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RE: Feelings that are not bad, the propatheiai . . . WAS: Re: [stoics] Re: Material Minima (when did we stop talking about them?)

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  • Steve
    Grant writes: __________________ Certainly it [Grant s murder scene example, SM] doesn t involve _reflection_ or _deliberation_, but that s precisely what
    Message 1 of 18 , Nov 1, 2007
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      Grant writes:

      __________________

       

      Certainly it [Grant’s murder scene example, SM] doesn't involve _reflection_ or _deliberation_, but that's precisely what separates an impression from a judgment [i.e., an assented-to impression].  Loud noises suggest "Danger!".

      __________________

       

      So, you are saying conscious reflection / deliberation in the moment is necessary for judgments, which amounts to assenting to the chosen impression from amongst several candidates.  We’ll leave aside how aware one needs to be and how long that would take for the moment.

       

      Impressions, however, which can be agreed with (assented to) or not, _suggest_ a judgment, a conclusion, a meaning.  Do I understand you thus far?

       

      Grant:

      ___________________

       

      There are no subconscious _judgments_, or _assents_. Even if the default dispositional response to something were the result [in part] of subconscious habits of association, or the result [in part] of _past_ judgments or acts of assent, that doesn't make them judgments or assents. 

      ___________________

       

      Well of course I didn’t mean the assent happening right now was subconscious.  Rather, the habit is to assent to what the subconscious prompts without due consideration.  There is an assent involved, but one that lacks diligence to put it mildly.  One can hardly expect to assent to something close to a true impression this way as there is very little discrimination between what is happening right now and some memory of the past that may not even be close to the current experience.

       

      Grant:

      __________________

       

      So impressions carry with them value-seemings, and as such trigger propatheiai--they trigger proto-emotions, they cause one to experience a feeling similar to the feeling of a real emotion.  But they are momentary and involuntary, and will not become real emotions unless I assent.

      __________________

       

      So impressions have pseudo judgments that generate pseudo emotion but don’t become real judgments that generate real emotion unless assented to or not.  That implies that every single impression brings with it some kind of propatheiai, which would mean experience of propatheia would be all the time, much more frequent than I gathered from my reading.  How are we to discriminate between propatheiai and pathos experientially BTW?  We have a hard enough time recognizing assent to begin with.  We need to use emotion to track that down.  But, if we have two varieties of emotion, one that results from assent and one that does not, we no longer can use emotion to point to assents.

       

      If, as I suspect, the ‘meaning’ content of an impression is due to our subconscious filter, a lot of which was created with past assents, then on your account the content of our subconscious is regulated to inaccessibility, given the propatheiai is something we are not accountable for (ie, that is out of our control).  I don’t believe the Stoics would have accepted that.  The penultimate goal is the consistent good disposition, and disposition is nothing other than habitual inclination, which is most likely the impressions prompted by our subconscious that were earlier created by repetition or traumatic experience.  The ability to train one’s disposition at all amounts to recognizing that what is in there was built out of choice, out of assent.  And that means we are indeed accountable for the ‘seeming’ content of most of these habitual impressions.  We may not have direct control over our current disposition, which has prior causes.  But we have indirect control in that we can retrain that disposition with our current assents, one at a time.

       

      If, OTOH, propatheiai is referring to more of a reflexive autonomic response, like jerking one’s head aside after just noticing something coming at one out of the corner of the eye we don’t have to bring in all the complexity and explanation required for higher order concepts, which will involve things like impressions with pseudo meanings.  Now, I am aware that impressions have a proposed meaning along with the raw data, but I was not aware that every impression, before assent takes place, always triggers some form of propatheiai.

       

      I am not convinced Grant.  Your explanation has a logical flow to it, but it bogs down on a couple of points; frequency, and how much deliberation actually constitutes conscious assent.  My connection between propatheiai and non-conscious reflexive response does not have a scholarly reference either.  That is a fit between my own understanding of how us moderns view reflex as seen against the propatheiai being out of one’s control coupled with the examples given.  Do we have any examples from primary sources of propatheiai as responses to complex stimuli, such as an army marching as opposed to just loud noises or such?  That would weigh in your favor.

       

      Live well,

      Steve__

    • Steve
      Jan writes: __________________ I have speculated in the past about the possible existence of another class of feelings, the proeupatheiai, that stand to the
      Message 2 of 18 , Nov 1, 2007
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        Jan writes:

        __________________

         

        I have speculated in the past about the possible existence of another class of feelings, the proeupatheiai, that stand to the eupatheiai as the propatheiai stand to the pathe (aka passions). I have found no explicit reference to proeupatheiai in our classical sources, but it seems to me that the notion would be consistent with classical Stoicism.

        __________________

         

        Part of Grant’s response:

        ___________________

         

        . . . it falls short of joy because our apprehension of value falls short of perfection.  In other words, quasi-joy is to Joy as what we on this List usually call "appropriate action" is to truly Virtuous action--it's 'the best we non-sages can do, given our imperfections'.

         ___________________

         

        OK, you two have really got me confused.

         

        Jan, if your PEP (proeupatheiai) stands to EP (eupatheiai) as PP (propatheiai) stands to P (pathe) then you are admitting to a connection between PP and P more like Grant has suggested.  In that case I would agree with his criticism, that your PEP is involuntary and has no bearing on _assenting_ to a true impression once in a while, for it comes prior to that packaged with a true impression of course like the PP is packaged with the false impression.

         

        OTOH, what I gathered you were trying to get at with your PEP is exactly what Grant suggests above, the infrequent experience of sufficient impulse that is the consequence of an infrequent assent to a true impression by the prokopton.  That relationship is closer to how we use ‘appropriate’ intent, which would be that intent or action following an assent to a true impression as well.  The very same intent / action would be called virtuous, and the sufficient impulse that constitutes that intent would be one of the eupatheiai, if our agent was completely consistent from one moment to the next.

         

        So, I need an explanation of what you intend with your PEP; the former or the later.  If the later, which makes more sense, then the use of the prefix ‘pro’ would not be consistent and Grant is right that we need some other nomenclature.  If the former, I don’t see the value of PEP, as it is just what comes along with the true impression, which the prokopton cannot recognize completely in the first place.  It is prior to assent, so it certainly is not an indicator of progress, which in my mind is an increased frequency of correct assent.

         

        Now, I have used frequency / consistency (once in a while compared with all the time) as my discriminator and Grant uses ‘apprehension of value’ as his discriminator.  I am not opposed to that as both of these descriptions I see as part of the same thing.  One reason the Sage is able to be so consistent is that he can apprehend value correctly; he does see things just as they are.  We could throw in knowledge just as well, very close to Grant’s ‘apprehension’, and say that very well considered opinion is also quasi knowledge.

         

        And, this ties in with Robin’s scalar and binary discriminators as well, for all of these quasi qualities (appropriate action, quasi eupatheiai, and well considered opinion) are at the top end of an analog scale for the prokopton.  Yet the consistency and correct certain apprehension of the Sage, the binary digital discriminator, is not there, so this very well advanced prokopton is still phaulos (one inch under water is still under water).

         

        Now, if by PP we mean non-cognitive reflex like I suggest, then Jan your PEP doesn’t make sense either.

         

        I await further clarification :).

         

        Live well,

        Steve

         

        PS  Are the following on spelling / grammar / definitions correct?

         

        Pro       what comes prior or before

        Eu        good

        Pathe    plural to pathos

        eiai       the plural suffix for eupatheiai and propatheiai

         

        What would be singulars of these two?

        When is the ‘e’ alone sufficient to indicate plurality rate than ‘eiai’?

      • jan.garrett@insightbb.com
        Steve, On the grammar issues alone, this is my understanding: For feminine nouns ending in -a, the plural (in classical Greek) is -ai. propatheia and
        Message 3 of 18 , Nov 1, 2007
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          Steve,

          On the grammar issues alone, this is my understanding:

          For feminine nouns ending in -a, the plural (in classical Greek) is -ai. "propatheia" and "eupatheia" are  feminine. (There is no such thing as "patheia.")

          For neuter nouns ending in -os, the plural ending is -e* (i.e., eta, long e). "pathos" is neuter.

          The other issues will have to wait until I have more time. A cursory glance at your questions leaves me confused as to what the problem is.  But the glance was cursory, so I'll try to get back to it later. If it's still an issue in 3-5 days and I've not responded feel free to remind me.

          Best wishes,

          Jan

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Steve <marquis@...>
          Date: Thursday, November 1, 2007 11:42
          Subject: RE: [stoics] Eupatheiai . . . Was: Re: Feelings that are not  bad, the propatheiai . . .
          To: stoics@yahoogroups.com

          > Jan writes:
          >
          > __________________
          >
          >  
          >
          > I have speculated in the past about the possible existence of
          > another class
          > of feelings, the proeupatheiai, that stand to the eupatheiai as the
          > propatheiai stand to the pathe (aka passions). I have found no
          > explicitreference to proeupatheiai in our classical sources, but
          > it seems to me that
          > the notion would be consistent with classical Stoicism.
          >
          > __________________
          >
          >  
          >
          > Part of Grant's response:
          >
          > ___________________
          >
          >  
          >
          > . . . it falls short of joy because our apprehension of value
          > falls short of
          > perfection.  In other words, quasi-joy is to Joy as what we
          > on this List
          > usually call "appropriate action" is to truly Virtuous action--
          > it's 'the
          > best we non-sages can do, given our imperfections'.
          >
          >  ___________________
          >
          >  
          >
          > OK, you two have really got me confused.
          >
          >  
          >
          > Jan, if your PEP (proeupatheiai) stands to EP (eupatheiai) as PP
          > (propatheiai) stands to P (pathe) then you are admitting to a
          > connectionbetween PP and P more like Grant has suggested. 
          > In that case I would agree
          > with his criticism, that your PEP is involuntary and has no
          > bearing on
          > _assenting_ to a true impression once in a while, for it comes
          > prior to that
          > packaged with a true impression of course like the PP is
          > packaged with the
          > false impression.
          >
          >  
          >
          > OTOH, what I gathered you were trying to get at with your PEP is
          > exactlywhat Grant suggests above, the infrequent experience of
          > sufficient impulse
          > that is the consequence of an infrequent assent to a true
          > impression by the
          > prokopton.  That relationship is closer to how we use
          > 'appropriate' intent,
          > which would be that intent or action following an assent to a true
          > impression as well.  The very same intent / action would be
          > called virtuous,
          > and the sufficient impulse that constitutes that intent would be
          > one of the
          > eupatheiai, if our agent was completely consistent from one
          > moment to the
          > next.
          >
          >  
          >
          > So, I need an explanation of what you intend with your PEP; the
          > former or
          > the later.  If the later, which makes more sense, then the
          > use of the prefix
          > 'pro' would not be consistent and Grant is right that we need
          > some other
          > nomenclature.  If the former, I don't see the value of PEP,
          > as it is just
          > what comes along with the true impression, which the prokopton cannot
          > recognize completely in the first place.  It is prior to
          > assent, so it
          > certainly is not an indicator of progress, which in my mind is
          > an increased
          > frequency of correct assent.
          >
          >  
          >
          > Now, I have used frequency / consistency (once in a while
          > compared with all
          > the time) as my discriminator and Grant uses 'apprehension of
          > value' as his
          > discriminator.  I am not opposed to that as both of these
          > descriptions I see
          > as part of the same thing.  One reason the Sage is able to
          > be so consistent
          > is that he can apprehend value correctly; he does see things
          > just as they
          > are.  We could throw in knowledge just as well, very close
          > to Grant's
          > 'apprehension', and say that very well considered opinion is
          > also quasi
          > knowledge.
          >
          >  
          >
          > And, this ties in with Robin's scalar and binary discriminators
          > as well, for
          > all of these quasi qualities (appropriate action, quasi
          > eupatheiai, and well
          > considered opinion) are at the top end of an analog scale for
          > the prokopton.
          > Yet the consistency and correct certain apprehension of the
          > Sage, the binary
          > digital discriminator, is not there, so this very well advanced
          > prokopton is
          > still phaulos (one inch under water is still under water).
          >
          >  
          >
          > Now, if by PP we mean non-cognitive reflex like I suggest, then
          > Jan your PEP
          > doesn't make sense either.
          >
          >  
          >
          > I await further clarification :).
          >
          >  
          >
          > Live well,
          >
          > Steve
          >
          >  
          >
          > PS  Are the following on spelling / grammar / definitions
          > correct?
          >  
          >
          > Pro       what comes prior or before
          >
          > Eu        good
          >
          > Pathe    plural to pathos
          >
          > eiai       the plural suffix for
          > eupatheiai and propatheiai
          >
          >  
          >
          > What would be singulars of these two?
          >
          > When is the 'e' alone sufficient to indicate plurality rate than
          > 'eiai'?
          >
          >
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