Vigor and Responsibility

in Stoicism & Emotion

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226305578
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226305202 | DOI:
Vigor and Responsibility

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This chapter discusses the problems of causation to clarify what is implied by the school's notorious claim that emotions are volitional. It is argued that responsibility is not incompatible with Stoic determinism, nor does it leave Stoics without recourse to explain the common experience of being overridden or run away with by one's emotion. The causes of emotion are exactly like the causes of other sorts of impulse. In choosing Odysseus' self-admonishment to show his position on mental conflict, Chrysippus can hardly have been unaware that the same example had been mentioned already by Plato in the fourth book of the Republic. Chrysippus' allusion indicated that he perceives some continuity between his own moral psychology and that of the Republic.The uncompromising nature of emotional impulses must be directly linked to their being caused by ascriptions of genuine value.

Keywords: causation; responsibility; Odysseus; Stoics; emotions; Stoic determinism; Chrysippus; Republic; emotional impulses

Chapter.  9982 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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