Anthropocentric constraints on human value
Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||According to Cicero, “all emotions spring from the roots of error: they should not be pruned or clipped here and there, but yanked out” (Cicero 2002: 60). The Stoic enthusiasm for the extirpation of emotion is radical in two respects, both of which can be expressed with the claim that emotional responses are never appropriate. First, the Stoics held that emotions are incompatible with virtue, since the virtuous man will retain his equanimity whatever his fate. Grief is always vicious, both bad and bad for you, even when directed at events commonly considered tragic, such as the loss of one’s child. Second, they buttressed this view with an account of the nature of emotion and its relation to value. Emotions are evaluative judgments that are systematically false, because they attribute significant value or disvalue to external things and events beyond an agent’s control—such as wealth, honor, pain, and death—which are merely “indifferents”: neither good nor bad.1..|
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