SLRP: LIX. On Pleasure And Joy (Part 1: 1 – 8)



We Stoics are often misconstrued a would-be emotionless automatons.  The confusion likes in our wishing to be rid of our πάθη, when the common conception is that ‘passion’ is a good thing, enlivening.  We seek a state called ἀπάθεια, too easily misunderstood as the common sort amotivational apathy.  By the time we get around to discussing εὐπάθη, the average listener already has their mind made up.  Robots.

Your letter today remarks on this distinction, here between ‘pleasure’ and ‘joy.’  The joy of the Sage, then, an unshakeable, rational elation of the spirit in the face of human existence and the breadth of the cosmos is as different from the base pleasures of vice than anything else we can imagine.

Thank you for the letter.


Part of Michel Daw’s Reading Plan of Seneca’s Letters.

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