Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

35654Re: [stoics] RE: What is the right reason?

Expand Messages
  • Steve Marquis
    Feb 7, 2014
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Richard-
      The problem with summaries, like bullets and sound bites, is we give up clarity for brevity.
      Both consistency and integrity I think are attributes of the Sophos, or wise person, but they are not synonymous.  Consistency in this discussion about appropriate action, right action, and right reason, is a modern English word that helps discriminate between a single correct choice by a non-wise person and a single correct choice by a wise person.  The difference is the wise person is consistently correct.  And that means this particular correct choice indeed had excellence or arête.  The same exact choice, assenting to a true proposition and all of that, made by a non-wise person does not have arête even though it was a correct choice.  Why not?  Simply the context (ie, the character of the agent) is not the consistently correct choices we find in the wise person.  To put it more simply: for a person to have virtue he or she must have the character that warrants the term, not just make a single right choice.
      Keith has a discussion of this in his ‘Epictetus’ Handbook’ pages 116 through 119.  Here he distinguishes between appropriate action (kathekon) and right action (katorthoma).  Both accord with nature but the later accords also with arête.  Right action is of course motivated by right reason which gets us back to Dave’s question.  And right reason is an assent to a true proposition in the context of consistent and continuous assents to true propositions.  Keith comments that Epictetus may not have felt the need to make an account of katorthoma because:
      . . . an appropriate action when performed by an agent whose prohairesis is maintained in the proper condition – by only assenting to correct impressions – will thereby be a virtuous action.
      It seems to me this makes sense because a Sophos doesn’t need the explanation and the progressor will be intending appropriate actions, not right actions, since the student by definition does not assent to only correct impressions.  In isolation the kathekon and the katorthoma are the same in fact.  It is just we do not want to jump the gun by assuming we are virtuous now because we made one correct choice.  There is much more work to do.  This is after all character ethics, not act oriented ethics where each act in isolation is the end of the story.
      Live well,

      From: Richard <pmsrxw@...>
      To: Stoics <stoics@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 9:45 AM
      Subject: Re: [stoics] RE: What is the right reason?

      Dear Steve M

      I enjoyed your post.

      Would it be fair to summarize re: consistency as follows -

      "The More Integrated one Becomes [via Stoic practice],
      the More one's Reasoning or Judgment becomes consistent.
      Regards, Richard
      Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems
      ~ Epictetus


      Yahoo Groups Links

      <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

      <*> Your email settings:
          Individual Email | Traditional

      <*> To change settings online go to:
          (Yahoo! ID required)

      <*> To change settings via email:

      <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

      <*> Your use of Yahoo Groups is subject to:

    • Show all 19 messages in this topic