Glossary of Stoicism terms
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This is a glossary of terms which are commonly found in Stoic philosophy.
- ἀδιάφορα: indifferent things, neither good nor bad.
- ἀγαθός: good, proper object of desire.
- ἄνθρωπος: human being, used by Epictetus to express an ethical ideal.
- ἀπάθεια: serenity, peace of mind, such as that achieved by the Stoic sage.
- ἀφορμή: aversion, impulse not to act (as a result of ekklisis). Opposite of hormê.
- ἀπροηγμένα: dispreferred things. Morally indifferent but naturally undesirable things, such as illness. Opposite of proêgmena.
- ἀρετή: Virtue. Goodness and human excellence.
- ἄσκησις: disciplined training designed to achieve virtue.
- ἀταραξία: tranquillity, untroubled by external things.
- αὐτάρκεια: self-sufficiency, mental independence of all things.
- δαίμων: divine spirit within humans.
- διαίρεσις: analysis, division into parts. Used when distinguishing what is subject to our power of choice from what is not.
- δικαιοσυνε: justice, "consonant with the law and instrumental to a sense of duty" (Diogenes Laertius 7.98). One of the four virtues (justice, courage, temperance, wisdom/prudence).
- δόγμα: principle established by reason and experience.
- δόξα: belief, opinion.
- ἔκκλισις: aversion, inclination away from a thing. Opposite of orexis.
- ἐκπύρωσις: cyclical conflagration of the Universe.
- eph' hêmin
- ἐφ' ἡμῖν: up to us, what is in our power, i.e. the correct use of impressions.
- ἐπιστήμη: certain and true knowledge, over and above that of katalêpsis.
- εὐδαιμονία: happiness, well-being.
- εὐπάθεια: good feeling (as contrasted with pathos), occurring in the Stoic sage who performs correct (virtuous) judgements and actions.
- ἡγεμονικόν: ruling faculty of the mind.
- εἱμαρμένη: fate, destiny.
- ὁρμή: positive impulse or appetite towards an object (as a result of orexis). Opposite of aphormê.
- ὕλη: matter, material.
- καλός: beautiful. Sometimes used in a moral sense: honourable, virtuous.
- κατάληψις: clear comprehension and conviction.
- καθῆκον: duty, appropriate action on the path to Virtue.
- κόσμος: order, world, universe.
- λογικός: rational.
- λόγος: reason, explanation, word. Also, the ordering principle in the kosmos.
- logos spermatikos
- λόγος σπερματικός: the generative principle of the Universe which creates and takes back all things.
- νόμος: law, custom.
- οἴησις: opinion, usually arrogant or self-conceited.
- οἰκείωσις: self-ownership and extension. The process of self-awareness in all animals, which in humans leads to a sense of community.
- ὄρεξις: desire, inclination towards a thing, Opposite of ekklisis.
- οὐσία: substance, being.
- παιδεία: training, education.
- παλιγγενεσία: periodic renewal of the world associated with ekpyrôsis.
- πάθος: passion or emotion, often excessive and based on false judgements.
- φαντασία: impression, appearance, the way in which something is perceived.
- φύσις: nature.
- πνεῦμα: air, breath, spirit, often as a principle in Stoic physics.
- προηγμένα: preferred things. Morally indifferent but naturally desirable things, such as health. Opposite of aproêgmena.
- προαίρεσις: free will, reasoned choice, giving or withholding assent to impressions.
- προκοπή: progress, on the path towards wisdom.
- πρόληψις: preconception possessed by all rational beings.
- ψυχή: mind, soul, life, living principle.
- σοφός: wise person, virtuous sage, and the ethical ideal.
- synkatathesis (or sunkatathesis)
- συγκατάθεσις: assent, approval to impressions, enabling action to take place.
- συμπάθεια: sympathy, affinity of parts to the organic whole, mutual interdependence.
- τέχνη: craft, art. The practical application of knowledge, especially epistêmê.
- τέλος: goal or objective of life.
- θεώρημα: general principle or perception.
- θεός: god; associated with the order in the Universe.
- τόνος: tension, a principle in Stoic physics causing attraction and repulsion, and also the cause of virtue and vice in the soul.
- Devettere, R., Glossary, in Introduction to Virtue Ethics: Insights of the Ancient Greeks, pages 139–154. Georgetown University Press. (2002).
- Haines, C., Glossary of Greek terms, in Marcus Aurelius, pages 411–416. Loeb Classical Library. (1916).
- Inwood, B., Gerson L., Glossary, in Hellenistic Philosophy: Introductory Readings, pages 399–409. Hackett Publishing. (1997).
- Long, A. A., Glossary, in A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life, pages 275–276. Oxford University Press. (2002)
- Schofield, M., Index and Glossary of Greek terms, in The Stoic Idea of the City, pages 171–172. Cambridge University Press. (1991).