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date: 21 September 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Stoicism and, to some extent, Epicureanism are striking examples of (what we now call) ‘cognitive’ theories of emotion, which stress the role of belief and intention in shaping emotional reactions. This feature has sometimes been seen as a ground of criticism of the theories, especially of the Stoic version, both in antiquity and in some modern discussions. But contemporary interest in cognitive theories of emotion has given fresh relevance to these ancient ideas, along with the cognitive dimension in some other ancient ideas of emotion, including those of Plato and Aristotle. This article brings out the cognitive dimension in the Stoic and Epicurean theories of emotion, while also locating this feature in a more comprehensive account of their thinking about emotion. Their theories of emotion are analysed here in terms of the intersection of four, partly overlapping, categories or branches of theory.

Keywords: Stoicism, Epicureanism, theories of emotion, emotional reactions, cognitive theory, belief and intention

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