The Tears of Alcibiades

in Stoicism & Emotion

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226305578
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226305202 | DOI:
The Tears of Alcibiades

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This chapter considers that the Stoic system not only allows but actually requires the retention of many dimensions of affectivity in ordinary persons, including even the painful feelings of sorrow and remorse. It also describes the response called by Greek Stoics metameleia; a near English equivalent is “remorse.” It also evaluates the role of remorse in Stoic philosophy. A suggestion made by Chrysippus concerning practical strategies for consolation is then elaborated. The material presented on remorse and shame gives rise to further reflections on the old ideal of apatheia or the disappearance of the pathē. It is noted that even those who are not wise will sometimes respond affectively to integral objects. The emotions described for Alcibiades, and for Serenus, are true to life, and there are other reactions, too, that are a mix: times when grief is compounded with remorse, desire with aspiration, fear with moral shame.

Keywords: sorrow; remorse; Stoic system; Greek Stoics; Stoic philosophy; Chrysippus; moral shame; Alcibiades; grief; Serenus

Chapter.  9198 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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