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Aπαθεια and Πρ&ogr;παθειαι in Early Modern Discussions of the Passions: Stoicism, Christianity and Natural History

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This paper examines the reception of the Stoic theory of the passions in the early modern period, highlighting various differences between the way notions such as απαθεια (complete freedom from passions) and πρ&ogr;παθειαι (pre-passions) were handled and interpreted by Continental and English authors. Both groups were concerned about the compatibility of Stoicism with Christianity, but came to opposing conclu- sions; and while the Continental scholars drew primarily on ancient philosophical texts, the English ones relied, in addition, on experience and observation, developing a natural history of the passions.

Affiliations: 1: The Warburg Institute, University of London, School of Advanced Study; Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB;, Email:


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