Ideas of Seneca the Younger, by Theme

[Roman, -4 - 65, Born in Cordoba, Spain. Chief adviser to the Emperor Nero. Murdered by his master.]

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1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 1. Nature of Wisdom
Wisdom does not lie in books, and unread people can also become wise
1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 2. Wise People
A wise man is not subservient to anything
Wise people escape necessity by willing it
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
Philosophy aims at happiness
What philosophy offers humanity is guidance
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 3. Necessary/Sufficient Conditions
That something is a necessary condition of something else doesn't mean it caused it
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 5. Against Analysis
Even philosophers have got bogged down in analysing tiny bits of language
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation
To the four causes Plato adds a fifth, the idea which guided the event
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 1. Dualism
If everything can be measured, try measuring the size of a man's soul
19. Language / B. Reference / 1. Reference theories
Referring to a person, and speaking about him, are very different
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / d. Love
Is anything sweeter than valuing yourself more when you find you are loved?
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / f. Self interest
Selfishness does not produce happiness; to live for yourself, live for others
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 2. Happiness / a. Nature of happiness
To be always happy is to lack knowledge of one half of nature
A man is as unhappy as he has convinced himself he is
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 2. Happiness / b. Eudaimonia
Life is like a play - it is the quality that matters, not the length
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 3. Pleasure / e. Role of pleasure
We are scared of death - except when we are immersed in pleasure!
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 3. Pleasure / f. Dangers of pleasure
The whole point of pleasure-seeking is novelty, and abandoning established ways
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / a. Idealistic ethics
The supreme good is harmony of spirit
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / j. Ethics by convention
Trouble in life comes from copying other people, which is following convention instead of reason
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / b. Living naturally
Nature doesn't give us virtue; we must unremittingly pursue it, as a training and an art
Living contrary to nature is like rowing against the stream
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / c. Motivation for virtue
I seek virtue, because it is its own reward
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / e. Character
True greatness is never allowing events to disturb you
Character is ruined by not looking back over our pasts, since the future rests on the past
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / j. Unity of virtue
Virtue is always moderate, so excess need not be feared
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / a. Virtues
Every night I critically review how I have behaved during the day
It is shameful to not even recognise your own slaves
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / b. Temperance
Anger is an extreme vice, threatening sanity, and gripping whole states
Anger is a vice which afflicts good men as well as bad
It's no good winning lots of fights, if you are then conquered by your own temper
Excessive curiosity is a form of intemperance
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / a. External goods
Nothing bad can happen to a good man
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / c. Wealth
There is far more scope for virtue if you are wealth; poverty only allows endurance
Why does your wife wear in her ears the income of a wealthy house?
If wealth was a good, it would make men good
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 1. Death
We know death, which is like before birth; ceasing to be and never beginning are the same
Living is nothing wonderful; what matters is to die well
It is as silly to lament ceasing to be as to lament not having lived in the remote past
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 4. Suicide
Suicide may be appropriate even when it is not urgent, if there are few reasons against it
Sometimes we have a duty not to commit suicide, for those we love
If we control our own death, no one has power over us
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / e. General will
To govern used to mean to serve, not to rule; rulers did not test their powers over those who bestowed it
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / a. Nature of democracy
Unfortunately the majority do not tend to favour what is best
25. Society / E. State Functions / 4. Education / c. Teaching
Both teachers and pupils should aim at one thing - the improvement of the pupil
One joy of learning is making teaching possible
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / c. Forces
The ocean changes in volume in proportion to the attraction of the moon
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 2. Time / a. Time
Does time exist on its own? Did anything precede it? Did it pre-exist the cosmos?