Wisdom for the Day

Then we must suppose that the same is true of a just person who falls into poverty or disease or some other apparent evil, namely, that this will end well for him, either during his lifetime or afterwards, for the Gods never neglect anyone who eagerly wishes to become just, and who makes himself as much like a God as a human can by adopting a virtuous way of life.

Plato, Republic X, 613a.

From Anger to Pity

How should the philosopher, the person making progress toward wisdom, respond to wrongdoing? What is the appropriate response when someone behaves badly toward me?

In Discourses 1.18, Epictetus answers that if we must have any response at all, it would be far more appropriate to respond to wrongdoing with pity, rather than anger. But why? There are two lines of argument (which I will address in the opposite order of how he presents them).

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Proclus: The Goodness of the Daimones

In §17 of the De Malorum Subsistentia (“On the Existence of Evils”), Proclus explains why there is no evil in the daimones. Here, Proclus is working his way down the metaphysical hierarchy, from the Gods, through angeloi, daimones, heroes, various classes of souls, and finally to matter, looking to see at what point evil could possibly enter into things.

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