Handbook of Stoic Terms

A

adiaphora

ἀδιάφορα: indifferent things, neither good nor bad.

agathos

ἀγαθός: good, proper object of desire.

anthrôpos

ἄνθρωπος: human being, used by Epictetus to express an ethical ideal.

apatheia

ἀπάθεια: serenity, peace of mind, such as that achieved by the Stoic sage.

aphormê

ἀφορμή: aversion, impulse not to act (as a result of ekklisis). Opposite of hormê.

aproêgmena

ἀπροηγμένα: dispreferred things. Morally indifferent but naturally undesirable things, such as illness. Opposite of proêgmena.

aretê

ἀρετή: Virtue. Goodness and human excellence.

askêsis

ἄσκησις: disciplined training designed to achieve virtue.

ataraxia

ἀταραξία: tranquillity, untroubled by external things.

autarkeia

αὐτάρκεια: self-sufficiency, mental independence of all things.

D

daimôn

δαίμων: divine spirit within humans.

diairesis

διαίρεσις: analysis, division into parts. Used when distinguishing what is subject to our power of choice from what is not.

dikaiosyne

δικαιοσυνε: justice, "consonant with the law and instrumental to a sense of duty" (Diogenes Laertius 7.98). One of the four virtues (justice, courage, temperance, wisdom/prudence).

dogma

δόγμα: principle established by reason and experience.

doxa

δόξα: belief, opinion.

E

ekklisis

ἔκκλισις: aversion, inclination away from a thing. Opposite of orexis.

ekpyrôsis

ἐκπύρωσις: cyclical conflagration of the Universe.

eph' hêmin

ἐφ' ἡμῖν: up to us, what is in our power, i.e. the correct use of impressions.

epistêmê

ἐπιστήμη: certain and true knowledge, over and above that of katalêpsis.

eudaimonia

εὐδαιμονία: happiness, well-being.

eupatheia

εὐπάθεια: good feeling (as contrasted with pathos), occurring in the Stoic sage who performs correct (virtuous) judgements and actions.

H

hêgemonikon

ἡγεμονικόν: ruling faculty of the mind.

heimarmenê

εἱμαρμένη: fate, destiny.

hormê

ὁρμή: positive impulse or appetite towards an object (as a result of orexis). Opposite of aphormê.

hylê

ὕλη: matter, material.

K

kalos

κάλος: beautiful. Sometimes used in a moral sense: honourable, virtuous.

katalêpsis

κατάληψις: clear comprehension and conviction.

kathêkon

καθῆκον: duty, appropriate action on the path to Virtue.

kosmos

κόσμος: order, world, universe.

L

logikos

λογικός: rational.

logos

λόγος: reason, explanation, word. Also, the ordering principle in the kosmos.

logos spermatikos

λόγος σπερματικός: the generative principle of the Universe which creates and takes back all things.

N

nomos

νόμος: law, custom.

O

oiêsis

οἴησις: opinion, usually arrogant or self-conceited.

oikeiôsis

οἰκείωσις: self-ownership and extension. The process of self-awareness in all animals, which in humans leads to a sense of community.

orexis

ὄρεξις: desire, inclination towards a thing, Opposite of ekklisis.

ousia

οὐσία: substance, being.

P

paideia

παιδεία: training, education.

palingenesia

παλιγγενεσία: periodic renewal of the world associated with ekpyrôsis.

pathos

πάθος: passion or emotion, often excessive and based on false judgements.

phantasia

φαντασία: impression, appearance, the way in which something is perceived.

physis

φύσις: nature.

pneuma

πνεῦμα: air, breath, spirit, often as a principle in Stoic physics.

proêgmena

προηγμένα: preferred things. Morally indifferent but naturally desirable things, such as health. Opposite of aproêgmena.

pro(h)airesis

προαίρεσις: free will, reasoned choice, giving or withholding assent to impressions.

prokopê

προκοπή: progress, on the path towards wisdom.

prolêpsis

πρόληψις: preconception possessed by all rational beings.

psychê

ψυχή: mind, soul, life, living principle.

S

sophos

σοφός: wise person, virtuous sage, and the ethical ideal.

synkatathesis (or sunkatathesis)

συγκατάθεσις: assent, approval to impressions, enabling action to take place.

sympatheia

συμπάθεια: sympathy, affinity of parts to the organic whole, mutual interdependence.

T

technê

τέχνη: craft, art. The practical application of knowledge, especially epistêmê.

telos

τέλος: goal or objective of life.

theôrêma

θεώρημα: general principle or perception.

theos

θεός: god; associated with the order in the Universe.

tonos

τόνος: tension, a principle in Stoic physics causing attraction and repulsion, and also the cause of virtue and vice in the soul.