Rhizomata 9 (2):224-246 (2021)

Charles Francis Brittain
Cornell University
Seneca’s Letters sketch a theory of attentive action according to which distraction is caused by inconsistent beliefs about values, such that the degree of an agent’s attention to an endorsed action is proportionate to the consistency of her beliefs about value, i. e. her proximity to virtue. The agent’s activity of attentive action is co-ordinated with a state of alertness to her interests, which accordingly triggers switches in attention that sustain the endorsed action in single-minded agents or cause distraction if the new interest is irrelevant to it. Seneca’s theory reflects the older Stoic conception of the tensional mental strength of the virtuous agent, which Chrysippus identified as the causal factor over and above virtue that ensures her successful performance of right action.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1515/rhiz-2021-0013
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,199
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Unity of Virtue.John M. Cooper - 1998 - Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (1):233-274.
The Physics of Pneuma in Early Stoicism.Ian Hensley - 2020 - In Sean Michael Pead Coughlin, David Leith & Orly Lewis (eds.), The Concept of Pneuma after Aristotle. Edition Topoi. pp. 171-201.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reservation in Stoic Ethics.Tad Brennan - 2000 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 82 (2):149-177.
Being and Becoming Good. Senecas Two Moral Conceptions of "Ars".Stefan Röttig - 2021 - In Tom Angier & Lisa Raphals (eds.), Skill in Ancient Ethics The Legacy of China, Greece and Rome. London, Vereinigtes Königreich: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 185–200.
Review of Rene Brouwer, The Stoic Sage, Cambridge, 2014. [REVIEW]Vanessa de Harven - forthcoming - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 100 (2).
Seneca, Lucius Annaeus.Robert Wagoner - 2015 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Puzzle in Stoic Ethics.Rachel Barney - 2003 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 24:303-40.
Topics in Stoic Philosophy.Katerina Ierodiakonou (ed.) - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
Logic: The Stoics (Part Two).Susanne Bobzien - 1999 - In Keimpe Algra, Jonathan Barnes & et al (eds.), The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
The Stoics and Their Philosophical System.William O. Stephens - 2020 - In Kelly Arenson (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Hellenistic Philosophy. New York, NY, USA: Routledge. pp. 22-34.


Added to PP index

Total views
7 ( #1,071,368 of 2,517,908 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #409,045 of 2,517,908 )

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes