Stoic psychopathology

Apathy is the best-known feature of Stoicism; even Webster's records that a Stoic lives without passions.1 But it remains unclear what Stoic apathy amounts to, because it remains unclear what Stoics understand by passions and why they find passions problematic. In this essay, I start with four unsettled questions about the Stoic definition of passions, and to answer these questions, I explain the passions as central elements of Stoic psychopathology, that is, as defects relative to the Stoic account of the psychological norm. This hypothesis, I claim, clarifies what the evidence by itself leaves uncertain. I close by bringing my conclusions to bear on the scope of Stoic apathy. Throughout, I focus on the account of the passions offered by the greatest Greek Stoic, Chrysippus of Soli, who headed the school in the third..
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