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p. 11. Humans and beasts: understanding ourselveslocked

  • Julia Annas


How do we decide between two courses of action? How can anger, or any other emotion or feeling, get someone to go against what they have deliberately resolved to do? ‘Humans and beasts: understanding ourselves’ looks at ancient philosophy's perspective on understanding the conflict of reason and emotion within ourselves, an issue which is readily understandable and one that a modern thinker engages with. The Stoics thought that there are no parts or divisions to the human soul, and that it is rational. Plato thought our psychological life is too complex to be accounted for purely in terms of reason and desire. Most ancient philosophers saw their task as being, in general, that of understanding the world.

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