Ideas from 'Letters from a Stoic' by Seneca the Younger [60], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Letters from a Stoic (Selections)' by Seneca (ed/tr Campbell,Robin) [Penguin 1969,0-14-044210-3]].

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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
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 / 5. Happiness / a. Nature of happiness
A man is as unhappy as he has convinced himself he is
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 / e. Character
Character is ruined by not looking back over our pasts, since the future rests on the past
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / b. Temperance
It's no good winning lots of fights, if you are then conquered by your own temper
Excessive curiosity is a form of intemperance
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 / E. State Functions / 5. Education / c. Teaching
One joy of learning is making teaching possible
Both teachers and pupils should aim at one thing - the improvement of the pupil
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