Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Judgments and Apatheia
Margaret R. Graver in Stoicism and Emotion on "judgments:" "Judgments, as such, are either true or false. If it should turn out that a particular type of response always implies a false judgment, then that is a response we should seek to eliminate, not because we wish to be unresponsive but because we wish to avoid believing what is false. And the Stoics' chief claim about emotions, properly so called, is that they do imply false judgments . . . depend on ways of seeing the world that are demonstrably mistaken. One cannot comprehend the Stoics' position, let alone respond adequately to it, until one engages fully with their reasons for asserting this. An informative study of Stoic psychology is thus required to consider certain points in Stoic ethics as well. Above all, we need to give careful attention to the theory of value, which states the criteria by which objects are to be considered beneficial or harmful. Only then can we follow the reasoning by which impassivity (apatheia) becomes a psychological norm."