Feelings without Assent

in Stoicism & Emotion

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226305578
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226305202 | DOI:
Feelings without Assent

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This chapter investigates the feelings that sometimes occur in the absence of assent. The Stoic founders devised nonprejudicial terms like “bitings” and “troubling” for responses which do not have the moral significance of genuine emotions. Cicero suggested that “biting and contraction” occur with some regularity in the wise person's experience. The view that feelings sometimes occur in the absence of assent is developed to its fullest extent in the works of Seneca. The discussion in On Anger clarifies that because the feelings of which Seneca speaks do not depend on assent, they are nonculpable, and there is no reason why the person of perfect understanding should not experience them just like anyone else. The existence of the pre-emotion concept helps to understand how Stoic views on emotion can have seemed compelling to so many intelligent persons in antiquity.

Keywords: feelings; assent; Stoic founders; bitings; troubling; Cicero; Seneca; On Anger; emotion

Chapter.  10775 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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