SLRP: LXXV. On The Diseases Of The Soul (Part 1: 1 – 10)



“[I]t is not sufficient merely to commit these things [of our philosophy] to memory, like other matters; they must be practically tested. He is not happy who only knows them, but he who does them.”

— Seneca, Moral Letters, Letter LXXV On the Diseases of the Soul

In your letter, you make a classification of the types of the προκόπτωντες:

Type 1: Not yet wise, but close to. Will not backslide. Unaware of their state. Escaped the disease of the mind, but not the passions.

Type 2: Escaped diseases of the mind, and passions.

Type 3: Beyond the reach of many vices, but not all; namely the most serious ones are left behind.

It seems that the binary between virtue and vice was seen as problematic anciently as well.  Or at least more complicated than it might first seem.  In this volume, there are footnotes stating that Epictetus and Chrysippus allowed for only Types 1 and 2.  I’ll need to look more into that.


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

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