Ideas from 'On Providence' by Seneca the Younger [60], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Dialogues and Essays' by Seneca (ed/tr Davie,John) [Penguin 2007,978-0-19-280714-4]].

green numbers give full details    |     back to texts     |     unexpand these ideas

22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 2. Happiness / a. Nature of happiness
To be always happy is to lack knowledge of one half of nature
                        Full Idea: To be always happy and to pass through life without any mental distress is to lack knowledge of one half of nature.
                        From: Seneca the Younger (On Providence [c.60], 4)
                        A reaction: These kind of paradoxes plague virtue theory, and any theory which aims at an ideal. Heaven, for example, seems to have no problems to solve, which spells boredom. The fascination of corrupt people is their superior knowledge of the world.
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / a. External goods
Nothing bad can happen to a good man
                        Full Idea: Nothing bad can happen to a good man.
                        From: Seneca the Younger (On Providence [c.60], 2)
                        A reaction: This is a pithy summary of a well know ancient attitude - one that is rejected by Aristotle, but defended by Socrates. It depends what you mean by 'bad' - but that is a rather modern response.
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / c. Forces
The ocean changes in volume in proportion to the attraction of the moon
                        Full Idea: The waves increase by degrees, approaching to the hour and day proportionately larger or smaller in volume as they are attracted by the star we call the moon, whose power controls the ocean's surge.
                        From: Seneca the Younger (On Providence [c.60], 1)
                        A reaction: ....just in case anyone thought that Isaac Newton had invented gravity.