On the surface, stoicism and emotion seem like contradictory terms. Yet the Stoic philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome were deeply interested in the emotions, which they understood as complex judgments about what we regard as valuable in our surroundings. Stoicism and Emotion shows that they did not simply advocate an across-the-board suppression of feeling, as stoicismOn the surface, stoicism and emotion seem like contradictory terms. Yet the Stoic philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome were deeply interested in the emotions, which they understood as complex judgments about what we regard as valuable in our surroundings. Stoicism and Emotion shows that they did not simply advocate an across-the-board suppression of feeling, as stoicism implies in today’s English, but instead conducted a searching examination of these powerful psychological responses, seeking to understand what attitude toward them expresses the deepest respect for human potential.In this elegant and clearly written work, Margaret Graver gives a compelling new interpretation of the Stoic position. Drawing on a vast range of ancient sources, she argues that the chief demand of Stoic ethics is not that we should suppress or deny our feelings, but that we should perfect the rational mind at the core of every human being. Like all our judgments, the Stoics believed, our affective responses can be either true or false and right or wrong, and we must assume responsibility for them. Without glossing over the difficulties, Graver also shows how the Stoics dealt with those questions that seem to present problems for their theory: the physiological basis of affective responses, the phenomenon of being carried away by one’s emotions, the occurrence of involuntary feelings and the disordered behaviors of mental illness. Ultimately revealing the deeper motivations of Stoic philosophy, Stoicism and Emotion uncovers the sources of its broad appeal in the ancient world and illuminates its surprising relevance to our own....
|Title||:||Stoicism and Emotion|
|Number of Pages||:||304 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Stoicism and Emotion Reviews
Margaret Graver does a splendid job of dispelling the image of Stoics as emotionless, detached, and affectless. She wrote, "The founders of the Stoic school did not set out to suppress or deny our natural feelings; rather, it was their endeavor, in psychology as in ethics, to determine what the natural feelings of humans really are. With the emotions we most often experience they were certainly dissatisfied; their aim, however, was not to eliminate feelings as such from human life, but to understand what sorts of affective responses a person would have who was free of false belief" (p. 2). However, she also adds the work of the Stoics, "refuses to treat emotions as essentially harmless but rather demands that they be examined, corrected, purified-this indeed presents a challenge to many modern ways of thinking" (ibid).This is a great read for anyone interested in emotions within the context of Stoicism. It is both scholarly and accessible to anyone with a basic grasp of Stoicism.
A very rigorous, robust, nuanced, thorough and informative account on Stoic thought on emotions. Graver goes into great details from linguistic usage of stoic terms to the sources of ancient stoic philosophers to explain what the stoics thought about emotions. Graver even tries to give a very charitable account in order to dispel myths and misconceptions about how the Stoics view emotions. However, despite this impressive scholarly work, the book is rather dry and dull from the stylistic point of view. I can only say that reading this book takes a lot of effort, attention, and patience but to be realistic this wouldn't be for the general audience. Nonetheless, the book is worth reading if anyone does have an investing interest in stoicism.
To be honest, I had to give up halfway through the book. The author's prose is dull and rather technical; perhaps someone with more formal training in philosophy would appreciate it more. I was a bit disappointed that Graver focused almost exclusively on early Stoics, as I think the later Stoics had a lot to say about emotion, and their writings tend to be more accessible to someone not trained in philosophy (I'm thinking especially of Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Cicero). Alas, perhaps a philosophy major will come and provide GoodReads a better, more accurate review.
A really interesting consideration of the role of virtuous affective response (as distinguished from common/base emotion) in the Stoic sage. While primary sources are excerpted extensively and no specific knowledge of Stoic writings is required, this would be an extremely challenging (not to mention substantially less rewarding) book to read if you have no prior grounding in Stoic philosophy.
A truly magisterial work on the view of emotions in Stoic philosophy. Highly recommended to Stoics and those interested in Stoicism.