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Believing that one has bronchitis could be unrelated to the presence of the disease or to the antibiotics prescribed for its cure.

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Patients can contribute to their own treatment by maintaining positive thoughts and attitudes. They must learn to bear the discomfort caused by frank criticism and feel grateful for it. Ad Marc. Within the context of an Epicurean community, Epicurean therapy would seem to work only if the student has already been informed of Epicurean norms and is willing to be judged according to them.

Of course, Epicurean teachers may use frank speech also towards people outside the school, but this does not bear on the relation between teachers and students in Epicurean groups. Conversely, the therapist is willing to tolerate a certain amount of aggression from patients whose feelings have been hurt by frank speech. He acknowledges openly his failings and seeks correction. And he occasionally switches roles with his students, if only for educational purposes.

Philodemus - New World Encyclopedia

However, they can also make high intellectual demands of their readers. Popular writings too, such as epitomes, require a certain degree of sophistication. Besides, although the Epicureans set stringent ethical constraints upon therapeutic arguments, it does not follow that they would have been happy to substitute for reasoning a drug that would make one forget all empty beliefs and retain only true ones, assuming that such a drug existed. In truth, we are very disturbed by the fear of the gods and of death, and by worries concerning the evil and the good, pain and pleasure.

Even if 64 analysis and treatment Philodemus remarks, we successfully accomplish our moral choices only when we measure them by the ends laid down by nature De elect. And since our ability to do so is the very stamp of human rationality, no drug can ever take its place. Whether or not this is true, Philodemus remains closely bound to that model in so far as he proposes a plurality of therapeutic strategies, many of which he borrows from other schools. Like the doctor of the body, the Epicurean physician of the soul treats psychic diseases—for example, anger De ir.

He treats the patient by reminding him of the consequences of anger, both those that one has suffered in the past and those that are likely to occur in the future. Not only do they represent what the sage says and does as a teacher, but they are also part of the ideal person that he is: i. For instance, enraged people suffer in body and mind X. Philodemus insists against Timasagoras, a rival De ir. Typically, they judge from personal and collective experience how to treat individual occurrences of a passion in the past or in the future.

Occasional failures in diagnosis or treatment are usually caused by empirical factors and are explained on empirical grounds. They make enemies stronger than themselves XII. They abuse their social relationships XVII. Contemplating them induces one to feel horror De ir. I elaborate this point immediately below. Cicero claims that although Epicurus approved the rule set by Plato Phdr. For a formula that points to what we already know I. At most, it outlines or explains the object of investigation by reminding us of its prominent characteristics.

They clarify the primary concepts involved in the investigation and set the agenda for the analyses to follow. As to their contents, they are drawn from the stock of characterology, and are best understood as empirically based descriptions of human types. One example is the outline of the arrogant person.

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Variations notwithstanding, there are good empirical grounds for conceding that arrogant men are marked by a sense of superiority and contempt for others. But it does bring to the fore the primary concept of the examination as a point of common agreement cf. She discusses evidence from Galen and Sextus on p. Different views are proposed, e.

These interpretations overlap to some extent, but I am inclined to favour the variant defended by Long : viz. The point is relevant to my interpretation of Philodemus, De oec. Cicero, De nat. However, he is conservative regarding changes in customary linguistic usage cf. But speaking correctly is dependent upon thinking correctly about the facts of nature as well as of morality.

Long suggests that by that expression Epicurus meant both using the same word in more than one sense and using general terms with multiple reference. See De Lacy and De Lacy Moreover, he brings out the methodological importance of both the proleptic meaning and of other meanings as they occur in particular teachings or doctrines.

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As we shall see below, Philodemus probably does. He contends that nothing is more pleasant than freedom from pain, and infers that indolentia is the same thing as voluptas II. We must not [absurdly] violate this [sc. On balance, the last option seems the most straightforward reading and, moreover, is supported by a parallel in Philodemus. V, XXX.


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Central to his task is the contrast between a traditional conception of oikonomia marked by the aggressive and single-minded pursuit of wealth which, however, must come through legitimate means and from socially acceptable sources and an Epicurean oikonomia based on ethics, and in particular on the hedonistic calculus. The passage cited above comes fairly late in the argument and anticipates an objection that might run as follows. For the traditional oikonomos regulates the activities of acquisition, preservation, and use of wealth solely in accordance with quantitative criteria sc.

The opening sentence puts us on our guard. So he sketches two different ways of developing the preconception. According to the former, the good money-maker is a money-maker who is a good person: namely, someone who acts with a view to what is useful for pleasure; hence, ideally, he is the sage. According to the latter, the good money-maker is a person who is good at money-making: namely, an expert who lawfully procures as many riches as possible.

He has argued beforehand that the sage cannot, at any rate, be considered a bad manager.

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The philosopher cannot reasonably be called a bad manager in the ordinary sense of the term. For while he does not amass XIX. He even gives a reason why people often think otherwise. There are at least two ways of doing such a survey. I shall call them vertical and horizontal. A vertical treatment could be a matter of going through the treatises one by one and studying the methods employed in each treatise concerning a single trait or a cluster of related traits.

What I call horizontal approaches are broader and more conceptual.

They cut across long time periods, geographical areas, schools, and objects of treatment. According to Hadot 83—4 , the techniques cited in compendia of this sort were widely known, since they were parts of daily life and subjects of oral instruction. I First, I shall make some general claims. Many exercises are of this last sort. For Philodemus realizes, as do his rivals, that psychic diseases require a plurality of methods because they can be hard to cure. Also, he wishes to address people of various intellectual orientations, not just Epicureans.

For he believes that the application of treatment must be ad hoc, and that the physician of the soul cannot predict in advance just how each patient will respond to a given remedy De ir. They are harsher or milder, more or less lengthy, more or less strenuous, and so on. Also, they vary, depending on their nature and the psychic powers that they are intended to address. Sorabji engages with philosophical literature and also offers the most comprehensive account of exercises to date. It will be obvious that my own exposition is greatly indebted to his.

An interesting outcome of the procedure that I follow is that most types of exercises used by the Hellenistic schools are also found in Philodemus. Shifts of attention which may or may not be accompanied by changes of belief , pictorial thinking, imaginings, etc. There is some evidence that he does Cicero, De off.

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If this is right, he might have cast a friendly eye on the non-cognitive strategies of Posidonius. This last expression was proposed by Pierre Hadot, who defends it as follows. The expression is a bit disconcerting for the contemporary reader.


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  • It is nevertheless necessary to use this term, I believe, because none of the other adjectives we could use Yet, here again, this would be too limited a view of things These exercises in fact correspond to a transformation of our vision of the world, and to a metamorphosis of our personality.