Brutishness and Insanity

in Stoicism & Emotion

Published by University of Chicago Press

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

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This chapter presents a description on brutishness and melancholic insanity. Stoic thought provides for two different ways of being insane, one deranged or hallucinatory, and the other relatively ordinary, though not without significance. It introduces the concept of hallucination called phantastikon. Orestes served as an example of madness in a discussion of Stoic epistemology by Sextus Empiricus. Emotional causes cannot be alleged for the onset of melancholic insanity in the wise. Seneca presented anger as the second event in a temporal sequence which culminates in the behaviors of people. Anger has now to be identified from forms of aggression which are actually insane, there is need to describe it in a way which emphasizes its dependence on the ordinary reasoning abilities of human beings. Seneca was also not proposing any modification in the Stoic theory of action.

Keywords: brutishness; melancholic insanity; phantastikon; Orestes; Stoic epistemology; Seneca; anger; human beings

Chapter.  10486 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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