Courage in Stoicism
A basic definition of Stoic Courage is the courage to stick to one’s principles and speak truth to power. Moderation and Self-Control are also terms that are synonymous with Stoic Courage. Temperance is the opposite of excess desire, and athenia means true abundance. Moderation and Self-Control are important components of Stoic Courage. Self-control allows an individual to achieve the happiness he or she seeks without breaking the rules.
Amor Fati, or love of fate, is a concept commonly practiced by the wise. It entails accepting everything as it comes and being content with the outcome. This principle was not embraced by the Stoics, though they did teach the concept. To live with amor fati, we must be accepting of everything in our lives, even the tragic events we experience. In doing so, we can be free of fear and regret.
In the context of amor fati and Stoicism, we should first understand their origins and function in that context. Nietzsche, for example, saw Stoicism within a particular timeframe and analyzed various aspects of it, which suggests that he may have drawn on some of the later writers’ writings. However, it is also possible that Nietzsche himself was influenced by earlier writers. Therefore, it is important to understand that we cannot simply apply the concepts of amor fati to our own lives.
The philosophy of the Stoics includes three main areas of study: ethics, physics, and logic. The latter two categories refer to natural science, metaphysics, and natural philosophy. It was the Stoics who introduced the concept of oikeisis, which means “to make one’s own.” Oikeisis is the natural impulse of an animal towards an object it views as belonging to it.
The Stoics distinguish virtues as knowledge and techne, and they identify axia and kathekonta as types of episteme. Although Aristotle does not differentiate between technical knowledge and performative techne, it is possible to identify the same idea in the philosophy of dance. Dance is an example of performative techne, since its goal is the action itself. John Sellars has linked axia and kathekonta with Stoic virtue.
One of the central ideas of Stoicism is the paradox of indifference. Stoics believe that animals and plants do not have moral natures and therefore cannot act in a moral manner. They believe that only humans are moral. But even if humans do have moral natures, they are not the right kind of people to govern the world. They do not act morally, because they do not have the wisdom to do so.
According to the Stoics, the soul is a blank sheet at birth, and only when we develop the necessary faculties can we begin to form conceptions of what is good and bad. This innate impulse is known as oikeisis. It is what animals do when they encounter an object they perceive as belonging to them. The idea that humans can think as if they are Gods or good is a myth.
Propatheia in Stoicism is a concept that entails that we should not act in ways that do not fit our character. Stoics viewed passions as negative states that disturb inner tranquility. They also regarded them as arising from practical decisions and external stimuli. Stoic psychology and ethics based their practice on this idea, stating that all psychic phenomena are unified under one entity.
The concept of pre-passion was developed by Jewish philosopher Philo, and it was subsequently adopted by the Church Fathers. Stoics also referred to this state of consciousness as propassio antepassio. Both Philo and Didymus the Blind recorded the concept of propatheia as a concept in Stoicism. The concept of pre-passion is a significant addition to understanding the way we interpret emotion.
Apatheia is the Greek word for “absence of feeling,” and was used by the Stoics to represent emotional freedom. In their debates over the meaning of life, they considered apatheia to be an important characteristic of true happiness. It was also considered to be the path to peace of mind and tranquility. In order to attain this state, the Stoics believed, people must renounce pleasure and conform to the inevitable course of events.
Despite its name, apatheia is not passionlessness, but rather, a state of serenity brought about by the Holy Spirit. This state of tranquility is also a characteristic of prayer, which is an action toward God. Jerome’s error dates back to the Byzantine Theological Tradition. This view is based on an implicit dualism, which is insidious to the Christian world, but not in a pagan culture.