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Re: Self-Esteem and the Split Self

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  • Malcolm Schosha
    Self esteem has been much emphasized in the US school systems in recent years, and that is now regarded by many educators as a mistake. This article discusses
    Message 1 of 14 , Apr 1 4:52 AM
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      Self esteem has been much emphasized in the US school systems in recent years, and that is now regarded by many educators as a mistake.  This article discusses some of the problems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_esteem

      As for Sharon and Olmert being "sociopathic personalities", that is ridiculous talk from someone who does not understand the circumstances in which Israel exists. This forum is probably not a good place to discuss such issues. Certainly Sharon did not have a charming personality, and is hated by Israels enemies, but that does not make him a sociopath. Use of psychological terminology to demonize political opponents is deplorable.

      Malcolm


      --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Amos" <vivepablo@...> wrote:
      >
      > Jan:   When I spoke before about the high self-esteem of sociopathic
      > personalities,   I wasn't just referring to common criminals,  but to
      > some very powerful vicious people, who,  as you say,  think very
      > highly of themselves.    I hate euphemisms and I'm not much of a
      > diplomat,   so I'll give a few examples of sociopathic personalities
      > in powerful positions:    Cheney,   Donald Trump and the current
      > president of Iran.   I left out Osama Bin Ladin because I'm not sure
      > if he still has much power,  and I left out George W. Bush because I
      > don't think that he has the slightest idea of the amount of harm he
      > causes.   Sharon undoubtedly had a sociopathic personality structure
      > too.   As to Olmert,   I'd put him in the same category as Bush.   Be
      > well,   Amos                 


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    • Malcolm Schosha
      Jan, I know of a number of different multipart concepts of the soul. I am not sure which you have in mind. The ones I am more familiar with consider the soul a
      Message 2 of 14 , Apr 1 4:56 AM
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        Jan,

        I know of a number of different multipart concepts of the soul. I am not sure which you have in mind. The ones I am more familiar with consider the soul a unit with different function parts; as with the physical body in which the brain, heart, and feet preform different functions within one functioning whole.

        Since the Stoics understand there is a guiding principle with abilities such as will, cognition of impressions, judgments, impulses, desire and aversion, emotions (some of which emotions may not be in accord with the will), etc; I am not sure their view is much different.

        In modern psychology also it is understood that people do not function as unified wholes. Rather, in the human constitution, the different parts of the soul frequently meet in conflict. Unity is not what we start with, but rather what we aim towards.

        Malcolm


        --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "jan.garrett" <jan.garrett@...> wrote:
        >
        > I've mostly ignored the term self-esteem, which I suppose is in the same ballpark as self-respect, although maybe the language games of  which they are parts differ. We have the phrase, "no self-respecting person would do a thing like that," which means something like "if one had respect for oneself, then one would not do <whatever is referred to by 'that'>. In Philosophy in the Flesh, whose authors I will not mention again today, there is a chapter on metaphorical conceptions of the self. They all have in common a split between the subject and (one or more) selves. One of the possible selves is an ideal self. So perhaps the statement means something like this: if one (the subject here) had respect for his ideal self, he would not do <whatever>.
        >
        > On these metaphorical conceptions, which are prephilosophical and no doubt found in many languages, the human being is split in various ways (not consistently, as we shift from one metaphorical conception of the self to another without batting an eye).  This is one pre-philosophical source of the Platonic-Aristotelian theory of the soul.
        >
        > It's curious how, although the Stoics rejected the multipart theory of the soul, they still occasionally make a nod in the direction of the split self, insofar as they operate with teleological notions of the human being. We are defined in terms of rationality, which indeed we share with Zeus himself, but for the most part we use it incorrectly, with respect to what really counts; that is, we judge preferred things to be good and rejected things to be bad, a mistake that Zeus himself presumably would never make. It's almost as if the sage is hidden in us, as an ideal self, a potential that might be realized if only we could get our acts together. (Aha--getting our acts together--another metaphor related to the subject and self!)


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      • Amos
        Malcolm: I agree that the Forum is not the place to discuss political issues. However, for the record, I did not say that Olmert had a sociopathic
        Message 3 of 14 , Apr 1 7:24 AM
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          Malcolm: I agree that the Forum is not the place to discuss
          political issues. However, for the record, I did not say that
          Olmert had a sociopathic personality, and I stand by my
          unprofessional claim, not being a qualified psychologist, that
          Sharon did. I certainly do not consider myself to be an enemy of
          Israel. Thank you for the link to the article on self-esteem. I
          will read it later. All my best, Amos


          --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Malcolm Schosha <malcolmschosha@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Self esteem has been much emphasized in the US school systems in
          recent years, and that is now regarded by many educators as a
          mistake. This article discusses some of the problems:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_esteem
          >
          > As for Sharon and Olmert being "sociopathic personalities", that is
          ridiculous talk from someone who does not understand the
          circumstances in which Israel exists. This forum is probably not a
          good place to discuss such issues. Certainly Sharon did not have a
          charming personality, and is hated by Israels enemies, but that does
          not make him a sociopath. Use of psychological terminology to
          demonize political opponents is deplorable.
          >
          > Malcolm
          >
          >
          > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Amos" <vivepablo@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Jan: When I spoke before about the high self-esteem of
          sociopathic
          > > personalities, I wasn't just referring to common criminals,
          but to
          > > some very powerful vicious people, who, as you say, think very
          > > highly of themselves. I hate euphemisms and I'm not much of a
          > > diplomat, so I'll give a few examples of sociopathic
          personalities
          > > in powerful positions: Cheney, Donald Trump and the current
          > > president of Iran. I left out Osama Bin Ladin because I'm not
          sure
          > > if he still has much power, and I left out George W. Bush
          because I
          > > don't think that he has the slightest idea of the amount of harm
          he
          > > causes. Sharon undoubtedly had a sociopathic personality
          structure
          > > too. As to Olmert, I'd put him in the same category as
          Bush. Be
          > > well, Amos
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------
          > Don't get soaked. Take a quick peek at the forecast
          > with theYahoo! Search weather shortcut.
          >
        • Steve
          Here is a quote worth repeating from the Wikipedia article Malcolm provided a link to (attribiuted to Ruggiero): ______________ The concept of self-improvement
          Message 4 of 14 , Apr 1 8:33 AM
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            Here is a quote worth repeating from the Wikipedia article Malcolm provided a link to (attribiuted toRuggiero):

            ______________

             

            The concept of self-improvement has undergone dramatic change since 1911, when Ambrose Bierce mockingly defined self-esteem as "an erroneous appraisement." Good and bad character are now known as "personality differences". Rights have replaced responsibilities. The research on egocentrism and ethnocentrism that informed discussion of human growth and development in the mid-20th century is ignored; indeed, the terms themselves are considered politically incorrect. A revolution has taken place in the vocabulary of self. Words that imply responsibility or accountability—self-criticism, self-denial, self-discipline, self-control, self-effacement, self-mastery, self-reproach, and self-sacrifice — are no longer in fashion. The language most in favor is that which exalts the self — self-expression, self-assertion, self-indulgence, self-realization, self-approval, self-acceptance, self-love, and the ubiquitous self-esteem.

            ______________

             

            That just says a whole bunch I agree with.  It seems these later self referent terms are somehow shallow, almost unearned, a fragile illusion that could be shattered by outside events at any time.  My point has been exemplified by Amos providing examples of persons we would consider that have bad character yet have high self esteem.

             

            It seems to me an honest self image is not going to be either overly positive or overly negative, but a clear recognition of ones strengths and weaknesses.  If self-esteem masked this later, then this person is blocked form progress.  If self hate or loathing masks the former, then this person is blocked from progress.  So, a healthy self image is a virtue, the correct balance between these two, in terms of a Golden Mean.  I would like to replace all of these later terms with just one: self-honesty.

             

            In reference to Jan’s description of the Stoic ideal on the one hand and the reality of our vicious nature on the other as a split I have to say that this is not a backdoor two part mind, but just an articulation of where we are at (the descriptive) and where we want to go (the normative) once again.  This to me seems very healthy.  In fact, we cannot get away from this descriptive / normative thinking, for it is the essence of choice making relative to the future, of making plans, of goal setting.  So, like choice itself, we are stuck with it.  We can either do it wisely or poorly.

             

            A friend quoted someone, probably a Vedantic source, as describing this healthy desire for growth as ‘creative discontent’.  I’ve never heard it put better.

             

            At the risk of using yet another self referent term, I can thing of nothing else that enables self-empowerment more than the realization that the means to one’s well-being is entirely within one’s power to accomplish regardless of external circumstance.  That it takes much work to accomplish, that it is surely earned, brings home the reality and truth of it.

             

            Live well,

            Steve

          • Steve
            Let me add one more little bit that brings home the virtue of self-honesty that everyone will recognize: Know Thyself Now, how far has modern psychology
            Message 5 of 14 , Apr 1 9:09 AM
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              Let me add one more little bit that brings home the virtue of self-honesty that everyone will recognize:

               

              ‘Know Thyself’

               

              Now, how far has modern psychology _really_ progressed?

               

              Live well,

              Steve

               


              From: stoics@yahoogroups.com [mailto: stoics@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Steve
              Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 8:33 AM
              To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [stoics] Re: Self-Esteem and the Split Self

               

              Here is a quote worth repeating from the Wikipedia article Malcolm provided a link to (attribiuted toRuggiero):

              ____________ __

               

              The concept of self-improvement has undergone dramatic change since 1911, when Ambrose Bierce mockingly defined self-esteem as "an erroneous appraisement." Good and bad character are now known as "personality differences". Rights have replaced responsibilities. The research on egocentrism and ethnocentrism that informed discussion of human growth and development in the mid-20th century is ignored; indeed, the terms themselves are considered politically incorrect. A revolution has taken place in the vocabulary of self. Words that imply responsibility or accountability—self-criticism, self-denial, self-discipline, self-control, self-effacement, self-mastery, self-reproach, and self-sacrifice — are no longer in fashion. The language most in favor is that which exalts the self — self-expression, self-assertion, self-indulgence, self-realization, self-approval, self-acceptance, self-love, and the ubiquitous self-esteem.

              ____________ __

               

              That just says a whole bunch I agree with.  It seems these later self referent terms are somehow shallow, almost unearned, a fragile illusion that could be shattered by outside events at any time.  My point has been exemplified by Amos providing examples of persons we would consider that have bad character yet have high self esteem.

               

              It seems to me an honest self image is not going to be either overly positive or overly negative, but a clear recognition of ones strengths and weaknesses.  If self-esteem masked this later, then this person is blocked form progress.  If self hate or loathing masks the former, then this person is blocked from progress.  So, a healthy self image is a virtue, the correct balance between these two, in terms of a Golden Mean.  I would like to replace all of these later terms with just one: self-honesty.

               

              In reference to Jan’s description of the Stoic ideal on the one hand and the reality of our vicious nature on the other as a split I have to say that this is not a backdoor two part mind, but just an articulation of where we are at (the descriptive) and where we want to go (the normative) once again.  This to me seems very healthy.  In fact, we cannot get away from this descriptive / normative thinking, for it is the essence of choice making relative to the future, of making plans, of goal setting.  So, like choice itself, we are stuck with it.  We can either do it wisely or poorly.

               

              A friend quoted someone, probably a Vedantic source, as describing this healthy desire for growth as ‘creative discontent’.  I’ve never heard it put better.

               

              At the risk of using yet another self referent term, I can thing of nothing else that enables self-empowerment more than the realization that the means to one’s well-being is entirely within one’s power to accomplish regardless of external circumstance.  That it takes much work to accomplish, that it is surely earned, brings home the reality and truth of it.

               

              Live well,

              Steve

            • Amos
              At the end of the Wikipedia article on self-esteem there s a link to an article from the New York Times (February 3, 2002) called The Trouble with Self Esteem,
              Message 6 of 14 , Apr 1 9:50 AM
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                At the end of the Wikipedia article on self-esteem there's a link to
                an article from the New York Times (February 3, 2002) called The
                Trouble with Self Esteem, by Lauren Slater. Slater asks why we
                necessarily conflate the notion of the self with the notion of
                worth, that is, with esteem. They are, in Slater's
                words, "two quite separate notions". That seems to tie in with
                Jan's idea of about how we use metaphors to talk about the self.
                By the way, I like Steve's concept of self-honesty. All my
                best, Amos



                --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <marquis@...> wrote:
                >
                > Let me add one more little bit that brings home the virtue of self-
                honesty
                > that everyone will recognize:
                >
                >
                >
                > 'Know Thyself'
                >
                >
                >
                > Now, how far has modern psychology _really_ progressed?
                >
                >
                >
                > Live well,
                >
                > Steve
                >
                >
                >
                > _____
                >
                > From: stoics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:stoics@yahoogroups.com] On
                Behalf Of
                > Steve
                > Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 8:33 AM
                > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: RE: [stoics] Re: Self-Esteem and the Split Self
                >
                >
                >
                > Here is a quote worth repeating from the Wikipedia article Malcolm
                provided
                > a link to (attribiuted to Ruggiero):
                >
                > ______________
                >
                >
                >
                > The concept of self-improvement has undergone dramatic change since
                1911,
                > when Ambrose <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrose_Bierce> Bierce
                mockingly
                > defined self-esteem as "an erroneous appraisement." Good and bad
                character
                > are now known as "personality differences". Rights have replaced
                > responsibilities. The research on egocentrism
                > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egocentrism> and ethnocentrism
                > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnocentrism> that informed
                discussion of
                > human growth and development in the mid-20th century is ignored;
                indeed, the
                > terms themselves are considered politically incorrect. A revolution
                has
                > taken place in the vocabulary of self. Words that imply
                responsibility or
                > accountability-self-criticism, self-denial, self-discipline, self-
                control,
                > self-effacement, self-mastery, self-reproach, and self-sacrifice -
                are no
                > longer in fashion. The language most in favor is that which exalts
                the self
                > - self-expression, self-assertion, self-indulgence, self-
                realization,
                > self-approval, self-acceptance, self-love, and the ubiquitous self-
                esteem.
                >
                > ______________
                >
                >
                >
                > That just says a whole bunch I agree with. It seems these later
                self
                > referent terms are somehow shallow, almost unearned, a fragile
                illusion that
                > could be shattered by outside events at any time. My point has been
                > exemplified by Amos providing examples of persons we would consider
                that
                > have bad character yet have high self esteem.
                >
                >
                >
                > It seems to me an honest self image is not going to be either overly
                > positive or overly negative, but a clear recognition of ones
                strengths and
                > weaknesses. If self-esteem masked this later, then this person is
                blocked
                > form progress. If self hate or loathing masks the former, then
                this person
                > is blocked from progress. So, a healthy self image is a virtue,
                the correct
                > balance between these two, in terms of a Golden Mean. I would like
                to
                > replace all of these later terms with just one: self-honesty.
                >
                >
                >
                > In reference to Jan's description of the Stoic ideal on the one
                hand and the
                > reality of our vicious nature on the other as a split I have to say
                that
                > this is not a backdoor two part mind, but just an articulation of
                where we
                > are at (the descriptive) and where we want to go (the normative)
                once again.
                > This to me seems very healthy. In fact, we cannot get away from
                this
                > descriptive / normative thinking, for it is the essence of choice
                making
                > relative to the future, of making plans, of goal setting. So, like
                choice
                > itself, we are stuck with it. We can either do it wisely or poorly.
                >
                >
                >
                > A friend quoted someone, probably a Vedantic source, as describing
                this
                > healthy desire for growth as 'creative discontent'. I've never
                heard it put
                > better.
                >
                >
                >
                > At the risk of using yet another self referent term, I can thing of
                nothing
                > else that enables self-empowerment more than the realization that
                the means
                > to one's well-being is entirely within one's power to accomplish
                regardless
                > of external circumstance. That it takes much work to accomplish,
                that it is
                > surely earned, brings home the reality and truth of it.
                >
                >
                >
                > Live well,
                >
                > Steve
                >
              • Robin Turner
                ... I suspect that all of this self- words are illogical, since they imply the possibility of reflexive mental behaviour, and I m not sure such a thing exists.
                Message 7 of 14 , Apr 1 10:05 AM
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                  On 01/04/07, Steve <marquis@...> wrote:

                  Here is a quote worth repeating from the Wikipedia article Malcolm provided a link to (attribiuted toRuggiero):

                  ______________

                   

                  The concept of self-improvement has undergone dramatic change since 1911, when Ambrose Bierce mockingly defined self-esteem as "an erroneous appraisement." Good and bad character are now known as "personality differences". Rights have replaced responsibilities. The research on egocentrism and ethnocentrism that informed discussion of human growth and development in the mid-20th century is ignored; indeed, the terms themselves are considered politically incorrect. A revolution has taken place in the vocabulary of self. Words that imply responsibility or accountability—self-criticism, self-denial, self-discipline, self-control, self-effacement, self-mastery, self-reproach, and self-sacrifice — are no longer in fashion. The language most in favor is that which exalts the self — self-expression, self-assertion, self-indulgence, self-realization, self-approval, self-acceptance, self-love, and the ubiquitous self-esteem.

                  ______________


                  I suspect that all of this self- words are illogical, since they imply the possibility of reflexive mental behaviour, and I'm not sure such a thing exists. If the Stoic view of unitary consciousness is true, then it would be hard to imagine any mental action directed at the self; we could only esteem, criticise, love, hate etc. an image of ourselves. (Alan Watts made this argument some time back in the 1970s, saying that it is impossible to love oneself in the same way that it is impossible for an eye to see itself.)

                  Robin


                  --
                  Robin Turner
                  IDMYO
                  Bilkent Üniversitesi
                  Ankara, Turkey

                  http://www.bilkent.edu.tr/~robin
                  http://solri.livejournal.com
                • Malcolm Schosha
                  You view is based on nothing but the public opinion of the country in which you live. To form judgments in such a way is mass psychology, not Stoic philosophy.
                  Message 8 of 14 , Apr 1 11:50 AM
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                    You view is based on nothing but the public opinion of the country in which you live. To form judgments in such a way is mass psychology, not Stoic philosophy.

                    In Europe and South America they speak of Sharon and Olmert as Nazis. The trade unions in every European nation are boycotting Israeli products. Attacks against Jews on the streets of Europe are becoming more common every month, and even when this happens in crowded public places no one intervenes. When asked "why?", these creeps say they are not against Jews, just against Zionists! What do you call someone who engages in such lies, and in such violence, and in such hatred?

                    http://www.jr.co.il/articles/fallaci.txt

                    Malcolm


                    Amos <vivepablo@...>
                    wrote:
                    Malcolm: I agree that the Forum is not the place to discuss
                    political issues. However, for the record, I did not say that
                    Olmert had a sociopathic personality, and I stand by my
                    unprofessional claim, not being a qualified psychologist, that
                    Sharon did. I certainly do not consider myself to be an enemy of
                    Israel. Thank you for the link to the article on self-esteem. I
                    will read it later. All my best, Amos



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                  • mattomoran
                    ... function as unified wholes. Rather, in the human constitution, the different parts of the soul frequently meet in conflict. Unity is not what we start
                    Message 9 of 14 , Apr 1 1:28 PM
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                      --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Malcolm Schosha <malcolmschosha@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > In modern psychology also it is understood that people do not
                      function as unified wholes. Rather, in the human constitution, the
                      different parts of the soul frequently meet in conflict. Unity is not
                      what we start with, but rather what we aim towards.
                      >
                      > Malcolm
                      >


                      I remember someone, maybe Steve, talking about how in stoicism our
                      decisions are not divided and based on conflicting parts of our nature
                      so much. Can someone please elaborate on this? To the stoics, do we
                      have such a conflict, or it's just the 'net judgment' which results?

                      Thanks,
                      Matt
                    • Amos
                      Malcolm: I said before that this Forum is not a place to discuss politics, but since it is a Forum to discuss philosophy, I will call your attention to
                      Message 10 of 14 , Apr 1 3:28 PM
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                        Malcolm: I said before that this Forum is not a place to discuss
                        politics, but since it is a Forum to discuss philosophy, I will
                        call your attention to an error in reasoning that you are making.
                        Why do you consider that a negative view of Sharon is a negative view
                        of Israel or of the Jews in general? It's like saying that a
                        negative view of Pinochet is a negative view of Chile or a negative
                        view of Mussolini is a negative view of Italy. All my best,
                        Amos


                        --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Malcolm Schosha <malcolmschosha@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > You view is based on nothing but the public opinion of the country
                        in which you live. To form judgments in such a way is mass
                        psychology, not Stoic philosophy.
                        >
                        > In Europe and South America they speak of Sharon and Olmert as
                        Nazis. The trade unions in every European nation are boycotting
                        Israeli products. Attacks against Jews on the streets of Europe are
                        becoming more common every month, and even when this happens in
                        crowded public places no one intervenes. When asked "why?", these
                        creeps say they are not against Jews, just against Zionists! What do
                        you call someone who engages in such lies, and in such violence, and
                        in such hatred?
                        >
                        > http://www.jr.co.il/articles/fallaci.txt
                        >
                        > Malcolm
                        >
                        >
                        > Amos <vivepablo@...> wrote:
                        Malcolm: I agree that the Forum is not the place to discuss
                        > political issues. However, for the record, I did not say
                        that
                        > Olmert had a sociopathic personality, and I stand by my
                        > unprofessional claim, not being a qualified psychologist, that
                        > Sharon did. I certainly do not consider myself to be an enemy of
                        > Israel. Thank you for the link to the article on self-esteem. I
                        > will read it later. All my best, Amos
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ---------------------------------
                        > Never miss an email again!
                        > Yahoo! Toolbar alerts you the instant new Mail arrives. Check it
                        out.
                        >
                      • Robin Turner
                        ... If you can get hold of Martha Nussbaum s The Therapy of Desire, I strongly recommend reading the chapter in which she discusses Seneca s tragedy Medea (in
                        Message 11 of 14 , Apr 2 3:26 AM
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                          On 01/04/07, mattomoran <mattomoran@...> wrote:
                          > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Malcolm Schosha <malcolmschosha@...> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > In modern psychology also it is understood that people do not
                          > function as unified wholes. Rather, in the human constitution, the
                          > different parts of the soul frequently meet in conflict. Unity is not
                          > what we start with, but rather what we aim towards.
                          > >
                          > > Malcolm
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          > I remember someone, maybe Steve, talking about how in stoicism our
                          > decisions are not divided and based on conflicting parts of our nature
                          > so much. Can someone please elaborate on this? To the stoics, do we
                          > have such a conflict, or it's just the 'net judgment' which results?

                          If you can get hold of Martha Nussbaum's The Therapy of Desire, I
                          strongly recommend reading the chapter in which she discusses Seneca's
                          tragedy Medea (in fact I strongly recommend reading all of it - it's
                          an excellent analysis of Hellenistic philosophy and very readable).
                          This looks at Medea's indecision when she is about to murder her
                          children in terms of the Stoic theory of the unified soul. It isn't
                          that one part of her wants to kill her children and one doesn't; it's
                          more like her soul is being bounced between different positions like a
                          ball in a pinball machine.

                          So in terms of what Malcolm wrote, according to the Stoics, unity in
                          that sense is not what we are aiming for but something we already
                          have. What we don't have is a consistent movement of the soul. (There
                          lots of interesting conceptual metaphor stuff here, but I'll leave Jan
                          to comment on that.)

                          Robin

                          --
                          Robin Turner
                          IDMYO
                          Bilkent Üniversitesi
                          Ankara, Turkey

                          http://www.bilkent.edu.tr/~robin
                          http://solri.livejournal.com
                        • Malcolm Schosha
                          Amos, you wrote: Why do you consider that a negative view of Sharon is a negative view of Israel or of the Jews in general? It s like saying that a
                          Message 12 of 14 , Apr 2 7:31 AM
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                            Amos, you wrote:
                            "Why do you consider that a negative view of Sharon is a negative view
                            of Israel or of the Jews in general? It's like saying that a
                            negative view of Pinochet is a negative view of Chile or a negative
                            view of Mussolini is a negative view of Italy."

                            Your wording is always deceptive. You put Sharon together with Pinochet
                            and Mussolini. You do not actually say they are all the same, so you
                            can say "that is not what I meant". Only it is what you imply.

                            Sharon was legally elected prime minister of a democracy, while Pinochet and Mussolini were dictators who seized power and destroyed democracies.

                            Malcolm



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