Re: [stoics] Re: How does one practice the discipline of desire?
- Richard wrote:
> Is this a correct summary?This is how Stoic terminology works (if I remember properly):
> In Stoicism, "Indifferent" refers to Indifferent with regards to "Arete".
Some things are good (the virtues, and only the virtues).
Some things are bad (the vices, and only the vices).
Everything else is "indifferent" (indifferent with respect to being good
or bad -- it probably sounded more natural in Greek): and this is indeed
But some indifferent things are preferred (others dispreferred) because
pursuing them fulfils one's endeavour to live in accordance with nature.
Thus, it is in accordance with nature to care in appropriate ways for
one's body, and so food may be preferred. Health generally is preferred,
but is not good. And so on.
The practice of the discipline of desire entails the gradual renunciation of all externals.
Epictetus' belief in the value of renunciation is exhibited in a part of Fragment 10, translated by Keith:
Furthermore, this Epictetus, as we have heard from the same Favorinus, was in the habit of saying that there are two vices far more grave and vile than any other these being want of endurance and want of self-control, when we fail to endure and bear the vexations we have to bear, and when we do not forbear those pleasures and other things that we ought to forbear. And so, he said, if someone could control themselves and keep watch over themselves by taking to heart and living by these two words, they would for the most part no longer go wrong, but enjoy complete tranquillity. And these two words he used to say were anechou [bear, sustain] and apechou [forbear, abstain].Best wishes,Dave
---In firstname.lastname@example.org, <ptypes@...> wrote:Marcus Aurelius associates virtue with the three disciplines in an
interesting and useful way: he _names_ each of them by a specific
He calls the discipline of assent the virtue of Truth. The discipline
of desire he calls the virtue of Temperance. And the discipline of
action he calls the virtue of Justice.
Marcus (9.1.3-4) says to himself about the discipline of desire, or Temperance:
3] And indeed he who pursues pleasure [commits] an impiety. For of
necessity such a man must often find fault with the universal nature,
alleging that it assigns things to the bad and the good contrary to
their deserts, because frequently the bad are in the enjoyment of
pleasure and possess the things which procure pleasure, but the good
have pain for their share and the things which cause pain.
 And further, he who is afraid of pain will sometimes also be
afraid of some of the things which will happen in the world, and even
this is impiety. And he who pursues pleasure will not abstain from
injustice, and this is plainly impiety. Now with respect to the things
towards which the universal nature is equally affected- for it would
not have made both, unless it was equally affected towards both-
towards these they who wish to follow nature should be of the same
mind with it, and equally affected. With respect to pain, then, and
pleasure, or death and life, or honour and dishonour, which the
universal nature employs equally, whoever is not equally affected is
manifestly acting impiously.(trans. (with possible omissions by me)
On Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM, Dave Kelly <ptypes@...> wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 7:04 PM, Richard <pmsrxw@...> wrote:
>> What about Desiring Virtue? How does one discipline THAT desire? What if one desires Courage? How does the disciline of Desire apply?
> A discipline of virtue might well be based on Chapter 10 of Epictetus'
> 10. On every occasion when something happens to you, remember to turn
> to yourself to see what capacity you have for dealing with it. If you
> are attracted to a beautiful boy or woman, you will find that
> self-control is the capacity to use for that. If hardship befalls you,
> you will find endurance; if abuse, you will find patience. Make this
> your habit and you will not be carried away by impressions (trans
> Keith Seddon).
>> Regards, Richard
> Best wishes,
> Subject everything to judgment.
> Accept everything that happens.
> Do everything for the common good.
Subject everything to judgment.
Accept everything that happens.
Do everything for the common good.