Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Quiz Feb11

Epictetus, Cicero, Seneca (LH); WATCH: The Stoics (SoL); LISTEN:Seneca & facing death (HI)... Podcast



1. Which Stoic started out as a slave, and inspired a future American fighter pilot? 

2. Which Stoic, a lawyer, politician, and noted orator as well as a philosopher, said experience, friendship, and conversation offset some of the problems associated with growing old? 

3. Which Stoic said our problem is not how short life is, but how badly most of us use the time we do have (and then ironically had his own life shortened at Nero's command)? 


 

4. Like the ancient skeptics, Stoics aim for what?

5. One benefit of living well is that you don't have to fear what (besides death) when you're old?

6. One potential problem with Stoic indifference to events beyond our control is that we risk becoming what?
*BONUS questions:

*Plato's Euthyphro Dilemma implies that either God is not the source of morality, OR morality is arbitrary...

*For Immanuel Kant, a deontologist in ethics, a moral action is one performed from a sense of ________. (duty, fear, selfishness, inclination, sympathy, compassion) P 42

*This 19th century English Utilitarian said we should seek the greatest happiness for the greatest number. And, you can still go and see him in London:

*The late 20th century Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick came up with a virtual reality thought experiment he called the _______ Machine.

DQ:

1. Do you think you could effectively adopt a Stoic mindset ("Our thoughts are up to us," we shouldn't be affected by circumstances beyond our control, etc.) that would enable you to endure captivity and torture? IDo you attempt to adopt that mindset in less extreme everyday circumstances (like a rainstorm just before class)?

2. Do you "hope [you] die before you get old" or do you look forward to the compensations of old age (memories, old friends, grandchildren etc.)? Do you think 100 become the new 65, in your lifetime? How long do you hope to live? If cryonics ever becomes plausible would you want to use it?

3. Are you a good time-manager, or a procrastinator? Do you usually approach life as if you had "all the time in the world"?  If Nero ordered YOU to take your own life, would you resist or comply? Why?

4. Are you a calm, tranquil, laid-back person? Do you try to be? How do you (try to) achieve that state of mind?

5. Do you know any old people with lots of happy, pleasant, instructive memories? Would you say they've lived well, or "flourished" over their lifetimes?

6. Is there a way to be a compassionate, caring person AND avoid excessive worry about tragic, troubling events?

==
Contrary to Dostoevsky...

==
See also:
Why aren't the godless all "rushing out and murder... Epicurus & Epictetus...
==
An old post:
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Stoics & ethics

It’s a terse and breezy reading assignment in Little History today in CoPhi, on the Stoics Epictetus, Cicero, and Seneca. We're also looking at the first half of our chapter on Right & Wrong, concerned mainly with deontologists and utilitarians. (They're bumping last year's complementary discussion of Stoics & Pragmatists.)

’Being philosophical’ simply means accepting what you can’t change, for instance the inevitable process of growing older and the shortness of life.

‘Stoic’ came from the Stoa, which was a painted porch.

Like the Sceptics, Stoics aimed for a calm state of mind. Even when facing tragic events, such as the death of a loved one, the Stoic should remain unmoved. Our attitude to what happens is within our control even though what happens often isn’t. [The Philosophy of Calm, Ph'er Mail]

Stoics think we are responsible for what we feel and think. We can choose our response to good and bad luck… They believe emotions cloud reasoning and damage judgment.

Epictetus [don't confuse him with his predecessor Epicurus] started out as a slave. When he declared that the mind can remain free even when the body is enslaved he was drawing on his own experience. [Tom Wolfe's Epictetus, nyt]

The brevity of life and the inevitability of aging were topics that particularly interested Cicero and Seneca.

Cicero said old people can spend more time on friendship and conversation. He believed the soul lived forever, so old people shouldn’t worry about dying. [Epicurus already told us they needn't worry in any event.]

For Seneca the problem is not how short our lives are, but rather how badly most of us use what time we have.

“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today… The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” Maria Popova, Brainpickings

The Stoic ideal was to live like a recluse… studying philosophy and get[ting] rid of those troublesome emotions.

["Seneca falls"... "dead stoics society"..."philosopher walks"..."premeditation"..."per aspera"..."self-sufficient"... Seneca on anger (de Botton)... (The Shortness of Life: Seneca on the Art of Living Well Rather Than Living Long - Brainpickings) The Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and The Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long]
The New Yorker (@NewYorker)
Seneca’s plays were gore-fests. His wealth was vast. He counselled tyrants. And he called himself a Stoic?nyr.kr/1EPqUOh
Book of Life (@bkoflife)
Philosophical meditation, a guide thebookoflife.org/philosophical-…

But Nigel Warburton‘s question is right on target: at what price? If you’re even half human, like Mr. Spock, you’ll only damage yourself by suppressing your affective side. Calm may not be the greatest good, after all. On the other hand, Stoicism is widely misunderstood - even by Vulcans. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/02/how-to-be-a-stoic/ … @mpigliucci

Anyway, Roman philosophy is under-rated. The Romans have done a lot for us.




And not all emperors were so bad as Nero. Marcus Aurelius was actually quite sane, and humane.

Stoicism, with its general mindset of not allowing oneself to be moved or harmed by externals beyond one's control, and the crucial assumption that our own thoughts are ours to manage, always courts the cold of Vulcan indifference but also offers the last line of defense for prisoners of war and victims of malice. If you really can persuade yourself that physical pain is nothing to you, that emotional stress can't touch you, that's quite a defensive weapon.

And if Stoicism can turn the chill of age into the warmth of experience, friendship, and joyous memory, that's quite an achievement. The older I get, the more I appreciate old Seneca's wisdom about time (not that it's in such short supply but that we're such bad managers of it). But I continue to question his passive compliance with crazy Nero. Is that Stoicism or impotent resignation? Surely there's a difference.

The Euthyphro Dilemma is on our plate today. "Is the pious or holy [or, ethically speaking, the right or the good] beloved by the gods because it is holy [right. good], or holy (etc.) because it is beloved?" Euthyphro didn't grasp the issue. Do we? Either God's not the source of good, or good's good only nominally and arbitrarily. Nigel implies there's something destructive or Hobson-ish about this choice, but isn't it just blindingly clear that pole A is the one to grab? Well no, it won't be to many students. A good discussion is called for.

"Deontology," a scary word for a scary over-devotion to "duty." Or so I'll say, today.

And, time permitting, I'll put in some good words for both Jeremy Bentham and J.S. Mill's respective versions of consequentialist utilitarian hedonism. Let's not choose, let's pick cherries.

Finally, the bonus topic: Robert Nozick's Experience Machine. Fire it up, we'll see if anybody really wants to step inside.

I'm "flipping" my classes these days, which practically means less of my "content" explicated during the precious minutes of classtime (though it's still right here for the taking, as always) and more group discussion. I like my DQs today, especially Do you think the only thing preventing you from being good is the fear of divine retribution for being bad? Or do you think that to be good one must simply believe in goodness and reciprocity ("Do unto others" etc.)?

In other words, Julia Sweeney, Why aren't the godless all "rushing out and murdering people"?

And, Is it better to be a sad but wise Socrates than to be a happy but ignorant fool?

Don't worry, be happy is not too far off the path of wisdom, is it?

47 comments:

  1. What did Epictetus' teachings include?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous1:21 AM CDT

    karol saleh [8]
    Are you a good time-manager?
    i am always have a good time management, not only with school materials but with everything else. for examples house work, doctor appointments, and other things. it helps me to finish thing quick and easy.

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  3. Jeri (12)10:06 AM CDT

    I feel like most of the time I am not that calm, as I am usually very impatient. However when I know I should become more calm, I usually think of how I will feel after the event that I am not currently calm about. Right now when I think of whether or not I am usually calm, school comes to mind. I feel like school stresses me out a lot, making me not as calm as I'd like to be.

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  4. Anonymous10:29 AM CDT

    (12) I liked the stoic philosophy because if you expect the worst then you can only be happier when the worst situation doesn't happen.

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  5. (12) QQ: What do stoics consider the opium of emotions? A: Hope

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  6. Anonymous12:35 PM CDT

    Mariem Farag
    Section #12
    I have met many old people with great happy stories to tell. Many of them, I would say, lived a good life, but almost all wished they had of done something they were afraid to do. Also, almost all wished they used more of their time on their family, rather than just work.

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  7. I'm normally quite calm, but have a high stress level and tend to obsess when something stresses me out. What helps me keep my cool is to keep an open mind and look for a solution to whatever is stressing me out. The idea that there's always a solution helps me to calm back down and stay calm. (Section 11)

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  8. Section # 12- Discussion Question#3-I believe I have made it a point to become good at time management in order to do all the things I want in the world. In our group discussion today- We thought of how Cicero viewed the use of time in order to become all that he did. We believe that is the way to approach the world if you mean to be successful in life (whatever you believe success means to you). Some of us felt that to live as though you had " all the time in the world" was a successful way to approach life. This could be just as correct because it would reduce a lot of external pressures someone who tries and do too much in the few amount of time there is in a day. Upon ordered to take your own life - we believe that would really bring to light your deep thoughts and true self and beliefs- and only when confronted with the situation would you really know how you would react. (Krystal Bird, Misha Sweet, Justin Huggins)

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  9. 9/21/15 Group Discussion Report
    Trent Dillihay/Justin Fox/Katelin Simmons

    Regarding the first question concerning time management/procrastination, our group agreed that there is a sort of balance to it. Procrastinating can be both a good and a bad thing; in moderation, it can be used as a way of conserving one's mental health by avoiding overworking yourself. At the same time, being able to plan things out and manage your time is vital. Regarding the second question about stoicism and emotional reactions, we agreed that, again, there's something of a balance. Emotion is something that is inherently linked to human nature and is part of what makes us human. Of course, if someone close to you is injured, you're going to have a natural emotional reaction to it, but there's a difference between being calm while still having an emotional response and losing control of your emotions and going into a panicked state. I personally think that that is what stoicism was aiming to prevent, but tended to take the reaction to it too far.

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  10. 9/21/15...Section 11 (Jimmie, Brad, Grady)...we decided that a form of procrastination works best for us because we time it out in order to get things done. In regards to the other question, we all say we couldn't kill ourselves even if forced with death. We also discussed our group topic and how we plan to address it.

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  11. Anonymous7:46 PM CDT

    9/21/15 section 11 (rushdi,sierra,arol) question 3: our group decided to talk about time management and procrastination. We agreed that procrastination is a big part of the college experience but we still time manage our procrastinations in a way of still turning in our assignments even if we did them the night before. in regards to the other question, we all agreed that killing ourselves would not be an option for us, we said that we would at least fight and have a 50/50 shot rather than just give up.

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  12. (8) Janet Peoples
    Are you a good time-manager, or a procrastinator? Do you usually approach life as if you had "all the time in the world"? If Nero ordered YOU to take your own life, would you resist or comply? Why?
    I try to manage my time so that i don't get way behind in my school work. Sometimes i do get behind and have to rush to get things done but i do get everything done. I would not take my life because i want to die when its my time and not die if someone told me to take my life.

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  13. (8) Janet Peoples
    Are you a calm, tranquil, laid-back person? Do you try to be? How do you (try to) achieve that state of mind?
    I'm not that calm but can be a laid back person when im the most comfortable. I try to not worry about everything that happens in my life and not take everything personal. .

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  14. Stoics believed our attitude to what happens is __________ even though what happens often isn’t.

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  15. (#8) 4. Are you a calm, tranquil, laid-back person? Do you try to be? How do you (try to) achieve that state of mind?

    I can consider myself calm and laid-back when my anxiety isn't constantly nagging me, my depression isn't coming over uninvited and my constant thoughts of suicide are shoving cookies and cakes into my face. I can consider myself calm and laid-back when things around me go silent, as eventful or uneventful as they are, I tune out and I go with my business. I focus not on me but, the space entirely I am taking up. Getting into that state of mind and keeping it is a feat in itself, yet it's also a reliever when your mind is just being tossed and turn about with the stresses in life that shouldn't be stressful.

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  16. (8) Are you a calm, tranquil, laid-back person? Do you try to be? How do you (try to) achieve that state of mind?

    I am a very calm, tranquil, and laid-back person. I don't try to be, it's just in my nature.

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  17. (#8) 2. Do you "hope [you] die before you get old" or do you look forward to the compensations of old age (memories, old friends, grandchildren etc.)? Do you think 100 become the new 65, in your lifetime? How long do you hope to live? If cryonics ever becomes plausible would you want to use it?

    Robby, Ethan, Kyler, and I discussed whether we want to live past the age 65. Ethan and Kyler both agreed that they would not want to live past the age 70 because they believe money status and age contradict themselves. But both Robby and I would want to live until we could no longer do things for ourselves. We do believe that 100 will become the new 65 because of today's technology and so many people are selfish in the way they keep their friends/family alive. We all agree though we would want to live until we are not self sufficient anymore.

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  18. Zion McKinney9:23 AM CDT

    (4) Do you hope to die before growing old?

    No, everyone in our group hopes to have the experiences of life and have impact on other people's lives.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous2:32 PM CDT

    (#8 TR) Whitney, Morgan, and Elsabeth
    We discussed how we would be calm and finally came to the conclusion that it depends on the situation according to how calm we can be. Then we went into talking about how we would want to live when we get older. We shared similar personal stories about the decrease in health of older, loved ones. Eventually, we decided it's not perhaps about your quantity of life but the quality of your life; there is a line- medically speaking- for when enough is enough because death is inevitable and a way of life.

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  20. (8) our group comprised of Nick, Matt, Sophia and Kayliegh discussed the implications of mortality vs immortality. The concept of immortality as a whole was easily grasped by Kayliegh, who believes in the after life. She stated that mortality was actually only a temporary problem and that death would bring with it an entirely new and everlasting happiness. For the remainder of us, though we appreciated mortality and the fact that mortality in effect limits our opportunity for experience, we felt that mortality without an afterlife provided more meaning. It enriched our minor experiences by putting a limit on our capacity for experience.

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  21. (#8) In response to DQ4, I would consider myself a calm and collected person. I tend not get to caught up in the frenzy of life by feeling anxious or nervous. Having said that, I definitely do have those feelings; but, I try to achieve a more calm state during these times by expecting the worst and being happy with whatever outcome happens. This almost 100% of the time works in calming my nerves.

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  22. #4

    Many people feel like the fact that life's impermanence strips it of any meaning. The moral of Ecclesiastes, for example, seems to be that nothing matters because we'll all die anyway. But I wonder if prolonging life indefinitely would actually confer any meaning on it, or if it would simply create a much longer but more banal existence.

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  23. Lucas Futrell (6)
    additional quiz questions:
    1. Where does the name "Stoic" come from?

    2.Why was Seneca exiled to Corsica for eight years?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sophie Raffo #611:49 AM CST

      1.The Stoa- the painted poarch in Athens where philosophers met
      2.He was accused of having an affair with the Emperor Gaius' sister

      Delete
  24. Sean Byars Section 6
    Quiz Question: Where did the name Stoic come from?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sean Byars Section 6
    DQ #3: Are you a procrastinator? I would definitely say my time management skills need improvement. This is apparent given the time I am writing this comment I always wait until the last minute and I do feel like I have all the time in the world.

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  26. Section #4

    Group project on SOCRATES:

    Members: Ian Law, Alex Knight, James Skylar Dean

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  27. Do you think you could effectively adopt a Stoic mindset ("Our thoughts are up to us," we shouldn't be affected by circumstances beyond our control, etc.) that would enable you to endure captivity and torture? IDo you attempt to adopt that mindset in less extreme everyday circumstances (like a rainstorm just before class)?

    I don't think I could use this concept to endure captivity and torture, but I do attempt this mindset in everyday circumstances. I try to not fret over the things I cannot control such as the weather.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous10:35 AM CST

    Devin (6)
    Found this funny

    Http://imgur.com/zfRyuYb

    ReplyDelete
  29. Katharine, Stephen, Preston (4)
    - We kind of briefly discussed all of the questions, but I guess we'll just answer the 3rd one. We all admitted to being procrastinators. We also agreed that most college students were also procrastinators. Then to address the question about complying with Nero's command to kill ourselves, we definitely said no! although it depends on our situation at the moment, like if we already weren't living such a pleasant life or not. But if not, we'd definitely try to get away before Nero comes for us, haha!

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  30. Section 4
    Group: Katie and Alley
    We talked mostly about Seneca and stoicism.

    ReplyDelete
  31. (6) Quiz Question
    According to Seneca, how should we spend our time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. enjoying friendships and conversations

      Delete
    2. enjoying friendships and conversations

      Delete
  32. Sophie Raffo #611:53 AM CST

    What does "being philosophical" simply mean?

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  33. What ancient Greek said "Life is short, art is long?"

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sophie Raffo #612:10 PM CST

    Do you "hope [you] die before you get old" or do you look forward to the compensations of old age (memories, old friends, grandchildren etc.)? Do you think 100 become the new 65, in your lifetime? How long do you hope to live? If cryonics ever becomes plausible would you want to use it?

    I do look forward to gaining life wisdom and sharing it with my children and heir children. Honestly, I think your mind stops aging at 25-- so you wouldn't really be growing old in the mind. Of course, you will forget things, but I hope to share memories with my family and document them though pictures in order to not lose them. I feel like 100 will become the new 65 with all the new anti- aging research going on. I hope to live long enough to see my children grow up to be independent adults with their own families.I would never want to be part of the use of cryonics because i feel like we should just live with the time we've been given. To play with mortality would be wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous12:28 PM CST

    Devin (6)

    Quiz Question:

    According to Seneca, how should we spend our time?

    ReplyDelete
  36. 6 Brock Francis
    Where did the word "Stoic" originate from?

    ReplyDelete
  37. 6 Brock Francis
    DQ 3
    I am a bit of a blend between a good time-manager and procrastinator. Although I do procrastinate a lot, I can balance many different responsibilities at a given point in life. I try not to waste time and try to be as productive as possible. I would not have complied with Nero because I do not believe that any person should have the say on whether I should commit suicide or not.

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  38. Dina assad2:19 PM CST

    Dina Assad, Beshoy Aziz, Fatmah
    Section 6
    Our group report will be about David.

    ReplyDelete
  39. (6)
    Cassie Matt and I discussed weather or not we could become stoics to endure torture. Matt thinks it's like flipping a switch and that it can be done. I'm not so sure, but I think the term mind over matter does apply

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  40. Section 6
    James, Courtney, Janeka, DeAndra

    Discussed the death of parents and how it affects maturity.

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  41. Section 6 - Frank Dremel, Sterling Smith and Brock Francis discussed Time management/procrastination and living stoically.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Section 4
    Midterm project group: Kate and Alley
    Topic: Seneca

    ReplyDelete
  43. Sterling Smith (#6)12:57 PM CST

    Discussion Question: Do you think people naturally become more stoic as they grow older?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Sterling Smith (#6)12:59 PM CST

    Quiz Question: What did Stoics believe about emotions?

    ReplyDelete