Chapter

EXCESSIVENESS AND OUR NATURAL DEVELOPMENT

ROSALIND HURSTHOUSE

in Virtue and Happiness

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646043
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191743368 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646043.003.0010

Series: Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy

EXCESSIVENESS AND OUR NATURAL DEVELOPMENT

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Twenty-five years ago, Inwood said that the question of what the excessiveness of the impulses involved in the emotions or passions consisted in was ‘perhaps the most difficult aspect of the [Stoic] theory of the passions’. In this chapter it is argued that we need to distinguish the violent, ‘literal’, form of excessiveness from an ‘ethically loaded’ form, but that Chrysippus’s account of excessiveness as being ‘out of control’ applies to both. Moreover, if, as he does not, we push the story of our natural development as rational animals back to where it truly starts, namely with speech in toddlers, his view that excessive impulses come from a defective rational soul, one that has not developed in accordance with nature, also applies to both.

Keywords: Chrysippus; emotions; excessiveness; natural development; passions; Stoic

Chapter.  11420 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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