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 / 4. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
What philosophy offers humanity is guidance
Philosophy aims at happiness
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, trying measuring the size of a man's soul
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 2. Goodness / b. Candidates for the Good
The supreme good is harmony of spirit
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 5. Happiness / a. Nature of happiness
A man is as unhappy as he has convinced himself he is
To be always happy is to lack of knowledge of one half of nature
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 5. Happiness / b. Eudaimonia
Life is like a play - it is the quality that matters, not the length
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / e. Role of pleasure
We are scared of death - except when we are immersed in pleasure!
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 6. Pleasure / f. Dangers of pleasure
The whole point of pleasure-seeking is novelty, and abandoning established ways
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 8. Love
Is anything sweeter than valuing yourself more when you find you are loved?
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 9. Selfishness
Selfishness does not produce happiness; to live for yourself, live for others
22. Metaethics / B. Basis of Ethics / 3. Morality as 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
It is shameful to not even recognise your own slaves
Every night I critically review how I have behaved during the day
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / b. Temperance
Anger is a vice which afflicts good men as well as bad
Anger is an extreme vice, threatening sanity, and gripping whole states
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
If wealth was a good, it would make men good
Why does your wife wear in her ears the income of a wealthy house?
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 / C. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / a. Nature of democracy
Unfortunately the majority do not tend to favour what is best
25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. 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
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / a. Time
Does time exist on its own? Did anything precede it? Did it pre-exist the cosmos?
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism
The cosmos has two elements - passive matter, and active cause (or reason) which shapes it
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 3. Force
The ocean changes in volume in proportion to the attraction of the moon