Roman Calendar

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hiatus (6/17/13 - 7/5/13)

I just wanted to let those who follow my blog know that I am going to be on hiatus from tomorrow (6/17/13) to about the 5th of July (7/5/13). I'll be traveling across America on a road trip with my family. I should be able to resume analysis of Stoic thought and terminology when I get back. May our weeks apart be serene!

Justice - Stoic Terminology

     In translating Marcus Aurelius, Needleman and Piazza use the term "Justice" to translate the Greek words dikē or dikaiosynē, noting that while others have translated such terms as "morality," that gives an incomplete picture of the meaning of the term. They note: "'Justice' remains the best English word, for it is a concept which has its roots in legal terminology but applies to every aspect of our behavior toward others and ourselves. Plato, in The Republic, defines justice internally as a right ordering of the parts of the SOUL [q.v.] and externally as the right ordering of the parts of a society."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Judgement - Stoic Terminology

To the Greek word hypolēpsis in Marcus Aurelius, Needleman and Piazza regularly give the English equivalent "Judgment," or also "Grasp," "Decision," or "Choice." They comment: "This is the faculty by which we perceive and assess the IMPRESSIONS [q.v.] which affect the SOUL [q.v.]."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Intelligence - Stoic Terminology

The Greek word nous in Marcus Aurelius is normally translated as "Intelligence" or "Mind"  by Needleman and Piazza. They comment: "This is the highest and most rational part of the SOUL [q.v.] and is the faculty by which we can perceive and understand the world at its most real and most good."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Independence - Stoic Terminology

In Needleman and Piazza's translation of Marcus Aurelius, the word "Independence" is usually the translation of the Greek word eleutheria. They comment: "For Marcus Aurelius, the word refers primarily to a state of inner freedom, rather than freedom from external constraints, which are often beyond one's control."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Impression, Imagining - Stoic Terminology

     Needleman and Piazza translate the Greek word phantasia in Marcus Aurelius as "impression," "imagining," "thought," or even "conception." Here is their commentary on this usage: "An impression is anything which is 'impressed' on our minds, either from external sense phenomena or internally from EMOTIONS [q.v.], thoughts, or internal sensations. For the Stoics, this is the necessary first step in the cognitive process, and right living lies not in the character of these impressions but in our reactions to them. The task of philosophy, then, is to master one's reactions to such impressions through study and meditation."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Guiding Part or Governing Part - Stoic Terminology

Piazza and Needleman use the terms "guiding part" and "governing part" to translate the Greek term hēgēmonikon in Marcus Aurelius. Their commentary follows: "The Greek and Roman philosophers viewed the human soul as composed of parts, or aspects, which can be either in harmony or in conflict with each other. Right ordering consists in allowing the naturally rational part to control the lower appetitive parts, with the result being a harmonia of the entire person. Vice and unhappiness result from a kind of inner mutiny, in which the lower appetitive parts rule over the rational, and the latter works in the service of the former."