct, normative way. However, it is vital to take this point in conjunction with a second one. Greek thinkers (to put the point very generally) run these various senses together because they hold the view that "reason", in its perfection or totality, involves all three senses. Thus, we do not find in Greek thought the Humean idea that "reason" is properly reduced just to the first sense: that of reason as a function. 1 Rather, the proper meaning to be attached to any one sense tends to be defined by reference to the ideal or normative state, in which all three senses are combined. In human psychology, this may be seen as the state in which the dominant desire is that of realizing the highest possible function of reason (however this is conceived) and doing so in the correct way. 2 The second general point relates to psychological unity and division. It can be argued that the key question is not whether a given psychological model is monistic or pluralistic but whether, in either type of model, the psyche is conceived as functioning in a cohesive way or not. Psychological cohesion can be conceived as the co-ordination of parts or functions as well as the location of functions within a single, unitary self. Relatedly, psychological conflict need not be conceived as division between different parts. It can be conceived as division between different sets of co-ordinated functions, for instance, between different (and competing) sets of belief/ reasoning and emotion. These general points bear on my argument in this way. I want to suggest that, in spite of other differences, Platonic and Stoic theories (in both Chrysippan and Posidonian versions) share these assumptions: (1) that adult human emotions depend on beliefs and reasoning (which arenot necessarily conscious) and (2) that human beings are constitutively capable of having their emotions shaped by the combination of the action-guiding discourse of their society and philosophical argument. Both points are relevant to understanding the sense in which, for both theories, adult human emotions are, actually or potentially, rational. Emotions are actually rational in a functional sense (in being informed by beliefs/reasoning). They are potentially rational in a normative sense, in that, if properly informed by social discourse or philosophical argument, they can achieve the normative emotional state. 3 This point also bears on the question of the psychological division recognized by the theories. I shall suggest that Chrysippus conceives the kind of psychological division which constitutes passion as being between competing sets of belief/reasoning and (correlated) emotion, and
PLATONIC AND STOIC THINKING ON EMOTIONS
not between belief/reasoning and emotion. In the Platonic dialogues, psychological division is sometimes conceived as being between (functionbearing) parts, such as reason and appetite. But Plato sometimes conceives psychological division as being between competing sets of belief/reasoning and (correlated) emotions or desires; and it is this conception that anticipates, and may have influenced, the Chrysippan conception of this. Galen, on the other hand, adopts a psychological model in which the parts have strongly demarcated functions. Although he sees these parts as operating, ideally, in a co-ordinated way, the co-ordination is conceived in terms of the exercise of power rather than of the modification or informing of one function by another. Galen sees his own model as based, partly, on Plato's. But I shall suggest that it answers only to one strand of the psychological thinking tobe found in Plato; and that Galen fails to recognize the presence of the other (and, I think, more fully worked-out) strand in Plato. For similar reasons, Galen gives an unsatisfactory account both of Chrysippus' monistic theory (in which emotions are seen as dependent on beliefs/reasoning) and of the kind of division or conflict which that theory accomodates. CHRYSIPPUS
I focus on two features of Galen's criticism of Chrysippus' theory of passion. The first is the claim that Chrysippus fails to give a clear or consistent account of the kind of irrationality involved in a passion. This criticism is directed at passages such as the following, which Galen quotes from Chrysippus: Therefore some people say not inappropriately that an affection (pathos) of the soul is a movement contrary to nature, as in fear and desire and the like. For all such movements and states are disobedient to reason and reject it; accordingly we say that such persons are moved irrationally (alogös), not in the sense of reasoning poorly, as one might speak of a person who reasons the opposite of weil, but in the sense of rejecting reason (tou logou
Galen suggests that in such passages Chrysippus is drawing a distinction between a pathos and other kinds of ethical error or mistake (hamartbna). 5 But he argues that Chrysippus is unable to provide a secure account of this distinction. Galen claims that there are two (and only two) possible senses of "irrational" (alogon) in Greek: the impairment or deficiency (kakosis) of rationality and the complete absence (steresis) of this. He applies this distinction to Chrysippus' (alleged) contrast between pathos and hamartema. He argues that, if an ethical mistake constitutes an impairment of reason, the
only sense available for pathos is that of the complete absence of reason. However, as he points out, this sense is ruled out by Chrysippus' central claim that path€ (which are functions only of adult human beings) are judgements (kriseis), and that they do not arise in an irrational (alogon) part of the psyche because there is no such part. He criticizes on similar grounds Chrysippus' statement that people in passions are moved irrationally, that is "without reason and judgement" (aneu logou kai kriseos). He concludes that Chrysippus neither provides a secure distinction between ethical mistake and passion nor a consistent statement of the kind of irrationality involved in a passion. 6 It is not difficult to provide a more satisfactory account of Chrysippus' thinking on this point, especially if we bear in mind the distinction between senses of "rational" drawn in the preceding section. In essence, Chrysippus' claim is that a pathos is "rational" in a functional sense but not in a normative sense. This duality is part at least of what is implied in another of Chrysippus' statements cited by Galen: "... the rational animal is by nature such as to follow reason and to act with reason as his guide. But often he moves in another way towards some things and away from some things in disobedience to reason when he is pushed too much. " 7 Like other functions of adult human psychology, path€ involve rationality. Specifically, as hormai (impulses or conations), they depend on assent (sunkatathesis) to impressions (phantasiai), which are "rational" in thesensethat their content can be expressed verbally by the adult herself. 8 A key point in Chrysippus' theory is that the impulse is triggered by the assent to the content of the impression. Hence (in passages cited by Galen), Chrysippus can describe the pathos of distress (Iupe) equally as "a fresh beliefthat evil is present" and as "a shrinking before what is thought to be a thing to avoid." The first formulation expresses the content of the impression, and the second the resulting impulse (which, in the case of a pathos brings with it intense psychophysial reactions). 9 The fact that a pathos is a function of a distinctively rational animal (an adult human) is conveyed, as Galen sees, by the idea that it constitutes a "rejection of reason" (a formulation whose significance I consider later). 10 For Chrysippus, a pathos is "irrational" (or "unreasonable") in a normative sense in at least two ways. First, the beliefs which underlie the pathos are not those which a perfectly reasonable, wise person would hold. As is clear from the passages cited by Galen, in connection with the alleged distinction between pathos and hamartema, the problern is not that the person concerned engages in defective inferential reasoning. Epictetus underlines this point, referring to one of Chrysippus' favourite examples of
PLATONIC AND STOIC THINKING ON EMOTIONS
pathos, Euripides' Medea (esp. 1078-1080). Medea's anger derives from the fact that she regards "taking vengeance on her husband . . . as more advantageaus (sumphoroteron) than saving the Jives of her children." She assents, consistently, to her "impression" ("that it is right to take revenge on my husband, even if this involves the death of my children"). The irrationality inheres in the defectiveness, or falsity, of the beliefs that underlie this impression (which Epictetus calls "preconceptions", protepseis).11 The crucial type of falsity underlying a pathos is that of mistaking "preferable indifferents" (such as health, wealth, or social position) for goods. 12 In this case, we have the further mistake of taking retaliation to be preferable (or rather, as Medea thinks, good and choiceworthy even at the cost of the life of her children). It is the "fresh" (vivid and powerful) application, in a specific case, of a false belief of this kind that constitutes one part of the "irrationality" in a pathos. The other part (discussed shortly) is that, even if the person concerned now recognizes the (normatively) "irrational" character of her pathos, she is unable to correct this. Like running legs (Chrysippus' recurrent image), the passionate "impulse", though generated through logically sound assent to an impression which is based on the agent's underlying beliefs, is now outside the agent's control.13 It seems clear that, as so far considered, Galen's account fails to make proper sense of the combination of rationality and irrationality involved in Chrysippus' conception of apathos. It isaseparate question, which I do not pursue here, whether Galen is trying to make sense of a theory he does not really understand or is trying to subvert a theory which he understands but with which he is in profound disagreement. 14 However, the second feature of Galen's account discussed here may seem to fastenon a more genuinely problematic aspect of Chrysippus' thinking. This is the paradox that, in spite of his psychological monism, Chrysippus also presents passions as involving certain kinds of inner pressure and conflict. He does so partly by repeatedly describing people in passions as "pushed" (otheisthaz) and "moved" (pheresthai); as "not in control of themselves" (akrateis); and as "not in their right minds" (literally not "in themselves", en hautois). 15 Also, perhaps surprisingly, Chrysippus seems to have given special attention to cases which (apparently) involve conflict between beliefs and emotions, such as involuntary crying, and the fading of grief over time, although the belief in the sadness of bereavement remains. 16 Even more striking is his interest in two other, related kinds of case. One is that of people who acknowledge the "unreasonable" character of their feelings, but who perversely persist in them. 17 The other is that of people who are so "carried away" by their
passion that they cannot stop their "running legs," even though they now recognize the unreasonable nature of their state. Euripides' Medea seems to have been Chrysippus' key example of this state, and Galen gives this summary of Chrysippus' view of her: Medea, on the other band, was not persuaded by any reasoning to kill her children; quite the contrary, so far as reasoning goes, she says that she understands how bad the acts are that she is about to perform, but her anger is stronger than her deliberations; that is, her affection (pathos) has not been made to submit and does not follow reason as it would a master, but throws off the reins and disobeys the command.18
Medea see~ to have been of special interest to Chrysippus because she served as a striking exemplar of passion as the "disobedience" or "rejection" of reason. Although it is clear that Chrysippus did not think that all types of passion contained this degree of conscious disobedience, it is significant that this case of conscious disobedience was a key example for bis theory. 19 Galen argues that the kinds of inner conflict that Chrysippus recognizes are only intelligible on the assumption that there is at least one non-rational part in the psyche; and that the relationship between these (fundamentally distinct) parts is that of the exercise of power. 20 This comes out in bis competing analysis of Medea's inner struggle in the monologue of Eur. Med. 1021-1080: She knew what an unholy and terrible thing she was doing, when she set out to kill her children, and therefore she hesitated . . . • Then anger dragged her again to the children by force, like some disobedient horse that has overpowered the charioteer; then reason in turn drew her back and led her away, then anger again exerted an opposite pull, and then again reason. Consequently, being repeatedly driven up and down by the two of them, when she has yielded to anger [she speaks lines 1078-1080]. (PHP 3.3.14-16 [De Lacy 188.1825]).
Galen contrasts the process described with an inner dialogue presented in Homer, Odyssey 20 (18-21), which Plato notes in connection with psychic division (Resp. 441b): "she says that anger overpowers her reason, and therefore she is forcibly led by anger to do the deed, quite the opposite of Odysseus, who checked bis anger with reason. "21 Galen's view isthat we can only make sense of such cases of inner conflict by adopting Plato's tripartite model of the psyche (reason, spirit, and appetite), as he understands this model, namely as involving power-relationships between fundamentally distinct parts. 22 He claims that Posidonius held the same view, and that he rejected Chrysippus' theory on the same grounds. Later, I question Galen's interpretation of Plato as weil as Posidonius. None the less, it may seem that, in this respect, Galen identifies an important question
PLATONIC AND STOIC THINKING ON EMOTIONS
raised by Chrysippus' theory: are Chrysippus' accounts of psychic conflict consistent with his monistic psychology? One might argue that, on this point, Chrysippus' theory over-reaches its powers of explanation;23 and that the subsequent modifications of the theory by Posidonius and Seneca need to be understood on this assumption. 24 However, this is not the only possible conclusion we can draw: I think that the inner conflict Chrysippus describes is fully intelligible in the context of his theory. Chrysippus' discussion of inner conflict is sometimes considered as a contribution to debate about the nature of akrasia (acting and feeling against one's own better judgement), a debate whose agenda is defined, above all, by Aristotle. 25 This is, to a degree, a reasonable way to locate the theory;26 but we need also to underline the paradox that, for Chrysippus (in sharp cantrast to Aristotle), all cases of pathos involve a certain type of akrasia. 21 What lies behind this view? As Troels EngbergPedersen emphasizes, it is crucial to correlate Chrysippus' thinking on passion as inner conflict with the fundamental Stoic idea that ethical development (understood as oikeiosis, "appropriation" or "familiarization") is natural to human beings. 28 We need to bring tagether several key aspects of the theory of oikeiosis. One is the belief that all human beings have, constitutively, the "seeds" or starting-points of virtue. 29 This means, I take it, not simply that (as Aristotle also supposes) human beings have the seeds of virtue but that these will develop into actual virtue only if nourished by the appropriate social and intellectual environment. 30 I think the Stoics maintain the stronger thesis that the capacity for virtue remains latent in all of us, in spite of the corrupting effect of our social environment. The second relevant feature of their thinking is widely recognized as the central stage in personal oikeiosis. This is the transition from being naturally drawn to pursue the primary natural goods (such as self-preservation, health, wealth) to seeing these, though "preferable" and worthy of selection, as "matters of indifference" in comparison with virtue. The rationality and "consistency" (homologia) that is previously expressed in consistent selection of preferables comes to be understood as only fully expressed in the pursuit of virtue, which is the sole good and proper object of choice. 31 These two features, taken tagether, give us the starting-point for explaining Chrysippus' view of passion as inner conflict. The point is not simply that passions centre on taking preferables (mistakenly) for goods. It is also that human beings, at some more or less conscious Ievel, recognize that, in doing so, they are failing to exercise the natural human capacity to come to see virtue, not the preferables, as the only good. 32 Relevant here is Chrysippus' account of the causes of the corruption (diastroph€) of the
ethical development natural to human beings, reported by Galen in connection with the passions. One cause is the "persuasiveness of impressions"; this manifests itself especially in the tendency (which is to some degree inherent in nature) for humans to form the impression that preferables are goods, and so to attach to them "excessive" value. The "fresh" application to specific cases of this false belief activates the combination of an "excessive" and (normatively) "unnatural" impulse and intense, overwhelming psychophysical reactions that constitutes a pathos. 33 The second cause is the "conversation" (katechesis) of the majority of people. 34 Implied in this cause are two features of Chrysippan thinking about the role of society in ethical development. On the one band, ethical and emotional engagement with the roles and practices of one's society is seen as playing a crucial part in enabling humans to understand, and to learn, what it .means to treat virtue as the only good. 35 On the other band, the discourse of one's society tends to promote the mistaken identification of preferables with goods (and, as the case of Medea indicates, mistakes about what properly constitute preferables).36 Thus, social upbringing and participation contribute to both sides of the psychological conflict that Chrysippus identifies, providing both the action-guiding beliefs that generate passions and the competing recognition of the priority of virtue that generates freedom from the passions. As so understood, the kind of inner conflict that Chrysippus associates with pathos is compatible with bis psychological monism. The conflict is not (what Galen demands) between reason and anger or Iust, conceived as fundamentally distinct sources of motivation, but between competing sets of beliefs/reasoning and emotion. In more Stoic terms;·it is between a set of false beliefs that generate passions and the inchoate ethical knowledge (understanding that virtue is the only good) that promotes the absence of passion (apatheia) or "good emotions" (eupatheiai). Two further Chrysippan ideas, which Galen reports, are relevant here. One is that psychic harmony or symmetry derives not from relationships between psychic parts (which is what Galen requires) but from cohesion between the beliefs that inform action and feeling: that is from symmetry within reason, understood as a "collection of conceptions and preconceptions. •>37 Another is that consistency (homologia) of character over time is yielded only by the complete wisdom that is the outcome of oikeiosis. Although Chrysippus recognizes that different people have quasi-dispositional inclinations towards one or other pathos (being "woman-mad" or "bird-mad"), he also regards all these states as unstable and "feverish" .38 A corollary of these ideas, and one which bears on the question of inner conflict, is the belief that people are to some degree aware of their incoherence and inconsistency in
PLATONIC AND STOIC THINKING ON EMOTIONS
this respect, and of their capacity, as human beings, to aim at properly grounded consistency. To this extent, Chrysippus' description of pathos as the "disobedience" or "rejection" of reason signifies a process that is actually or potentially conceived under this description by the person involved, and notjust a metaphor for the negation or absence of (normative) rationality. This point must lie at the heart of Chrysippus' well-attested interest in the lines concluding the great monologue ofEuripides' Medea (1078-1079): "I know that what I intend to do is bad (kaka), but spirit [or anger, thumos] is master of my plans. " 39 Although Medea's decision to kill the children is based on (functional) reasoning ("taking vegeance on my busband is more beneficial than saving the lives of my children"), Medea herself, on Chrysippus' interpretation, sees the impulse involved as (normatively) "excessive" and "unnatural". Despite seeing this and thus expressing her latent (normative) rationality as a human being, she is unable to counteract the impulse (the "running legs") which is based on the beliefthat retaliation is good. In this respect, she "disobeys" or "rejects" (under this self-induced "pressure") a type of rationality whose validity she herself acknowledges.40 A similar idea is suggested by the examples of the perverse rejection of good advice that he seems to have cited in this connection, such as that of angry people saying "that they want to gratify their anger and to Iet them be, whether it is better or not. "41 In other cases, where there is no explicit comment on the (normative) irrationality of the act or feeling involved, the same point is implied by a contrast between states of mind before and after the passionate impulse. Thus, even in cases of inarticulate or "blind" passion, the contrast with the preceding (partly) rational state suggests that a latent, and latently conscious, rationality underlies the passion. 42 All this is consistent with the view offered earlier, that such inner conflict reflects a (partial) failure in ethical development and a consequential conflict between an impulse based on false ethical belief and the half-developed awareness of the falsity of the belief and the wrongness of the impulse. I think that the same line of thought explains one of Chrysippus' fullest comments on psychic conflict cited by Galen, though one which needs to be located with some care within the theory: On the Iessening of distress, the question might be asked how it occurs, whether because a particular opinion is altered, or with all of them persisting, and for what reason this will be so . . . . I think that this kind of opinion does persist - that what is actually present is something bad - but as it grows older the contraction and, as I take it, the impulse towards the contraction,43 lessen. It might happen that, even though this [the opinion that the event is bad] 44 persists, the consequences will not correspond because a differently qualitied
disposition (diathesis) supervenes, which does not reason from those events.45 So it is that people cease weeping and people weep who do not want to, when different impressions are created by different extemal objects, and something or nothing stands in the way. For the way grief and weeping stop is probably what happens in those cases as weil: at their outset things cause greater movement ....46
Galen presents Chrysippus as here acknowledging, in effect, that he is unable to explain, by bis psychological model, how grief lessens in time in spite of the fact that the person concerned still regards death (specifically, a given person's death) as a bad thing. Galen holds that the only adequate explanation is that affered by Posidonius, which is (according to Galen) based on the assumption that there is a non-rational part of the human psyche whose reactions (here, the fading of grief in time) cannot be explained by reference to changed beliefs. 47 However, the passage can be explained differently, in a way that does not presuppose any inadequacy in Chrysippus' model. Despite Galen's presentation, the phenomenon Chrysippus has in view is not that in which the passage of time alone produces the effect (which, indeed, it could not, in Chrysippus' theory). 48 Nor do we have an instance of what Chrysippus would see as the only fully effective eure for grief, the extirpation of the belief that death (and other "dispreferable indifferents") are really bad things. 49 What Chrysippus has in view is an intermediate case in which the beliefthat this person's death is bad is retained, but in which (as I understand the passage), this does not generate the associated impulse and contraction. 50 The explanation how this can occur is given, in an admittedly compressed way, in PHP 4.7.16 [De Lacy 284.11-13]. What happens isthat "the underlying situation" (or "external events", ta hupokeimena) activate "impressions" which run counter ta5 1 the belief activating the grief, and thus "stand in the way of' the belief (they prevent it from drawing the appropriate conclusion and activating an impulse and contraction); hence, the people concerned stop weeping. However, the belief "that what is actually happening is something bad" remains; and, when "nothing stands in the way," this belief activates tears (presumably, as a result of the impulse and contraction correlated with the beliet), despite the fact that the people concerned "do not want to" weep. Thus, in both of the possibilities considered, the responses (weeping/not weeping) are based on belief-based impulses, either the underlying one (relating to the badness of the death) or one which interferes with this. 52 In trying to provide a theoretical framework for this explanation, a suggestive move, proposed by Brad Inwood (1985, 152-153) is to connect it with another context in which Chrysippus apparently considered the
PLATONIC AND STOIC THINKING ON EMOTIONS
possibility that an underlying belief might not activate the correlated impulse. Cicero, reviewing types of Stoic therapy for grief, teils us that Cleanthes saw the only eure as being the removal of the belief that death is a bad thing, whereas Chrysippus saw the first job (at least) as being that of removing the (impulse-activating) belief that it was right to react with grief at someone's death (Tusc. 3.76). Similarly, it is suggested in Tusc. 4.59-62 that, although it is best absolutely to convince people that, for instance, poverty or death arenot bad things, it is more effective in the first instance to persuade them that, even if such things are supposed to be bad, they should be bome with equanimity. One can appeal to conventional ideas such as that grieving is a mark of weakness and enduring grief a mark of strength and dignity as a way of counteracting the belief-based impulse that it is right to grieve. The psycho-ethical state of the recipients of such appeals is similar to the people described in PHP 4.7.14-17. In the Galen passage, the fact that the people "do not want to" weep suggests that (in spite of the persistence of the belief that the death involved is a bad thing) they are responsive to conventional grounds for resisting grief, whether supplied by others or by themselves. At least this is so when their circumstances create impressions which "stand in the way of" impulses expressing that belief. 53 lt is important not to overstate the difference between Chrysippus and Cleanthes, nor to overlook the point that, for Chrysippus too, the only final eure for passions such as grief is the wholesale change of beliefs and character that constitutes the achievement of complete wisdom. However, Chrysippus' thinking on therapy, on the lessening of grief in time, and on cases such as Medea, provide evidence of his readiness to explain intermediate and complex cases that might seem to count against his belief-based conception of emotions. What the passage of time allows, on his view, is enough diminution of the "fresh", belief-based pathos to allow space for reflective consideration. 54 Even if such consideration is still based (as in Cic. Tusc. 4.59-62) on the false beliefthat death is a bad thing, it can provide the intelleemal material (as weil as the required state of mind) for philosophical argument to show the falsity of such beliefs, and so to pave the way for the final extirpation of the passions through the development of wisdom. 55 Galen's polemical and unsympathetic presentation of Chrysippus' psychological theory still provides enough evidence for us to make out the subtlety as weil as consistency in Chrysippus' treatment of such cases.
CHRISTOPHER Gll..L POSIDONIUS
That Galen offers a partisan and incomplete account of Chrysippus' theory of the passions is now widely accepted. Although scholars also allow the possibility of bias in Galen's account of Posidonian psychology, it is usual to accept as broadly accurate Galen's claim that Posidonius rejected Chrysippus' monistic model, adopting in its place the Platonic tripartite model that Galen also favours. 56 However, John Cooper, developing a view advanced by Janine Fillion-Lahille, argues that Galen's account of Posidonius is as unreliable as that of Chrysippus, and for similar reasons.57 Cooper's view is powerfully argued and I am inclined to accept it. His view can be supplemented by the un-Galenic picture of the relationship between Stoic and Platonic psychology which I offer in the next section. Here I summarize the main features of Cooper's view and consider one key text on which it is based, before examining the implications of his view for the questions that concem me most: Posidonius' conception ofpsychological conflict, and the basis of his interest in Platonic psychology. On Cooper's view, Posidonius does not, as Galen claims, reject the central Chrysippan thesis that a pathos, which is a property only of adult humans, involves rationality. To this extent, he does not reject Chrysippan monism; and the evidence that he adopted the Platonic tripartite model is much weaker than Galen suggests.58 The only significant Posidonian innovation in this area is the idea that adult humans (as weil as non-human animals and human children) are subject to "affective (or passionate) movements" (pathetikai kineseis), that is, affective responses to impressions (phantasiai). Galen presents the idea of affective movements, in Posidonian psychology, as replacing that of pathe in Chrysippan psychology. He characterizes pathetikai kineseis as "movements ... of non-rational functions (dunameon alogon)" and identifies these functions with those "which Plato called appetitive and spirited. "59 But Galen also provides evidence that Posidonius retains Chrysippus' view that passions are "impulses" (hormai) which, in adult humans, require "assent" to rational impressions to produce their full psychological effect; and that the idea of "affective movements" is introduced by Posidonius alongside that of passions. 60 It is Galen who presents this innovation as part of a thoroughgoing critique of Chrysippus' monistic psychology and of a reversion to the Platonic tripartite model. But, Cooper maintains, the evidence provided by Galen allows us to discem a more limited ground of dispute, and one which emerges from within Chrysippan psychology, whose validity Posidonius largely accepts. 61 Posidonius' criticism seems to be that Chrysippus did not provide a framework which explained adequately the "cause" (aitia) of
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pathos, which is conceived by Posidonius in Chrysippan terms, as "impulse in excess" (horme pleonazousa).62 Chrysippus' explanation, outlined earlier (text to nn. 28-36 above), centres on the defective development of beliefs. Most human beings fail to develop fully from "familiarizing" themselves with primary natural goods (preferables) to doing so with virtue. The "fresh" application to specific cases of the resulting false beliefs causes "excessive" value tobe attached to preferables, generating an "excessive" impulse to obtain these, together with the correlated psychophysical reactions. Posidonius thought that this explanation raised a further question: what provides that motivational force that makes humans form these pathosgenerating beliefs, and that makes those beliefs activate impulses (hormai) and the correlated psychophysical responses? For Chrysippus, the answer is provided simply by the operations of impression, assent, and impulse, regarded as functions of the rational hegemonikon or "control-centre". Posidonius argues that we also need to invoke the existence of affective movements, which occur in both rational and non-rational animals, but which contribute crucially to the way in which rational animals (adult humans) come to experience pathe. "Affective movements" seem to be conceived as natural (instinctive or automatic) reactions to the impression that such-and-such is good or desirable and worth pursuing or the reverse. As Cooper reconstructs Posidonius' theory, affective movements play a number of roles in explaining the motivational basis of pathe in adult human beings. The occurrence of these affective reactions to primary natural goods helps to explain why people tend to develop false action-guiding beliefs, such as that pleasure is not simply preferable but also a good in its own right. The "affective pull" (pathetike holke) exerted by these movements helps to explain why the affective impulse is "excessive" bothin the overvaluation of preferables and in the type of psychophysical response produced. 63 The motivational force of these affective movements helps also to explain why passions, once formed, can (like "running legs") overwhelm the person's recognition of the (normative) irrationality of the passionate impulse. They also provide an alternative form of explanation, to be considered shortly, for the inner conflicts which Chrysippus analysed as being between competing sets of beliefs. 64 But, in Cooper's view, the explanation provided in this way is designed to supplement Chrysippus' framework of explanation, not to replace it, as Galen suggests. Cooper's view can be exemplified by one key passage in Galen, translated by Cooper as follows:
Posidonius criticizes Chrysippus on these points and tries to show that the causes of all the false suppositions [in question] (hupotepseis) lie indeed in their theoretical views (to theoretikon), due to the force of affect (pathetike ho/ke), but this force is preceded by the false beliefs of a rational power that is weak in judgement. For impulse (horme) in animals is generated sometimes on the basis of the judgement (krisis) of the rational power, but often on the basis of the affective power (PHP 5.5.21).
According to Cooper and Fillion-Lahille,65 the passage can be paraphrased as follows: "Posidonius shows that the causes of false Suppositions (such as that pleasure is the good, 5.5.16-20) lie in the rational part (to theoretikon, serving as a synonym for to logistikon, used twice later in the passage). This part operates under the influence of ("through") the affective pull (presumably, that of affective responses to impressions which "pull" the adult human to draw a certain inference, such as that "this is pleasurable and therefore choiceworthy"). What precedes the affective pull (and the supposition that follows) are false beliefs which arise from a logistikon that is weak as regards judgment (krisis)." The passage ends by distinguishing, it would seem, between impulses (hormai) in adult humans and other creatures. In adult humans, (affective) impulse involves the judgement of the rational part (assent to rational impressions), but in other creatures it involves only affective movements. 66 On this view, Posidonius' psychological model gives two principal roles to (functional) rationality in the occurrence of pathe. ( 1) The affective movement motivates the passionate impulse by activating the rational application of a false belief (for instance, that pleasure is the good). (2) lt is the past development of such false beliefs (a process promoted by affective movements) which makes a psyche "weak" as regards the judgements made, and thus makes it liable to apply false ethical beliefs in specific Situations. This passage, as so interpreted, illustrates with great clarity the way in which the idea of affective movements is inserted into a basically Chrysippan framework, rather than forming part of a fundamentally different model, as Galen suggests. It has to be acknowledged that the passage also raises textual and linguistic difficulties: most editors suppose there is a lacuna in the first part, which would remove the connection noted by Cooper and Fillion-Lahille between the rational operations of to theoretikon and "the affective pull" .67 However, even if we posit a lacuna, the passagestill couples "the affective pull" with the rational functions of (false) opinion and judgement in 5.5.21 [De Lacy 320.25-27]. The last clause (27-28), also underlines the role of rationality in (adult human) passionate impulses. 68 Thus, even with the lacuna (against which Cooper and FillionLahille argue), 69 the passage bears out the substance of their view. A
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further, more general, question raised by this passage (and by others) is whether Posidonius, even on this interpretation, does, after all, replace Chrysippan monism by a type of bipartite model, centred on the cantrast between the "rational" (logistikon) and "affective" (pathetikon) parts. This question remains even if, as seems to be the case, these terms are used as "umbrella" terms to identify groups of functions (groups of functions which are mutually connected), and not highly determinate and discrete parts. In pursuing the question of Posidonius' thinking on psychological division and development, I shall hold this question especially in view. Posidonius' alternative account of the inner conflict involved in passion needs to be placed in the context of Posidonius' generat critique of Chrysippus' theory, on which Galen provides a good deal of evidence in PHP Book 4. The thrust of this critique seems to be that Chrysippus cannot adequately account for the features (including inner conflict) that Chrysippus hirnself associates with passion by the explanatory framework he uses; that is, by reference to (defective) belief-formation and by (correlated) "weakness" of character (astheneia) or Iack of "sinew" (atonia). Posidonius argues that Chrysippus' framework fails to explain cases in which the degree of affective movement cannot be correlated precisely either with the beliefs involved or the "weakness" of the character of the persons involved.70 He also argues that the cases of perverse (conscious) "rejection of reason" to which Chrysippus refers cannot be explained by reference to belief-content, because it is self-contradictory to believe that something is bad and still be affectively drawn to it. He also calls into question (by reference to a Homeric passage), Chrysippus' claim that people in a state of pathos do, indeed, refuse to Iisten to reasoned advice.71 What underlies this critique, as indicated earlier, is not the root-andbranch rejection of Chrysippan psychology claimed by Galen, but the more limited view that belief-based explanations need to be combined with a reference to pathetikai kineseis. Although, as illustrated earlier (in connection with PHP 5.5.21), both kinds of function are seen as linked in the production of passions in adult humans, the Posidonian model also allows us to see how someone's affective movements can become uncoupled from her belief-structure. This point forms the basis for Posidonius' explanation for the cases discussed earlier (tears unwilled and the fading of grief without change of belief), which are analysed by Chrysippus solely in terms of competing (more or less ethically developed) sets of beliefs. For Posidonius, what seems to happen in such cases isthat affective movements, instead of interlocking with beliefs in the way that produces a full-scale pathos, either (1) respond to impressions without activating assent (tears unwilled) or
(2) lose their motivating power although the correlated belief still remains (grief fades in time). 72 Although Galen's characterization of the relevant phenomena may weil overstate the extent to which this process involves distinct psychological parts or agents, it does bring out the dislocation between belief-structure and affective movements which the theory can accomodate. 73 This feature of the theory has related implications for Posidonius' thinking about psycho-ethical development, for which Galen provides evidence in PHP Book 5. From birth, or indeed as embryoes, humans, like other animals, are subject to affective movements; and physiognomic and (climatic) environmental factors have a bearing on the way and extent to which different people are variably susceptible to affective movements. 74 Correspondingly, Posidonius identifies two strands of psycho-ethical education, one directed at imposing structure and stability on affective movements (music seems tobe a key example of this), the other at developing rational ethical understanding. In Galen's summary, in "therapeutic" education (of adults): "the rational part (to logistikon) must acquire knowledge of the truth, and the affective movements must be blunted by habituation to good practices." In Posidonius' own quoted words: " ... this isthebest training of children: preparation of the affective (pathetikon) part of the soul in such a way that it may be most amenable to the rule of the rational part (logistikon). " 15 This point might give the impression that Posidonius does, after all, operate with a sharply divided (though bipartite rather than tripartite) psychological model, an impression promoted by one of Galen's comments on Posidonian thinking on education: "the irrational [alogon, that is, pathetikon] part is helped and harmed by irrational things, the rational by knowledge and ignorance" (PHP 5.6.22 [Oe Lacy 330.20-21]). However, several passages cited by Galen suggest that Posidonius' predominant concern is rather with the way in which the affective aspect of psychological life can be informed by rationality (in both functional and normative senses) and can in this way promote the development of virtue. This idea is, I think, implied in the characterization of childhood education as "preparation of the affective part [to make it] amenable to the rule of the rational part. "76 lt is also implied in a number of points which are widely regarded as distinctive features of Posidonian thought. For instance, Posidonius is quoted as saying that passions are not produced by rational persuasion but by the production of a visual image or impression (phantasia). The latter process is not conceived as wholly non-rational; it is described as "moving the irrational (to pathetikon) by reason (Iogos)," and is brought about by, for
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instance, the relatively rationalmeans of a "verbal account" (diegesis). 17 Interestingly similar examples are included by Seneca in his listing of causes (including "the recitation of past events") that can induce "preemotions" (propatheiai), that is, "movements of the mind ... that are not passions but the beginnings that are preliminary to passions" (principia proludentia adfectibus, De ira 2.2.3, 5). Seneca's account of these is sometimes, plausibly, seen as based on Posidonius' idea of affective movements. 78 Seneca's stress is on the thought that these movements are pre-emotions (that is, they fall short of full-scale passions, involving assent and the correlated psychophysical responses, 2.4.1- 2). But his listing of causes, including such relatively sophisticated examples as bad news, vile language, and fictional events (2.2.1, 3), also implies that the movements involved are pre-emotions, that is, preludes to the kind of psychological state only experienced by rational animals (adult humans). In this respect also, they develop the feature of Posidonius' theory just noted. The same point applies to Posidonius' therapeutic method of preparing for (supposed) disasters by "dwelling on them in advance" (proendemein), explained as to "imagine in advance" (proanaplattein) and "prefigure" (protupoun) in one's mind, and thus gradually habituate oneself to them. 79 One of the examples offered here is the celebrated case of Anaxagoras greeting the news of his son's death with the response that "I knew I had begotten a mortal." This example also implies that affective movements can be informed by (functionally) rational means, but in a way that prevents, rather than arousing, affective movements, and thus promotes the achievement of a (normatively) rational state of mind. 80 These passages suggest that the "habituation" of affective movements that forms one of the two strands of psycho-ethical education81 should be conceived as the informing of this aspect of human psychology by (at least partly) rational means. They also fit in with the key passage on the production of passions analysed earlier (PHP 5.5.21, text to nn. 65-69 above) in that they presuppose a complex interplay between rational and affective functions operating over time and in this way arousing or reducing passions. These points support a significantly different picture of the relationship between Chrysippan and Posidonian psychology from that presented by Galen. What is, arguably, one of the genuine weaknesses of Chrysippus' theory (though not one underlined by Galen) is his implausibly sharp contrast between human children, who are (functionally) non-rational, and who do not experience pathe, and rational adults who do. Posidonius' innovation of affective movements and his exploration of the way in which childhood (and adult) education can inform, and so give structure and
stability to, these movements suggests that it was this weakness in Chrysippan thinking that he was concerned to address. 82 His interest in Plato, especially the accounts of childhood education in Republic and Laws, which is fully reported by Galen, seems to have centred on this point (the informing of emotions by rationality in education). 83 What Galen is not able to report is that Posidonius' interest centres on those features of Platonic psychology in which the tripartite psyche is presented in a way that underlines the functional distinctness of the three parts. 84 Galen hirnself cites these Platonic passages extensively;85 and, if he had been right to maintain that this issue formed the core of Posidonius' revision of Chrysippus, and of Posidonius' interest in Plato, he should have been able to document Posidonian interest in them. I shall offer what I think is a more credible picture of Posidonius' response to Plato after considering more generally the question of the relationship between Platonic and Stoic psychology. PLATO
At the end of PHP 5 Galen highlights those passages in the Republic which he sees as supporting his own views: ( 1) that the three parts of the psyche have sharply distinct functions and (2) that the relationship between them is that of the exercise of power. He focuses on the arguments in Resp. 4 for the distinction between reason and appetite (epithumia), and between spirit (thumos) and both the other parts. Although he recognizes that there is, for Plato, a difference between spirit and appetite in degree of responsiveness to reason, he emphasizes those passages in which the relationship between all three parts is conceived in terms of power rather than co-operation.86 Elsewhere in PHP, he cites the Timaeus' account of the tripartite psyche in support of his own view that the three parts, as weil as being sharply distinct in function, are also located in different parts of the body (brain, heart, stomach and liver). 87 Galen's picture of Platonic psychology underlies his claims that Chrysippus, with his monistic psychology, totally repudiates the shared pluralistic psychology of "the ancients" (principally, Plato and Aristotle), while Posidonius, also unequivocally, re-adopts this. 88 Among modern scholars, it is more common to find a rather different account of the relationship between Stoic and Platonic psychology. Chrysippus is sometimes seen as offering a more fully theorized version of the psychology implied in the arguments of the early Platonic ("Socratic") dialogues, especially the (apparent) denial of weakness of will in Protagaras 353c-360e. The "Socratic paradox" that virtue is knowledge reappears as
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the developed Chrysippan claim that all psychological functions of adult humans, including passions, are acts of a unitary, constitutively rational, hegemonikon. 89 Support for this view might be found in Epictetus' use of (Plato's) Socrates as an exemplar both for sage-like virtue (regarding preferables such as death as matters of indifference) and for sage-like absence of passion. 90 For Chrysippus, as weil as for Epictetus, reflection on the psychological unity implied in the Socratic psycho-ethical stance (which displays the idea that ethical understanding, like its absence, carries with it a corresponding emotional state) may have helped to suggest the monistic psychological model. The coroilary of this point (though I have not seen it argued) might be that Posidonius' modification of Chrysippan psychology consists in a relatively minor shift: narnely, from developing Socratic (early Platonic) thinking to developing middle and late Platonic thinking, especiaily that of Republic and Laws. 91 However, this is not precisely the line of thought I pursue here. My interest lies, rather, in resemblance, and the possibility of influence, between the psychology of the Republic (and other middle or late Platonic dialogues) and that of Chrysippus as weil as Posidonius. In exploring this question, we need to distinguish, as Galen does not, between the different senses of "reason" noted earlier (as function, desire, and norm). We also need to recognize that psychological cohesion can be conceived as the Coordination of parts or functions as weil as the posession of a unitary psyche; and, conversely, that a unitary psyche can also display psychological division. 92 Finaily, we need to take account of recent scholarly studies of psychological cohesion in Plato's Republic, as weil as (of course) the unGalenic reading of Chrysippan and Posidonian psychology offered earlier. There are, certainly, passages in the Republic and elsewhere that seem to bear out Galen's picture of the relationship between psychic parts. These include the seemingly stark contrast between the "human/divine" (rational) part and the "bestial" (spirited and appetitive) parts at the end of Book 9 and the corresponding characterization of their relationships as, in part, mutuaily coercive. 93 However, there are other passages which indicate both more overlap between the functions of the psychic parts and the possible establishment of a more co-operative and cohesive relationship between them. These passages include the characterization of the just psyche in terms of "the friendship and harmony of these parts, when the ruling and the two ruled parts agree (homodoxasi)" about who should rule (442c10dl). They also include the suggestion that the just psyche (unlike the oligarchic one) is "unanimous" and "harmonized" in that its desires have been "persuaded (or tamed) by reason" (554c12-d2, d9-10, e4). Related
ideas are that the philosopher's Iove of truth brings with it a fundamental redirection of desires from sensual to intellectual (485d- e); and that the unification of the psychic parts under the direction of (philosophically) informed reason enables each of them to satisfy its desires and pleasures in the best possible way (586d-587a). The tendency of much recent schotarship has been to suggest that the first strand of Plato's thinking (prominent in the initial arguments for the separation of the parts) constitutes an underscription of the psychology that the argument as a whole requires, which is better exemplified by the second set of passages. 94 A related tendency has been to accept both that Platonic psychic "parts" are distinct internal agents or homunculi and to maintain that they are capable of a high degree of intercommunication and mutual "agreement". There are several aspects of this view. One is the claim that the two lower parts, as weil as having the functions by which they are initially defined (appetite, "spirit" or indignation/aspiration), are also capable of some rational functions, including having beliefs and exercising means-end reasoning. A further point is that, as stated in Resp. 580d-58lb, each of the three parts (and not just the desiring or appetitive part) constitutes a mode of desire, with a characteristic objective pursued by means-end reasoning. 95 A related pointisthat the account of the formation of the four defective psychic types in Resp. 8-9 indicates how the character and function of the three parts of the psyche (including reason) is modified through intrapsychic interplay (partly shaped by interpersonal dialogue). 96 If we combine all these points, it follows that Plato's use of the language of internal "persuasion" and "agreement" between the psychic parts of the Republic carries a high degree of psychological significance and is not simply metaphorical. 97 1t also follows that the ideal, normative condition of "reason's rule" within the psyche is significantly different from that presuppposed by Galen, in which one partly and one wholly non-rational part (spirit and appetite) are (somehow) coerced into obedience by the rational part.98 What is envisaged, it would seem, is rather a state in which the goal-directed beliefs and means-end reasoning of the other two parts have been modified (or "persuaded" into "agreement") by the two-stage educational programme that enables the rational part to realize its highest possible desire and to gain knowledge of objective truth. 99 Different passages carry somewhat different implications for what this normative condition means for the appetitive part. But what is envisaged is either (1) the (virtually) total redirection of desire from sensual to intellectual desires or (2) the shaping of sensual desire by ethical norms determined by a rational part that has objective knowledge of
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these. 100 It also follows that the characterization of the appetitive (or spirited) part as "bestial" and "irrational" refers not to the fundamental psychological capacity of the part, but rather to its character when shaped by misguided goals and reasoning (as in the defective psychic states of Resp.
8-9).101 If one accepts the thrust of this reading of the ethical psychology of the
Republic, we can see marked features of similarity with the thinking of Chrysippus and Posidonius (which are themselves, in my view, closer to each other than they are in Galen's account). Central to Chrysippan psychology is the idea that emotions and desires depend directly on beliefs of a certain kind, namely beliefs about what is good and how it is right to react to an impression of something as good or bad. 102 The Republic also, as interpreted here, implies a very close connection between beliefs/ reasoning, emotions or aspirations, and desire, in which the workings of all three sets of functions are shaped by the dominant goal of the psyche. More specifically, as stressed shortly, the extent of progress towards the normative, "reason-ruled" state (in each theory) determines the extent to which the psyche exhibits a fully coherent, and self-consistent, character. 103 In the case of Posidonius, the principal similarity lies in the idea that, although affective functions are to some degree separable from rational ones, they can be informed (and thus structured or stabilized) by rational functions and brought in line with rational norms. Posidonius hirnself seems to have recognized this point of resemblance, and to have been especially interested in Plato's ideas about how education could give structure to affective functions over a lifetime. 104 I now pursue the question of the resemblance between Platonic and Stoic psychology by outlining a "Chrysippan" reading of the Republic, by contrast with Galen's reading noted earlier (text to n. 86 above). I focus on psychic conflict in the Republic, especially those passages in which such conflict is characterized in a form which anticipates Chrysippus' conception ofpsychic conflict, namely as a conflict between two sets of (ethically better and worse) beliefs-and-emotions. The most significant points of resemblance come in the relatively complex analyses of psychic interplay used to explain the development of the four defective psychic types in Republic 8-9. There are several features here that Chrysippus might have found congenial and suggestive for bis own approach. One is the idea that a person's emotions and desires constitute a direct reflection of his beliefs about what is good and worth pursuing. For instance, in the development of the "democratic" type, the disposition to refuse to give priority to necessary over nonnecessary desires is brought about by the replacement of one set of argu-
ments and beliefs (Iogoi and doxai) about what should count as "virtues" and "vices" by another set. Similarly, the emergence ofthe "tyrannical" (or "tyrannized") psychic type emerges through the replacement of the beliefs (doxal) implanted in childhood about what is fine and disgraceful by those which were formerly suppressed and manifested themselves only in dreams. 105 In the development of these and the other psychic types, the relevant character emerges out of a conflict between two competing sets of beliefs about what counts as good and choiceworthy (carrying implications for the resulting pattem of emotions and desires). 106 In Plato's schematic narrative, each of these sets of beliefs is worse than its predecessor; and in this respect too the resulting conflict resembles Chrysippus' model, in which psychic conflict is explained as being between belief-sets graded at different ethicallevels (text to nn. 36-37 above). For Chrysippus, each case of psychic conflict produced by pathos constitutes a "rejection" of reason, a rejection of which the person involved is at some Ievel aware. The Platonic narrative also presents each of the psychic conflicts that generate a certain character-state as if it were conscious (this is not to say Plato supposed that it was normally conscious).107 In so far as each of these choices of life and character represents a rejection of another (more "reasonable") set, the figure is shown as "rejecting" reason. This idea is most explicit in the democratic person's "refusing to accept" (ou prosdechomenos) and "rejecting" (ananeuei) the true belief that pleasures are ethically differentiated. 108 There is a further point of resemblance, and one that may take us more deeply into the similarity of the two theories, and their shared difference from others (such as Aristotle's). 109 For Chrysippus, it is only the achievement of virtue that confers consistency and stability of character over time, whereas all other non-virtuous states are more or less "feverish" and unstable.U0 In Republic 8-9 also, the progressive descent from the normative to the tyrannized psychic state is presented as bringing with it progressive disintegration of psychic cohesion and consistency. 111 Related themes, of which the Stoic analogues are clear, are the ideas that domination by "unreasonable" emotions and desires is a kind of "madness" (mania), and that a person in this state is "tyrannized" (carrying the implication that only the perfectly wise person is free). 112 The argument in Book 4 for the separation of (functional) reason and desire, on which Galen focuses, is, naturally, less serviceable for this line of enquiry, though it does include certain phrases which Chrysippus might have seen as suggestive for his own approach. 113 As is sometimes pointed out (n. 94 above), the opening arguments seem to understate the complexity
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of, and intercommunication between, the parts required by the argument as a whole. Even so, some recent accounts suggest that the argument for the separation of reason and appetite implies a !arger, and more normative, role for reason than is explicit; 114 and this implied content would make the argument more congenial to Chrysippus. The argument for the distinct status of "spirit" might also be of special interest to Chrysippus. This is not simply because spirit, as the "natural auxiliary" ofthe rational part (44la23), normally acts in line with its commands. More specifically, the idea that an emotional response, such as anger or indignation, depends on the (rational) judgement that "it is right to react with anger" is one that Chrysippus might weil have seen as embodied in Plato 's account of its functions, as in the comparable description of the psychophysical workings of spirit in the Timaeus. 115 The explicit message of the Leontius example is simply that anger or "spirit" naturally sides with reason against appetite (440a- b). But Chrysippus might have seen in Leontius' conscious surrender to appetite (expressed in his bitterly ironic speech to his gazing eyes, "wretches, take your fill of the lovely sight") a phenomenon comparable to Medea's conscious surrender to passion; and in the preceding psychic struggle evidence of the latent (normative) rationality expressed in the final words of Medea's conflicted monologue. 116 Have we any reason to suppose that Chrysippus not only could have read the psychology of the Republic in this way, but actually did read it in this way? One suggestive fact, which Galen notes several times, is that Chrysippus, though aware of Plato's tripartite model (in the Republic and Timaeus), failed to argue explicitly against it. 117 There is a striking contrast with the political theory of the Republic. Although the inadequacy of our evidence leaves much scope for argument about the precise way in which the Republic of Chrysippus, like that of Zeno, constituted a critique of Plato's, it seems clear that it was an explicit response to Plato's political ideal. 118 lf Galen's picture of the relationship were correct (namely that Chrysippus had wholly repudiated Platonic psychology), we would expect Galen to have provided evidence that Chrysippus argued explicitly against it. In the absence of such evidence, any reconstruction of Chrysippus' attitude towards the Platonic tripartite model must be speculative. But I offer a view that is at least possible, and in line with some relevant evidence. This is that Chrysippus hirnself saw the features of the Republic discussed here (the intercommunication and potential cohesiveness of the psychic parts) as a sophisticated extension of the "Socratic" psychology towards which Chrysippus (like Zeno) was already strongly drawn. 119 Indeed, it is conceivable that Chrysippus drew on this relatively sophisticated model
(converting psychic intercommunication into a more thoroughgoing monism) in the process of elaborating Zeno's psychological ideas. 120 His failure to mount an explicit critique of the theory would, on this view, stem from the fact that his interest lay in drawing on Plato's model as a source of ideas, not repudiating it. That Chrysippus (and other Stoics) sometimes adopted this type of approach towards mature Platonic thinking is evident from the case of the Timaeus. It seems clear that they regarded this as a source of inspiration for their own (broadly) teleological and providential world-view, referring, for instance, to Plato's (providential) account of human bodily functions. 121 They also adopted Plato's correlated idea that the full development of human rationality lies in assimilating this to the rationality in the cosmos. 122 Posidonius, in a passage preserved by Galen, adopts a similar view, a fact which is interesting for the question of the interrelationship betwen Plato, the early Stoics, and Posidonius. Although Posidonius supplements his version of this theme by reference to the idea of affective movements (and the implications of these for psycho-ethical development), we should not, in the light of the discussion earlier in this chapter, exaggerate the significance of this addition. 123 Elsewhere I have suggested that the fact that Chrysippus notes, without contesting, the tripartite psychophysical model of the Timaeus should be explained in this way. Chrysippus might have seen in Plato's account of spirit, embodied in the heart, an anticipation of his own (psychophysical) account of the pathos of anger, and, more generally, of the heart as the centre of the psychophysical communication-system. 124 The kind of response that Chrysippus made to the Timaeus may be a much better guide to his generat pattern of response to Platonic psychology than the one described by Galen. I conclude by pursuing one further suggestion of this type, concerning the relationship between Stoic thinking on the passions and the horse-charioteer image of the tripartite psyche in Phaedrus. What is normally supposed is that Posidonius sometimes used a version of this image to symbolize his (pluralistic) modification of Chrysippus' image of passion as "running (out of control) legs." Galen, summarizing (though not quoting) Chrysippus, twice uses the Phaedran image "throws off the reins" (apheniazein) to characterize the Chrysippan idea of passion as the "disobedience" or "rejection" or reason (PHP 4.2.27; 4.5.18 [De Lacy 244.6; 262.27]). 125 Galen may, of course, be using Posidonian (or Platonic) terms inappropriately; but A.W. Price suggests that Chrysippus might have adopted Phaedran vocabulary to convey this idea. 126 If Chrysippus did so, could he also have read the Phaedrus myth as being in line with his view, by
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translating the relationship between Platonic parts into his own terms? Against this suggestion is the powerful characterization of the black, appetitive horse as a separate agent with its own motivation, at best "humbled" or "frightened" by the charioteer (254e7- 8), rather than "persuaded" (or silenced) as happens, at best, in the Republic. 121 On the other band, the relationship between all three parts, including the black horse, is vividly realized in terms of discourse. Chrysippus could have read this internal discourse as expressing the same kind of (conscious) "disobedience" or "rejection" (or, in better cases) "acceptance" of reason that he recognized in Medea and other cases. 128 In support of this idea is the fact that the Phaedrus marks a close link between this inner struggle, at least in erotic sexuality, and the (distinctively human or rational) recognition of the Forms. 129 Crucial to Chrysippus' conception of the inner struggle involved in a passion is the consciousness, at some Ievel, that to experience passion (tobe "pushed" or "forced" by one's "running legs") is to betray, or "reject", one's own rationality or spark of divinity_l3° If Chrysippus had read Phaedrus 254-255 as conveying a similar idea, as is at least conceivable, he could have used the idea of passion as "throwing off the reins" as a suggestive allusion to this text. 131
University of Exeter NOTES 1 There are, more precisely, two of Hume's ideas which arenot characteristic of Greek thought: (1) that reason is simply a function; and (2) that "reason [as a function] is, and ought to be, the slave of the passions." 2 See e.g. Frede 1986, 100-102; Kahn 1987, 86-89; Inwood 1993, 166-167; Gill 1996, 252, 297, n. 212; Brennan, above; also, Frede, introduction in: Frede and Striker 1996. 3 On the framework underlying these points, see Gill 1996, esp. 11-12, 178-180, 236238, 241, 252, 254-255, 383-395. 4 Gal. PHP 4.4.16-17 [De Lacy 254.13-19]. The translations are those of De Lacy, unless otherwise stated. 5 Isthis distinction Gatenie (see Hankinson 1993, 189-190, 192-197) but used to analyse Chrysippan theory, or also Chrysippan? It seems that Galen is analysing in these terms a contrast drawn more informally by Chrysippus: see PHP 4.2.12 [De Lacy 240.26-27] (discussed by Galen in 4.2 .24-27), 4.4 .17 [De Lacy 254.17 -19] (discussed by Galen in 4.4.23). Also, Chrysippus' view of a passion is, in essence, that it is (a certain kind of) ethical mistake, namely that of taking preferables for goods, together with the impulse and psychophysical consequences of doing so (see text to nn. 12-13 below). 6 See PHP4.4.9-23 [De Lacy 252.20-256.6]; also 4.2.19-27 [De Lacy 242.12-244.9]; 4.3.5-6 [De Lacy 250.27-252.5]; 4.5.16-17 [De Lacy 262.15-23].
PHP 4.2.10-11 [De Lacy 240.19-21]. Stob. 2.88.8-90.6 [LS 65A] seems alsotobe trying to defme this combination offunctional rationality and normative irrationality (see esp. 89.4-5, 16-18); see Inwood 1985, 143. 8 More precisely, acts of assent are directed towards axiomata (propositions expressed in the impressions), whereas impulses are directed towards predicates (katagoremata, e.g. "is good/choiceworthy" or the opposite), [LS 331]. "A rational impression is one in which the content can be exhibited in language" [LS 33C], though it does not follow that the rational animal consciously articulates the content of each impression (on the latter point, see Gill 1991, 186-188, Joyce 1995, 320-321). Here as elsewhere, I use "her/him, he/she" indifferently as indefmite personal pronouns, even when summarizing ancient authors who only use male forms for this purpose, though when translating I follow their conventions. 9 PHP4.2.1 [De Lacy238.27-28], 4.2.5 [De Lacy 240.3-4]. Thus, the mostcomprehensive form of definition of distress seems to be "an irrational contraction, or a fresh opinion that something bad is present, at which people think it right to be contracted [i.e. depressed]", [LS 65B1]; seefurther Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 179-181, Brennan, above, pp. 30-39. 10 See e.g. PHP 4.2.11-12 [De Lacy 240.21, 23]; 4.4.17 [De Lacy 254.16-17]; also Galen's discussion in 4.2.21-23, 4.4.6; see text to nn. 39-42 below. 11 Arr. Epict. Diss.1.28, esp. 7-10, 28; seefurtherLong 1991,114-116. OnChrysippus' refs. to Eur. Med., see text to nn. 18-19 below. This account of the irrationality of the pathos reflects the fact, pointed out by Brennan, above pp. 44-52, that, although the pathos is sometimes described in Stoic sources as a false belief, this is not made part of the formal defmition; it is the underlying or dispositional belief that is false, not the occurrent belief contained in the impression. 12 See further Brennan, above, pp. 21-39; Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 184-186; and text to nn. 32-36 below. 13 See e.g. PHP 4.2.14-18, 27; 4.6.35. 14 The argument often has an aggressive, point-scoring tone, which suggests the latter possibility. See e.g. 4.4.1-2, on the defmition of appetite (epithumia), a pathos, and desire (orexis), a horme; also 4.4.5-6. See also Cooper, above p. 103, n. 20; Hankinson 1991, 209-18; Tieleman 1992, on PHP 2-3. 15 See e.g. PHP 4.2.11-12 [De Lacy 240.20-21, 25]; 4.4.24 [De Lacy 256.7-9]; 4.6.24-26. 16 PHP 4 7.12-19; seefurther text to nn. 43-53 below. 17 Thus, we hear "Iovers and ... angry persons [say] that they want to gratify their anger and to Iet them be, whether it is better (ameinon) or not", PHP 4.6.21 [De Lacy 274.3537]; also 4.6.38-42. 18 PHP 4.2.21, 4.6.19-22, referring to Eur. Med. 1078-1080. On the term translated "throws off the reins" (apheniazein), see text to nn. 126-131 below. See further Gill1983, and 1996, 227-32. 19 For (partly contrasting) cases of "blind" anger or inarticulate Iove, see PHP 4.6.43-6, 4.6.9, 19; for the idea of "rejection" of reason see e.g. 4.2.10-12, 17, 27. 20 See e.g. PHP 4.2.28-44, 4.35-7, 5.3-18. 21 PHP 3.3.17 [De Lacy 188.30-32]; see also PI. Resp. 390d, Phd. 94d-e. Galen's analysis differs from these Platonic passages (also from Phdr. 253-256) in being framed not just as interplay between psychic parts but also of a "she" (aute) who is dragged alternately by reason and anger. The latter formulation is, however, found in PI. Leg. 644d-645a and 7
PLATONIC ANO STOIC THINKING ON EMOTIONS
(in psychic development) Resp. 550a-b, 553b-d; seealso Gill 1983, 145-146, n. 6. Galen's principal aim in PHP is to argue, against Chrysippus, for a model of the psyche as a combination of three parts (/ogistikon, thumoeides, epithumetikon) located respectively in brain, heart, and stomach-liver, a model based (in part) on PI. Resp. 435c-444a, Phdr. 253c-256e, and Ti. 69c-72d. See further text to nn. 86-88 below. 23 This charge is made with special force in PHP 4.7.12-22; see text to n. 47 below. 24 Forthis view, see Sorabji below. On Sen. De ira 2.2-4, see text to n. 78 below. 25 See e.g. Gosling 1990, eh. 5, esp. 57 -60; Nussbaum 1994, eh. 10, esp. 383-386; Price 1995, eh. 4, esp 152-167; a much noted text is LS 65G. 26 One problem, stated in the strongest form by Sandbach 1985 (e.g. eh. 5) is that in the Hellenistic age down to Cicero the Aristotelian school-texts were not available, and Plato, rather than Aristotle, seems to have been the thinker who principally set the agenda of ethical debate; on the latter point, see Section IV below. 27 An exception in this respect is Arist. Eth. Nie. 9.4, 1166b6-26; for more characteristic Statementssee e.g. Eth. Nie. 2.5-1, esp. 1106b16-23. 28 Engberg-Pedersen 1990, eh. 8, esp. 182-193; also Inwood 1985, eh. 5, esp. 155-165. 29 See e.g. LS 61L, taken with 651 esp. (l); O.L. 7 .89; Cic. Tuse. 3.2. 30 Eth. Nie. 10.9, esp. 1179b20-1180a14, taken with Bumyeat 1980, esp. 74-77. 31 Cic. Fin. 3.20-22 (=LS 5903-6); seefurther Engberg-Pedersen 1990, eh. 4; Annas 1993, 262-264 (more generally, chs. 5 and 12.2). 32 In support of this claim see text to nn. 39-42 below. 33 See PHP 5.5.14, 19; also 4.2.8, 14-18,4.5.21-22. See further Inwood 1985, 158161; Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 184-186, 193-197; see text to nn. 12-13 above. 34 PHP 5.5.14, stated in O.L. 7.89 as "the conversation of those around one (tbn sunonton)." 3s See e.g. LS 59, esp. 03-4, E2, F, Q; also Kidd 1971b, 1978; see further Gill forthcoming, section 4. 36 Seetext to nn. 12-13 above. 37 PHP 5.2.31-8, 2.44-3.11; seefurther Inwood 1985, 164; Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 189-193. 38 PHP4.5.21-3, 5.2.2-3, 13-14,26-28, 31-33; also, onatonia, "Iack ofsinew", or astheneia, "weakness" of character, 4.5.1-11; seefurther Price 1995, 167-170. 39 This translation of 1079 is designed to be neutral between the traditional one "spirit is stronger than my reasonings/deliberations" (which fits better with Galen's picture of a struggle between two "parts", reason and anger), and the alternative one, "spirit is master of [i.e. in control of] my [revenge-] plans" (which fits better with Chrysippus' picture as weil as the required sense of Euripides' lines, but which Chrysippus may not have thought ot). See further Gill 1983, 138, 1996, 223-225, 230-232, esp. n. 215. 40 See text to nn. 11-13 above; for a passion as "excessive" and "unnatural" and like "running legs", see PHP4.2.15-18. See also Stob. 2.89.4-90.6 [LS 65A5-7]; the parallel between Chrysippus' analysis ofthe Medea-case (PHP 4.2.27), as interpreted here, and Stob. 2.90.2-6, suggests that the latter is also Chrysippan in thought, in spite of the reservations of Inwood, 143; seealso Price 1995, 150. 41 PHP 4.6.24-41, esp. Oe Lacy 275.30-31. 42 PHP 4.5.1-11 (Menelaus abandoning his previous decision to kill the guilty Helen when affected by her sexual appeal); 4.6.44-46 (contrast between people in states of "blind" anger and when they had "earlier engaged in philosophical conversations"). Forthisgeneral 22
point as also implied in Stoic-influenced Roman poetry, see Gill 1997b. On the interpretation of he epi tön sustolin hormi, see Long and Sedley 1987, vol. 2, 413, following Inwood 1985, 149, who understand the impulse as having the content: "here is something bad, therefore I should contract (feel distressed)." For this way of defming the impulse of distress, see LS 65B (n. 9 above); seealso Price 1995, 164 and 148-149. De Lacy, p. 285, 9, translates "the conation that follows on the contraction", followed by Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 195 with his n. 72. 44 I take tautes diamenouses to refer to the opinion which is the subject of the preceding sentence (doxa diamenein), following Inwood 1985, 149, with his n. 94. 4S Here Long and Sedley 1987, vol. 2, 413, read asullogiston: i.e. the person with this disposition does not draw the appropriate practical inferences from the (supposed) badness of "those events". Long and Sedley here adopt Müller's reading, whereas De Lacy (284.11) adopts a different emendation, dussulogiston, based on Galen's own comment (284.20), and suggesting that Chrysippus hirnself admits that the phenomenon is, on his interpretation, "not easily reasoned out." 46 PHP 4.7.12-17 [De Lacy 284.5-16], trans. as in LS 65 0, except for the point noted in n. 44 above. 47 PHP 4.7.12-44, esp. 36-38 (on Posidonius' position on this, see further text to nn. 72-73 below). Galen interprets Chrysippus as admitting that the cause of the phenomenon is "difficult to reason out" (duslogiston) [De Lacy 284.20] (cf. 284.11, and n. 45 above). 48 PHP 4.1 .28, apparently cited by Posidonius from Chrysippus, might seem to suggest this, but needs tobe explained by reference to 4.7.13-17, not vice versa. 49 See text to n. 53 below. so I.e. the person retains both the (false) generat belief "that death is a bad thing" (see n. 11 above) and the specific belief "that what is actually present is something bad"; but the latter belief fails to activate the impulse whose content is "here is something bad, therefore I should contract (feel depressed)" (it does not "reason from those events" as one would expect, n. 45 above). Thus, I take it that the sentence in 284.10-11 offers a different way of formulating the situation stated in 7-9, not that it introduces a new possibility; for this reading, see Inwood 1985, 149-151 and n. 44 above. Posidonius takes "this" (284.10, to signify "this impulse"; so also Long and Sedley 1987, vol. 2, 413, followed by Price 1995, 164-165, with n. 16.) Although it is difficult to see why a (specific) belief does not activate the correlated impulse, I fmd it still more difficult to see why an impulse should not activate the correlated psychophysical response (contraction). SI This is to supply "not"\mi) before "like" [De Lacy 284.13], translated "different" by Long and Sedley 1987, thus explaining "which does not reason from" (asullogiston), as read by Long and Sedley 1987 (n. 45 above). sz On this reading, PHP 4.1.16 [De Lacy 284.11-13], like the famous analysis of akrasia in Arist. Eth. Nie. 7 .3, 1147a25 -b17, envisages two possible practical syllogisms, of which only one is carried through (in PHP, one in each of the two types of case considered). SJ The "impressions" which "stand in the way" oftheimpulse to grieve (PHP 4.7.16 [De Lacy 284.13] may be identical with these conventional grounds, as Inwood suggests (1985, 300, n. 107); or the circumstances may create the conditions in which such considerations can have this effect. One intriguing detail is that Chrysippus uses diathesis (not hexis) for the state of mind which fails to act on the passion-inducing belief (PHP 4.7.16 [De Lacy 284.11]) although diathesis is normally reserved for the stable character-state of full virtue (Stob. 2.70-71 [LS 47S], taken with Inwood 1985, 39-40; Price 1995, 168). Could this be 43
PLATONIC AND STOIC THINKING ON EMOTIONS
because this state of mind paves the way for the virtuous character-state? See Cic. Tusc. 3.74, stressing that it is not the mere passage of time but "continued reflection" (cogitatione diuturna) that brings about diminution of distress. 55 See further, on the linkage between psycho-ethical and philosophical objectives in Chrysippan therapy, Engberg-Pedersen 1990, 200-206. Epictetus' (Chrysippan) conception of therapy provides an extant model of this linkage; see e.g. Diss. 1.4.11; 2.17.14-18; 3.2.1-5, 12.12-15,21.20, 27-32, taken with Gill forthcoming, part 4. 56 See e.g. Kidd 1971a; also 1988, e.g. 553-560. 51 See Cooper, above, esp. n. 20; also Fillion-Lahille 1984, part 3. 58 For the relevant passages, see Cooper, above p. 106, n. 32. In no case does Galen actually quote Posidonius on this point; this includes that of the idea of three types of oikeiosis, correlated with the three parts ofthe psyche, often treated as centrat to Posidonian ethics: see PHP 5.5.5-8 [Edelstein and Kidd F160], also Kidd 1988,573-576. Therefore, my comments here assume that the tripartite psyche did not form part of Posidonius' theory. A moreplausible claim, though one that may still overstate Posidonius' innovations, is that he regularly operated with a bipartite model, in which the "rational part" (to logistikon) is contrasted with the "affective part" (to pathetikon); see text to nn. 75-81 below. 59 PHP 5.1.5 [De Lacy 293.24-25]; n.b. the identification is here explicitly presented as Galen's, not Posidonius'; on "affective movements", seealso e.g. PHP 5.5.26 [De Lacy 322.26-28]. 60 See Cooper, above p. 106, n. 31, cf. p. 103, n. 24; seealso text to nn. 65-69 below. 61 The idea of pathetikai kineseis seems to be suggested by Chrysippus' recurrent comparison of pathos to runaway "movement" (kinesis); see e.g. PHP 4.2.16-18, 4.24, 5.15 (though Posidonian affective movements arenot identical with pathe). 62 PHP 4.3.4 [De Lacy 248.6-7]; also 4.5.30 [De Lacy 266.5-7]; 4.5.41 [De Lacy 268.22]; 4.4.44; 5.5.9. See also, on the importance of the question about causes, Cooper, above pp. 81-82; also Kidd 1971a, 206-207, 210-211. 63 See PHP 5.5.19-21, discussed below; on Chrysippan thinking on "excessive" impulse, see text to nn. 12-13 above. 64 See PHP 4.7.28 [De Lacy 286.23-24]; 4.7.37 [De Lacy 288.28-30]; also text to nn. 70-73 below. See Cooper, above, p. 89. 65 See Cooper, above, pp. 87-88; Fillion-Lahille 1984, 156-157. 66 Forthis interpretation, see Fillion-Lahille 1984, 157; also n. 68 below. 67 De Lacy 1978-84, translates "the causes of all false suppositions [arise] in the theoretical sphere [through ignorance, and in the practical] through the pull of the affections" [De Lacy 320.24-25], words supplied in square brackets). Edelstein and Kidd 1972, 161, adopt a similar emendation; Kidd 1988, 620-621, suggests adding "in the affective part (to pathetikon)" before "through the affective pull". Theseeditors also think it unlikely that to theoretikon functions purely as a synonym for to logistikon. A further difficulty is that the passage is Galen's summary rather than quotation, though the technicality of the language and the consistency with the psychology indicated elsewhere suggest that the passage is closely based on Posidonius. 68 The "impulse" in 5.5.21 [De Lacy 320.27], presumably, signifies "passionate impulse", the topic of the preceding lines. Thus, the gist of 27-28 is: [as just illustrated, either in 2427 (Cooper/Fillion-Lahille) or 25-27 (De Lacy/Kidd)], (passionate) impulses in adult humans involve rationality (combined with affective movements), whereas in other animals they depend only on affective movements. The "sometimes-often" contrast may be related 54
to the fact that adult bumans (rational animals) form a comparatively small subsection of animals, and path€ thus constitute a minority of the total occurrences of passionate impulse. 69 Editors wbo posit a lacuna argue that the men ("on the one band" in De Lacy 320.24), requires us to supply a de ("on the other band"); but Cooper and Fillion-Lahille take this to be the d' in 25, and think that the contrast intended is a purely temporal one. 70 See PHP 4.5.29-30, 33-34; for Cbrysippus' framework see 4.6.1-11, taken with text to nn. 37-38 above. 71 See PHP 4.5.42-46; also 5.36-41, esp. 40-41. For Cbrysippus' claims on this, see 4.6.19-41, taken with text to nn. 39-42 above. 72 In PHP 5.5.21, affective movements interlock with rational functions (1) by "pulling" the rational part to form a certain Supposition and (2) by being led to do so by the past development of false ethical beliefs (see further text to nn. 65-69 above). In inner conflict, in (1) (tears unwilled), the affective response to impressions produces the psycbopbysical outcome of an impulse (tears) without the assent-based impulse; in (2) the affective movements cease to be (repeatedly) activated by the still remaining belief. In the latter case, the relevant belief is no Ionger "fresh" or "vivid" enough to activate the movement, an explanation which makes more sense in the Posidonian theory (in which affective movements are a potentially separable source of psychic energy) than in the Chrysippan (in wbich path€ are inseparable from rational beliefs); see PHP 4.6.3-5, 7, and refs in n. 73 below. 73 See PHP 4.7.37 [De Lacy 288.28-30): "the affective motions press so hard that they cannot be mastered by the will (boul€sis), or are brought to so complete a halt that it can no Ionger arouse them." See also 4 7 .32-3; 5.6.30-32 (reasoning and affective parts compared to horse and rider); none of these passages are presented as literal quotations from Posidonius. In 4.7.36-37 [De Lacy 288.21-23], Posidonius takes "this" (tautis), in De Lacy 284.10, to mean "impulse" (unlike Galen, who takes it to mean "belief" [De Lacy 284.18-19]), and, I think, rightly fmds the separation of impulse from the associated psychophysical responses hard to conceive, on Chrysippan assumptions; see nn. 44, 50 above. 74 PHP 5.5 .22-24 (this is, presumably, relevant to the variations in experiencing affective movements, not based on variations in belief, noted in text to n. 70 above), 5.5.28-35. 1s SeePHP5.5.29, 33. Onmusic, see5.6.19-22. Thelatterpassageis summarybyGalen, not quotation, and there are questionable features in it: e.g. the Platonic arousal of spirit in De Lacy 330.10-13, is not relevant to Posidonius' theory, as interpretedbere. However, the idea that music plays a significant role in stabilizing affective movements, esp. in childhood (cf. 5.5.32 with PI. Leg. 790c-791a), but also in adults (5.6.21) is consistent with Posidonian psychology. 76 PHP 5.5.33; although the rational part is said tobe at frrst "small and weak" [De Lacy 324.11-12], it is not wholly absent, and must be prepared for its ruling role, alongside the training of the affective movements. 77 PHP 5.6.24-25; this reflects Posidonius' general view that affective movements are responses to "impressions"; it follows that affective movements (summarized as the "affective part") are characterized as "irrational" (here andin De Lacy 330.20-21, cited above) in a normative sense, since they can be triggered by (functionally) rational means. 78 See e.g. Fillion-Lahille 1984, eh. 4, esp. 164-165, 167, text to n. 18; Inwood 1985, 175-181, esp. 180; Cooper, above p. 99. Inwood 1993, esp. 164-183 sees Seneca as rethinking Chrysippus' theory. Post-assent passion, as described in Sen. De ira 2.4.1 seems to me tobe Chrysippan (for the perverse "rejection of reason", see text to n. 41 above), but
PLATONIC AND STOIC THINKING ON EMOTIONS
the idea of pre-emotions is much closer to Posidonian thinking (Cooper's view makes the combination of Chrysippan and Posidonian strands easier to understand). 79 PHP 4. 7. 7, presented as explaining why (as Chrysippus supposed) it is "fresh" beliefthat activates pathos, i.e. because (if not counteracted) it stimulates affective movements. 80 PHP 4.1 .9. Stoics use this example notjust to help people to prepare for disasters (as the Cyrenaics do), but to help them to see they arenot disasters, but "matters of indifference"; see Cic. Tusc. 3.30, 58, also Gill 1994, 4613. 81 PHP 5.5.29 [De Lacy 323.25]; see text to n. 75 above. 82 Forthis view, seealso Cooper, above pp. 89-90. 83 PHP 5.5.30-32; also 4.7.23, 5.6.19-22 (taken with nn. 74-75 above). In PI. Leg. 790c-791b, the feature that may have especially captured Posidonius' interest is the Iinkage between emotions and movement (kinesis), including the idea of calming intemal movements by extemal ones (e.g. Bacchic song and dance), 790e. 84 PHP 5.5.34-5 implies that Posidonius adopted the tripartite image ofPI. Phdr. 253c256b; but seealso 5.6.31, and n. 125 below. 85 See text to nn. 86- 87 below. 86 PHP 5.7.1-82, referring esp. to Resp. 435b-c, 436b, 439a-d (separationofreasonand appetite); 439e-441c (separation of spirit from appetite and reason, including the Leontius story), discussed in 5.7 .44-49. For analysis in terms of power-relationships, see e.g. 5. 7.22-24 (reason and appetite, characterized as rational and non-rational powers); 5. 7 .56, 60, 67-71 (spirit the natural ally of reason, though different from it, but capable of "disobeying" it, 5.7.71). On Galen's thinking in generatabout appetite (wholly non-rational) and spirit (partly amenable to reason), see Hankinson 1993, 202-203. 87 PHP 3.1.14, 6.2.7, 6.8.40, 69-72, referring to Ti. 69c-71d, esp. 70b, 77b, 90a; see also Gill 1997a. The issue of whether the three parts are separate "powers" (dunameis) or (physical) "parts" (moria) is distinguished in 5.7.1-4. See further Hankinson 1991. 88 On Galen's claims, seealso Cooper, above pp. 71-74. 89 See e.g. Frede 1986, 96, 98; Gosling 1990, 48-9; Sedley 1993,313-314. 90 See e.g. Arr. Epict. Diss. 1.9.22-24, 12.23, 29.16-19; 3.1.19-23; on the (orthodox Chrysippan) ethical psychology implied in such cases (also e.g. 1.2.19-21), see Inwood 1985, 158; Gill forthcoming, section 4. On Socrates as an exemplar and source of moral psychology for the Stoics, seealso Long 1988, 150-151 (on Epictetus), 171. 91 See text to n. 83 above. However, as Sedley 1993, 314, notes, "[no] ancient reader operated with an entirely clearcut distinction between historically Socratic texts on the other band and Platonic texts on the other"; so we should be cautious about describing this move as a (conscious) shift from Socratic to Platonic psychology. 92 See Introd. above, and on Galen's failure to distinguish these senses, text to nn. 5-14 above. 93 See Resp. 588b-589c, 591b; also e.g. 437d7-9, 442a6-b3; and Phdr. 254a-e. 94 See e.g. Annas 1981, 124-125, 137-142; also refs. in n. 97 below. 95 The characterization of the appetitive part as "money-loving" (philochrematon), 553c5, 580e-581a, and of the spirited part as "victory-loving", 550b6, 581a9-b3, indicates characteristic goals (when the parts are not ruled by normative reason), and in the former case, also indicates means-end reasoning (money lovedas a means to satisfy sensual desires). 96 See e.g. Resp. 549c-550b, 553b-d, 559e-561d, esp. 561b-c, 572c-573c; see also text to nn. 105 -106 below.
For versions of these ideas, see Moline 1978, esp. 9-10, 13-14; Annas 1981, 142146; Cooper 1984; Kahn 1987; Lear 1993; lrwin 1995, eh. 13 esp. 217-222; Price 1995, 57 -67; Gill1996, 245-260. lt does not follow that the "persuasion" involved is necessarily conscious or reiterated; such terms denote (at least partly) features of psychic structure; see Price 1995, 64-65, Gill 1996, 252-255. 98 See text to n. 86 above. It is hard to see how reason can "rule" the other parts, even coercively, unless both the other parts have some rationality; but see further, on Galen's thinking on therapy and the shaping of a life, Hankinson 1993, 198-212. 99 For different ways of interpreting the significance of the two-stage programme and its psycho-ethical outcome, see Gill 1996, 260-307, esp. 289-306. 100 (1) is suggested by Resp. 485d-e (with the Iimitation implied in 571b-572b); (2) is suggested by 442a-d, and, more strongly, 586d-587a. 101 The language of 588c-589b, 591b, develops that of 571b-d, 572b, 586a-b; seealso Gill 1996, 259-260. 102 See Section II, text to nn. 7-9 above. 103 Seetext to nn. 110-111 below. 104 See text to nn. 74-75, 82-83 above. Despite Posidonius' use of to pathetikon (the affective part) as a group-term for affective movements, Posidonius seems not to have envisaged a distinct and continuing "part", as Plato does, but rather occurrent phenomena which (in the non-wise) may occur at any time. The contrast between to pathetikon and to logistikon recalls Resp. 603a-606d rather than the tripartite model found elsewhere in Resp. 105 See Resp. 560c2-d6, taken in the context of 559d-561e; 573b1-4, 574d5-e2; also 571b-572b. 106 See Resp. 549e-550b, 553a-d; also refs. in n. 105 above. The influential role of the discourse of associates in this process chimes in with Chrysippus' identification of "the conversation of the many" as a corrupting factor (text to nn. 34-36 above); see e.g. 549de, 559d-561d, 572c-573a; also, most emphatically, 492a-e. 107 See further Gill 1996, 257; also text to nn. 39-42 above. 108 See Resp. 561b-c; also 553d3 -4, where the developing oligarchic type "does not allow [the rational part] to reason or enquire about anything other than how to make more money out of less." 109 See n. 27 above. 110 See PHP 4.6.7-11; 5.1.3-7, and text to n. 38 above. 111 See esp. Resp. 549b, 554d-e, 561c-e, 572e-573b, 573d-e. 112 See e.g. Resp. 573b4, c9, 574e-575b, 579d-e, 577e-578a; also SVF3.657-70, 589603. 113 See esp. the description of the appetitive part as "fluttering/excited" (eptoetaz) about the appetites (cf. Phd. 68c9); on passions (including appetite) as a form of "flutter" (ptoia), excited and unstable, see PHP 4. 5.6. See also the suggestion that desire could be understood as the outcome of "assent" (epineuein) to a question put to itself by the psyche (437c5); on Stoic "assent" and passions, see text to n. 8 above. 114 The fact that, in Resp. 439, there is conflict between reason and thirst at all, suggests that reason' s Opposition to appetite (the latter motivated by "feelings and sicknesses", pathemata kai nosemata, 439d2, a coupling Chrysippus might fmd interesting) is based on reasoning about what is best for the psyche as a whole. See further Cooper 1984, 6-10; Kahn 1987, 84-85, 88-89, esp. n. 19. 97
PLATONIC AND STOIC THINKING ON EMOTIONS
m See Resp. 440c1-d2, esp. c7-d2; also Ti. 70b, taken with Gill 1197a. For (Stoic) phraseology of the type cited in the text, see n. 9 above. 116 See Resp. 439e-440b, esp. 439e9-440a3, b1-4; also text to nn. 39-40 above. See further, on parallels between Stoic ethical psychology and that of PI. Resp. Gill forthcoming. 117 See PHP 3.1.19-21; 4.1.6 (on the translation ofDe Lacy 236.27-28, see Sedley 1993, 313, n. 1); 4.1.15 [De Lacy 238.12-14]; 4.3.6 [De Lacy 249.16-17]; 5.7.43, 52. 118 See further Schofleid 1991, eh. 2, esp. 22-26; Vander Waerdt 1994a, 294-308. 119 On early Stoic psychology as Socratic in inspiration, see text to nn. 89-90 above; on the absence of a clearcut Socrates-Plato distinction in this period, see n. 91 above; on Zeno, n. 120 below. 120 Despite Galen's claim that Chrysippan monism represented a sharp departure from Zeno's psychology of the passions (e.g. PHP 4.2.1-6, 3.2-5), scholars now tend tothinkthat Chrysippus (in this as in other respects) offered a more fully theorized account of Zeno's ideas. See e.g. Inwood 1985, 143-145; Annas 1992, 108-109; Brennan, above, pp. 5960, n. 19. 121 Cf. Cic. Nat. D. 2.135-53, esp. 140, 148, 153, with PI. Ti. 44d-45a, 47b-d. Cf. also Ti. 75a7 -b7 [with SVF2.1170]. See also Sedley 1993, 318, suggesting that Stoic (teleological) thinking on psychophysial causality might have been influenced by PI. Phd., e.g. 9699, esp. 98b-99b. Long 1988, 162-163, refers to Xen. Mem. 1.4.5-18, 4.3.2-18, to show how Stoics might have seen such ideas as going back to Socrates. 122 Cf. PI. Ti. 47b-e, 90a-d, with D.L. 7.87-88. 123 See PHP 5.6.4-5 (taken with 5.5.32-5). In the light of text to nn. 76-81 above, not being led "by the irrational, unhappy, and godless partofthe psyche" [De Lacy 326.26-27] need not imply the radically dualistic view supposed by Galen in 5.6.6-8. What is meant may be imposing structure and stability on one's affective movements over a lifetime, and thus not being liable to (belief-based) pathe. 124 SeePHP3.1.14, 19-23; Ti. 70a-b; Gill1997a; Schils 1994,38-39,80, makesanother interesting suggestion: that the early Stoic conception of pathos as "an irrational movement" of a function (reason) which is naturally capable of moving properly (rationally) may have been influenced by the Platonic picture of the second creation stage (combining psyche and body) in Ti. 43a-44c. 125 See PHP 4.2.15-18 (Chrysippus' running legs); 5.6.31 (rational and affective parts as rider and runaway [ekphoros] horse), summary of Posidonius; 5.5.34-35 (Posidonian rational and affective parts as charioteer and pair of horses, described by Galen as "appetite and spirit", but not otherwise differentiated in their reactions, De Lacy 324.15-18, thus suggesting, at most, a bipartite not tripartite model). See further Kidd 1988, 159-160. 126 Price 1995, 150; Price makes the same suggestion about the "disobedient horse" image of Stob. 2.89.8-9, on which see n. 40 above. 127 See Phdr. 253e-254e, esp. 254a3-7, d2-e8; also 255e5-256al. See further Rowe 1990, 234-235. On the "persuasion" of appetitein Resp., see text to nn. 94-7 above. 128 See Phdr. 254a6, b3, c7 -d4, 255e5 -7; on the black horse's participation in discourse, see Ferrari 1987, 187-189. See also text to nn. 39-42 above. 129 See Phdr. 254b, also 247d -e, 249b5 -c4; success in the struggle Ieads to full recognition of Forms, 256a-b, also 249c6-d3. 130 Seetext to nn. 15, 39-42 above.
131 Previous versions of this chapter have been given at the Helsinki conference on the Philosophy of Mind and at the Institute of Classical Studies, London University. I am grateful for many valuable comments on both occasions and at other times, and especially to Richard Sorabji for the stimulus of reasoned disagreement over a two-year period. I would also like to thank John Cooper for sending me both the first and second drafts of his chapter, and for helpful discussion at Princeton.
REFERENCES Annas, J. 1981 An Introduction to Pklto's Republic. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Annas, J. 1992 Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind. Berkeley/LosAngeles/Oxford: University of Califomia Press. Annas, J. 1993 The Morality of Happiness. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Braund, S.M. and C. Gill (eds.) 1997 The Passions in Roman Thought and Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Brunschwig, J. and M.C. Nussbaum (eds.) 1993 Passions and Perceptions: Studies in Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/Paris: Editions de Ia Maison des Seiences de L'Homme. Bumyeat, M.F. 1980 'Aristotle on Learning toBe Good,' in: Rorty 1980, 69-92. Calvo, T. and L. Brisson (eds.) 1997 Interpreting the Timaeus and the Critias: Proceedings of the IV Symposium Pkltonicum. Sankt Augustin: Academia. Cooper, J.M. 1984 'Piato' s Theory of Human Motivation,' History of Philosophy Quarterly 1, 3-21. De Lacy, P. (ed.) 1978-1984 Galen: De Pklcitis Hippocratis et Pkltonis (On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Pklto), Corpus Medicorum Graecorum V 4,I,2. I-m, Berlin: Akademie. Edelstein, L. and I.G. Kidd (eds.) 1972 Posidonius I. The Fragments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Engberg-Pedersen, T. 1990 The Stoic Theory of Oikeiosis. Moral Development and Social Interaction in Early Stoic Philosophy. Aarhus: Aarbus University Press. Everson, S. (ed.) 1991 Psychology. Campanions to Ancient Thought 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ferrari, G.R.F. 1987 Listening to the Cicadas: A Study of Pklto's Phaedrus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fillion-Lahille, J. 1984 Le de Ira de Seneque et kl philosophie stoicienne des passions. Paris: Klincksieck. Frede, M. 1986 'The Stoic Doctrine of the Affections of the Soul,' in: Schofleid and Striker 1986, 93-110. Frede, M. and G. Striker (eds.) 1996 Rationality in Greek Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1996. Gill, C. 1983 'Did Chrysippus Understand Medea? ,' Phronesis 28, 136-149. Gill, C. (ed.) 1990 The Person and the Human Mind: Issues in Ancient and Modern Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gill, C. 1991 'Is There a Concept ofPerson in Greek Philosophy? ,'in: Everson 1991, 166193. Gill, C. 1994 'Peace of Mind and Being Yourself: Panaetius to Plutarch,' Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt 36.7, 4599-4640.
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Gill, C. 1996 Personality in Greek Epic, Tragedy, and Philosophy: The Self in Dialogue. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gill, C. 1997a 'Galen versus Chrysippus on the Tripartite Psyche in Timaeus 69-12,' in: Calvo and Brisson 1997. Gill, C. 1997b 'Passion as Madness in Roman Poetry,' in: Braund and Gill1997, 213-241. Gill, C. forthcoming 'Ethical Reflection and the Shaping of Character: Plato's Republic and Stoicism,' Proceedings of Boston Area Colloquiumfor Ancient Philosophy. Gosling, J.C.B. 1990 The Weakness of Will. London: Routledge. Hankinson, R.J. 1991 'Galen's Anatomy ofthe Soul,' Phronesis 36, 197-233. Hankinson, R.J. 1993 'Actions and Passions: Affection, Emotion, and Moral Self-Management in Galen's Philosophical Psychology,' in: Brunschwig and Nussbaum 1993, 184222. lnwood, B. 1985 Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. lnwood, B. 1993 'Seneca and Psychological Dualism,' in: Brunschwig and Nussbaum 1993, 150-183. Irwin, T.H. 1995 Plato's Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Joyce, R. 1995 'Early Stoicism and Akrasia,' Phronesis 40, 315-355. Kahn, C.S. 1987 'Piato's Theory of Desire,' Review of Metaphysics 41, 77-103. Kidd, I.G. 1971a 'Posidonius on Emotions,' in: Long 1971, 200-215. Kidd, I.G. 1971b 'Stoic Intermediatesand the End for Man,' in: Long 1971, 150-72. Kidd, I.G. 1978 'Moral Action and Rules in Stoic Ethics,' in: Rist 1978, 247-258 Kidd, I.G. 1988 Posidonius Volume 1/. The Commentary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lear, J. 1992 'Inside and Outside the Republic,' Phronesis 31, 184-215. Long, A.A. (ed.) 1971 Problems in Stoicism. London: Athlone. Long, A.A. 1988 'Socrates in Hellenistic Philosophy,' Classical Quarterly 38, 150-171. Long, A.A. 1991 'Representation and the Self in Stoicism,' in: Everson 1991, 102-120. Long, A.A. and D.N. Sedley 1987 The Hellenistic Philosophers. 1-11, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Moline, J. 1978 'Piato on the Complexity of the Psyche,' Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 60, 1-26. Nussbaum, M.C. 1994 The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Price, A.W. 1995 Mental Conjlict. London: Routledge. Rist, I.M. (ed.) 1978 The Stoics. Berkeley: University of Califomia Press. Rorty, A.O. (ed.) 1980 Essays on Aristotle's Ethics. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Rowe, C. 1990 'Philosophy, Love, and Madness,' in: Gill1990, 227-46. Sandbach, F.H. 1985 Aristotle and the Stoics. Cambridge Philological Society suppt. 10. Cambridge: Cambridge Philological Society. Schils, G.J. 1994 Stoic and Platonist Readings of Plato's nmaeus, PhD. thesis. Berkeley. Schofield, M. 1991 The Stoic ldea ofthe Oty. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Schofield, M. and G. Striker (eds.) 1986 The Norms of Nature: Studies in Hellenistic Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/Paris: Editions de 1a Maison des Seiences de L'Homme.
Sedley, D .N. 1993 'Chrysippus on Psychophysical Causality,' in: Brunschwig and Nussbaum 1993, 313-331. Tieleman, T. 1992 Galen and Chrysippus: Argument and Refutation in the De Placitis Books H-lll. Utrecht: Publications of the Department of Philosophy, Utrecht University. Vander Waerdt, P.A. 1994a 'Zeno's Republic and the Origins of Natural Law,' in: Vander Waerdt 1994b, 272-308. Vander Waerdt, P.A. (ed.) 1994b The Socratic Movement. Ithaca, N.Y.: Comell University Press.
CHRYSIPPUS - POSIDONIUS - SENECA: A HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE ON EMOTION
Chrysippus formulated the startling idea that emotions are just value judgments. The view that emotions are judgments has been repeated both in the modern philosophicalliterature1 and in modern cognitive therapy. 2 But Chrysippus achieved a precision, not matched in the modern literature,3 about exactly which judgments constitute emotions. This in turn made it possible for counter-examples more precise than those in the modern Iiterature tobe formulated, as I think they were by Posidonius. Finally, in Seneca we find, I believe, a reworking of Chrysippus' analysis which seems to be designed to meet the counter-examples and other objections, and which further enhances the possibility of using a Chrysippan style of analysis for therapeutic purposes. The evidence for Chrysippus' analysis needs tobe collected from several sources. 4 He says that all emotions are forms of the most generic four: distress, pleasure, appetite and fear. Moreover, each of these four consists of precisely two judgments: the judgment that there is good or bad (benefit or harm) at band and the judgment that it is right (appropriate) to react. Chrysippus believes that the judgments are almest invariably mistaken. The non-generic emotions may involve additional judgments of their own. The reactions approved in the case of appetite and fear are behavioural: reaching for or evading. The reactions. approved in the case of pleasure and distress have not, I think, been correctly identified. They are said (see note 4) tobe expansions, contractions, bites and suchlike. Bites are elsewhere associated with little contractions (contractiunculae).5 I think some passages in which Galen quotes Chrysippus verbatim reveal what all these things are. Chrysippus, speaking of bites, sinkings and rushes, describes them as sensed inner movements. We would think ofthem as physiologically based, but he, being a physicalist about the soul, thinks of them as movements of the physical soul itself. They are ones of which he insists we are conscious (sunaisthanesthai, enargos, ekphanes). 6 It is indeed true that we often have expansive or sinking feelings. I would only add that
Juha Sihvola and Troels Engberg-Pedersen (eds.), The Emotions in Hellenistic Philosophy, 149-169.
® 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
in addition to feeling the movements, we must presumably feel them as good or bad, or else7 we would not judge them as right or appropriate to our situation. lt is important that they arenothing like impulses, as they are sometimes thought to be. For that would not fit easily with Zeno, 8 and it would make virtually unintelligible the later developments in Seneca, when he speaks of first movements of the mind. 9 His idea, I think, is related to an idea found elsewhere10 that little contra:ctions and bites of the mind can occur independently of the judgments involved in emotion. Seneca similarly insists that his first movements of the mind are independent of emotion and judgment. What is new is his point that they can occur before the emotion. I take them tobe pre-emotional contractions and expansions. If they were instead, like emotions, impulses, it would become very obscure, as it has been to some commentators both ancient and modern, 11 how they differ from emotions. Galen's report of contractions and expansions as sensed physical movements of the soul showshowdifferent they are from impulses. Moreover, it gives us an account of emotion that is very true to life, because our emotions are often accompanied by sensed sinkings, expansions and bites and these often seem entirely appropriate to our situation. We shall see that Seneca's account is not only true to life, but also useful for therapy. Although Zeno supplied in his oral teaching the materials for the definitions which Chrysippus wrote down (eiremenoi is contrasted with gegrammenoi), 12 Chrysippus made a change whose importance must not be underestimated. 13 Zeno thought that pleasure and distress actually were sinkings, bites, expansions and Iifts, albeit due to judgments. 14 Definitions of this type (admittedly without Zeno's name) are supplied by Stobaeus. 15 But Chrysippus differed, we are told, in holding that the emotions were the judgments themselves, 16 though they produced expansions and contractions as effects. This is nosmall difference, since expansions and contractions are nothing like judgments, on the account given by Galen. THE EVIDENCE OF GALEN ON POSIDONIUS
The evidence that Posidonius attacked Chrysippus' analysis in favour of a more Platonist view comes from Galen, and Galen's evidence has recently been brought into question. I shall start by considering three grounds that have been adduced for doubt.
First query: orthodoxy. First, it has been said that, as an orthodox Stoic, Posidonius cannot really have disagreed with Chrysippus, as Galen claims he does. 17 This seems to me to misunderstand the two-faced nature of
A HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE ON EMOTION
orthodoxy. If we face towards the future after Posidonius, we see that Chrysippus' view came to be considered orthodox. But if we face backwards from his time, we can see why Posidonius considered his own adherence to Plato to be orthodox. He considered both Zeno 18 and Cleanthes 19 to be Platonists. In the case of Cleanthes, he quotes a passage in which Cleanthes, like Plato, treats Reason and Anger (logismos, thumos) as distinct entities talking to each other. lncidentally, Galen hirnself doubts the Platonism of Zeno,20 which at least reveals him not to be an indiscriminate Platoniser. Posidonius thinks that Chrysippus is out of line with Zeno and Cleanthes in not referring like Plato to an emotional part of the soul to explain the abatement of emotion.21 Moreover, he uses Chrysippus as an unwitting witness (marturei, martus) in favour of Plato. Chrysippus is allegedly committed to agreeing that emotions abate because of satiety, and that reason, displaced during the emotional turmoil, is enabled by satiety to make its way back in and find room for itself. 22 This illustrates how easy it is for an ancient author to represent hirnself as orthodox, whatever he wants to say. It was the standard practice to present oneself as orthodox, where modern philosophers might prefer to claim credit for novelty. If we go too far in abandoning Galen, who is our main source of evidence, we shall have little to go on but our own conception of what Posidonius must have said.
Second query: Posidonius' recognition of the role ofjudgments. A second reason for doubting whether Posidonius really disagreed with Chrysippus is that Posidonius hirnself connects emotions with judgments. But the answer is that he does agree with Chrysippus that standardly emotions involve judgments. Hisdisagreement isover whether emotions are judgments. He doubts that Chrysippus' judgments are necessary or sufficient in every case, because he thinks that the irrational forces picked out by Plato play a role as weil. Galen says: Posidonius completely departed from both opinions. He does not think the emotions (pathe) are judgments (kriseis), nor supervenient (epigignesthaz) on judgments, but in everything he follows the ancient account and thinks they are produced by the spirited and appetitive powers.23
This statement may be potentially misleading, because of the absence of qualifications. But strictly speaking, it is true, and compatible with the evidence which has been thought to go against it. This evidence includes the statement by another author that Posidonius distinguishes physical afflictions (path€) like fevers and chills from mental afflictions like appetites, fears and
anger, by saying that the latter are based on (more literally, reside in) judging and apprehending (ta en krisesi kai hupolepsesin).24 So they are, and this is the most convenient way for Posidonius to pick them out. This is not at all to concede Chrysippus' claim of the identity of certain judgments with emotion. Finally, when Posidonius is reported as defining anger as "an appetite for punishing the person by whom you think (putes) you are unjustly harmed, " 25 this reference to thinking need not imply that all anger involves judgment or belief (iudicium, opinio). Seneca at one point describes the angry person as thinking (putare) he has been harmed, before going on in the next paragraph to explain that what he has in mind is a mere appearance (species) of injury, not a judgment. 26
Third query: are Galen's charges ofinconsistency reasonable? Thirdly, Galen's report of disagreement between Posidonius and Chrysippus has been mistrusted, because it has been thought that Galen is unfairly enlisting Posidonius' support for gratuitous charges of contradiction which he levels at Chrysippus.27 But I do not believe the charges are gratuitous. Galen is right to ask how Chrysippus can square saying that emotions are judgments of reason with saying that they are without judgment or reason. 28 And Posidonius, as reported by Galen, is right to ask how emotions can involve both judging that something is unprofitable and judging that it must be taken. 29 In fact, a reader of Galen's report of Chrysippus may well suspect contradictions in Chrysippus even where Galen does not bother to point them out. If emotions are, for Chrysippus, judgments of reason, how does this fit with the further view ascribed to him that all emotion (not just some) is irrational, in the sense of involving not just a mistake of reason, but something said to be much worse: actual disobedience to reason (apeithes) 30 and rejection of it (apostrephesthai). 31 Emotion turns out after all not to be a mistake and perverse judgment (hamartema kai krisis mochthera). It is not a case of being carried away by error and overlooking something in accordance with reason (diemartemenos pheretai kai paridon ti kata ton logon). It is not a case of having made a slip (esphaltai), nor of reasoning badly and implausibly (kakos en toi dialogizesthai, enantios pros to eulogos). 32 The words are presented mostly as Chrysippus' own. Moreover, from the examples it is clear that what Chrysippus denies is that emotion involves a moral mistake, like that of Epicurus in thinking pleasure good, or of Agamemnon in putting his daughter's life below his country's safety. 33 But hasn't Chrysippus told us that emotions involve precisely
A HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE ON EMOTION
such moral mistakes? For in emotion we judge erroneously that what is at hand is good or bad, and that it would be right to react. That is one puzzle, but there is another. "Disobedience to reason" implies much more than some of Chrysippus' other expressions such as "contrary to reason". Phrases like the latter can be glossedas meaning no more than contrary to right reason. But "disobedience to reason" cannot,34 for it seems to imply that people in an emotional state are acting against their own reason, not against a standard of rightness which they may not know. Surely, one might have supposed, that will not be true of all emotion, but only of cases of going against one's better judgment, which the Greek philosophers call akrasia or failure of control. But even if the problern so far can be answered, 35 another surprise awaits us, for Chrysippus and Seneca explicitly say that emotion, all emotion, is the state of people who are not in control (akrateis, ou kratountes heauton, impotens), but are carried away (ekpheromenoi, effern). 36 And the Stoics prevent that being taken in some weak sense, by giving an account of emotion which strongly suggests going against one's better judgment. For they say that, in emotion, again in all emotion, reason oscillates in different directions with such speed, that we do not notice its doing so. 37 Such an account Iooks precisely tailored to avoid Plato's conclusion about going against one's better judgment, that the conflicting desires involved require us to postulate distinct parts of the soul. 38 For if Chrysippus can maintain that the opposed desires alternate, instead of being simultaneous, he will avoid, as he wants to, having to accept Plato's division of the soul. Oscillation belongs to the discussion of going against one's better judgment. We seem tobe a very long way from the simple idea that emotion is just a pair of judgments that there is good or bad at hand and that it is right to react. Galen is right: a resolution is needed. One was forthcoming, but it is not to be found, so far as I know, until the text of Seneca's On Anger a century later. SENECA'S THREE MOVEMENTS TO THE RESCUE
Seneca distinguishes three movements, or stages, in emotion. The distinctions are not found in earlier Stoic literature.39 But they appear very weil suited to defending Chrysippus both from the present charges and from the ones weshall go on to find in Posidonius. Seneca's strategy in the present connection is to treat the judgments of good or bad along with the "right to react" judgment as constituting a
second stage or movement. He thus separates these judgments from the further "disobedient" judgments which supersede them, and which represent a distinct third stage or movement. The final judgment is "without judgment" in thesensethat it dispenses with the earlier judgment that it is right to react, 40 and insists that action must be taken, come what may (utique). Seneca's distinction of second and third movements frees Chrysippus from contradiction, by apportioning his apparently Contradietory accounts to chronologically distinct stages of emotion. Seneca's wording in Latin precisely corresponds to the Greek which Galen ascribes to Chrysippus. His description of the third stage as one of being carried away (efferantur) corresponds to Chrysippus' ekpheromenoi.41 Histalk of the third stage as overcoming reason (evicit rationem) matches Chrysippus' talk of rejecting reason (apostrephesthai). 42 Seneca's "uncontrolled" (impotens) represents Chrysippus' akrates. 43 And his "come what may" (utique), omitting "if it is right," picks up a description by Chrysippus of Iovers or angry people, who want to be left alone "whether it is better or not," and who say that they do what they are doing "come what may" (ek pantos ge tropou). 44 Seneca's account of the third stage runs as follows. In order that you may know how emotions (i) begin, or (ii) grow, or (iii) are carried away (efferantur), the first movement is involuntary like a preparation for emotion and a kind of threat. The second movement is accompanied by will, not an obstinate one, to the effect that it is right for me to be avenged, since I am injured, or it is right for him to be punished, since he has committed a crime. The third movement is by now uncontrolled (impotens), and wills to be avenged, not if it is right (si oportet), but come what may (utique), and it has overthrown (evicit) reason.
So far, the charges against Galen have not been bome out, I think. But strictures have been severe. One author has said: Too many scholars have been victims of this intrepid polemicist, of his sectarianism and persuasive ardour. It is he who transforms Posidonius into a Platonic philosopher and presents as "contradiction" in Chrysippus things which his successor saw only as aporiai, or puzzles to be got out of. 45
Criticism has also been extended to Posidonius whose doctrines, it has been said, "do far less than Chrysippus' to promote understanding of what passion is and its relation to reason. "46 Certainly, Galen is a polemicist and must be treated with due caution. But I think he is an intelligent and skillful one, who fastens on exact wording, and some of his criticisms are justified. As for Posidonius, I see him as part of a debate conducted at a very high Ievel, with Chrysippus,
A HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE ON EMOTION
hirnself and Seneca as participants, and with a tremendous clarification of the nature of emotion as its outcome. POSIDONIUS' OBJECTIONS TO THE NECESSITY AND SUFFICIENCY OF JUDGMENTS
If, then, we may proceed to use Galen's evidence with care, I think that Posidonius has a series of four or five objections to the necessity or sufficiency of Chrysippus' judgments for emotion, to which I shall add one of my own. The first objection to the sufficiency of the judgments had been partly foreseen and expounded by Chrysippus himself, very much to his credit. But he thought he had an answer. Posidonius disagrees. Objection (1). The first doubt about sufficiency is that pleasure and
distress can fade with time, even though Chrysippus' two judgments remain intact. According to one source, the problern had been anticipated by Zeno. 47 To patch up the definition by adding, as Chrysippus or Zeno did, that the judgments must be fresh48 is unexplanatory, in Posidonius' view. 49 What needs to be fresh is rather the Platonic horses, which represent the irrational forces in the soul. Plato's irascible and appetitive capacities of the soul become sated and wearied by their emotional movements, and that is why emotions fade, even when judgments have not changed. 50 Chrysippus, on one interpretation, offers a different defence, that when distress fades, the second judgment will be found to have faded, the judgment that it is right to react with a sinking feeling. At least that is a possible interpretation of Chrysippus' remark that the impulse towards contraction fades. 51 But Posidonius is right that this is not the only case. There is also the case in which both judgments remain intact, but a person is emotionally exhausted. Even Posidonius has not mentioned all the cases. Another, involving lack of imagination, will be raised by him below (Objection (5)). But yet another is that of acting in an emergency. One can judge that harm threatens and that avoidance is called for, and yet one's attention can be so caught by the necessary steps, that one feels no fear until after the emergency is over. Equally, it may often be a change of attention that makes emotions fade over time, or abate when we are exhausted. The need for attention and imagination, as well as judgment, is further shown by the role these play in making emotions more or less intense.
RICHARDSORABJI POSIDONIUS' EMOTIONAL MOVEMENTS AND SENECA'S FIRST MOVEMENTS
Since Posidonius invokes emotional movements (pathetikai kineseis) to explain not only emotions fading, but other phenomena too, it will be clarifying to determine what bis emotional movements are. And here John Cooper in the present volume makes some excellent suggestions. He points out that Galen cannot be right to equate them with emotions, 52 since they control or generate emotions. 53 I think that soul movements in Posidonius are literally spatial movements of the soul, as they are in Chrysippu~4 and in Plato. 55 This, I believe, is why both in Plato and in Posidonius, movements in the body, for example those set up by music, can affect movements of the soul. 56 Cooper has made a further suggestion of great interest. He takes Posidonius' emotional movements tobe feelings of excited attention to and repulsion from agitating objects: I am not sure that Posidonius will have worked out any further characterization of emotional movements, beyond their being spatial movements of the soul. But if he did, Cooper's characterization would have been an excellent one for him to choose. For if Posidonius' emotional movements are in this way directed to objects of an agitating kind, their fading through satiety or exhaustion will indeed help to explain our emotions fading. And they will also be well qualified to generate emotions. Cooper's suggestionwill further explain why what causes satiety is sometimes described as the emotional movements57 of the appetitive capacity and sometimes as the appetites themselves. 58 If the movements are directed to things, they will, at least in this regard, be like appetites. There is another suggestion in the literature, that Posidonius' emotional movements are an anticipation of the "first movements" which in Seneca occur before the assent or judgment involved in emotion. In my view, Cooper's interesting suggestion could be better maintained without this further one. For if Posidonius' emotional movements are directed to things, they will be unlike Seneca's "first movements, " 59 as I have construed those above. For I have taken these to be something inner: feit movements in the cardiac region. Moreover, it is vital to Seneca's whole approach that bis first movements should not be directed to objects of an agitating kind. For then they would be too ready, like Posidonius' movements, to generate emotion. Seneca's whole point about bis first movements isthat they arenot yet emotion. So when you feel them you have not yet succumbed, but still have time to evaluate the appearance of good or bad which generated them. And unless and until you assent to that appearance, you are still free of emotion. In sum, Posidonius' movements trigger emotion very readily,
A HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE ON EMOTION
Seneca's need not do so at all, and bis messageisthat they ought nottobe followed. by emotion. The difference lies in their not being directed to agitating situations, although they are caused by the appearance of such situations. Seneca and Posidonius also differ in their strategies for reaching tranquillity. Posidonius thinks that a regimen of food and drink60 and of musical rhythms 61 can moderatehisemotional movements. And he thinks this, I believe, because, being spatial movements, they can be affected by bodily movements. Seneca by cantrast believes that even when bis first movements occur, they can be discounted as something completely different from emotion. I will now retum to the objections to Chrysippus' analysis of emotion as judgment.
Objection (2). Chrysippus confesses to puzzlement as to how weeping can occur without a judgment of will and how the relevant judgment or impulse can occur without weeping. 62 Chrysippus focuses on the physical manifestation, weeping, and when he asks about weeping without judgment, he does not explicitly mention the problern more relevant to us: distress without judgment. At least he does not, unless that is what he means when he talks of "those cases too. " 63 But he may have meant us to take the problern of distress without judgment as included. Certainly, it is explicitly raised much later by the Middle Platonist Didaskalikos araund the second century AD: Sometimes we are still drawn by emotions, even when we know that what has befallen us is not grievous, nor pleasant, nor formidable. And this would not happen to us if emotions were the same as judgments.64
The challenge is to the necessity of Chrysippus' judgments for emotion. Posidonius' treatment of the case of distress without judgment would be the same as bis treatment of the case of weeping without judgment.65 Indeed, he intends the same treatment for the cases to be discussed below of emotions aroused in animals or by wordless music. In each case, the emotional movements are sufficient to produce emotion, without the need of Chrysippus' judgments, which are thereby shown nottobe necessary. The problern raised is a quite general one. 66 lt arises because we may recognize that we merely feel as if there was something good or bad at band, or feel as if it would be right to react. Such a feeling would be classed by the Stoics as a mere appearance (phantasia, species), not a judgment (krisis), or belief (doxa). Fora judgment or belief is defined by them as an appearance to which reason assents,67 andin this case no assent is given. Commonly we assent to appearances unthinkingly, so we do not
even recognise that appearance and assent are distinct. But a Stoic training can help us to question initial appearances and increasingly to make assent (or dissent) a separate act. Emotions free of Chrysippus' judgments will arise, whenever they survive our disowning the judgments. With the fear of flying, for example, we can recognise for ourselves that we are wrong to feel danger is imminent and that it would be right to avoid flying. There is, then, no judgment, only a feeling-as-if, yet the fear may persist. Similarly, we may recognise that we are wrong to feel embarrased and that it would be wrong to react harshly to the person who unwittingly embarrassed us. Yet anger and embarrassment may persist In these cases of disowned feelings, actual judgment is not necessary to emotion, only feeling-as-if, or appearance. The appearance itself can sometimes be missing when judgments are disowned on moral grounds. An unconfident person, invited to share the proud owner's pleasure at a depressing landscape, may be too embarrassed at his or her inner sinking feelings for these feelings even to appear appropriate.
Objection (3). Posidonius further questions the necessity of judgments, when he pointsout in many passagesthat animals have emotions, especiaily the desire for pleasure or domination (epithumia, thumos). 68 Yet, as the last of these passages teils us, animals Iack reason, and so far as I can see, that in his view, deprives them of judgments too. For Posidonius does not seem to follow Plato in allowing judgments to occur in the irrational parts of the soul. 69 One passage appears to rule out such judgments in two different ways. 7 First, talking of hornans and animals, it explains that the impulse (the impulse which constitutes emotion, presumably) happens sometimes upon the judgment of the rational faculty, but often upon the movements of the irrational faculties. He could have said "upon the judgments of the irrational," if that is what he believed. But his appealing to their movements, instead of any judgments, seems (as at 5.6.22) to exclude such judgments. Secondly, the passage implies that false suppositions (hupolepseis) do not occur in any beings that Iack a rational faculty, for their causes lie either wholly, or partly, in the rational faculty. This seems to imply that false Suppositions do not arise in animals. What then happens in animals? This is revealed by the final sentence of the passage. This teils us that in the animal (zoion must here include human and non-human animals) the impulse (presumably the impulse that constitutes emotion) is often generated upon the movement of the soul's emotional element, instead of ("on the one hand - on the other" implies a contrast)
A HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE ON EMOTION
upon the judgment of the rational element. The implication is that at least in non-human animals (and we may guess in young children) the emotional movements are causally sufficient for the emotions of epithumia and thumos, of which we have already heard, without judgments being needed: Indeed, Posidonius fmds fault with this too, and tries to sbow that the causes of all false suppositions [arise] on the one band in the reflective [element] [... ] througb the emotional tug, yet the tug is preceded by false beliefs, since the rational [element] bas grown weak. For impulse is generated in the animal sometimes on the one band upon the judgment of the rational [element], often on the other band upon the movement of the emotional element.
Incidentally, when the passage says that impulses arise in the non-rational faculties, there is no reason to suppose that Posidonius diverges from other Stoics, who all deny that in animals impulses are judgments. I believe, then, that animals provide another example of emotion without judgment. But at least Posidonius does not deny to animals the appearance (phantasia) of good and bad. Objection (4). Posidonius' next worry about the necessity of judgment for emotion concerns the effect of wordless music, with its rhythms and scales. Often music expresses emotion without arousing it, but the objection concerns those cases in which emotion is aroused. Since wordless music involves no beliefs of reason, Posidonius argues, it must arouse emotion (epegeiresthai, praünesthai)- and I take this to involve genuine emotionwithout instilling beliefs of reason. 71 That real emotion is involved in the illustrative story Posidonius teils is confirmed when Augustine retells the story, quoting Cicero, and the emotion in question turns out to be lust.72 That he thinks no judgment is involved is clear, because after saying no beliefs of reason are involved, Posidonius once again does not say there are relevant beliefs in the irrational faculties, but merely that there are movements there. 73 Unfortunately, Posidonius may be wrong that no judgments are involved in his example: the lustful youths may have been judging sex a good to be reached for. Unfortunately too, his argument for no beliefs of reason being involved seems to rely on the erroneous principle that cause must be like effect. The wordless music as cause involves no rational beliefs. But the principle is wrong. On a cold winter evening, a hot-water bottle, which involves no judgments, can produce in me the judgment that the world is not such a bad place as I thought. But even if Posidonius has used a bad principle, could he still defend his conclusion that, when emotions are aroused by wordless music, they do not involve Chrysippus' judgments? He might try to do so by pointing out that
wordless music does not, like drama, supply a story on which our judgments can focus. There is at least nothing obvious it introduces which might appear good or bad to us, much less command our assent. I will retum to this suggestion below.
Objection (5). Posidonius' final query concerns the sufficiency of judgments for emotion. Very realistically, he points out that an unseen danger may fail to arouse fear, if we cannot picture it, even though our reason judges that it is a real danger and that it would be right to react. 74 The attitude of some Britons to Hitler in the late 1930s may have been like that. His invasion of Czechoslovakia portended ill and it would be right to prepare for war, if only they could rouse themselves. But Czechoslovakia was, as Prime Minister Chamberlain said, "a distant country of which we know little." Posidonius' conclusion is not impaired by bis again relying on the unsatisfactory principle that cause must be like effect, and that only an irrational picture can stir the irrational forces of the soul. SENECA'S THREE MOVEMENTS TO THE RESCUE AGAIN
We have already seen that Seneca supplies materials for answering one difficulty. His distinction of second and third movements in emotion meets the charge that Chrysippus gives contradictory descriptions of emotion. But Seneca's first movements may also have provided one strategy for meeting some of Posidonius' counter-examples, namely those which deny the necessity of Chrysippus' judgments. Seneca's first movements, I believe, are partly physiological reactions of the body and partly little contractions, expansions and rushes of the soul that we feel inside us. They are normally produced by the appearance that there is good or bad at band, and precede the assent which would turn that appearance into a judgment. They are therefore not themselves emotions. 75 The first movements may have been invoked to defend the necessity of judgment for emotion. The strategy would be to reject Posidonius' putative examples of judgment-free emotion as not being emotion at all, but merely first movement. It is in fact remarkable that Seneca discusses all three of Posidonius' putative examples of emotional response without judgment. First, he says that music and other arts arouse only first movements, not genuine emotion. 76 Secondly, animals too Iack real emotion, according to Seneca. For they act on mere appearance without making actual judgments,77 no doubt because they do not give or withhold assent to or from appearances. Thirdly, tears are cited as an example of first movements. 78
A HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE ON EMOTION
Although I do not agree about denying emotion to animals, many people would like to. And it must be acknowledged that the ascription of emotion to animals would not carry all the implications we have been discussing. I believe some animals can judge things good or bad, but not in Chrysippus' sense of "judge", which involves a double mental operation of appearance and assent. And it is rare that we can speak of an animal having even the appearance that it is right to react. C:We may think of a blind person's guide dog reacting to oncoming traffic, rather than obeying the handler's signal to cross the road.) What about arousal by wordless music? Seneca's view that this is not emotion has a number of parallels: similar doubts have been raised about whether being amused is an emotion. In the Aristotelian School, Aspasius pointed out that it may involve no more than feeling as if something good had happened. 79 And anyone who has enough sense of humour to be amused at their own reverses need not even feel that. 80 There are closer parallels still. The view that music does not directly produce either emotion or judgment has been maintained not only by Seneca, but by his Epicurean predecessor Philodemus,81 and in modern times by Eduard Hanslick, Peter Kivy and others. 82 Others have maintained one or other of these denials without maintaining both.83 Is the second denial correct, the denial that music produces judgments? To borrow an excellent example from recent literature, while putting it to an opposite use, 84 we may experience a Ionging for the music to reach a resolution, and something like joy at its doing so, or disappointment or sadness at its not doing so. These emotions which are directly about the music may cause emotions which are not about the music, by reminding us of a real-life longing, or by awakening a feeling of disappointment or joy directed beyond the music. This example helps us to see that there might be two strategies for defending Chrysippus. With the primary emotion, the Ionging for resolution, Chrysippus can admit that genuine emotion is occurring, but argue that so is judgment: we judge such a resolution to be good. The resolution provides the desiderated subject matter. Similarly, with the secondary emotions, provided that we succeed in identifying an object for them. In that case, we will be making a judgment of goodness or badness about the object of our real-life longing, or attaching our disappointment or joy to an object which we judge to be good or bad. On the other hand, if we do not recognise the object of our real-life longing,85 or if we cannot attach our further disappointment or joy to an object, then we may feel as if something was good or bad, and that may be enough toset up first movements. But
this feeling-as-if will be only an appearance, and Seneca's analysis suggests the alternative defense for Chrysippus, that in the absence of assent to this appearance, there is not genuine emotion. Of the two strategies one work:s weil, I believe. Sometimes judgments can be identified to constitute the emotions aroused by music. But what about Seneca's strategy? I think it would need more support. With responses to music, the feeling is often very like that of real-life emotions, even where we merely feel as if there were good or bad, or that reaction would be appropriate. I conclude that Posidonius is right to press the case of responses to music. They are sometimes judgment-free emotions. Objection (6). I will add an objection of my own. Would it not be too easy, it may be asked, to get rid of emotions, if Chrysippus is right? For ail we would have to do would be to get rid of the second judgment, that it is right to react. And is not that implausible? I think the answer will vary not only with different individual people, but also with different emotions. With anger, the judgment that it is right to react is sometimes rejected not on the ground that retaliation is, for example, undignified, but on the ground that it is counter-productive. In that case, I believe, anger will often- I do not say always - disappear. And this is not surprising, because the judgment of counterproductiveness is likely to dislodge the other judgment as weil, the judgment that revenge would be good. A different answer applies to pleasure and distress. In each the two component judgments are connected. For the approved reaction of an inner sinking or expanding is so private, so apparently unharmful to others, that it is difficult to convince oneself that it is inappropriate - difficult, that is, unless one can convince oneself that the other judgment is wrong, and that one has suffered nothing genuinely good or bad. But then the emotion reaily will go away. For a different reason, then, it will be comparatively unusual to encounter the proposed type of counter-example, in which one dismisses the "right to react" judgment, but the emotion stays. The clearest danger to Chrysippus comes from other emotions such as fear, or Iust. With these, it is only too easy to recognize when reaction is wrong, but this often does not make the emotions go away. lt may be thought this is because they depend not on a judgment that it is right to react, but rather on a desire to react. lt may also be thought that this is why anger can be eliminated by a judgment that angry reaction is counterproductive. lf it is seen as counter-productive, it will often not be desired. Some modern philosophers have indeed proposed to analyse emotions partly
A HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE ON EMOTION
in terms of desire. 86 But I have not personally been convinced that such an analysis will work in general. UPSHOT OF THE OBJECTIONS: STILL A FAMILY?
If the counter-examples show that Chrysippus' two judgments are not always necessary or sufficient, does this force him to present emotions as a rag-bag category, with nothing in common? Not necessarily. There is some pattern to Posidonius' counter-examples. When emotion occurs without the judgments, there will often be an appearance (phantasia), even though there is not an assent to turn the appearance into a judgment. For example, those experiencing emotion may at least feel as if there was something good or bad at band and it was right to react. Admittedly, it may be comparatively rare for us to be able to say of an animal that it appears to it right to react. But then we should not expect ascriptions to animals to carry all the usual implications. In Posidonius' other counter-examples, where the judgments occur without emotion, what is missing is often imagination or attention. In the counter-examples which I added, the mind still focuses on questions of good or bad or of reaction to it. UPSHOT: THERAPY IMPAIRED?
Whether an analysis in terms of judgments leaves the emotions looking like a family of cases, I shall leave undecided. But there is another question, whether the shortcomings in Chrysippus' analysis impair his claims as a psychotherapist. I shall discuss this more fully elsewhere, but I think Chrysippus' analysis has therapeutic value, first in showing us that it is possible to question appearances, and secondly in identifying the two appearances one or other of which we shall normally have to question, if we want to be rid of some unwanted emotion. Seneca helps us further by distinguishing initial sinking feelings and physiological accompaniments from the emotion itself. Sometimes we really can free ourselves from unwanted emotion by discounting appearances and dismissing our symptoms as mere first movements. There is much more. The Stoics also engaged in debate with other philosophical schools about whether or not anger and other emotions have any useful function - not as often as we think. 87 Epictetus strenghtens his students' emotional fortitude by telling them that the self is not the body but the reason or will (proairesis), so no tyrant can control it. 88 Not only doctrines, but also concepts and distinctions are ofutility. lt can
be vitally important to follow Epictetus' advice and distinguish what is in our power from what is not. Admiral Stockdate cured his fellow-prisoners of shame and enabled them to frustrate their captors, by consciously using Epictetus' distinction in the context of torture in a Vietnamese prison camp. 89 The Stoic advice to desire things only with the reservation "if nothing prevents"90 can be very useful in some Situations. It pays to reflect on the thesis that sheer unexpectedness is a major source of upset, as opposed to the badness of what was unexpected. 91 Nonetheless, it must be conceded that the shortcomings in Chrysippus' analysis weaken the psychotherapy at some points. Thus dismissing the appearance of good or bad is usually effective in dismissing unwanted emotion, but not necessarily with amusement at bad jokes. Rejecting the appearance that it is right to react is not always effective in the case of Iust and fear and of distaste for a friend's enthusiasms. Withholding assent while appearances last will not necessarily overcome unjustified embarrassment, anger, or the fear of flying. Further, a change of judgment is not always necessary for getting rid of unwanted emotion. A change of attention may do instead. And this is precisely the therapeutic technique recommended by the Epicureans, as opposed to the Stoics,92 although it was rejected by many others. 93 Nonetheless, the failures in therapy serve to protect the Stoics from a rather different objection that has been made. For it has been described as strange that anyone could have believed that rigorous analytic philosophy would be therapeutic. 94 I think the Stoic analysis of emotion as judgment is more rigorous than comparable modern accounts. But what is interesting is that, as I hope to argue elsewhere, the failures in therapy mentioned flow directly from imperfections in the philosophical analysis. If so, this only serves to emphasize that rigorous philosophical analysis is directly relevant to effective therapy. I can now explain what a brilliant debate I think the Stoics conducted. It is a great achievement on Chrysippus' part to show to what a large extent emotions can be seen as value judgments. But Posidonius' five objections are spot-on - exactly right for showing that judgments are not always necessary or sufficient. As to what eise may be in play besides judgments, opinions will differ. I have spoken of imagination, attention and desire. But many people, psychoanalysts included, may agree with Posidonius that a more generat reference to irrational forces is needed. I could sum up the impression created by the Stoic debate by saying that in Stoicism rigorous analytic philosophy is married to philosophy as a way of life. But in describing Stoic philosophy as practical, I have not described
A HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE ON EMOTION
it as applied ethics. The idea that one work out an ethical theory in the abstract and then apply it has been rightly criticized. 95 The Stoic texts I have been concemed with are quite unlike this. The desire to control emotion Ieads to acute observation which informs the analysis of what emotion is. The resulting analysis in its turn is used in the fight to control emotion. The connection between practice and theory is seamless.%
King 's College, University of London NOTES 1 See Solomon 1976, with objections in the review by Sachs 1978, 472-475. A conscious defence of Chrysippus has been mounted by Nussbaum 1994, eh. 10. Comparable analyses are ascribed in the criticalliterature to Errol Bedford, Jerome Neu, George Pitcher, Roger Trigg. 2 I am guided by an exposition given by David Clark at a conference in Wolfson College, Oxford, 17 March 1994. 3 Simo Knuuttila, however, has in a Helsinki seminar described debates in the fourteenth century parallel to those between Zeno and Chrysippus and Posidonius and Chrysippus, which he will discuss in a forthcoming book (Knuuttila forthcoming). 4 Cic. Tusc. 4.11-14; D.L. 7.110-114; ps-Andronicus Peri PathOn 1-5; Gal. PHP 4.2.1-4 [De Lacy 238]. s Cic. Tusc. 3.83. 6 Gal. PHP2.8.4; 3.1.25 [SVF2.886]; 3.5.43-44; 3.7.4 [not in SVFJ. Ithank Ian Crystal for adding the references to SVF and LS where available, but the reader will get a much better picture by consulting the continuous text of PHP. 7 I am grateful to Anthony Savile for putting this to me as a difficulty. Although I understand these sensed movements to be feit as bad, as weil as being feit, I do not understand them in Troels Engberg-Pedersen's way tobe con-attitudes of any kind. But I commend the discussion in eh. 8 of his 1990, which sometimes overlaps with, but often differs from, mine. 8 Zeno recognises that contractions and expansions are not impulses, since he makes them effects of judgment, not identical with judgment, and impulse for the Stoics, I take it, is a kind of judgment. 9 Sen. De ira 2.2-4. 1 Cic. Tusc. 3.83. 11 Plut. De virt. mor. 449A, where I read sunathroiseis (sinking inwards) in place of sunthroiseis (perplexities); August. De civ. D. 9.4; cf. Inwood 1985, 178, 180, an essential book to wbich, like everyone else, I am indebted. My small divergences centre only on this point. 12 Gal. PHP 4.7.2 [SVF 1.212; 3.481; De Lacy 280.22-23]. 13 This relates to my earlier difference from Brad lnwood. See Inwood 1985, 131. 14 Gal. PHP 4.2.5-6 [LS 650; SVF 3.463]; 4.3.1-2; 5.1.4 [SVF 3.461] De Lacy 240; 246-248; 292. ts Stob. Ecl. 2.90.7-18. 16 Gal. loci citati.
Fillion-Lahille 1984, 153. Gal. PHP 4.4.38 [De Lacy, 258]. Many of the points that follow have been made by Ian Kidd in the commentary on bis Posidonian fragments F 165, F 182, and Testimonia T.91, T.93, T.99, in Edelstein and Kidd 1988. My case on orthodoxy has been greatly strengthened by discussion with him. 19 Gal. PHP 5.6.33-36 [De Lacy 332]. 20 Gal. PHP 5.6.42 [De Lacy 334.23]. 21 Gal. PHP 5.6.33 [De Lacy 332]. 22 Gal. PHP 4.7.12 [LS 65 0; SVF 3.466]; 4.7.25-35, esp. 12 [SVF 3.466]; 25 [SVF 3.467] and 27 [SVF 3.467]. 23 Gal. PHP 4.3.3. [LS 65K; De Lacy 248]. 24 (ps-?) Plut. Tyrwhitt frg. 6 [LCL XIV, 48], cited by Fillion-Lahille 1984, 156. 25 Lactant. De ira Dei, eh. 17, probably supplied in a mutilated part of Sen. De ira 1.2.3. 26 Sen. De ira 2.3.4-5. 27 This suggestion was made in an early version, that I was privileged to see, of John Cooper's chapter in this volume. An early version has also been sumrnarised by Annas 1992a, 118-120. I am also very indebted to Christopher Gill for extensive discussion of the reliability of Galen's testimony. I am sure he will not agree with me. John Cooper's final version reached me only after mine was complete. Although we are offering different interpretations, I have repeatedly learnt from bis, and can only indicate briefly some of the relevant points. 28 Gal. PHP 4.2.8 [SVF 3.462]; 4.4.5, 5.4 [SVF 3.476]. 29 Gal. PHP 4.5.42-43; cf. 4.6.27 [SVF 3.475]. 30 Gal. PHP 4.2.8 [SVF 3.462], 2.12 [LS 65J; SVF 3.462], 2.25, 4.17 [SVF 3.476], 4.23 [SVF 3.476]; 5.4.14. 31 Gal. PHP 4.2.12 [LS 65 J; SVF3.462], 4.17 [SVF 3.476], 4.20, 4.21, 4.23 [SVF 3.476]. 32 Gal. PHP 4.2.12 [LS 65 J; SVF3.462], 2.25, 4.17 [SVF 3.476], 20, 21, 23 [SVF 3.476]. 33 Gal. PHP 4.2.26-27, 4.29. 34 Here I am diverging from the excellent work of Julia Annas 1992, 105. 35 John Cooper has a very good suggestion on this first point. 36 Gal. PHP 4.4.24 [SVF 3.476]; Sen. De ira 2.4.1. 37 Plut. De virt. mor. 446F-447A. This is probably why all emotion is a fluttering (ptoia), Gal. PHP 4.5.6 [SVF 3.476], a term taken from Plato Resp. 439d, but now given a more precise sense of oscillation. 38 PI. Resp. 436b-440b. 39 I am most grateful to Miriam Griffin for raising this question with me and discussing my interpretation of the passage in ways that helped to sharpen it. 40 I differ here from Troels Engberg-Pedersen, who considers, loc. cit., that the disobedient judgment dispenses not with the faulty judgment ("it is right to react"), but with a perfectly correctjudgment that something (e.g. revenge) is preferred. 41 Gal. PHP 4.4.24; Stob. Ecl. 2.89.8. 42 Gal. PHP 4.2.12 [LS 65 J, SVF 3.462], 4.17 [SVF3.476], 20, 21, 23 [SVF 3.476]; Stob. Ecl. 2.89.17. 43 Gal. PHP 4.4.24 [SVF 3.476]. 44 Gal. PHP 4.6.27 [SVF 3.475]; cf. Arr. Epict. Diss. 3.24.23; 4.1.67. 45 Fillion-Lahille 1984, 153, translated from French. 17
A HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE ON EMOTION
Long and Sedley 1987, 422 -423. This has rightly become the classic work on Hellenistic philosophy by reference to which other views orient themselves. 47 Cic. Tusc. 3.75. 48 Gal. PHP 4.2.1, 7.2-5 [SVF 3.481]; Cic. Tusc. 3.75; Stob. Ecl. 2.89. 2-3; psAndronicus Peri PatMn 1 [SVF 3.391]. 49 Gal. PHP4.1.1 [SVF3.481-2]. 50 Gal. PHP 4.7.19 [SVF 3.466]; 4.7.24; 4.7.28. [SVF 3.467]; 4.7.32-3 [SVF 3.467]; 4.7.34-5; 4.7.41; 4.7.43-44; 5.6.29-32. 51 So Inwood 1985, interpreting Gal. PHP 4.7.14 [LS 650, SVF 3.466], following Bonhoeffer. 52 e.g. Gal. PHP 5.1.5. 53 Ibid. 4.7.33 [SVF 3.467]; 5. 5. 21 [LS 65M]. 54 See the references in note 6 above to Chrysippus' account of contractions and expansions of the soul in Gal. PHP Books 2 and 3. 55 PI. Ti. 36e-37a; 38c-39e; 40a; 41d-42a; 43d; 44a-b; 44d; 91e-92a. The spatial character of Plato's soul movements has been argued by David Sedley in a seminar paper. 56 PI. Ti. 43c-d; 67a-b; Posidonius in Gal. PHP 5.5.23, 6.20-22. 57 Gal. PHP 4.1.28 [SVF 3.467]. 58 Gal. PHP 5.6.31. 59 Sen. De ira 2.2-2.4. 60 Gal. PHP 5.5.30-35. 61 Gal. PHP 5.6.19-20. 62 Gal. PHP4.1.15-16 [LS 650, SVF3.466]. 63 Gal. PHP4.1.16 [LS 650, SVF3.466], DeLacy284.15. 64 Alcinous eh. 23.185.32-35. 65 Gal. PHP 4.7.37. 66 Plut. Adv. Col. 1122C. 67 I am grateful to Alasdair Maclntyre for the general point and to Chris Hughes and Dale Jamieson for the two examples. 68 Gal. PHP 4.7.33 [SVF 3.467], 35; 5.1.10; 5.5.4-5, 5.21 [LS 65M], 6.36-37. The passages nearly all mention Posidonius by name, so they cannot be dismissed as merely representing Galen's view. 69 I endorse John Cooper's excellent point that otherwise there would be a gratuitous conflict with other Stoics. 70 Gal. PHP 5.5.21 [LS 65M]. It should be noted that the commonestemendationofthe text (Pohlenz, Edelstein, Kidd, De Lacy) still does not locate suppositions (hupolepseis) in the lower, emotional, part of the soul, but only the causes (aitiaz) of certain suppositions. 71 Gal. PHP 5.6.21-22. The question is raised by Galen, but it connects with Posidonius' own ideas, especially with his preceding insistence that non-rational training is needed for the non-rational powers of the soul. 72 August. Contra Iulianum 5.5.23. 73 Gal. PHP 5.6.22. In 5.5.21 [LS 65M], the emotional impulses which are based on movements rather than on judgments of reason are not confmed to non-human animals. 74 Gal. PHP 5.6.23-26 [LS 65 Q]. 75 Sen. De ira 2.2-4. 76 Sen. De ira 2.2.1-3.1. 77 Sen. De ira 1.3.7-8. 46
Sen. De ira 2.3.2. Aspasius in Eth. Nie. 44.33-45.10. 80 Morreal 1983. 81 Phld. Peri mousikis Book 4, ed. Neubecker, eh. 1, p. 40, col. 3; eh. 8, pp. 56-58, cols. 14-15; eh. 8, p. 63, col 19. 82 Hansliek 1986, 9, with tbe interpretation and endorsement of Kivy 1993, eh. 16, reprinted from 1990. Similarly Kivy 1980, eh. 4 = 1989, eh. 4, witb further defence in 1989, cbs. 13 and 16. Cf., witb bis beavy qualifications, Levinson 1990, eh. 13. Tbe modern Iiterature is discussed in Martba Nussbaum, Upheavals of Thought, fortbcoming, whicb I bave been privileged to see. 83 Tbat music arouses emotion is denied by Hindemitb 1952, 44-45; Jobn Hospers, 'Tbe concept of artistic expression' in bis 1969, 152. That it produces judgment is denied by many, recently by Madell1996, esp. at 73. 84 Madell, 1996, esp. at 73. Tbis valuable discussion, bowever, draws tbe opposite conclusion, that judgment is not produced. ss Tbis is taken by Baier 1990, to be a typical response to music. I am grateful to Lilli Alanen for tbe reference, and to otber members of a Helsinki seminar beld in September 1995, especially Marja-Liisa Kakkuri-Knuuttila and Mika Oksanen, for discussing tbe case of music with me. 86 e.g. Green 1990. 87 e.g. Cic. Tusc. 4.43-57; Acad. 2.44.135; Sen. De ira 1.9.2; Clem. 2.5-6; Phld. Peri orgis cols. 31-32 Indelli; Lactant. Div. Inst. 6.19; Alcinoos eh. 32.186.21 ff. 88 Arr. Epict. Diss 1.1.23; cf. Anaxarcbusin Pbilo Every Virtuous Man is Free eh. 17.109; Gregory of Nazianzus Ep. 32. 89 Stockdate 1995. 90 Arr. Epict.Diss. 2.6.9-10; Manual 2.2; Sext. Emp. Math. 11.64-67; Stob. Ecl. 2.83.14-15, 115.5-9; Sen. Ben. 4.34.4; Tranq. 13.2-14.1; M. Aur. Med. 4.1; 5.20; 6.50; 11.37. 91 Cic. Tusc. 3.28, 52; Gal. PHP 4.1.1 [SVF 3.481-482]; Plut. De virt. mor. 449E; De cohibenda ira 463D; De tranq. an. 474E-475A. 92 Cic. Tusc. 3.33, 76; 5.74, 88; Fin. 2.96; D.L. 10.22; Plut. Nonposse 1099E. 93 Cameades, Cicero, Plutarcb, Plotinus. See Plut. Nonposse 1088F-1089D; 1099D-F; Cic. Tusc. 3.35; 5.74; Fin. 2.98; Plotinus 1.5.8-9. 94 Williams 1994, 25. 95 Williams 1990, 163; Sorabji 1993, eh. 15, 'Tbe one-dimensionality of etbical tbeories', available also in French in Canto-Sperber 1994. 96 A shorter version of some of tbe above material bas appeared in Sorabji 1997b witb reply by Williams 1997, and a fuller versionwill appear in Sorabji 1998. 78
REFERENCES Annas, J. 1992 Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind. Berkeley/Los Angeles/Oxford: University of Califomia Press. Baier, A. 1990 'Wbat Emotions Are about,' in: Tomberlin 1990, 1-29. Canto-Sperber, M. 1994La Philosophie morale Britannique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
A HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE ON EMOTION
Delattre, D. 1989 'Philodeme, De Ia Musique: Livre N, colonnes 40* a 109*,' Cronache ercolanesi 19, 49-143. Edelstein, L. and I.G. Kidd (eds.) 1972 Posidonius I. The Fragments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Engberg-Pedersen, T. 1990 The Stoic Theory of Oikeiosis. Moral Development and Social Interaction in Early Stoic Philosophy. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press. Fillion-Lahille, J. 1984 Le de Ira de Seneque et Ia philosophie stoi"cienne des passions. Paris: Klincksieck. Green, O.H. 1990 Emotions. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Hanslick, E. 1986 On the Musically Beautiful. lndianapolis: Hackett. Hindemith, P. 1952 A Composer's World. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Hospers, J. 1969 Introductory Readings in Aesthetics. New York: Free Press. Inwood, B. 1985 Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Janko, R. 1992 'A First Joint between P.Herc. 411 + 1583 (Philodemus, On Music N): Diogenes of Babyionon Natural Affmity and Music,' Cronache ercolanesi 22, 123-129. Kivy, P. 1980 The Corded Shell. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Kivy, P. 1989 Sound Sentiment. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Kivy, P. 1990 'What Was Hansliek Denying?,' Journal of Musicology 8, 3-18. Kivy, P. 1993 A Fine Art of Repetition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Knuuttila, S. forthcoming The Emotions in Ancient and Medieval Thought. Levinson, J. 1990 Music, Art and Metaphysics. Ithaca N.Y: Cornell University Press. Long, A.A. and D.N. Sedley 1987 The Hellenistic Philosophers. 1-ll, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Madell, G. 1996 'What Music Teaches about Emotion,' Philosophy 11, 63-82. Morreal, J. 1983 'Humor and Emotion,' American Philosophical Quarterly 20, 197-304. Nussbaum, M.C. 1994 The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Sachs, D. 1978 Review of Solomon 1976, Philosophical Review 87, 472-475. Solomon, R. 1976 The Passions. New York: Anchorage Books. Sorabji, R.R.K. 1993 Anima/ Minds and Human Morals. The Origins ofthe WesternDebate. London: Duckworth. Sorabji, R.R.K. 1997a 'Is Stoic Philosophy Helpful as Psychotheraphy?' in: Sorabji 1997b, 197-209. Sorabji, R.R.K. 1997b Aristotle and After, Eu/lettin of the Institute of Classical Studies Supplementary Volume 68. Sorabji, R.R.K. 1998 Emotionsand How to Cope with Them: The Stoics and Their Legacy, London: Duckworth. Stockdale, J.B. 1995 'Testing Epictetus' Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behaviour,' Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 40, 1 -13. Tomberlin, J.E. 1990 Action Theory and Philosophy of Mind, Philosophical Perspectives 4. Atascadero, California: Rightview. Williams, B. 1990 'The Need to Be Sceptical,' Times Literary Supplement, Feh. 16-22, 163-164. Williams, B. 1994 'Do Not Disturb,' London Review of Books, Oct. 20, 25-26. Williams, B. 1997 'Reply to Richard Sorabji,' in: Sorabji 1997b, 211-213.
EPICUREANS ON ANGER
EPICURUS ON THE PASSIONS 1
Like other Hellenistic philosophers, Epicurus and his followers had views about anger, though these do not seem to have attracted much attention outside their circle. The topic was one which any philosopher of the age could be expected to discuss, and he would do so in the context of a broader debate on the passions in general. Here the two main protagonists were the Stoics and the Peripatetics. The Stoa maintained that human passions are intrinsically wrong, a malfunction of human reason, from which the wise man will be free. Against that, the Peripatos claimed that they arenatural and beneficial so long as they remain "moderate" - so long, that is, as reason imposes a certain "measure" on them: "they may need to be cut back; they cannot and need not be eradicated; in all things moderation is best," as Cicero puts it in his Tusculan Disputations .2 The debate and the form that it took is familiar enough from Book 4 (38- 57) of that work or from Book 1 of Seneca's De ira. Quaeramus an ira secundum natura sit et an utilis atque ex aliqua parte retinenda ["Iet us inquire whether anger is in accordance with nature and whether it is beneficial and ought in some measure to be kept"] (1.5.1), writes Seneca, going on to argue that anger is unnatural (5-6), that it cannot be moderated (7-8), and that, in warfare and punishment, it is not merely useless but positively counterproductive (9-19).
Of the three points at issue, the practical use of anger was quite the most fertile for polemic. But the other two went further in their theoretical implications; and the first, that of whether anger is "according to nature", was fundamental. A Stoic who could prove that an emotion is unnatural, would not need to spend much time (though, of course, Seneca does) showing that it has no use and should be utterly rooted out. Stoa and Peripatos were agreed that "nature does nothing in vain. " 3 Epicurus too, though not a teleologist, could none the less speak in quasi-religious
Reprinted from Most, G.W. and H. Petcrsmann and A.M. Ritter (eds.), Philanthropia kai Eusebeia. Festschrift für Albert Dihle zum 70. Geburtstag. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht 1993, 363-386, by kind permission of Mrs. Julia Procope and the publisher.
Juha Sihvola and Troels Engberg-Pedersen (eds.), The Emotions in Hellenistic Philosophy, 171-196. © 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
language of "blessed Nature" who makes it easy to obtain what is needful. 4 In this context, "according to nature", means not only "imposed by nature" and unavoidable, naturalis et necessarius, 5 but also "prescribed by nature" and therefore good. It is in this sense that Seneca considers the "naturalness" of anger: "What is milder than man when he is in bis right mind? What is crueller than anger?" 6 Anger is "unnatural" because it is something which human beings who are properly human - above all, the sage as a paradigm of human nature at its best - will not feel. And nature - or, at any rate, the "nature of things" - is the factor which determines the third issue, that of whether or not the passions are acceptable "in moderation". The idea behind the Peripatetic talk of "moderate emotion", metriopatheia, was that of the Aristotelian mean: "anyone can be angry- that is easy; ... but to be angry with the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, for the right moment and in the right manner is not something which anyone can do and it is not easy" (Eth. Nie. 1109a26). Forthis the slogan "moderate emotion" is a bit misleading. 7 In some circurnstances, extreme anger might be the right response. What justifies outbursts of anger on the Aristotelian account, what makes it possible to speak of being angry "rightly", is a certain consonance with the moral realities. There are things to which anger is the right reaction, in the same way that some misfortunes are genuinely grievous, and justifiably objects of grief, or some people are truly hateful and rightly hated. The Stoic claim was that the judgments of good and evil implicit in such emotions are always unwarranted. Providence never allows anything truly grievous to befall you, though you may wrongly judge that it has. No fellow human-being is truly hateful or worthy of your anger. Here the debate on the passions turns into a debate about values, about the good and evil to which they are a response. An emotion is justified if it corresponds with what really is good or evil. When the Epicurean Philodemus writes of a commendable anger which "arises from insight into the nature of things and from avoiding false opinion ... , " he is appealing to a principle - we might Iabel it the "principle of correspondence" - accepted by Stoics, Peripatetics and Epicureans alike. 8 It should be added, of course, that all three schools bad rather different ideas about "the nature of things", and Philodemus hirnself promptly strikes an authentically Epicurean note when he adds: "freedom from false opinion in
correlating the Iosses inflicted and punishing those who do the damage. "9
Epicurus hirnself seerns to have said rather little about anger, though enough to provide material for later theorists. He did write a Perl path6n doxai pros Timokraten ["Doctrines on the Emotions- against Timocrates"] (D.L. 10.28) and one of the sentences in the Gnomologium Vaticanum gives
EPICUREANS ON ANGER
some sensible advice on how to respond to angry parents. 10 More importantly, the first of bis Key Doctrines asserts that "the blessed and imperishable" Deity is susceptible neither to anger nor gratitude. "For all such is a mark of weakness." Which rather suggests that weaker beings may indeed be liable to anger and gratitude. 11 Lucretius in fact teils us that anger in human beings has a physiological basis, in the element of heat which along with cold wind, peaceful air and an unnamed fourth element - goes to make up the soul (3.266-287) and "which is takenon by the mind when it boils with anger and flashes the more fiercely from the eyes" (288f.). A preponderance of such heat in the mind gives men and animals an irascible temperament which cannot be entirely eradicated, though equally whatever of this and other temperaments cannot be expelled by reason is too slight to prevent our leading a life worthy of the gods. 310
nec radicitus evelli mala posse putandumst, quin proclivius hic iras decurrat ad acris, ille metu citius paulo temptetur, at ille tertius accipiat quaedam clementius aequo. i/lud in his rebus video firmare potesse, usque adeo naturarum vestigia linqui parvola quae nequeat ratio depellere nobis, ut nil impediat dignam dis degere vitam. 12
[" And we must not suppose that faults can be torn up by the roots, so that one man will not too readily run into bitter anger, another be attacked somewhat too soon by fear, a third put up with an affront more meekly than he should .... One thing I see that I can affirm in this regard is this: so trivial are the traces of different natures that remain, beyond reason's power to expel, that nothing hinders our living a life worthy of gods." Loeb tr. W.H.D. Rouse.]
The Epicurean wise man is indeed "more susceptible than other men to some passions - which will not impede bis wisdom. " 13 Anger is thus a passion imposed upon men by nature. Their tendency to it is ineradicable. Nor, as Lucretius' clementius aequo ["more meekly than he should"] suggests, would its total eradication be desirable. But it does need tobe controlled. As another saying of Epicurus' puts it, "immoderate anger begets madness" (484 U = Sen. Ep. 18.4). All this sounds rather Peripatetic. None the less, there was a recognizably Epicurean account of anger; its hallmark was a contrast, not between "moderate" and "excessive", but between "natural" and "empty" anger; and the model for the contrast, as we shall see, was Epicurus' distinction between "natural" and "empty" desires.
JOHN PROCOPE PHILODEMUS: ON ANGER
Our principal source for Epicurean views on anger is a work by a writer of the first century BC, Philodemus of Gadara. His De ira (Peri orges - its exact title isamatter of dispute) was one of numerous papyri discovered at Herculaneum between 1752 and 1754. 14 The first true edition of it, by Theodor Gomperz in 1864,15 was followed in 1914 by those of K. Wilke16 and, more recently, G. lndelliY As we have it, the papyrus consists of fifty Iegihle columns, some fragments - two or three of them (1, 6, 12 Indelli) quite substantial- and something like fifteen columns that are quite illegible. In other words, on the probable assumption that it originally contained about one hundred and twenty columns, 18 roughly half the text of Philodemus' De ira has survived, and the second half at that, its opening columns, written on the outer and more exposed parts of the roll, having long since disappeared. Born about 110 BC, its author had studied at Athens under Zeno of Sidon, a head of the Epicurean school whom Cicero remernbered as acriculus senex, "a sharp old man" with a loud voice (Tusc. 3.38) and an elegant style of lecturing (Nat.D. 1.59). In about 70 BC, he moved to Italy and settled at Herculaneum where he lived on till after the civil war, excercising a considerable influence on Roman students of Iiterature and philosophy, among them Vergil and Horace. He hirnself wrote some poetry and numerous prose works on a wide range of literary and philosophical subjects. His oeuvre includes a nurober of writings- informal essays rather than systematic expositians - on topics to do with ethics, on virtues and vices (e.g. flattery or pride), on emotions (such as anger) and circumstances which arouse emotion (exile or bereavement). Among these works, the closest to the De ira is the Peri parrhesias, On Forthrightness, 19 a text which describes itself as kat'epitomen ek ton zenonos scholOn, "extracts from Zeno's classes." It dealt with the "forthrightness" which a spiritual director needs when reproaching a disciple for his own good: and it would appear to have been taken from lectures intended for an inner circle rather than for the school as a whole. 20 The De ira is a work in the same mould. It reeks of the Epicurean lecture-room. In its present form, it cannot possibly have been meant for generat consumption. So much is clear from the unattractive and slovenly prose. lts failings of style may in part be blamed on gaps in the papyrus and on insensitive attempts to restore them. Butthat is not the whole story. The difficulties of Philodemus' prose- its open-ended syntax, its clutter of unclear references to "him", "them", "this", "that" and "the other", and so forth - are a sign of work written quickly and none too carefully for delivery in the class-room, where
EPICUREANS ON ANGER
weaknesses in language can be corrected on the spot by gesture and tone of voice. Readers of Philodemus should perhaps imagine that they are attending a lecture or rather, given the numerous gaps in the text, overhearing snatches of a lecture in the room next door - and a somewhat polemicallecture at that. Nor, as its structure indicates, is the De ira a work of advice to the reader on how to deal with his own anger. The normal procedure in such a work was to begin with theoretical questions before proceeding to the practical therapy. Quoniam quae de ira quaeruntur tractavimus, writes Seneca half way through his De ira (2.18.1 ), accedamus ad remedia eius [" Since we have treated the usual questions concerning anger, Iet us now pass to its remedies "]. Philodemus, if anything, moves the other way. As we have it, the first two thirds of his work on anger (1-34.7) go to defending and then to demonstrating aremedial technique, that of portraying the evils of the emotion in such a way as to shock the patient into doing something about it. Philodemus regards this as an indispensable preliminary: Having defended its therapeutic value against a certain Timasagoras (1-7), he goes on to give an extended demonstration of the technique. He begins by describing the baleful physical effects of anger on one's health (7 -10); then he depicts at length the behaviour and misfortunes of people in a temper (11-29), before doing just what he said should be done and reminding the reader of how tempting it is to lose one's temper, especially when urged to do so by everyone - including some Peripatetic philosophers whom, fairly or unfairly, he attacks with relish (29-34). At this point we might expect some remedies for anger - an Epicurean would have several to offer. 21 But the rest of the papyrus goes entirely to theoretical questions - What of people who give the appearance of being angry without really being so (34.16-37.9)? Is anger a good or a bad thing (37 .17-38.34)? Must the consequences of natural anger be bad (38.34-40.26)? ls the sage susceptible to it (40.26-41.31)? ls he also susceptible to great anger (41.31-43.41) and to "rage" (thumos) and, if so, in what sense (44-50)? It becomes clear that the proper eure of anger is no more than itself a theoretical issue, one among several; and that the De ira was not a book of therapy, 22 though it was partly about therapy. Like the Peri parrhesias, it was not a work for people worried about their irascibility so much as for Epicureans with aspirations to becoming psychotherapists themselves or just to being knowledgeable on the subject.
JOHN PROCOPE NATURAL ANGER
Philodemus' De ira contains no definition or outline'l3 of anger, probably because its opening columns, where such guidance might have appeared, are missing. To some extent, however, we can make good the loss by comparing one or two phrases in that work with a definition of anger in Seneca's De ira. Towards the beginning of the work, in a passage preserved only in Lactantius (De ira dei 17 .13), Seneca cited no less than four definitions: ira est cupiditas ulciscendae iniuriae aut, ut ait Posidonius, cupiditas puniendi eius a quo te inique putes laesum. quidam ita finierunt: ira est incitatio animi ad nocendum ei qui aut nocuit aut nocere voluit. Aristotelis finitio non multum a nostra abest: ait enim iram esse cupiditatem doloris reponendi. ["Anger is a desire to avenge an injury or, as Posidonius says, a desire to punish the person by whom you consider yourself unjustly damaged. Some people have defmed it thus: anger is an agitation of the mind to harm someone who has harmed you or wanted to harm you. Aristotle's defmition differs little from my own; for he says that anger is the desire to pay back pain.")
The last of these, put forward by Aristotle (De an. 403a29-bl) as a "dialectician's" definition of anger, as against a "natural scientist's" account of it as "boiling of blood round the heart," established the shape taken by almost all subsequent definitions. An "urge to pay back with pain"- orexis antilupeseos - implies a process in two stages: pain followed by a desire to pay it back. The sequence reappears, with variations, in one definition after another. The provocation could be variously identified; Aristotle hirnself spoke also of "conspicuous insult" (phainomene oligoria), the Stoics of "injustice" as the factorthat arouses anger. 24 The ensuing desire, or rather its object, could likewise vary, anger being seen as a desire to avenge, to requite or to chastise. But the form, in all four of Seneca's definitions, is roughly the same. If the first of them is run-of-the-mill Stoic25 and the second a refinement by Posidonius26 of Stoic teaching, the third with its talk of "harming someone who has harmed you or wanted to harm you" shows striking affinities with phrases in Philodemus. He speaks of "being harmed (blabeis) by someone intentionally (hekousios) or getting the impression that one is going to be harmed" (40.32-35) as a reasonable motive for anger, of "reacting to deliberate harm on a large scale with anger on a large scale" (41.32-36), of "feeling sharp alienation and hatred towards anyone who has inflicted such harm or is clearly going to do so" (41.40-42.3. Cf. 47.29-37). Ira est incitatio animi ad nocendum ei qui aut nocuit aut nocere voluit ["Anger is an agitation of the mind to harm
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someone who has hanned you or wanted to hann you"] Iooks very much like an Epicurean definition. The most striking feature in this idea of anger is the voluntary element, the deliberateness of the provocation. Philodemus teils us later on that What inspires gratitude and likewise anger is to hekousion, the element of purpose. We feel no gratitude to lifeless agents nor to living beings which produce a result without meaning to do so; neither, in the same way, do we feel resentment towards them (46.28-35).
This points forward to an account of anger in a weil-known essay by a modern philosopher: If someone treads on my hand accidentally, while trying to help me, the pain may be no less acute than if he treads on it in conscious disregard of my existence or with a malevolent wish to injure me. But I shall genuinely feel in the second case a kind and degree of resentment that I shall not feel in the ftrst. 27
When, however, Philodemus writes of having been hanned by someone deliberately or getting the impression that one is going to be harmed, he is invoking a principle, which goes back to Democritus and the fifth century, that "animals which do or are disposed to do hann may be killed with impunity," that you do not have to wait for an enemy to hit you before hitting him yourself: if he Iooks as though he is going to, that is quite enough. 28 Anger here has a prophylactic function. We shall find Philodemus suggesting that it restrains the aggressor and discourages others from aggression (41.3-5). It would thus contribute to safety (asphaleia), a goal which Epicurus classed as a "natural good" (K.D. 7). And it was on that principle - rather than by claiming, as Plato and Aristotle had done, that anger is an expression of moral sensibility on the part of an irascible "spirited" faculty which takes the side of reason against the brute appetites29 - that the Epicureans could treat it as good and desirable. The idea of anger as an urge to retaliate for harm deliberately inflicted on one was open to modification. There is such a thing as disinterested anger, 30 Philodemus teils us in parenthesis: "good men experience anger both if someone wrongs their friends 31 and if a friend sins against himself, without expecting any evil .. : to come to them personally" (41.17-25). You can feel anger if friends are harmed, or if a friend simply harms himself. Its expression, though, can still be aggressive. Epicurus himself, though one of "those with quite the opposite disposition" (34.39-35.5) could give some the impression of being irascible, through behaviour which included reproaching, out of friendship, all his acquaintances or most of them, frequently and intensely and often abusively too through his volatility of soul; . . . sharp refutation, in
scholarly writings and seminars, of slips by philosophers in their arguments; the alienation of some friends through bis forthrightness ... (35.18-40).
The wise man, Philodemus continues, may even have more in the way of "natural" anger than other men (36.13 -15). The contrast, made explicit elsewhere (38.1-6, 39.7f.), is with "empty" anger.lt recails a fundamental distinction drawn by Epicurus: We must reckon that some desires are natural and others empty, and of the natural some are necessary, some natural only; and of the necessary some are necessary for happiness, others for the body's freedom from pain, and others for life itself (Ep. 3.127; tr. Long and Sedley).
Anger, as a desire, ranks as "natural only". 32 The "natural and necessary" desires are, in the first instance, for things which bring relief from bodily pain - for food when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty, for clothing to keep off the cold; and it will not actuaily hurt you if your urge to get even with someone who has deliberately harmed you remains unsatisfied. "The cry of the flesh is not to be hungry, thirsty or cold. Anyone who is in these states and expects to remain so can rival Zeus in happiness" (Gn. V. 33). For, given the fact that there is no intermediate state between pleasure and pain, the state of freedom from pain is the highest pleasure that there is. So "the pleasure of the flesh does not increase once the pain is removed; it can only be varied" (K.D. 18). We have two different accounts of things which might vary the pleasure, of things which you may naturaily want but do not strictly need. One source, a scholion on K.D. 29, exemplifies these with luxuries like expensive foods, which are no better than the simplest fare for filling the stomach. The other, a scholion on Aristotle Eth. Nie. 3.11.1118b8 (Epicurus fr. 456 U), gives as an example the desire for sexual gratification, which Epicurus regarded as a dispensable pleasure: 33 a happy state of freedom from hunger, thirst and cold might indeed be given variety by the joy of sex, but would not be lost without it. In the same way, anger (a passion sometimes coupled with love)34 contributes nothing directly to that condition. But its satisfaction, if it serves to neutralize any aggressor, may weil be of use indirectly, by bringing you security. "The comfortable state of the flesh and the confident expectation of this are the highest and surest joy for those who can reflect on things" (68 U). 35 A littleweil directed anger may give you grounds for still more confident expectation that the state of your flesh will not be discomforted. Indeed, you might even on occasion, regard your wish to sort out the person who has harmed you as one of the "desires necessary for happiness". But that would be to exaggerate and turn a "merely natural" desire into an empty one. "Whenever intense effort is present in natural desires which do
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not Iead to pain if unfulfilled, these have their origins in empty opinion" (K.D. 30). Our two scholia, once again, offer different examples of desires from that source. That on K.D. 29 speaks of "desires for crowns and the erection of statues"; the other cites the wish for particular kinds of food, clothing and sexual pleasure. Common to both accounts is the factor of illusion or misrepresentation. 36 What people really want when they insist on elaborate kinds of food, clothing and erotic indulgence is simply to deal with hunger, cold and sexual frustration, and there are easier ways to be rid of them. Again, those who want crowns and statues in their honour - in other words, tobe "famous and admired" - are really in quest of "security from other men" (K.D. 7). A secure existence is their real "natural good" (K.D. 7: totes phuseos agathon); and social preeminence, ofwhich crowns an statues are a token, is at most a means to it, though people fool themselves into pursuing them as ends in their own right. A secure existence is what the angry, too, are really seeking. Their anger is at bottom an urge to defend and to put things right in a threatening world. But when it loses itself in the business of trading punches and concentrates on the infliction of punishment as an enjoyment per se (and it is from this that Philodemus is keenest to dissociate the wise man), it becomes, like the appetites of people who confuse the taste of meat with the satisfaction of hunger, an empty desire. Philodemus was aware that the term "natural" was ambiguous. Faced with an opponent who maintained that anger is "natural" in the sense of "imposed by nature" and hence "inevitable" (anekpheukton) but none the less a great evil, he exclaims "How, then, can it be natural?" (39.26-29). As we have seen, the term also implied "prescribed by nature" and therefore "benign". Epicureans before Philodemus had explored its ambiguities. Demetrius of Laconia, a younger contemporary of Zeno's, had tried to explain a shocking remark by Epicurus that "Iove of one's children is not natural," by distinguishing no less than four senses of the expression phusei, "by nature": man is said to be "by nature" a proeurer of food, since he is so by unperverted instinct; to be "by nature" susceptible to pain, since he is so by compulsion; "by nature" to pursue virtue, since he does so to his advantage; and we say that the first utterances of names were "by nature" in as much as ... 37
To hunt for food is "natural", because it is something that we do automatically. To suffer pain is "natural", because we are compelled to do so and cannot altogether avoid it. (It was in this sensel8 that Epicurus described Iove of one's children as ou phusei ["not natural"]: parents are under no compulsion to Iove their progeny.) The pursuit of virtue is
"natural", he taught (K.D. 5; etc.), because it Ieads to the life of true pleasure which human nature seeks. And the origins of language, we are told in the Letter to Herodotus (75f.) were "by nature" (phusei) rather than "by coinage" (thesei), in the sense that the first utterances of names were a direct reaction to feelings and impressions, and had thus a direct, one-to-one correspondence with their objects. The last three of these senses are all present in Philodemus' concept of "natural" anger. 39 As we have seen, a tendency to anger is something imposed on us: "even the man of prudence" (40.17: ton eulogiston) will certainly experience it, since it is "unavoidable - at least, for human nature" (40.19-22: anekpheukton ... anthropon ge phusei). So much is to be inferred from the first of Epicurus' Key Doctrines when it spoke of "all such things" as marks of "weakness"; by that word he had meant "a natural constitution subject to death and pain" (43.32-35: he dektike kataskeue kai phusis thanatou kai algedonon). All human beings, not least the wise man, have a natural drive to gratitude and anger alike (46.16- 40). If the sage can feel gratitude, he can also feel rage; he can get into a rage just as he can get drunk (46.40-47.18). 40 Indeed the wise man may be "more prone" (euemptototeros) to outbursts of anger than some fools are (49.20-22). A preponderance of heat in the physical composition of his soul would account for the fact. Anger can likewise be "natural" in the sense of advantageous, promoting as it may, the "natural good" (K.D. 7) of security. Suppose that the wise man has been harrned by someone deliberately or has the impression that he will be ... if he feels alienation and knows that (the aggressor) will be checked and will refrain others, he would be rnad not to grit his teeth and oppose him.41
In the same way, his disinterested anger at the harm done to a friend or by the friend to hirnself (41.17- 25) may weil have its uses. But that is the most that Philodemus will allow the passion by way of utility, and he insists, here and elsewhere, that the wise man will not enjoy hirnself in the process. On the contrary, he goes on the war-path "gritting his teeth" (40.8. Cf. 44.21f.). Thirdly and most importantly, anger is "natural", on the "principle of correspondence", if it somehow accords with the nature of things. The key passage here is one in which Philodemus is faced with the question of whether anger is good or an evil, as some have maintained "objecting to its sting" (37 .13 -15). "We will not give a simple answer", he replies
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The passion itself (the pathos), taken separately, we declare to be an evil, since it is painful or analogous to painful; but taken in connection with the disposition, we consider that it could even be called good. For it arises from insight into the state of the nature of things and from avoiding false opinion in calculating the disadvantages and in punishing those who do harm. So, in the same way that we described empty anger as an evil, since it springs from an altogether vile disposition and brings innumerable vexations with it, we should describe natural anger as not an evil (its sting is minimal in extent); and .. . we shall say that not to be susceptible to natural anger is an evil (for anyone "ill spoken of' or ill treated "who is not roused to anger, carries the clearest mark of villainy", as Menander puts it, 42 ...
Pain itself is bad. But not to feel pain may be worse, a sign that something is seriously wrong with you. 43 Besides, as Epicurus hirnself said (Gn. V. 73), "the occurrence of bodily pain helps towards guarding against things of a similar sort," and there are circumstances in which one should actually choose what is painful (Ep. 3.129). So anger, despite its painfulness, can be good. Whether it is will depend on your "disposition", your diathesis. Butthat does not mean simply "on whether you are a good or a bad person. " 44 For diathesis here is an intellectual factor, a tendency, much of it acquired, to see and respond to things in a certain manner. 45 Epicurus can use the word to mean simply "way of thinking" .46 Thus the assertion that "empty anger springs from a bad disposition" implies not just that, if you are guilty of such anger, you must have a bad character,47 but also that your judgments have a way of being badly wrong, that you are given to dwelling on the enormity of the injury done to you and the attractions of getting even, exaggerating and intensifying them to the point where you overreact and create countless further vexations for yourself. Conversely, when Philodemus connects "natural" anger to a "good" diathesis, he promptly specifies what he has in mind: it arises from "insight into the nature of things and freedom from false opinion" in making the punishment fit the crime. And that means that the anger of an Epicurean sage will be remarkably briefand mild. Anything stronger "in scale or quality" is "not even natural" (45.33-37), since there is nothing in the nature of things that demands intense or prolonged anger. If arousal commonly follows upon supposition, and the wise man is harmed by someone intentionally and supposes hirnself to be harmed but only to the extent that he has been, he will certainly be angry, but briefly, since he never has the impression of having received any great harm, not regarding anything external as great. (47.29-41)
He may feel "sharp alienation and hatred" towards a serious aggressor (41.40-42.1). He will not however be subject to any great perturbation; nor can anything external count much with him, since not even under great
physical pain - and that for an Epicurean is the real evil - will he react in this way (42.2-11). Besides, he can see more clearly than anyone the countless disasters, enumerated at length by Philodemus earlier on (7- 29), which follow on intense anger (42.16-20). And, anyway, he is too nice a person to enjoy taking vengeance. He is the mildest and most reasonable of men, whereas the man with a Iust to punish comes to vengeance as though it were something to be chosen for its own sake, if he will choose even to sink hirnself in the process (44.26-32).
"Lust to inflict punishment as though it were something tobe enjoyed for its own sake" is "foolish" and "connected with a savage disposition" (42.21-31). Philodemus insists that the sage will derive no pleasure from inflicting punishment or vengeance, largely because he has attacked the Peripatetics for claiming that anger "brings about vengeance on enemies which is fine, just, advantageaus ... and, in addition, pleasant" (32.19-23). What Aristotle hirnself had said was that there are pleasures of anticipation and that the angry enjoy the prospect of vengeance. 48 If pressed, an Epicurean could hardly deny this, or that the satisfaction of a desire for vengeance may be enjoyable and therefore good. But he would immediately add that it is one of those pleasures which should be forgone because it is followed by a greater quantity of "vexation" .49 "The question to put to all desires is 'What will happen to me if the object of my desire is achieved?"' (Gn. V. 71); and the answer in most cases of "desire to get even" is simply "a great deal of trouble", the evils described by Philodemus earlier on. The mistake made by a person with a lust to punish lies in seeing retaliation, not as a course of action which might sometimes be instrumental to achieving security, but as "something tobe chosen for its own sake". If he "chooses to sink himself" in the process (44.31f.), he is making the same sort of blunder as the glutton who digs his grave with his teeth. "It would be madness to think of the wise man approaching punishment in this spirit" (44.32-35). On the contrary, he sets to work "gritting his teeth", treating the infliction of punishment, in a spirit of "this will hurt me more than it will hurt you", as something "highly necessary but highly unpleasant" like "wormwood or surgery". 50 The anger of an Epicurean sage amounts to an exercise in philosophia medicans - an exercise which a Stoic like Seneca would claim is properly done without any emotion at all. 51 PHIT..ODEMUS AND HIS OPPONENTS52
Philodemus' De ira is a work of controversy. His discussion of anger, spiked with numerous asides, is directed against a variety of opponents
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outside and within his own school. When he writes of "some people" who object to Epicurus' assertion in K.D. 1 that anger and gratitude are marks of "weakness" and who cite Alexander the Great as counter-example, a person supremely powerful and yet given to these emotions (43.19-41), these people are unlikely to have been Epicureans or philosophers at all. No Epicurean would dare to criticize the most prominent of the Master's Key Doctrines; nor were most other philosophers inclined- as unphilosophical souls may have been - to admire Alexander. 53 In other contexts, however, Philodemus does mention philosophers by name, Bion (1.16), Chrysippus (1.17f.) and Antipater (33.34)- quite apart from the Peripatetics whom he attacks at length (31.34-34.5). When he speaks of some who maintain that "the good man is wholly unmoved" (35.27-30) and would "deprive him of all anger" (39.24ff.), the reference is to the Stoics. But not when he answers those who think of anger as evil because of its "sting" (37.13-15)- a Stoic would have rather different grounds (above all, its "irrationality") for objecting to it. The opponents here are Epicurean, as are "those who fancy themselves tobe textual critics" (bubliakoi 45.16f.) and misinterpret what "the great men" (45.21)- Epicurus, Metrodornsand Hermarebus - said about rage. These critics were in fact engaged in the same activity as Philodemus himself. They were citing scripture to support their own views. Epicurus and hisimmediate followers had left behind them an impressively systematic corpus of teaching, but one which needed, in the following centuries, to be expanded and brought up to date.54 When it came to dealing with new questions or filling in the gaps in the original doctrine, there were bound to be differences of opinion and interpretation. In such disagreements, needless to say, all parties would claim to be taking the true Epicurean line, in much the same way that Christians of the fourth and fifth century AD, whether Arian, Monophysite or Chalcedonian, all liked to call themselves "orthodox"; and it would be wrong to assume that Philodemus' version of a doctrine is necessarily "the correct" one. 55 There were numerous issues on which he and his teacher Zeno disagreed with other Epicureans. His tendency was liberal, to develop and expound Epicurus' teaching in such a way as to appeal to a broad and perhaps largely Roman56 public. He could thus describe even the pursuit of glory, if done "for the sake of security", as "according to nature. "57 Where Epicurus had wamed his disciples against too much culture, Philodemus argued that the waming need not be taken too seriously and that some education was necessary if one was to read Epicurus. 58 Again, he defended the "sophistic" kind of rhetoric- alias the art of prose composition- against those in the school who would allow all three kinds of rhetoric (the deliberative
and the forensie as well as the epideictic or "sophistic") or none at aU.59 In the De ira, when it comes to the question of whether anger is good or evil, he likewise adopts, quite explicitly, a middle position (37 .17- 32); and the whole work, as we now have it, goes to establishing his own (or rather, Zeno's) views on two main questions- the therapeutic value of denouncing anger ( 1-34. 7) and the Iimits of "natural" anger (34. 8-50) - against two Epicurean opponents, Timasagoras and Nicasicrates. We learn a little about both these figures from the other works by Philodemus. Timasagoras appears to have had a theory of sense perception which in one important respect - it spoke of "effluences" rather than "images" - went against that of Epicurus and Polyaenus. 60 If a conjecture in the Life of Philonides is correct, he may have headed some sort of school at Athens. 61 But our most important information about him comes in the De ira itself. In a sentence which almost certainly refers to Timasagoras, we are told that: "he hirnself was not clear about the misfortunes which were to ensue from his anger towards Basilides and Thespis, although he had placed Iimits, as he thought, upon his sharpness" (5 .17- 25) - which he would only need to do if he was a fellow Epicurean. 62 We know that Basilides was the fifth head of the school (D.L. 10.25) at work araund 200 BC, which would make him and Timasagoras a good two generations older than Zeno. The point of the gibe about his failure to realise the consequences of his anger emerges when we learn that Timasagoras hirnself had asserted that it is useless to preach to the angry, since they are incapable of appreciating their condition. And if Timasagoras says that they are incapable of reflecting on their passions, although we can show further that the same goes for the consequences which we shall regard as its physical manifestations, none the Iess, since we have to, we should point out their fallacies to those who are carried towards it and reflect on the sheer frightfulness of the evil, as we regularly do in the case of sexual Iust. For there we enumerate all the pain for them and the highly disagreeable consequences ... (7 .6-24).
The polemic against Timasagoras is already in full swing as the text opens: Through such arguments he has tried to show that to vituperate (psegein) is nonsense, in bis usual garrulous way. If he were criticizing those who only vituperate and do nothing eise or little, Iike Bion in 'On Anger' or Chrysippus in 'On Passions: the therapy', his position would be a reasonable one. As it is, by supposing in general that to place its accompanying evils before one's eyes is ridiculous nonsense, he makes hirnself nonsensical and ridiculous (1.7-27).
The point at issue is the value of a therapy which Philodemus calls "vituperation". lts aim was to bring harne to the sufferer the undesirability of his passion, by making him see its intrinsic loathsomeness and terrible
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consequences. 63 This mode of therapy had found its greatest advocate in Chrysippus, author of a highly influential work on the eure of psychological ailments, the Therapeutikos. He had good reason to advocate it. In Stoic theory, any emotion requires two distinguishable value-judgments, one about good or evil, the other about the right reaction to the good or evil. Grief, for instance, entails the two beliefs that something evil has overtaken one and it is right tobe depressed by it; fear means believing that something evil is on the way and that it is right to shrink from it; and so forth. Grief and other such emotions could hence be cured by attacking either of the two value-judgments in them, by showing either that the apparent evil is not what it seems tobe (and this was the procedure recommended by Chrysippus' predecessor Cleanthes) or eise that the reaction itself is misguided. 64 Chrysippus argued that this was far the more versatile method, since it could be used on sufferers whose values were not those of a Stoic. A patient of Peripatetic or Epicurean persuasion might hold very different views about what is good or evil in a situation: it would still be possible to bring home to him the unsoundness of his reactions to it. 65 So Chrysippus dwelled on the odiousness, the folly and turpitude, of passions like anger - according to Philodemus (1.13 -19), the Therapeutikos offered little eise. Epicureans, however, could hardly share this wholesale enthusiasm. On their view, the evil of such a passion lies in the pain that it brings with it, and to contemplate the distress which has befallen or might befall you is itself a source of distress. For that reason, they rejected the Stoic and Cyrenaic therapy of praemeditatio, of anticipating and "exercising oneself in advance" against possible evils in the future. 66 Their own preference, when it came to curing grief, was for avocatio, for "calling away" the sorrowing mind from painful to pleasant thoughts. 67 ("When anything bothers me and I feel unhappy, I try to think of something nice," as the heroine says in The Sound of Music.) Epicurus himself, on his death bed, had set an example of how to do so. 68 For love too, Lucretius argued (4.1063f.), the proper remedy is to shun all mental images of the beloved, to scare away the pabula amoris ["what feeds love"] and to turn the mind elsewhere. An authentically Epicurean eure for anger would likewise be to distract the mind from its grievances and thoughts of getting even. In the Ionger term, the therapy for anger like other emotional ailments would be to shape the mind, by exercises like that of learning whole texts of Epicurus by heart, 69 to the point where it would automatically "think nothing external to be of importance" (De ira 47.39-41). In all this, there was little need to dwell on the loathsomeness of anger. Besides, as Timasagoras rightly pointed out, the angry are "incapable of reflection" on the full implications of their passion.
At the same time, Epicurus had gone in for intense and even abusive, if benevolent, "reproach" (epitimesis); and a "purgative" forthrightness was a feature of Epicurean psychotherapy. 70 So Philodemus offers a compromise between Chrysippus' wholesale advocacy and Timasagoras' rejection of vituperation. What the therapist needs to do is not so much to vituperate, to stress the intrinsic loathsomeness of the passion, as simply to point out its unpleasant consequences. 71 And, secondly, he should do so as just a preliminary to the therapy itself: recording those (evils) that have been completely ignored or forgotten or not thought out in their scale, at least, if nothing else - or have not been looked at in their entirety, and placing them on view, he gives him a great fright, so that, if he is also reminded of its closeness to him, 72 he will readily avoid it. Good philosophers add this, even though in moderation, and they sketch the ways in which we may least succumb to feelings of anger
Initium salutis notitia peccati ["The knowledge of sin is the beginning of salvation"], as Epicurus hirnself had said. 73 As a preliminary or as one remedy to be slipped in among others, the diahole tou pathous ["discrediting of passion"], as Plutarch calls it (456B}, was to be a stand-by in later works on anger. Philodemus provides us with valuable evidence that its merits were under active discussion as early as 200 BC. Largely because they are both attacked in the De ira, the name of Timasagoras is regularly linked with that of Nicasicrates, 74 a philosopher about whom we have no biographical information. There is, however, a reference in one papyrus to "the school of Nicasicrates. "75 It may have been at Rhodes - Nicasicrates appears tobe a Rhodian name;76 and since Nicasicrates is generally agreed to have been an Epicurean,77 it is tempting to connect him with Philodemus' hard-line Epicureans "currently working in Rhodes" (Rhet. 2.52.11f.) who denied that any kind of rhetoric is an art, 78 though the connection would make him at least two generations younger than Timasagoras. 79 Philodemus tells us elsewhere that Nicasicrates, a person who has to "add something of his own" to whatever is under discussion, 80 certainly took a hard line on the question of seeking popularity. Where Epicurus had indeed refused "to be obsequious to the multitude" (187 U: tois pollois areskein), Nicasicrates went further and praised Democritus (B 153) for condemning as "obsequious" the attempt even "to please those araund one" (to tois pelas handanein). 81 And it is as a hard-line critic of "natural" anger that Nicasicrates makes his two principal appearances in the De ira. Having preached a distinctly Epicurean sermon on the evils of anger, 82 on the blindness, self-destructiveness and unsociability of the angry, and
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having attacked the Peripatetics for advocating it, Philodemus turns to the question of how some men, wise and unwise alike, who are not bad tempered can give the appearance of being so. An unwise person can do so by, amongst other things, abusive language, an attitude of suspicion "and by harming himself, something which Nicasicrates says the wise man also does sometimes" (37.4-7). (A disconcerting assertion. For can a wise man who sometimes harms hirnself really be called wise?)83 This Ieads straight to the question of whether anger is good or an evil, as some - and these are almost certainly Nicasicrates and his followers- have claimed, "objecting to its sting" (37.13-15). 84 We have already seen how Philodemus mediates and appeals to the "principle of correspondence": anger in itself is painful and bad, but not when it arises from insight into the nature of things and involves no misjudgment. In that case, "it is positively good to experience it" (38.33f.). To which Nicasicrates says that natural anger not only causes pain by its own nature but also is enough on its own to darken one's reasoning, 85 and prevents any bearable, untroubled intercourse with friends, and brings with it many of the disadvantages which we have enumerated (38.36-39.7).
In other words, freedom from misjudgment will not be possible; and an anger which makes you unfit for friendship will make you unfit to be in the Epicurean community at all. "How then", Philodemus exclairns, can the wise man be called wise? Or how can we still say anything forthrightly against the arguments of those who would deprive the good man of all anger? How can anything be "natural" which interferes with matters of such importance and is the cause of such evils? If it is unavoidable and therefore described as "natural", how can we deny that even the wise have a great evil to endure or that the outbursts of anger to be seen affecting even men of refinement (are a great evil)? (I ask this) because they are free of everything connected with it by these gentlemen. But they hardly discredit those who are going to mak:e it natural and, for the sage, momentary (39.18-40.2).
For Nicasicrates, anger is an evil- painful, destructive and stultifying. It may be natural in the sense of "imposed by nature", but not in any more positive sense. A passion that Ieads even the wise man to darnage hirnself on occasion is not going to serve any naturally desirable ends; and, if it clouds his reasoning, it will hardly reflect the nature of things. Philodemus' first and most effective answer is simply to say that, as a matter of fact, some outbursts of anger are really quite harmless. He continues on the theme that natural anger is something which human nature cannot avoid, that even a "man of prudence", without any ill effects, will fall pray to it. Nicasicrates himself, being human, would not be able to escape it altogether (40.2226). He then turns specifically to the wise man and argues that there are
cases where he will resort to anger - to forestaU an aggressor, to save a friend from being harmed or harming hirnself (40.26-41.8, 17-25). Then comes a different objection: on the "principle of correspondence", "if the wise man is greatly harmed, surely he will feel great anger" (41.31-39). Wehave already seen Philodemus' answer: the wise man is never very angry, because he is never very hurt (42.2-11; 47.27 -39). The last nine columns of the text go to refuting those who deny this, whoever they may be. (Probably they are Epicureans who would allow anger a freer rein than he would; less probably, they are followers of Nicasicrates arguing that, by approving of "natural anger," Zeno and Philodemus have laid themselves open to the very same objections that they levelled against the Peripatetics). 86 The argument becomes increasingly scholastic. Having briefly defended the master on the subject of anger and human frailty (43.14-40), Philodemus announces that the wise man "will also be susceptible to rage" (thumos) "in the commonest sense of the word," which makes it indistinguishable from ordinary anger (org€), 81 but not, as his opponents claim, in its special sense of an anger peculiar for its intensity and Iust for vengeance. I have suggested what an Epicurean might say about the pleasure of vengeance. In fact, Philodemus and his opponents turn to scripture and school arguments. Both sides invoke the authority ofEpicurus, Metrodorns and Hermarchus; and both make use of the same epilogismoi ["reflections, rational calculations"]- ifthe wise man can feel gratitude, he can also feel anger; if he can get drunk, he can also get angry; if anger follows upon belief and he believes hirnself to have been harmed, he will feel angry - to prove or deny that he is capable of being highly enraged. And with that, the work comes to a rather limp and hurried conclusion. It becomes harder than usual to pin down the references, to say who is saying what about whom. 88 The exposition grows hurried and slapdash, 89 as though the author had lost interest and decided that he had gone on long enough. Here, as earlier in the De ira, Philodemus is consciously taking a middle course - between an unduly favourable view of anger, which would leave the Epicurean position indistinguishable from that of the Peripatos, and the negative attitude of Nicasicrates, whom he accuses of being weil nigh a Stoic. 90 What then are we to say to "those who would deprive the good man of all anger" (39.21-25)- in other words, to the Stoa? Nicasicrates could perhaps have answered in the words of Lucretius (3.310): nec radicitus evelli male posse putandumst ["and we must not suppose that faults can be torn up by the roots"]. A tendency to anger may be ineradicable. lt is still an evil; and it needs to be resisted rather more thoroughly than
EPICUREANS ON ANGER
Philodemus implies, if its traces are to be reduced to the point where nothing can prevent our "leading a life worthy of the gods." The difference between their two positions is one of emphasis. For Nicasicrates anger is still part of the human condition, affecting even the wisest. 91 And that would be quite enough to distinguish him from the Stoic who sees such passions as omnis . . . in nostra potestate, omnis iudicio susceptas, omnis voluntarias ["all . . . in our control, all acts of judgment, all voluntary"] (Cicero Tusc. 4.65). Indeed, in Stoic eyes, there is no essential difference between Nicasicrates or Philodemus or the wildest Peripatetic. There are times, as we have seen, when the Epicurean sage, detached and not greatly affected by anything external, can Iook almost like a Stoic. Almost, but not quite. Seneca pointed out the difference: "Epicurus says that the sage suffers only injuries which can be bome, we say that he suffers none at all": ille ait iniurias tolerabiles esse sapienti, nos iniurias non esse (Constant. 16.1). Again, as the De ira puts it (2.6.3): "if ... there is no room in his mind for great or frequent anger, why not free him of it altogether?" 92 NOTES 1 Far and away the most important work on the subject is C. Diano 'La psicologia d'Epicuro e Ia teoria delle passioni' in Diano 1974, 129-280. Unfortunately, it has little to say about anger. This, however, is the principal emotion discussed in a more recent study by Annas (1989). 2 Tusc. 4.46. See also [Plut.] Cons. ad Apoll. 102C-D. 3 Note SVF 2.1140 (Alexander of Aphrodisias De fato 11). 4 Fr. 469 U. On which see Diano 1974, 245. s See Cic. Tusc. 3.12ff., 83; 4.38, 60; etc. The concept goes back to the fifth century. See Antiphon's Ta de tes phuseös anankaia ["The dictates of nature are necessary"] (DK 87 B 44 col. 1.25). 6 De ira 1.5.2. In 2.1-4, he attacks the claim that anger is natural in the sense of inevitable. 7 In fact, the Peripatetics could also use the term eulogos "reasonable" in this context (Philodemus De ira 32.31). Aristotle had spoken of being angry hös an ho Iogos taxei ["as reason may prescribe"] (Eth. Nie. 1125b35). 8 This is worth stressing. When G. lndelli 1981, 153f., echoed by M. Erler 1992a, 189, writes of "due cardini della fllosofia epicurea, l'osservatione della natura delle cose e l'assenza de falsi opinioni," this might suggest that these were pivotal only in Epicureanism. 9 De ira 37.33-39: ... ä'll"o TOÜ ß'XE'II"f'"· w~ ~ I(JUUt~ ~Xft TWII 1rPOI"'(pf.tTCJJII, I(OIL P.'I~EII
1/Jeu&o&o~ei.ll €11 TOI'i~ (JIIiJ.p.ETpfpeu' TWII e'XOITTwp.mw" KOil. TOI'i~ KoN5tueu' TWII ß'X011rTOIITWII.
Cf. Epicurus Ep. 3.130: rij pi11To' uup.p.eTpi]ue' KOil. uup.tpepOIITwll KOII. äuup.tpopw" ß'Xel/le' TOIÜTOI 1r&11T01 Kpi."e'" KOIB-i!Ke' ["one must judge all such things by correlating one against another and looking at what benefits and what does the opposite"].
10 Gn. V. 62, which Iooks as though it has been taken from a Ietter. It may anyway, like Gn. V. 51 which it rather resembles, be the work of Metrodorus. What it does not contain, so far as I can see (pace Arrighetti) is any polemic against the Stoa. 11 This in fact is the conclusion which Philodemus (De ira 43.14-41) draws from K.D. 1. See below. 12 See, further, Diano 1974, 131ff., 250. 13 D.L. 10.117 (= 596, 587 U: 1r&IJeut p.&AAOII uvux.efH,ueOcxt, obK &." f:p.'lfoliwcxt 11"por; rr,." uo.E-yop.eP, Kac8o[ ••• I am greatly obliged to David Sedley for first drawing my attention to this passage. 38 As Demetrius goes on to say (col. 68). 39 The first of them, too, may also have bad its uses. The adverb adiastrophOs ("unpervertedly", "by unperverted instinct") which recalls the Stoic term diastrophe ["perversion"] (SVF 3.228-236) appears in one version (Sext. Emp. Pyr. 3.194) of the Epicurean "cradle argument", the purpose of which was to demonstrate that we all have a natural tendency to pursue pleasure and avoid pain. At its simplest the argument ran: "We can feel that pleasure should be pursued and pain avoided; and the fact that we see newly bom children seeking pleasure and shunning pain is a sign that our feelings are natural and uncorrupted." (On which, see Brunschwig 1986, 114-120.) A similar argument could be used for the naturalness of anger. We have no evidence that Epicureans drew conclusions from the aggressive behaviour of small children, in the way that Posidonius did (F 169.12-15 E- K). But neither have we proofthat they did not. 40 Theseare two of the three epi/ogismoi ["reflections, rational calculations"] discussed in the final columns of the work (46.16-50), which show that the wise man is susceptible to anger and which, according to Philodemus' opponents, also prove that he is susceptible to great anger. 41 40.32-41.8: ... p.acP,Kwr; OVIC CXJI eMo, r&}l,," ICOC8' fJIOI 'Yf Tp07r011 6acKWJI, I take the adverb p.a11ucwr; as modifying the whole clause and notjust the verb. For 6a,ro," in the sense of "gritting one's teeth", cf. Men. Sam. 356: 6aKWP 6' Öt11&oxov ["grit your teeth and bear with it"]. 42 With the distich from Menander (CAF 3.614 K) compare Arist. Eth. Nie. 1126a3-8. 43 This objection to Stoic apatheia was a commonplace of consolation Iiterature and associated above all with the Platonist Crantor: ne aegrotus sim; si fuero, sensus adsit. Nam 31
istuc nihil dolere non sine magna mercede contingit inmanitatis in animo, stuporis in corpore ("Let me escape illness: should I fall ill, Iet me feel it. For this state of apathy is not attained except at the great cost of brutishness in the souland callousness in the body"] (Cic. Tusc. 3.12). 44 As Ringeltaube, in his generally excellent account of Philodemus' De ira (40 -46), seems to think: utrum ira malum sit necne, ea re contineri dicit, utrum pamponeros an spoudaios homo irascatur ["whether anger is bad or not depends on whether it is an utterly bad or a good person who is angry"] (1914, 40). Likewise Erler 1992b, 118: "Entscheidend ... ist ... die Disposition des jeweiligen Menschen. Ist sie gut ... dann liegt die erlaubte orge kata
phusin ("anger in accordance with nature"] vor, ist sie schlecht, dann ist der Mensch mit dem motivlosen, selbstschändigenden thumos behaftet". No. Even the "selbstschändigender thumos" has a regognisable, if deplorable, motive - the joy of vengeance. 4s Resulting from numerous acts of epibole, of "focusing on", of capturing and combining, images in the mind (ail of them pleasant or painful, and hence a motive for action), your
diathesis boils down to a habit of repeating the self-same epibolai, i.e. of exercising your powers of thinking and memory in a particular way. See Diano 1974, 162, 166, 251. 46 E.g. fr. 187 U: "I never wanted to please the crowd. For what pleased them I never leamed, and what I did know was far from their diathesis," and fr. 548 U: "What makes for blessedness is not money or power ... , but freedom from pain, mildness of emotion and diathesis to kata phusin horiz.ousa ["an attitude which lays down what is in accordance with nature"]." As Grilli 1983, 104 points out, the word here implies simply a "modo di pensare". The usage occurs occasionaily in Aristotle (e.g. Pol. 1257b41). 47 Though Philodemus can sound as though he is just saying that. E.g. 27.19-26, 44.2235 (s..:e below). 48 Rh. 1370b9-16, 1378b1-10. See, further, Ringeltaube 1914, 33-38. 49 Compare De ira 37 .2ff.: Kat p.upi.a 6uaxepfj uuPerturäTat with Epicurus Ep. 3.132: "we reject many pleasure when rJ\e'lo11 ~p.'l11 To 6uuxepf