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Headword: *(ormh/
Adler number: omicron,601
Translated headword: impulse
Vetting Status: high
For animals the primary impulse consists in preserving themselves, since from the beginning nature familiarizes [this] to them. For its constitution and its consciousness[1] of this is the first familiar thing to every animal, i.e being familiarized to themselves. That is the reason why animals refuse what is harmful to them and approach to what is familiar to them. For animals the first impulse is not directed toward pleasure,[2] for pleasure is just a byproduct,[3] if, in fact, there is pleasure when nature, by itself, has searched out and does not[4] acquire what fits in an animal's constitution. That is the way in which animals perceive and plants bloom. And nature does not distinguish between animals and plants when it directs the latter without impulse and sensation; even in us there are some processes which are plant-like. But since the additional faculty of impulse supervenes on animals, on the basis of which they move, it is natural for them to be governed in accordance with impulse.[5] But since reason has been given to rational beings as a more perfect governor, living correctly according to reason becomes for them[6] what is natural; for reason supervenes as a craft[7] of impulse. Therefore, Zeno also said that the end is to live in consistency with nature, which is to live according to virtue;[8] for nature leads us to virtue as well.
Greek Original:
*(ormh/: o(rmh\ h( prw/th toi=s zw/|ois su/nestin e)pi\ to\ threi=n e(auta/, oi)keiou/shs au)toi=s th=s fu/sews a)p' a)rxh=s. prw=ton ga\r oi)kei=on panti\ zw/|w| h( su/stasis kai\ h( tau/ths su/ndesis, kai\ oi)kei/ws e)/xein pro\s e(auta/. dio\ ta\ bla/ptonta diwqei=tai, ta\ d' oi)kei=a prosi/etai. kai\ ou) pro\s h(donh\n gi/netai h( prw/th o(rmh\ toi=s zw/|ois: e)pige/nhma ga\r a)\n h)=n: ei) a)/ra e)/stin h(donh\n ei)=nai, o(/tan au)th\n kaq' au(th\n h( fu/sis e)pizhth/sasa ta\ e)narmo/zonta ou) th=| e)n susta/sei a)pola/bh|: o(\n tro/pon a)ntilamba/netai ta\ zw=|a kai\ qa/llei ta\ futa/. kai\ ou) dih/llacen h( fu/sis e)pi\ futw=n kai\ zw/|wn, o(/te xwri\s o(rmh=s kai\ ai)sqh/sews ka)kei=na oi)konomei=, kai\ e)f' h(mw=n tina futoeidw=s gi/nontai. e)k perittou= de\ th=s o(rmh=s toi=s zw/|ois e)pigenome/nhs, h(=| sugxrw/mena poreu/etai, tou/tois me\n to\ kata\ fu/sin to\ kata\ th\n o(rmh\n dioikei=sqai. tou= de\ lo/gou toi=s logikoi=s kata\ teleiote/ran prostasi/an dedome/nou, to\ kata\ lo/gon zh=n o)rqw=s gi/nesqai toi=s kata\ fu/sin: te/xnh ga\r ou(=tos e)pigi/netai th=s o(rmh=s. dio\ kai\ *zh/nwn te/los ei)=pen ei)=nai to\ o(mologoume/nws th=| fu/sei zh=n, o(/per e)sti\ kat' a)reth\n zh=n: a)/gei ga\r kai\ pro\s tau/thn h(ma=s h( fu/sis.
This entry proffers, in general terms, the Stoic doctrine of "familiarization" or "appropriation" (oikeiosis), as presented by Diogenes Laertius 7.85-87, here summarised. See also and similarly Cicero, De finibus 3.16, 20-21.
[1] Translating Diogenes' sunei/dhsis rather than the Suda's su/ndesis.
[2] This a criticism against the Epicurean thesis that animals are impelled as soon as they are born towards pleasure (see Sextus Empiricus, PH, 3.194 = fr. 398 Usener).
[3] This is the Aristotelian position (see Aristotle, EN 1174b31-33).
[4] This negation does not appears in Diog.Laert. and the sense is better without it.
[5] to\ kata\ th\n o(rmh\n in the Suda should have the article in the dative (tw=|).
[6] tois is corrected to tou/tois in Diog.Laert.
[7] So the Suda; Diog.Laert. has 'craftsman'.
[8] This definition of the end is attributed to Zeno of Citium, the founder of the Stoic school (zeta 79).
J. Annas, The Morality of Happiness, (Oxford 1993), especially 262-287
J.M. Cooper, Reason and Emotion. Essays on Ancient Moral Psychology and Ethical Theory (Princeton 1999), especially, 427-448
T. Engberg-Pedersen, The Stoic Theory of Oikeiosis. Moral Development and Social Interaction in Early Stoic Philosophy (Aarhus 1990), especially 36-63
A.M. Ioppolo, Opinione e scienza. Il debattito tra Stoici e Accademici nel III e nel II secolo a.C. (Napoli 1986), especially 174-182
G. Striker, "The Role of Oikeiosis in Stoic Ethics", in Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, vol. 1 (1983), 145-167
Keywords: definition; ethics; philosophy; zoology
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 4 November 1999@08:48:55.
Vetted by:
William Hutton on 10 November 1999@00:11:36.
Scott Carson on 2 January 2000@23:49:17.
Scott Carson on 11 February 2000@16:02:53.
David Whitehead (added keyword; cosmetics) on 11 July 2003@08:26:32.
David Whitehead on 18 November 2005@10:19:35.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr; added a note; cosmetics) on 15 January 2010@08:12:48.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 18 July 2013@03:28:12.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 15 December 2014@15:50:07.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation, added a note) on 7 February 2021@01:01:00.
Catharine Roth (more tweaks and notes) on 7 February 2021@22:29:27.


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