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PHIL 311 Identify and evaluate the major themes and claims of these philosophers. Examine and analyze key concepts present in these writings To Purchase This Material Click below Link http://www.tutorialoutlet.com/all-miscellaneous/phil-311-identify-and-evaluatethe-major-themes-and-claims-of-these-philosophers-examine-and-analyze-keyconcepts-present-in-these-writings FOR MORE CLASSES VISIT www.tutorialoutlet.com

Length of Course: 8 Weeks Prerequisite: PHIL 101 Table of Contents Instructor Information Evaluation Procedures Course Description Grading Scale Course Scope Course Outline Course Objectives Policies Course Delivery Method Academic Services Course Materials Selected Bibliography Instructor Information Instructor: Dr. Jeff Shirkey Email: jeffrey.shirkey@mycampus.apus.edu Office Hours: By appointment Table of Contents Course Description (Catalog) This course is an introduction to the Japanese philosophical tradition. Zen Buddhist teachings will be examined through two quite different but equally representative schools: "zazen" - sitting in meditation, and "koan" - Zen riddles. The Bushido or Samurai teachings will also be examined. Modern translations and commentaries of the classical texts will be used. The course will be of interest to those interested in non-western philosophy, cultural studies, and Asian studies. (Note to Students: The course materials, assignments, learning outcomes, and expectations in this upper level undergraduate course assume that the student has completed all lower level general education and career planning coursework necessary to develop research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Students who have not fulfilled all general education requirements through courses or awarded transfer credit should strongly consider completing these requirements prior to registering for this course.) Table of Contents


Course Scope The primary focus of this course will be on the writings of two important and influential Japanese thinkers, Dogen and Hakuin. We will attempt a first, tentative interpretation of these difficult works. The approach will be to allow these texts to speak to us, based on the assumption that they may have something to say to us today and are not simply museum pieces from another time and place. We will also examine two popular and more assessable philosophical movements, Bushido and Wabi-Sabi. Table of Contents Course Objectives Identify and evaluate the major themes and claims of these philosophers. Examine and analyze key concepts present in these writings. Compare and contrast the philosophical views of the authors with those of the other authors as well as will our own views. Table of Contents Course Delivery Method This course delivered via distance learning will enable students to complete academic work in a flexible manner, completely online. Course materials and access to an online learning management system will be made available to each student. Online assignments are due by Sunday evening of the week as noted and include Discussion Board questions (accomplished in groups through a threaded discussion board), examination, and individual assignments submitted for review by the Faculty Member). Assigned faculty will support the students throughout this eight-week course. Table of Contents Evaluation Procedures Discussion Board: Each week your are required to answer at least one question on the discussion board by Thursday and respond to at least two posts from other students by Sunday. Your responses should be well thought out and presented in a clear, concise, thorough, and well-organized essay. Your responses to other students should be substantive. Your response to the question should be a minimum of 250 words. Your responses to other students should be a minimum of 125 words. The discussion counts for 20% of your final grade. Analysis and Interpretation: Each week you will be required to answer one question based on the reading that will require a careful reading, analysis, and interpretation. Your


answers should demonstrate that you have read and understood the material. Your responses should be well thought out and presented in a clear, concise, thorough, and well-organized essay. The minimum word count should be 350 words. The analysis and interpretation essays are worth 40% of your final grade. Term Paper: You must first submit a paper proposal and have it approved before writing your paper. The proposal should be sent to me by email. You have the option of writing on a suggested topic or coming up with your own. Topic proposals should be submitted by email by the end of week 5 so that enough time remains if revisions are needed. Papers should be approximately 10 pages. The paper will be evaluated on form as well as content. It should be clearly written, well organized, and free of spelling and grammatical errors. Sources used in research must be included in a bibliography. References must be supplied for all quotations and also for any idea, insights, or viewpoints you by reading the work of others. Trusthworthiness, and Autonomy in the Elite Honor Culture EIKO IKEGAMI shame is a complex notion in any culture, it has strong negative connotations in modern Anglo-American usage. It also often implies experiencing a passive emotion in a private space. Imposing such an image onto other cultures' usage of shame, however, may obscure the complexity and dynamics of the concept. Premodern Japanese samurai culture indicates that the notion of shame can be a powerful public concept even while rooted in the innermost depth of an individual's dignity. Although anyone can experience emotions related to shame and honor, social usages and the degree of social influence wielded by these concepts are considerably different if the ruling ehte place them at the core of their collective identity. The Japanese concept of shame was closely connected to the rise and transformation of the samurai elite and their political institutions. Yet, a sense of shame was a criterion of honorific autonomy and trustworthiness of individual samurai as well as the inner source of their self-esteem. Interestingly, haji or shame can be described in Japanese by a kanji (Chinese character) that consists of an ideogram composed of two root characters representing "ear" and "mind."^ As this way of writing implies, by serving as a bridge /\LTHOUGH SOCIAL RESEARCH, Vol. 70, No. 4 (Winter 2003) 1352 SOCIAL


RESEARCH between individual aspirations and social expectations, shame in the samurai culture is a case study in the complexity of the interactions between the self and society. To be sure, shame {haji) in Japanese can also represent the private passive emotion related to concern for one's social reputation. But within the context of the samurai's elitist honor culture, shame had much deeper and more complex layers of meaning. In this paper, I would like to shed light on an unlikely combination of meanings— namely, the close relationship between shame and moral autonomy. For several centuries, haji played a central role in constructing the identity of the Japanese samurai, the class that ruled the country from the medieval period until the mid-nineteenth century. The samurai collectively defined themselves as those who know shame and would risk their lives to defend their honor. In comparison, members of such other classes as the court aristocracy and the commoners would not think of dying for such a reason—or be perceived by others as so doing. The concepts of shame and honor helped to construct the collective identity of the samurai that differentiated this category of warriors from the rest of Japanese society. The comparative study of shame cultures is not an easy task because shame and honor can be expressed in collections of concepts that are related to one another but applied differently to different gender, age groups, status, and economic categories even within a given cultural and linguistic area (see, for example, Herzfeld, 1980; Schneider, 1971; Abu-Lughod, 1986). The present paper is an overview of the shame culture of the premodern Japanese samurai as an elite male culture. The samurai's honorific sentiments were expressed by a constellation of words that included na (name), meiyo (honor), haji (shame), chijyoku (shame), iji (pride) and mengoku (face). Within this cultural complex, having a sense of shame meant more than a concern with the externals of honorific status; it also implied a pride and dignity related to internal evaluation in light of the group's approved behavioral principles. The samurai culture SHAME AND THE SAMURAI 1353 derived its vitality from the close connections between honor, dignity, and individuality that were often expressed in the lexicon of shame. The internal emotional dynamics of the samurai were attached to the sociopolitical roles of individual members of the class through the vocabulary of shame and honor. I have examined elsewhere the samurai's role in the making of modern Japan by using their honor culture to gain entree to their cultural and social history. I investigated the cultural reformulation of the samurai through the examination of numerous examples of honor-related violence in which the samurai's sense of honor and shame was clearly at stake, including quarrels, fights, and vendettas that took place


over the course of several centuries. The transformation of samurai culture was the long-term result of their changing relationship with the Japanese state (Ikegami, 1995). Samurai intellectuals, however, also contemplated the ethical implications of shame in philosophical discussions in which questions of shame and honor allowed them to explore issues of moral autonomy, integrity, and trust. I begin with the voice of a nineteenth-century samurai intellectual. Shame and Political Participation in the Samurai Culture "Shame (haji) is the most important word in a samurai's vocabulary. Nothing is more shameful than not understanding shame."2 A young samurai named Yoshida Shoin (1830-1859) made this observation in his notes for a prison lecture.^ Shame for Shoin represented not simply a state of emotion but the core value that defined moral principle. Shoin regarded the individual's inner sense of moral principle as a better arbiter of shame than societal definitions of it. The knowledge of what constitutes shame and the proper ways to avoid it underlay his sense of dignity, autonomy, and political responsibility. Shoin's notes continue: 1354 SOCIAL RESEARCH On one occasion someone asked me: Which is more serious, crime (tsumt) or shame {haji)? I answered: Crime belongs to the body, but shame lies in the soul. . . . Now, people at the grass-roots level discuss national politics and criticize officeholders. This kind of behavior is a crime because it is not the job of ordinary people, and it is not their prescribed role in society. However, if you ask about their internal motivation and find that they are worried about the future of the nation, and have tried to ask questions about its legitimacy— their behavior is less culpable.^ The contrast that Shoin draws between shame and crime seems strange in terms of the contemporary notion of shame as a private experience. His formulation, however, cannot be understood without considering its contemporary political context as well as Shoin's own public "crime" as defined by the law of the shogunate— namely, his attempt to go abroad. To understand the seriousness of his crime, we have to look into the historical background. At the time that Shoin was composing his lectures, Japan had been ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868) for more than two centuries. The seemingly perpetual peace that followed the establishment of Tokugawa rule was undergirded by a strict isolationist policy that sealed off the shores of Japan. No Westerners except for a small group of Dutch traders on the island of Nagasaki were allowed to stay in Japan. The shogunate also strictly prohibited Japanese citizens from traveling abroad. The news of the Opium War between Great Britain and China (1840-1842) and of the humiliating concessions in the treaty that China had to


accept after the war, however, alerted the Japanese elite to the political realities of the world outside their country. The opinions of some intellectuals outside the shogun's inner circle began to circulate among the literati, while less formal networking quiedy began among a concerned group of political activists. Meanwhile, Japan's first encounter with the West, in the form of the American SHAME AND THE SAMURAI 1355 navy, created a sense of national crisis. It stirred the minds of the samurai, whose class identity was originally and still officially based on military prowess. The entry of Commodore Matthew Perry and his four "black ships" into the Bay of Edo in 1853 to demand the opening of Japan to the West shocked the Japanese. The advanced technology that powered the American vessels was a forceful demonstration in front of the shogun's own casde that the Tokugawa rulers could no longer guarantee the peace of the country—which had been the source of the legitimacy of the samurai regime. The spell of the pax Tokugawa wasfinallybroken by the apparent military superiority of the American navy. In 1854, Shoin and another man secredy hired a small boat and attempted to board Perry's ship on the occasion of the Commodore's second visit to Japan. The two men's petition to Perry, which was recently discovered in the Yale library, refiected Shoin's sincere desire for foreign travel coupled with full awareness that his action was a grave offence under the law of the shogunate. It seems likely that Shoin wanted to learn the secrets of the West's military and technological strength. Perry turned down Shoin's petition in order to avoid diplomatic complications vnth the shogun. Following Perry's refusal, Shoin delivered himself to the shogunate's authority acknowledging his act. He committed a crime according to the letter of the law, but he was not ashamed of his action. After being jailed in Edo, he was sent back to his home province, Choshu; he was imprisoned at the Noyama jail. Being accused of a crime was usually considered shameful for the other members of the defendant's family. When Shoin wrote about crime and shame in prison, however, he was not simply defending his past action; he was trying to create a new moral basis for political participation by using the honorific idiom of shame within samurai culture. For ordinary samurai in the oudying provinces, organizing as a group to participate was defined as a crime by the Tokugawa regime. The shogunate had strictly prohibited the formation of horizontal alliances of any kind. Further- 1356 SOCIAL RESEARCH more, the Tokugawa rulers were skilled in preventing the formation of private alliances that went beyond territorial and status categories. The first Tokugawa shoguns had strategically decentralized Japan, dividing the country into approximately 260


domains ruled by semi-independent daimyo (feudal lords). The vassal samurai, whose income was largely derived from hereditary stipends, acted as administrators of these domains, collected taxes from the daimyo's subjects, and adjudicated disputes. The primary loyalties of the vassal samurai were therefore directed toward their immediate masters, the regional daimyo. The vassal samurai were also organized into a pyramidal structure of stratified hierarchies. National political matters were dealt with only by the shogun's inner circle of advisers, while the politics of the daimyo domain were managed by the senior samurai in each domain. Lower-level samurai, whose stipends were barely adequate to support their families, were not supposed to discuss national issues. The structure of the samurai hierarchies is the immediate context of Shoin's argument: that samurai should act according to their own moral principles rather than automatic obedience to the laws of the shogunate and their immediate master. Although the life of the average Tokugawa samurai was that of a loyal and sober bureaucrat during the long period of external peace, the threat posed by Perry's ships caused a number of thoughtful samurai to look beyond the borders of their own province. Shoin took advantage of this shift in mood and tried to encourage individual samurai to participate in politics by appealing to their centuriesold concept of shame. If you cannot practice the way and are only occupying an honored status and wasting a hereditary income, how can you show your face [menboku]? If the number of such shameful people increases, the moral principles of society are lost, then in effect they are larcenous. In general, although a crime may be known to outsiders, it is a matter that affects only the individual. But if a samurai harbors shame [of such kinds] in his mind, this will eventually harm both lord and people.^ SHAME AND THE SAMURAI 1357 In other words, Shoin was arguing that a person who is aware of a crisis of national security and does nothing about it has behaved more shamefully than one who breaks the law. In his writing, shame is defined not as the consequence of evaluation by an external authority, but the result of internal conversations with one's imagined other. Shoin had frequent conversations with his inner self. Avoidance of shame (that is, knowing shame or having a sense of shame) was not defined as evading condemnation by an external other, but rather as truthful adherence to this internal other. The point of Shoin's redefinition of shame was to make the individual the ultimate source of moral judgment. It is the moral integrity of the person rather than society that defines shame. By underscoring the moral autonomy of the individual samurai with reference to the older notion of shame, Shoin was able to encourage political actors to break the statutory boundaries that


prohibited the formation of pohtical alliances. Paradoxically, Shoin was able to establish an indigenous version of political individuality and civic participation by using a concept (haji) often associated with concern for one's reputation in the outside world. Knowing shame {haji o shiru, or shuchi) thus represented moral consciousness in the mirror of an internalized other as well as the voice of the imagined community of honor. In this sense, the culture of honor among the samurai always connected the aspiration of individuals with the judgment ofthe larger community. Yet this notion of honor was more than the subjection of a person's inner self to external expectations. The samurai's imagined community of honor, which originated historically as a class of medieval mounted warriors, itself always respected decisive action and the autonomy of individuals; it put little value on passivity (Ikegami, 1995). For this reason, a sense of shame was also rarely understood as a passive emotion related to conformity to social expectations. The deeply institutionalized samurai honor culture made it easy for Shoin to reformulate the notion of shame as a cultural resource for encouraging participation in politics. 1358 SOCIAL RESEARCH Yoshida Shoin was released on one occasion but was later imprisoned again because of the shogunate's increasingly repressive measures against political opposition. He was sent to Edo and executed at the age of 29. Despite his early death, Shoin left a clear stamp on Japanese history as an educator and political theorist because his small private school trained a number of young samurai who later became revolutionary activists. Shoin's former students carried out the project of radical political change that brought about the Meiji restoration in 1868. The mentality and idioms of shame and the samurai honor culture supplied the resources for what I have elsewhere called "honorific individualism" (Ikegami, 1995) in premodern Japan. The presence of honorific individualism in the Japanese elite was a critical cultural resource for radical social change, since the Meiji restoration was carried out by alliances among the samurai who dared to challenge the shogun's authority. Shame in the Context of Institutions and Personal Strategies Shoin's logic of shame as a stimulus for social change indicates that shame in the samurai culture was a link between social institutions and personal strategies. Individual samurai had to consider the various political and other institutional structures that routinely defined and labeled shame in their lives in order to make a point of honor. But an individual actor was not simply a passive consumer of the accepted codes of shame and honor. In fact, a samurai was also required to make strategic decisions so as not to incur shame when his samuraihood was tested. The ability to decide for oneself to defend one's honor was a paradoxical component of the samurai's code of shame. In the medieval


period, batdefields were the approved ground for testing a samurai's honor because fighting required swift independent action. Unlike a modern army, in which the individual combatant is trained to obey orders from superiors in the chain of command. SHAME AND THE SAMURAI 1359 the medieval samurai placed a premium on individual bravery and strategic actions. Even in peacetime, however, the samurai were constantly aware of the need to defend their honor by strategic displays of courage and initiative. But even during the Tokugawa period, there were many occasions in service to one's lord or in social life that an individual samurai had to show that he could defend his honor through proud and decisive actions. In these circumstances, the samurai could make strategic use of the notion of shame by refocusing and redefining it through their own words and deeds. One might say that individual reformulations of shame resemble the role of the captain of an ocean liner. PRESTON In Philosophy as a Way of Life, Pierre Hadot discusses the understanding of philosophy held by the Greco-Roman ancients. Philosophy was not understood only as an exegetical or analytical exercise, but as a spiritual practice – a way of life. Becoming a member of a philosophical school was tantamount to a religious conversion involving one’s entire self. To make one’s doctrines ‘ready to hand’ required a number of ‘spiritual exercises’ which, if regularly followed, were intended to evince such a transformation. Hadot discusses the role of such exercises for (among others) Platonists, Epicureans, Christians, and Stoics. I propose that the Samurai should be added to such a consideration. Their respective exercises allowed the adherents genuinely to adopt their system of beliefs. Many beliefs held by Stoics and Samurai are surprisingly similar. After having discussed some of these similarities, the most striking similarity will be revealed: the role of spiritual exercises in preparing both the Stoic and the Samurai for death. ABSTRACT A man has only one death. That death may be as weighty as Mount T’ai, or it might be as light as a goose feather. It all depends upon the way he uses it …1 ‘What will you make of death?’ Why, what else but make it your glory, or an opportunity for you to show in deed thereby what sort of person a man is who follows the will of nature.2 In Philosophy as a Way of Life, Pierre Hadot discusses the understanding of philosophy


held by the Greco-Roman ancients. Philosophy was not understood only as an exegetical or analytical exercise, but as a spiritual practice – a way of life. Becoming a member of a philosophical school was tantamount to a religious conversion involving one’s entire self. A ‘philosopher’ who did not live his philosophy was not considered a philosopher at all. This embrace of a philosophical doctrine requires a different sort of training than that provided to contemporary philosophers. Simply reading, analyzing, and discussing texts and problems would not normally be sufficient to transform the adherent’s life. To make one’s doctrines ‘ready to hand’ required a number of ‘spiritual exercises’ which, if regularly followed, were intended to evince such a transformation. ‘Such a transformation of vision is not easy, and it is precisely here that spiritual exercises come in. Little by little, they make possible the indispensable metamorphosis of our inner self.’3 Hadot discusses the role of such exercises for (among others) Platonists, Epicureans, Christians, and Stoics. I propose that the Samurai should be added to such a consideration. Their respective exercises allowed the adherents genuinely to adopt their system of beliefs. Because Bushido is less well-known among Western philosophers, it is useful to provide some brief historical remarks. The Hagakure was composed from 1710 to 1716.4 Tsunetomo Yamamoto, a samurai who had become a Buddhist monk after the death of his lord, dictated the work to a Samurai scribe, Tashiro Tsuramoto.5 In it, he gives his own interpretation of the spirit of Bushido. Bushido, the code of the Samurai, evolved over centuries and is a unique synthesis of Zen Buddhism, Shinto, and Confucian ethics. Generally, Bushido inherited from Shinto the emphasis on loyalty to one’s sovereign.6 ‘Shinto taught pious reverence and gratitude toward one’s own ancestors, and especially for one’s superiors.’7 The Shintoist religion, as it influenced Bushido, held that there are two worlds: the concealed world and the manifest world. Birth is emergence from the concealed world into the manifest world, while death is the emergence from the manifest world into the concealed world. ‘Death, in other words, was hiding – it definitely did not mean a return to nothingness.’8 Given this understanding, when one’s ancestors died, they were not obliterated, but lived on in the concealed world as hidden spirits. Reverence for one’s ancestors was paying respect to one’s family who lived in a world hidden from view. If a samurai acted so as to shame his family, the concern was not the abstract problem of whether or not one could somehow ‘harm’ someone who no longer existed. If a samurai shamed his family by his actions, the shame was very real and very much experienced by his ancestors in the concealed world. To the extent that he was concerned with shaming his living relatives, the samurai would also be concerned with shaming his departed relatives. The need to live so as to be respectful of one’s ancestors tied in with the Shintoist


reverence for brightness and purity in all matter and thought. Moral goodness was conceived as purity, moral badness as pollution.9 In medieval Shinto, purity was understood as expressed by ‘correctness and uprightness’. This approach was especially prevalent in and after the Kamakura era.10 If one lived in a correct and upright (pure) manner, Kami (spirits) would dwell within oneself.11 Impure persons, on the other hand, would not have their offerings received and accepted by Kami.12 This would not only bring misfortune, but would indicate that one’s own ancestors would shun the samurai as impure. Thus, to pay proper respect to his ancestors, the samurai needed to not only pay them explicit respect through prayers and offerings, but needed also to live a pure (upright and correct) life. Such obligations of loyalty and reverence were reinforced by the teachings of Confucius.13 The neo-Confucianism of the 17th century ‘created a force for moral order and a harmonious society’.14 Finally, Zen Buddhism teaches that ‘life is a continual process of dying, and thus self-understanding and self-reliance are the keynote to moral living rather than intellectual attainment per se.15 Zen Buddhism emphasizes personal fortitude and self-discipline – both traits that serve a warrior who must focus his mind solely on the present battle.16 One slightly unorthodox view (from the perspective of Zen) was that Tsunetomo did not so much emphasize ridding oneself of all worldly thoughts and desires as he emphasized achieving purity by concentrating oneself on one’s cause. He learned from his own master (Tannen) that this approach was ‘equally valuable and easier’.17 Along with the values of self-reliance, asceticism, and single-mindedness (all of which were shared in common with Confucianism), Zen laid great emphasis on self-denial, or transcending life and death as a condition of attaining The Stoic Samurai 41 spiritual salvation. The warrior’s duty, of course, was to fight and die, and in this transcendent posture, Zen offered him the spiritual training necessary to carry out his duty unflinchingly.18 Like others had done, Tsunetomo wished to express his thoughts on the right attitudes and actions proper to the Japanese knights. Centuries of internal warring across southernmost Japan by warlords came to an end with the victory of the Tokugawa family at Sekigahara in 1600.19 The following 250 years of peace were ushered in through various social reforms. The Tokugawa reforms and ethical treatises such as the Hagakure fulfilled a similar function: transform a warrior class that no longer had any wars to fight. From 1600 onwards, the central ruling authority dismantled the feudal structure, abolished fiefs, and eroded clan loyalties.20 One important policy of the Tokugawa regime was to change the way lords paid their vassals. Previously, Samurai would be paid in land grants. To undermine the formation of independent warrior bands, Samurai were ordered in the precincts of the castle towns of their lords and received a stipend of rice rather than land.21 With little


opportunities for military deployment, large numbers of Samurai were even relieved of their duties and became Roˆnin (masterless Samurai). Some of these men were able to find minor administrative positions in some of the larger towns, others received pensions, and still more became farmers. At the same time, the merchant-class (once at the lowest rung of the social hierarchy) were gaining social and political power due to the flourishing peacetime economy even as the Samurai were experiencing what must have felt like an erosion of their status and livelihood.22 Unemployment and the disruption of their social structure brought about a deterioration of behavior amongst Samurai. Relationships between lord and retainer had become cooler.23 Laws were written to proscribe certain growing problems such as gambling, drunkenness, and lewd conduct.24 ‘To compensate psychologically for the urbanization and bureaucratization of the warrior class, martial arts were developed into highly theatrical, philosophically elaborated systems of mental and moral training.’25 The development of Bushido into a rich ethical system for an aristocratic warrior-class served both to disincline them from mischief and to restore their sense of self-worth. The era in which the Hagakure was written was one that its author viewed as decadent and steadily degenerating.26 Tsuramoto, too, was disturbed by the surrounding decadence. It is speculated that such disappointment, as well as a desire for personal guidance in how he could improve himself, brought Tsuramoto to seek the counsel of Tsunetomo.27 Tsunetomo responded to this desire through several years of dialogue. ‘Every word of his in the Hagakure was an ardent cry for the need for revitalizing samurais with the crashing force of the warrior’s spirit not hampered by the Shogunateapproved academic rhetorics of Confucianism.’28 Tsunetomo intended to ‘make manly, self-asserting samurais out of peacetime, weak-kneed young retainers, so that they could serve their lord not as technicians and bureaucrats but as courageous retainers with the essential heart of a warrior.29 His work is an exhortation for others to refine themselves and live the virtuous life of a noble warrior. With this historical background in mind, let us proceed to the points of comparison. Views on Hardships One of the first attitudes shared in common by Stoics and the Samurai is their response to so-called ‘hardships’. While most of us tend to view obstacles and challenges in our 42 Ted M. Preston lives as things to be feared, dreaded, and worthy of our complaints, both the Stoics and the Samurai attempted to reframe them as opportunities for achievements. The Hagakure says that ‘when meeting difficult situations, one should dash forward bravely and with joy. It is the crossing of a single barrier and is like the saying, “The more the water, the higher the boat”.’30 In this saying, the water is the difficult situation, the


boat is the Samurai, and the height of the boat is the greatness of the Samurai’s behavior. Rather than dreading difficult situations, the Samurai should be grateful for the opportunity to display his valor in the face of a real challenge. Epictetus uses the example of Heracles to make the same point. Or what do you think Heracles would have amounted to, if there had not been a lion like the one which he encountered, and a hydra, and a stag, and a boar, and wicked and brutal men, whom he made it his business to drive out and clear away? … what would have been the use of those arms of his and of his prowess in general, and his steadfastness and nobility, had not such circumstances and occasions roused and exercised him? … Come then, do you also, now that you are aware of these things, contemplate the faculties which you have, and after contemplating say: ‘Bring now, O Zeus, what difficulty Thou wilt; for I have the equipment given to me by Thee, and resources wherewith to distinguish myself by making use of the things that come to pass.31 Rather than seeing challenges as something unfortunate, the Stoic is encouraged to say (to Zeus) ‘ “It is yours to set the task, mine to practice it well”’.32 Matters of Importance Related to their respective attitudes towards hardships is a general perspective of crucial importance to the Stoics and adopted (to a lesser extent) by the Samurai: give matters the concern they deserve. For Epictetans, there are two classes of things in our lives: those things under our control, and those things not under our control. Epictetus claims that the gods have put under our control only ‘the power to make correct use of external impressions’.33 It is within our power to make correct judgments and to have appropriate attitudes, but everything external to us is outside of our control. Epictetus claims that those things which are not under our control include ‘our body, our property, reputation,’ and ‘office’.34 Nor are the actions and attitudes of others under our control. We cannot, for example, control how others behave, though we can control what we make of their behavior and how we respond. We cannot control the accident of our birth, but we can control whether or not we curse our fate. We cannot control whether or not there is a rainstorm, but we can control whether or not we curse the rain. What are under our control are our judgments and the emotional responses that result from judging something to be good or bad. ‘Under our control are conception, choice, desire, aversion, and, in a word, everything that is our own doing.’35 As such happiness and peace of mind are under our control if we assume that happiness results from the judgments we make concerning our circumstances. 1.

Phil 311 identify and evaluate the major themes and claims of these philosophers  
Phil 311 identify and evaluate the major themes and claims of these philosophers  
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