Seneca believed that the disciplined Roman army was regularly able to beat the Germans, who were known for their fury..


Ancient Greek philosophers, describing and commenting on the uncontrolled anger, particularly toward slaves, in their society generally showed a hostile attitude towards anger. Galen and Seneca regarded anger as a kind of madness. They all rejected the spontaneous, uncontrolled fits of anger and agreed on both the possibility and value of controlling anger. There were however disagreements regarding the value of anger. For Seneca, anger was „worthless even for war.” Seneca believed that the disciplined Roman army was regularly able to beat the Germans, who were known for their fury. He argued that „…in sporting contests, it is a mistake to become angry”.

Sarja neterminata...

Aristotle on the other hand, ascribed some value to anger that has arisen from perceived injustice because it is useful for preventing injustice. Furthermore, the opposite of anger is a kind of insensibility, Aristotle stated. The difference in people’s temperaments was generally viewed as a result the different mix of qualities or humors people contained. Seneca held that „red-haired and red-faced people are hot-tempered because of excessive hot and dry humors.” Ancient philosophers rarely refer to women’s anger at all, according to Simon Kemp and K. T. Strongman perhaps because their works were not intended for women. Some of them that discuss it, such as Seneca, who considered women to be more prone to anger than men.

Vigilante si oamenii sai...

Medieval era…

During the period of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, philosophers elaborated on the existing conception of anger, many of whom did not make major contributions to the concept. For example, many medieval philosophers such as Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Roger Bacon and Thomas Aquinas agreed with ancient philosophers that animals cannot become angry. On the other hand, al-Ghazali (also known as „Algazel” in Europe), who often disagreed with Aristotle and Ibn Sina (Avicenna) on many issues, argued that animals do possess anger as one of the three „powers” in their Qalb („heart”), the other two being appetite and impulse. He also argued that animal will is „conditioned by anger and appetite” in contrast to human will which is „conditioned by the intellect.” A common medieval belief was that those prone to anger had an excess of yellow bile or choler (hence the word „choleric”). This belief was related to Seneca‘s belief that „red-haired and red-faced people are hot-tempered because of excessive hot and dry humors.”

Incarceratul fara aripi...

Modern times..

The modern understanding of anger may not be greatly advanced over that of Aristotle. Immanuel Kant rejects vengeance as vicious because it goes beyond defense of one’s dignity and at the same time rejects insensitivity to social injustice as a sign of lacking „manhood.” Regarding the latter, David Hume argues that because „anger and hatred are passions inherent in our very frame and constitution, the lack of them is sometimes evidence of weakness and imbecility.” Two main differences between the modern understanding and ancient understanding of anger can be detected, Kemp and Strongman state: one is that early philosophers were not concerned with possible harmful effects of the suppression of anger; the other is that, recently, studies of anger take the issue of gender differences into account. The latter does not seem to have been of much concern to earlier philosophers.

The American psychologist Albert Ellis has suggested that anger, rage, and fury partly have roots in the philosophical meanings and assumptions through which human beings interpret transgression. According to Ellis, these emotions are often associated and related to the leaning humans have to absolutistically depreciating and damning other peoples’ humanity when their personal rules and domain are transgressed…

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