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Emotion and Peace of Mind

1996 to 1997
University of Edinburgh

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

Available Chapters



1: Emotion as Cognitive and its Therapy

2: The Emotions as Value Judgements in Chrysippus

3: Seneca's Defence Third Movements as Harmonizing Chrysippus and Zeno

4: Seneca's Defence First Movements as Answering Posidonius

5: The Arts First Movements and Controversies on Drama and Music Aristotle Philodemus and the Stoics

6: Posidonius on the Irrational Forces in Emotion Galen's Report

7: Posidonius Judgements Insufficient for Emotion Exhaustion and Lack of Imagination

8: Posidonius Judgements Not Necessary for Emotion Disowned Judgements Animals Music

26: Augustine on Lust and the Will

9: Aspasius and Other Objections to Chrysippus

10: What is Missing from the Judgemental Analysis? Brain Research and Limitations on Stoic Cognitive Therapy

11: The Role of Analytic Philosophy in Stoic Cognitive Therapy

12: Stoic Indifference: A Barrier to Therapy?

13: The Case for and against Eradication of Emotion

14: The Traditions of Moderation and Eradication

15: How the Ancient Exercises Work

16: Exercises Concerned with Time and the Self

17: Physiology and the Non-Cognitive: Galen's Alternative Approach to Emotion

18: Sex Love and Marriage in Pagan Philosophy and the Use of Catharsis

19: Catharsis and the Classification of Therapies

20: Emotional Conflict and the Divided Self

21: The Concept of Will

22: First Movements as Bad Thoughts: Origen and his Legacy

23: From First Movements to the Seven Cardinal Sins: Evagrius

24: First Movements in Augustine: Adaptation and Misunderstanding

25: Christians on Moderation versus Eradication

Oxford University Press
  • Shin Ahn, University of Edinburgh