Of sound and unsound minds


I think, Socrates then Cicero exaggerated things a big deal when they said

All silly people were unsound

But I go ahead of myself.

Sound here means minds that are under no perturbation from any motion as if it were a disease and unsound are those that are differently affected.

It’s this statement by Cicero in his disputations that I think is a stretch. He writes

No fool is ever free from perturbations of the soul; but all that are diseased are unsound; and the minds of all fools are diseased; therefore all fools are mad.

He says elsewhere that grief, being a disorder of the mind, cannot afflict the wise. This he writes is because, the man of courage is the only wise man and as such, grief cannot befall him.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

11 thoughts on “Of sound and unsound minds

  1. I bet he’s pals with Ayn Rand in the afterlife, if there is one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure if these sentiments translate well to modern times. When contemporaneously heard, their true meaning might’ve been clearer.

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    • makagutu says:

      You could be right but I also think if the wise do not suffer grief, do they feel? Care or do we assume that the wise have resigned themselves to human affairs with its up and downs

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn says:

        Perhaps it’s because the wise know that no soul or self exists as a subject to be afflicted? It doesn’t mean that feelings are not deeply felt, just that they are not perpetuated by an imagined self-entity which believes it suffers under (i.e. is subjected to) such feelings (which themselves are entirely real, of course). My take, fwiw.

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      • That’s a great rewording of the question. It’s evident that all people, be they wise or unwise, experience the same emotional states to varying degrees. In other words, we are all human. However, it is also evident that some people are able to intellectually detach from their emotions under certain circumstances. For example, an incidence of cannibalism could be perceived very differently by different observers. A human rights activist would probably be appalled emotionally, whereas an anthropologist would likely want to study the phenomena objectively and unemotionally. But, this does not necessarily mean that the human rights activist is morally superior to the anthropologist. In a different situation, their reactions might be similar or even reversed.

        For higher learning, or understanding very complex problems, emotionality can be an impediment. However, emotional detachment can go too far and result in sociopathy, psychopathy, or even psychosis. Like everything else in life, I suppose, a middle ground between the two extremes is healthiest.

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  3. renudepride says:

    I think that all persons grieve. They may not be emotional, but they feel a sense of loss. Even the believers acknowledge that their deity became either jealous or angry. To not have feelings is extremely unnatural. Naked hugs!

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  4. shelldigger says:

    I generally want to disagree to a point with these comments, but then I think about tRump supporters and I’m not sure anymore…

    Grief befalls us all and should be expected, it is an unavoidable human condition. Wallowing in grief and letting it rule your life forevermore is well, unsound.

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    • makagutu says:

      Grief is a reaction to what has befallen us. So the argument here is that, to the philosopher, such incidences do not result in such perturbation of the mind. Since we expect these things to happen, we shouldn’t lose our minds, literally, over them.

      Liked by 1 person

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