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Title: Love, Compassion and Other Vices: A History of the Stoic Theory of the Emotions
Authors: Kaufman, David Holmes
Advisors: Lorenz, Hendrik
Contributors: Classics Department
Keywords: Chrysippus
Subjects: Philosophy
Classical studies
Classical literature
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The Stoics held the surprising, and perhaps even paradoxical, position that all emotions (<italic>pathe</italic>) are vicious and, consequently, play no role at all in a virtuous and fulfilling human life. In support of this claim, they argued both that emotions depend fundamentally on, and in a sense just are, certain false evaluative beliefs, and that emotions are <&ldquo;>excessive and rejecting of reason<&rdquo;>. My dissertation focuses especially on the latter claim, which has been largely misrepresented by scholarship on the Stoic theory of the emotions. In elucidating it, I argue for a new interpretation of the classical Stoic theory of the emotions formulated by Chrysippus, the most influential of the early Stoics. I also give an overview of the reception and development of his theory by the later Stoics Posidonius and Seneca, many of whose innovations, I argue, aim to explain why, according to the Stoic account, emotions are altogether <&ldquo;>rejecting of reason<&rdquo;> despite being based on certain occurrent evaluative beliefs. Beyond its contribution to the study of Stoic ethics, I take my dissertation to advance our understanding of the classical world chiefly in two ways. First, by devoting much of my dissertation to the sophisticated reception of the classical Stoic theory of the emotions by later Stoics, I challenge the common portrayal of philosophers in the later Hellenistic and the early Imperial period as popularizing reporters of school dogma rather than innovative philosophers in their own right. Second, I take my dissertation to contribute to the broader study of ancient emotions. As I hope to show in future work, the Stoic theory provides the framework for much of the subsequent philosophical discussion of the emotions in antiquity. A detailed and accurate account of the Stoic theory of the emotions will, therefore, be crucial as a foundation for future research on Hellenistic and Imperial conceptions of the emotions.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Classics

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