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Preston Stovall

Hi Eric - this is a great essay. And the material from Seneca on friendship and the social order is enlivening as a conception for what philosophy is or ought to be up to. But I don't think I'm following you here:

I admit I feel the pull of Seneca's position, not just now that we're isolated, but especially when I am immersed in education. In reflecting on it I also see that if I were to articulate by way of example of what I will call the weaponization of contemporary analytic philosophy, the piece would become self-undermining. It would instantiate polemics. And that makes me notice that, in fact, in this sense Seneca practices the very thing he rejects (even though satire is the weapon of choice). I leave hanging today what to make of Seneca's own hybridity.

What's wrong with a little polemic? I take it you're right that Seneca doesn't abjure the use of a conceptual distinction or two when they're needed. If that's right, then logic-chopping is only a problem insofar as it's directed at unworthy ends, such as the pursuit of status at the expense of the attempt to live the good life. Insofar as a polemic employs logic-chopping in the interest of impelling the audience to reflect on and strive for the good life, then, how would it be self-undermining?

Cathy Legg

I also enjoyed this, Eric, so thank you.
Following on from Preston's point, I don't see why a critique of the weaponization of contemporary analytic philosophy - which I fully agree 'is a thing' - has to involve flashing a sword (or any other kind of 'shaft' ;-)). It could quite well be done with laughter.
Re which, check out this quote by fellow-Stoic Epictetus:
"To those who set out to become lecturers without due thought.
Those who have taken in the principles raw and without any dressing immediately want to vomit them up again, just as people with weak stomachs bring up their food. Digest them first, and then you won't vomit them up in this way...But after having digested them, show us some resulting change in your ruling centre, just as athletes show in their shoulders the result of their exercises and diet, and those who have become expoert craftsmen can show the results of what they have learned." (Discourses 3.21)"

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