Re: [stoics] Stoic Emotion (combining threads)
- I think my choice of the word "sociability," was misleading. I'll rephrase, do you think a social duty, such as beneficence, is accompanied by a feeling?RegardsKevin
--- On Fri, 4/30/10, Grant Sterling <gcsterling@...> wrote:
From: Grant Sterling <gcsterling@...>
Subject: Re: [stoics] Stoic Emotion (combining threads)
Date: Friday, April 30, 2010, 3:39 PMKevin wrote:
> Grant, do you think that the innate dispositions of human beings such as
> sociability, which the Stoics thought most people have, are accompanied
> by a feeling or emotion?
I don't know. I find it difficult, myself, to
clearly differentiate the "innate disposition to sociability"
from my recognition that others are like me in relevant
ways, and my enjoyment of specific qualities in specific
individuals, and my awareness of special connections to
others (such as my parents), etc.
If it is a feeling, then the sage will have it.
I really don't know.
- I don't quite get this talk about how a stoic has to behave to be accepted, liked, etc. The like and dislike of others (who are non-stoics) is not within your power, so it should be of no concern to you. You don't have to "fake" your emotions just so people like you. Instead, you've got to do something about that apparent need you feel to be liked.Now sometimes you could say that a stoic will "act" because doing so will help him achieve his goals, help the world improve, etc. But such occasions will be very rare indeed. And even then it's not about "being liked" or getting that promotion, or w/e.
2010/5/4 W Endo <oecologia@...>
Also, on the same subject:
"As for me, I often forget both of these vain formalities, just as I cut out all ceremony in my house. Someone takes offense: I can't help it. It is better for me to offend him once than myself every day; that would be perpetual slavery." Montaigne (Essays, Book I, Chapter 13 - Ceremony of interviews between kings)
WhaldenerOn Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 2:06 PM, gich3 <gich3@...> wrote:
>>>.... Still I have questions. Isn’t this faking a deception? If it is not>>>only conventional expectations but the day to day practice of Stoics living>>>just occasionally but constantly. ...<<<
>>>amongst others that requires this often aren’t we being dishonest somewhat
>>>consistently? Wouldn’t you say that relationships are better when they
>>>function from honest emotion more and not so much the fakery? Sure women
>>>love the little flatteries, but in the end it is _genuine_ feelings they
>>>want, at least this is what my wife tells me. So even though this is a
>>>normal part of conventional living that doesn’t make it preferred or the best
>>>way to go about things. You will end up violating ‘thou shalt not lie’ not
Yes! Yes! Yes!
This is what I've been saying for 5 years!
Also don't forget, in addition to constantly 'faking it', the Stoic must keep
his Stoicism a SECRET from non-Stoics!
I can't do better than repeat my post that initiated most of this discussion:
For the Stoic, the emotions must be ELIMINATED; not just MANAGED as in
Aristotelianism, they must be totally eliminated.
Take the Stoic vice of 'sympathy' for example. If you genuinely *feel* sympathy
for a troubled person you have FAILED as a stoic. However, if when dealing with
such a troubled person, you think it *appropriate* to *display* some 'sympathy'
for her situation, YOU HAVE TO FAKE IT! Indeed, learning how to *fake* emotions,
of all types, is a fundamental component of the Stoic paradigm, . as has been
discussed in much detail in this group in the past.
This is why you must NEVER tell anyone you're a would-be Stoic; BECAUSE, for
example, suppose you were trying to support a friend dealing with some emotional
trauma and she later discovered you'd just been 'acting a part', . that would
surely be the end of the friendship? But this also means that the 'friendship',
such as it is, can never be GENUINE friendship of the sort you might enjoy with
a fellow-Stoic. The conclusion, unpalatable as it might be, is that the Stoic
can NEVER be a 'true friend', as Epictetus (for example) uses the term, with a
non-Stoic. With non-Stoics, the Stoic must inevitably be "forever disingenuous"!
The following, from (*), is a nice lead-in, and provides a 'form of words' that
was long ago accepted by the Stoics [including Grant] in this group as a
reasonable description of the Stoic sage:
"It is common to think that thought or reason is a relatively autonomous feature
of the mental, in the sense that it can operate successfully in a creature
without emotion. Indeed, the idea of a purely rational creature unadulterated by
any emotion is one often contemplated by philosophers and lay people alike as
not only a possibility but the kind of creature we should positively strive to
This, in a nutshell, is 'the Stoic sage'; the kind of creature all Stoic
students should strive to become!
(*) OU course, Minds and Mental Phenomena,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Marquis" <stevemarquis@...>
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 1:49 PM
Subject: Re: [stoics] Stoic Emotion (combining threads)
First of all, virtually all accounts of how we should lead
our lives require us to fake emotions.
Thanks for the reminder Grant. I think you’ve said this before. That cleans up
quite a bit; an excellent
answer. Still I have questions. Isn’t this faking a deception? If it is not
only conventional expectations
but the day to day practice of Stoics living amongst others that requires this
often aren’t we being dishonest somewhat consistently? Wouldn’t you say that
are better when they function from honest emotion more and not so much the
fakery? Sure women love the little flatteries, but in
the end it is _genuine_ feelings they want, at least this is what my wife tells
me. So even though this is a normal part
of conventional living that doesn’t make it preferred or the best way to go
about things. You will end up violating ‘thou
shalt not lie’ not just occasionally but constantly.
One will have a far better, happier, more moral life with
deeper relationships by being rational and without emotions than one will have
by feeling emotions and trying to beat them into obedience.
Perhaps in the way you put it. But your example is of someone who is not just
excessive with emotion and a little dishonest but rampantly excessive and not
genuine with anybody. Of course that
sort of life is miserable. To make your
point better you need to show that the Stoic is clearly superior to even someone
who is ‘well adjusted’ and uses only the normally expected emotional displays
and does express themselves genuinely most of the time. Not all non-Stoic men
beat their wives. Not all non-Stoics jump off buildings when
they loose their job. You’ve set up a
straw man to compare your Stoic to, a degenerate even by conventional
So, I think your reminder that emotional deception is common
practice answers some of my question, but I still am after further discussion
about how best to live in relationship, some close, with others who hold to
racially different values. Conventional emotional
fakery is between those who hold similar values (at least in valuing externals).
When I figure out a good way to express the problem
again I’ll be back.
Michael van der Galien
Assistant Managing Editor NewsReal blog
Mantgum, the Netherlands
Work Email: Michael@...
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“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
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