Sorabji’s Emotion and Peace of Mind, subtitled From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation, traces the historical development of ancient philosophy on emotions, emphasizing the contribution of the Stoics to the debates about what emotion is in general and how to cope with one’s own emotions and establish peace of mind. He examines how the Stoics, including Zeno, Chrysippus and Seneca, reacted to their predecessors and influenced their rivals in the issue of whether emotions are mental judgements and attitudes or if they involve irrational forces, including physical ones. In the last part of the book, he deals with the legacy of the Stoics in the Christian discussion of temptation, especially In Augustine’s thought.
Emotion and Peace of Mind
In Emotion and Peace of Mind, Sorabji examines how the Stoics developed the idea of emotions as judgements internal to the mind, differing from Platonists, who regarded emotions as rooted in the irrational faculties of the soul. He argues that for ancient philosophers and early Christians alike, philosophical analyses on the human emotions provided useful therapies for emotional disturbance. For the same reason, he expects that the ancient philosophy of emotions will contribute to current strands in psychotherapy and psychology.
- Shin Ahn, University of Edinburgh