The Stoic Conception of Mental Disorder: The Case of Cicero

Auteur: Nordenfelt, Lennart
Titre: The Stoic Conception of Mental Disorder: The Case of Cicero
Revue/Collection: Philosophy, Psychiatry, Volume 4, Number 4
Annèe edition: 1997
Pages: 285-291
Mots-clès: Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy
Description: [Abstract] Marcus Tullius Cicero, the great promoter of Greek thought to the Latin world, gives a very detailed presentation of the Stoic philosophy of mind and of mental disorder in his Tusculan Disputations (46 b.c.). In an interesting way, this philosophy anticipates the modern philosophical theories of affections or emotions developed by, for instance, R. M. Gordon, which are based on the concepts of belief and desire. According to Cicero, having an affection is the same as having a belief about something which one considers to be good or evil, either in the present or in the future. Cicero develops these ideas about affections within the context of a theory of mental disorder, claiming that all but the mildest affections are in fact species of mental disorder. This paper summarises Cicero's theory of affection and disorder and indicates its relations to modern thinking in the philosophy of emotion and mental health. Keywords: mental health, Stoic philosophy, affections and their classification, theory of emotions Introduction Marcus Tullius Cicero is not the most central of philosophers in the history of ideas. He is hardly ever studied in philosophy courses anywhere in the world. The people...
Sigle auteur: Nordenfelt 1997