Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Friday, April 30, 2004

Google Answers: Need examples in the “story” concept in Cognitive Therapy

"The concept is that an event happens (someone slaps you), and then a part of your mind (sometimes called the little voice, or always already knowing by the Landmark people) makes a “interpretation” of event. This interpretation that you then make does the real damage. It generates, angry, decently, negative self-talk, even physical or verbal action that you might regret later.

"What happened was a fact, in this case, a slap in the face. It had little real harm to you. The “story” (i.e. interpretation) you made around this fact is what did the real damage (disturb your mental peace, cause anxiously, cause regrettable reaction, etc.). So that is the concept I am interested in."

Thursday, April 29, 2004

PTypes - The End and Happiness

"eudaimonia ‘happiness’ or ‘flourishing’ or ‘living well’. One achieves this end by learning the correct use of impressions, following God, and following nature" (Seddon).

Eve believes: "There must be some explanation for the fact that so many of us would rather have five million things other than goodness--even when we know goodness will make us happy. "

Theoretical Perspectives: Cognitive Therapy in Search of Itself - The Academy of Cognitive Therapy.

"Yet, of the three philosophies, I believe CBT is somehow closer to Stoicism. However, we do not agree with Stoics that we should try to teach others to see everything that has happened to them as good, and that we must all only experience a positive state in this world, which is the expression of God. In CBT, while we do not want people to see events as “awful”, we recognize that they may not see events as good. Therefore, we teach and encourage clients to see them as “less bad” or “less awful”. "

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The Stoic Way by Peter H. Samson.

"'The unreflective person thinks of himself as an independent unit in this world, complete in himself. His own private good is the criterion for every choice he has to make. But true wisdom begins when the individual reckons himself a fragment, a part of a perfect whole, the universe. He is under obligation to make the reason at the heart of things his own standard of behavior.'" - Zeno.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Ancient Greek- The Master Page

"Enchiridion: A user-friendly guide for reading ancient Greek"

Thursday, April 22, 2004

White marble head of emperor Marcus Aurelius unearthed [via rogueclassicism]

"French archaeologists have unearthed a perfectly preserved head of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the ancient Nabatean city of Petra south of Jordan, the head of the mission told AFP. "

Epictetus, Works (ed. George Long)

"This text is based on the following book(s): The Discourses of Epictetus, with the Encheridion and Fragments. Epictetus. George Long. translator. London. George Bell and Sons. 1890."

Bear and Forbear: Stoicism, Epictetus and Joe Gargary

"Dickens exemplifies much of the philosophy taught by Epictetus through Joe Gargery’s method of living his life. In Joe, Dickens has created a Stoic with qualities similar to Epictetus, for as Soccio explains, “Epictetus acquired special insight into the major issue of Stoicism: controlling what we can and accepting what is beyond our control” (208). Like Epictetus, Joe has this same insight. His understanding of control and its relation to life allows Joe to enjoy moments of true happiness. Joe’s life enacts Epictetus’s motto."

Monday, April 19, 2004

Erroneous Value-judgments

"Schizoid personality disorder is a typological representation of bad character, of a vicious disposition formed by habitual passion. Passions are, or result from, erroneous value-judgments. The objects of passion listed below (derived mostly from Beck, Freeman, and associates, 1990, pp. 51-2) are indifferent things which the Schizoid personality incorrectly judges to be good or bad. The cure of Schizoid personality disorder will require correcting these habitual bad, or erroneous, value-judgments by making correct use of impressions."

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Philosophy 750: Hellenistic Stoicism

"Stoicism was the dominant philosophical school in ancient Greece and Rome for about 400 years. The contributions of the Hellenistic Stoics to philosophy of language, logic, formal ontology and ethics were seminal in western philosophy, and have been appropriated in contemporary philosophical work... We will discuss the positions and arguments of the early Stoics (3rd to 1st centuries BCE), as these survive in the sources collected and translated by A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley in The Hellenistic Philosophers, Volume 1: Translations of the Principal Sources with Philosophical Commentary."

Includes: "Notes on sections of Long and Sedley's text"

Friday, April 16, 2004

Making proper use of impressions

"Musonius Rufus, fragment 38 (Stobaeus 2.8.30); trans. Oldfather, pg. 445.

"Rufus. From the remarks of Epictetus on friendship

"Of things that are, God has put some under our control, and others not under our control. Under our control He put the finest and most important matter, that, indeed, by virtue of which He Himself is happy, the power to make use of external impressions. For when this power has its perfect work, it is freedom, serenity, cheerfulness, steadfastness; it is also justice, and law, and self-control, and the sum and substance of virtue. But all other things He has not put under our control."

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Free Will, Determinism, and Moral Responsibility

"I think Epictetus is best described as a compatibilist—we are both free and determined, but not in the same respects. When our will aligns with nature, we are free, when it does not, we are not. "

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Encyclopoedia4U: Seven deadly sins

"The seven deadly sins are:

- lust - seeking sex for pleasure; overindulgence in sex; fornication
- avarice or greed - a desire to possess more than one has need or use for
- envy or covetousness - resentment of others for their possessions; competitiveness (Note: jealousy is a related vice, but not generally listed as one of the seven deadly sins.)
- pride or vanity- a desire to be important or attractive to others
- sloth (also accidie, acedia) - laziness; idleness
- gluttony - eating for pleasure; overindulgence in food, drink or intoxicants
- anger or wrath - uncontrollable feelings of resentment, revenge or even denial."

Monday, April 05, 2004

Towards a Stoic Enneagram

"The Vice of each Enneagram type is the habitual way that the type values something as good or bad that is really ouk eph' hemin, not up to us, not of our Essence [moral character].

1. Anger - distress over the wrongness of things not really 'in our control', and the desire to punish those responsible.

2. Pride - delight in being a good for others (does not 'belong to us').

3. Vainglory - delight in being admired (does not 'belong to us').

4. Envy - distress incurred by reason of another's prosperity (does not 'belong to us').

5. Greed - insatiable desire for acquisition (for things which cannot benefit our Essence [moral character]).

6. Fear - a disorder arising from the expectation of evil (events and the evil acts of others are 'not our moral responsibility').

7. Gluttony - insatiable desire for pleasurable experiences (pleasure and pain are not totally 'in our control').

8. Lust (excess) - insatiable desire for power (people and circumstances can never be totally 'in our control')

9. Sloth - aversion to work or exertion (like pain, sickness and death, not really 'in our power' to avoid)."

Saturday, April 03, 2004

"Every habit and faculty is maintained and increased by the corresponding actions: the habit of walking by walking, the habit of running by running. If you would be a good reader, read; if a writer, write. But when you shall not have read thirty days in succession, but have done something else, you will know the consequence. In the same way, if you shall have lain down ten days, get up and attempt to make a long walk, and you will see how your legs are weakened. Generally, then, if you would make anything a habit, do it; if you would not make it a habit, do not do it, but accustom yourself to do something else in place of it.

Discourses II.18 trans. Long

Friday, April 02, 2004

"If, however, we define good as consisting in a right moral purpose, then the mere preservation of the relationships of life becomes a good; and furthermore, he who gives up some of the externals achieves the good."

Discourses III.3.8; trans. Oldfather.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

The Simple Enneagram

ptypes: "Virtue is the true absolute good of the personality.

"'In each Enneagram type a limited good has been turned into the absolute good of the personality' (Beesing, pp. 124-25). For example, the limited good of Type One is represented by the "Basic Desire" for control, but the absolute good of Type One is virtue, specifically the "Virtue" of Patience.

"Passions are bad.

"Passions are misjudgments of what is absolutely good or absolutely bad for the person. A passion is a desire for a limited good or a fear of not obtaining a limited good; passion is also delight in obtaining a limited good or distress in being deprived of a limited good. We shouldn't desire limited goods nor fear not getting them. We should desire only virtue and fear only vice."

Habitual passions constitute the viciousness of the personality. We should try to "catch ourselves in the act" of misjudging limited goods for absolute goods, and correct our judgments. We should oppose our habitual passions, our vices, with the habits of virtue.