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Headword: *eu)pa/qeia
Adler number: epsilon,3633
Translated headword: good affective state
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] a relaxation and loosening of the soul, and a softness [sc. of it].[1]
A good affective state[2] is divided into joy, caution,[3] wish.[4] Joy is opposite to pain and pleasure, being a reasonable elation.[5] Caution is opposite to fear, being a rational avoidance. For the wise person is not affected by fear in any way but will be cautious. And wish is opposite to appetite,[6] being a reasonable desire. Now just as there are some passions[7] that are subordinated to the primary ones, in the same way there are good affective states that are subordinated to the primary good affective states. Goodwill, benevolence, embrace and affection are subordinated to wish; respect and purity are subordinated to caution; delight, cheerfulness and serenity are subordinated to joy.
Greek Original:
*eu)pa/qeia: dia/xusis kai\ a)/nesis th=s yuxh=s, kai\ trufh/. h( eu)pa/qeia diairei=tai ei)s xara/n, eu)la/beian, bou/lhsin. kai\ h( me\n xara\ e)nanti/a e)sti th=| lu/ph| kai\ th=| h(donh=| ou)=san eu)/logon e)/parsin: th\n de\ eu)la/beian tw=| fo/bw|, ou)=san eu)/logon e)/kklisin. fobhqh/sesqai me\n ga\r to\n sofo\n ou)damw=s, eu)labhqh/sesqai de/. th=| de\ e)piqumi/a| e)nanti/an ei)=nai th\n bou/lhsin, ou)=san eu)/logon o)/recin. kaqa/per ou)=n u(po\ ta\ prw=ta pa/qh pi/ptei tina/, to\n au)to\n tro/pon u(po\ ta\s prw/tas eu)paqei/as. kai\ u(po\ me\n th\n bou/lhsin eu)/noian, eu)me/neian, a)spasmo/n, a)ga/phsin: u(po\ de\ th\n eu)la/beian ai)dw=, a(gnei/an: u(po\ de\ th\n xara\n te/ryin, eu)frosu/nhn, eu)qumi/an.
The headword is a single word in the Greek: eupatheia.
For the related verb see epsilon 3634.
[1] Likewise in Photius.
[2] What follows in the entry reproduces (with some minor changes) Diogenes Laertius 7.116, where eupatheiai are discussed as an issue within the sphere of Stoic ethics. A eupatheia is a correct or rational affection; it is the emotional state proper to the wise person. The issue of 'good affective states' is highly controversial in Stoic ethics. We have no texts where the topic is discussed at length, and the issue is difficult enough in itself, since, although the sage is said to be someone free of affections or passionate states (pathe), he is affected (to some extent) insofar as he experiences certain 'good affective states'. The other way of considering the issue is to say that the sage, because of his own epistemic state (knowledge), is able to analyze his impressions in a deeply different way, i.e. in a completely rational way. So, if passion or emotional state (pathos) is a movement of the soul which is irrational or an impulse which is excessive (see Diogenes Laertius 7.110; Stobaeus, Eclogae 2.39.5-9; 2.88.8-10, ed. Wachsmuth, and pi 27), the sage person will necessarily be free of emotion (he will be apathes; Diogenes Laertius 7.117). Moreover, if a passion involves a belief that something is good or bad, the 'good affective state' of the sage person will allow him to evaluate the state of affairs in order to determine that what is approaching him must not be feared but treated with caution. Passions, no matter how irrational they seem to be, are in the domain of the rational, for irrational beings (or small children, who have not developed their rational ability yet) do not have 'passions'. In fact, in its most technical sense a passion (pathos) is a deviation or perversion of reason, a mistaken judgement. So a passion is something characteristic of those who have a rational ability (see Themistius, Paraphrasis on Aristotle's de anima 197 = SVF 3.382). However, the 'apathy' of the sage person is puzzling, for how can a human being lack passions, feelings or emotions? The answer is probably that a wise person has 'good/correct affective states', these being required as proper to the virtuous individual. The Stoic virtuous person has not fear but caution; he has not appetite but rational desire, not pleasure but joy.
[3] Or 'watchfulness'.
[4] Or 'rational desire'.
[5] Joy (chara) is technically opposite to pleasure, not to pain (as the Diogenes Laertius passage rightly indicates).
[6] Or 'irrational desire'.
[7] 'Affections' or 'emotional states'.
Keywords: definition; ethics; philosophy
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 22 August 2000@22:12:42.
Vetted by:
Marcelo Boeri on 23 August 2000@09:27:11.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 24 December 2002@09:22:34.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 18 November 2005@10:13:08.
David Whitehead (tweaks) on 8 November 2012@04:59:04.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 27 March 2015@00:55:38.
David Whitehead (another note; coding and other cosmetics) on 10 March 2016@07:08:00.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 18 February 2018@20:14:22.


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