Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Monday, May 10, 2004

Is the concept of guilt in Stoicism?


"I'm surprised to have found no mention of guilt in Epictetus, nor in
the rest of Stoic writing (I haven't read that much, though). Is guilt
not a concept used in Stoicism, or am I missing something?"


"Often by "guilt" people mean something like "a negative feeling
resulting from the recognition that one has harmed someone." In
that sense of the word, the Stoics cannot allow "guilt" as an
appropriate feeling. On the other hand, if by "guilt" you mean
"the recognition that one has acted incorrectly", the guilt
would never occur in the Sage, but would occur in the person
making progress."


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