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."