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I'm developing a rebuttal to Biblical literalists and I'd like to know whether

I'm developing a rebuttal to Biblical literalists and I'd like to know whether the following is a recognized/named type of syllogism or other type of argument (and if so, what it's called): Verse X prophesied that would happen happened in verse Y Therefore, the prophecy was fulfilled (If this is not a recognized/named type of syllogism or other type of argument, could it be made so by adding one or two lines?)

This is still a little confusing to me, but I take it that you may be looking for the term:

Vaticinium ex eventu

This occurs when a writer (whether Biblical or not) offers a prophecy that some event will occur when (it is assumed) that the writer already knows the event has taken place. In the context of the Bible, perhaps the most salient case that is the subject of controversy is the New Testament recording of Jesus predicting that the Temple will be destroyed, which it was some forty years after his death. It is not obvious, though, whether this is a case of writing ex eventu. It is possible that Jesus could have foreseen the destruction of the Temple, especially when you consider the evidence available during Jesus' lifetime of how Rome responds to rebellion and recent past cases of Jewish resistance to Roman imperial power.

This is more a matter of history, than philosophy per se, though philosophers have long had an interest in thinking about the miraculous and whether it can ever be reasonable to believe in miracles. See the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Hume and the entry Philosophy of Religion.

This is still a little confusing to me, but I take it that you may be looking for the term: Vaticinium ex eventu This occurs when a writer (whether Biblical or not) offers a prophecy that some event will occur when (it is assumed) that the writer already knows the event has taken place. In the context of the Bible, perhaps the most salient case that is the subject of controversy is the New Testament recording of Jesus predicting that the Temple will be destroyed, which it was some forty years after his death. It is not obvious, though, whether this is a case of writing ex eventu. It is possible that Jesus could have foreseen the destruction of the Temple, especially when you consider the evidence available during Jesus' lifetime of how Rome responds to rebellion and recent past cases of Jewish resistance to Roman imperial power. This is more a matter of history, than philosophy per se, though philosophers have long had an interest in thinking about the miraculous and whether it can ever be...

Someone deliberately advances a fallacious argument in an attempt to advance a

Someone deliberately advances a fallacious argument in an attempt to advance a cause she considers just. For example, she may treat contraries as if they are contradictories and thus commit a fallacy of false alternatives. Are there any living philosophers who defend the use of "noble fallacies" or "noble fallacious arguments" (and is there a better term for this kind of thing)? And are there any contemporary philosophers who criticize or condemn the practice, including when it is practiced by people who are on "their side" regarding social and political issues?

Fascinating inquiry!

I do not recall articles or books explicitly on when it is good to commit fallacies, but you might find of interest the literature on the ethics of lying. There is a great deal of philosophical work on when, if ever, it is permissible to lie, and this probably would include work on when it is permissible to deliberately engage in fallacious resigning. One primary candidate for justified deception involves paternalism in extreme cases, e.g. in a medical crisis when a parent has only five minutes to live and she asks you whether her children survived an accident, and you know that her five children were killed, is it permissible to lie by claiming, for example, you are not sure? Or, to make the case more in line with your question, would it be permissible for you to not disclose the truth about her children if it could only be done by you equivocating or begging the question or committing the fallacy of the undistributed middle? For terrific work on the ethics of lying with great attention to detailed cases and theories of meaning, see Lying and Deception by Thomas Carson.

I personally know of only one real world case in which one or more philosophers may have defended the use of fallacious reasoning. The details are a bit sketchy, but here is what I recall. In the 1980s I was at an American Philosophical Association meeting when Dan Brock then from Brown University along with some other panelists discussed the advisory role they had with the president of the USA and congress on medical decisions. The panelists spoke about the following dilemma they faced, perhaps more than once. The panelists all agreed that some policy X was optimal in terms of ethics, politics, the law etc but they believed that the persuasive*reasoning behind judging X to be optimal was highly complex and involved levels of abstract reasoning that would make the justification of X hopeless. However, the panel was aware of *or they created themselves a justification for X that was from a philosophical point of view very weak, and yet effective with the public. As I recall, the panel did not make explicit how they handled such cases this may be because the cases were recent and politically sensitive. But this is the best I can do in terms of relating a real world case of when philosophers have deliberated about the ethics of advancing arguments that are weak *possibly fallacious when they deem it the best or only option available to them.

For an interesting exchange by philosophers of when it is permissible to promote or not challenge beliefs or positions that the philosophers believe to be false, compare Iris Murdoch in her last book which more or less defends Platos notion of the golden lie with the harsh criticism of Simon Blackiburn.

Fascinating inquiry! I do not recall articles or books explicitly on when it is good to commit fallacies, but you might find of interest the literature on the ethics of lying. There is a great deal of philosophical work on when, if ever, it is permissible to lie, and this probably would include work on when it is permissible to deliberately engage in fallacious resigning. One primary candidate for justified deception involves paternalism in extreme cases, e.g. in a medical crisis when a parent has only five minutes to live and she asks you whether her children survived an accident, and you know that her five children were killed, is it permissible to lie by claiming, for example, you are not sure? Or, to make the case more in line with your question, would it be permissible for you to not disclose the truth about her children if it could only be done by you equivocating or begging the question or committing the fallacy of the undistributed middle? For terrific work on the ethics of lying with...

A very common retort when critizising somebody for a reprehensible action (like

A very common retort when critizising somebody for a reprehensible action (like selling drugs) is that "If I don't do it, somebody else will". Does this kind of bad reasoning fall into any of the classical categories of argument fallacies?

I could be wrong, but I am not aware of a formal or informal term that gets at precisely that defense of reprehensible action, but one could see it as what may informally be called a Red Herring or a case of what may be called "Two Wrongs Make a Right." Arguably whether one person's act is unethical does not rest on the grounds that if the person did not do something wrong, another person would do the wrong act. The actions of others is thus irrelevant or distracting, as in a Red Herring. This might be slightly qualified, however, when the wrongful acts of others may make it excessively dangerous for one to obey the law. Imagine that you are on a highway in which all the cars around you are exceeding the speed limit by 30mph, and that if you were to drive the prescribed speed limit, you would endanger your own life and those of others. In terms of drugs, I believe it is illegal for you to sell or give a drug that has been prescribed for you to another person. Imagine you are seated next to a person on a plane who is gripped by a terrifying fear of flying. The person next to him is about to sell him some illegal narcotics that will indeed calm his fears but it will also mean that the money goes to a drug cartel known to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent persons. You, on the other hand, can give or sell him some of your safe and efficient anti-anxiety medicine. If there is no other course of action and you gave him your drugs and a flight attendant asked why you did it, I can see offering the reply "If I hadn't do it, that passenger would have contributed to a nasty, murderous drug cartel.

I could be wrong, but I am not aware of a formal or informal term that gets at precisely that defense of reprehensible action, but one could see it as what may informally be called a Red Herring or a case of what may be called "Two Wrongs Make a Right." Arguably whether one person's act is unethical does not rest on the grounds that if the person did not do something wrong, another person would do the wrong act. The actions of others is thus irrelevant or distracting, as in a Red Herring. This might be slightly qualified, however, when the wrongful acts of others may make it excessively dangerous for one to obey the law. Imagine that you are on a highway in which all the cars around you are exceeding the speed limit by 30mph, and that if you were to drive the prescribed speed limit, you would endanger your own life and those of others. In terms of drugs, I believe it is illegal for you to sell or give a drug that has been prescribed for you to another person. Imagine you are seated next to a person...

Another application of the ad hominem fallacy questions...

Another application of the ad hominem fallacy questions... Let's say there is an expert who holds a doctorate and masters in their field of specialty. They have worked in their field for 30+ years. They have received grants from government sources, but also the private sector (which as I understand, is not uncommon). They are peer reviewed and published. Now let's say that they present a study, with all its evidences and reasoning. But one of the associations this expert is affiliated with has a particular worldview. It is claimed, that because of that affiliation, there exists a conflict of interest and a strongly expressed bias (perhaps a mission statement or motto). As a result, this expert cannot be trusted, has a significant loss of credibility, and the reasoning and evidences provided in any study therefore, should be thrown out, it does not need to be addressed or evaluated. To me, it seems rather odd. The argument presented ought to be evaluated as if it is made anonymously. The argument,...

I am inclined to agree with you that arguments and evidence need to be evaluated on their own terms and not dismissed out of hand on the grounds that the "expert" is affiliated with an institution that has a worldview that is thought to be biased or somehow discredited. So, a biologist working in a conservative Christian institute who has generated a case for intelligent design, needs to have her or his work taken seriously by journals or peer groups and given a fair evaluation, even if the majority of practicing biologists reject intelligent design. Still, there are boundaries that most disciplines have over what can count as sound arguments and evidence. Presumably a Christian biologist would not gain in credibility if she appealed to Biblical revelation as part of her evidence base for the journal Nature (though she might have credibility if she was writing for fellow Christian biologists or for a debate in philosophical theology that sought to balance revelation and scientific claims), any more than if Darwin added to his Origin of Species an appendix in which he reported that his account of evolution was endorsed enthusiastically by a series of para-psychical phenomena.

Stepping back from current science, it seems that we have in fact come to reject whole fields and methods of inquiry in the past, and would be very inclined not to take seriously individual contributions in the way of claimed evidence and support from such fields. I suggest this is true of theories about how to identify witches (in the so-called witch craze, there were a variety of methods employed to determine whether someone was a witch, including witch poking finding a dull spot in one's skin where a demon may have entered and the tear test which involved reading an account of Christ's crucifixion and if the subject did not shed tears, this was evidence she was a witch). A more recent case that we often forget is phrenology, the "science" of investigating a person's character by studying the shape of the skull. This was once a highly respected field with lots of experts, but it came to be so discredited that I doubt any recalcitrant practicing phrenology would have the ghost of a chance for getting a serious hearing. Would this be a case of an ad hominem? I think it would be better described in terms of the field of science progressing to the point where contemporary scientists have confidence that certain modes of inquiry and projects are themselves unreliable or demonstrably false (or, if you will, subject to a bias against current science).

Still, in an ideal world of limitless time and resources, I think we should be at least open in principle to someone claiming to have solid evidence that Hogwarts is a real place for training actual witches and wizards, and open to someone who claims to have demonstrated the connection between the shape of the skull and character, and even open to the Society for Para-sychical Research if it claimed to have definitive, irrefutable evidence of post-mortom contact with Darwin. Ideally, I think we should sift through the arguments and purported evidence, though for practical purposes we should spend less time with, say, economic theories based on the practice of voodoo ("Voodoo Economics") rather than an economic theory based on the empirical study of market behavior.

I am inclined to agree with you that arguments and evidence need to be evaluated on their own terms and not dismissed out of hand on the grounds that the "expert" is affiliated with an institution that has a worldview that is thought to be biased or somehow discredited. So, a biologist working in a conservative Christian institute who has generated a case for intelligent design, needs to have her or his work taken seriously by journals or peer groups and given a fair evaluation, even if the majority of practicing biologists reject intelligent design. Still, there are boundaries that most disciplines have over what can count as sound arguments and evidence. Presumably a Christian biologist would not gain in credibility if she appealed to Biblical revelation as part of her evidence base for the journal Nature (though she might have credibility if she was writing for fellow Christian biologists or for a debate in philosophical theology that sought to balance revelation and scientific claims), any more...

What is the name of the logical fallacy that describes an argument in which

What is the name of the logical fallacy that describes an argument in which facts are selectively chosen to support a predetermined conclusion? Is it "begging the question"? If not, what is it? (And, no, this isn't an exam question or paper topic; I'm a professional writer trying to remember something he was taught 30 years ago in a writing class.)

When someone does use a highly selective set of examples to support their conclusion (Wittgenstein referred to this as a matter of relying on too narrow a diet of examples) a person might be begging the question --which, technically, is assuming the very thesis you are seeking to support or prove. But probably the informal fallacy you may be looking for is simply called a hasty generalization: e.g. reaching a conclusion inductively on the basis of too few cases, as when I might observe a dozen white swans and draw the conclusion that 'All swains are white,' notwithstanding the fact that some swans are black.

As an aside, I think that the term 'begging the question' is now used (at least by most of my students) not in its technical, prior use (here is the St. Martin's Dictionary of Philosophy definition: "The procedure of taking for granted in a statement or argument, precisely what is in dispute"). Many students seem to use it to mean that an event / statement / argument calls for questioning, as in: 'Wittgenstein's remarks beg many questions' meaning 'Wittgenstein's remarks need to be questioned / investigated / challenged.' 30 years ago, a writing class instructor would correct that usage, but today I am not so sure.

Good wishes in your writing, professional and otherwise!

When someone does use a highly selective set of examples to support their conclusion (Wittgenstein referred to this as a matter of relying on too narrow a diet of examples) a person might be begging the question --which, technically, is assuming the very thesis you are seeking to support or prove. But probably the informal fallacy you may be looking for is simply called a hasty generalization: e.g. reaching a conclusion inductively on the basis of too few cases, as when I might observe a dozen white swans and draw the conclusion that 'All swains are white,' notwithstanding the fact that some swans are black. As an aside, I think that the term 'begging the question' is now used (at least by most of my students) not in its technical, prior use (here is the St. Martin's Dictionary of Philosophy definition: "The procedure of taking for granted in a statement or argument, precisely what is in dispute"). Many students seem to use it to mean that an event / statement / argument calls for questioning, as in:...

Is an emotional reaction to a fact/situation a logical conclusion that follows

Is an emotional reaction to a fact/situation a logical conclusion that follows from observed premises? Is it logical, for instance, to mourn the death of a loved one, or is mourning a phenomenon independent of logical analysis of a situation?

Great question that gets to the heart of a current debate! If you have a very narrow concept of logic (in which logic only refers to the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and the law of excluded middle) and if your notion of observation is again narrow perhaps only allowing in empirical data then perhaps it is neither logical nor illogical to mourn the death of someone. BUT, you may have a broader concept of observation. For example, in your question you refer to "a loved one." Can one observe the fact that a person is worthy of love or should be loved? I personally think one can. In that case, it would be quite logical (you would be acting with consistency) for you to act in a way that is appropriate when one's beloved one dies. On this expanded front, imagine you truly love Skippy and desire her or his happiness; that is, you believe it would be good for Skippy to be happy and bad if Skippy were to die before fulfilling the desires of his or her heart. Then, surely, it appears you should mourn Skippy's death. Matters may turn out otherwise, however, if you deeply restrict concepts like love, logic, and observation. I suggest the more open approach is the better one in that it captures more fully the way in which our experience is saturated with values that call for our response. You might check out Parfit's extraordinary two volume work On What Matters for a look at the issues and why there is some dispute today among philosophers on the fact/value distinction.

Great question that gets to the heart of a current debate! If you have a very narrow concept of logic (in which logic only refers to the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and the law of excluded middle) and if your notion of observation is again narrow perhaps only allowing in empirical data then perhaps it is neither logical nor illogical to mourn the death of someone. BUT, you may have a broader concept of observation. For example, in your question you refer to "a loved one." Can one observe the fact that a person is worthy of love or should be loved? I personally think one can. In that case, it would be quite logical (you would be acting with consistency) for you to act in a way that is appropriate when one's beloved one dies. On this expanded front, imagine you truly love Skippy and desire her or his happiness; that is, you believe it would be good for Skippy to be happy and bad if Skippy were to die before fulfilling the desires of his or her heart. Then, surely, it appears you should...

Is the doctrine of the trinity illogical?

Is the doctrine of the trinity illogical?

I thought I would add just a tad more.

Here is one argument against the Trinity and a reply:

It has been argued that the Trinity involves Tri-theism or the supposition that there are three Gods (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). There cannot be three Gods for this reason: If there is a God, God is omnipotent. A being is omnipotent if it is maximally powerful; there can be no being more powerful than an omnipotent being. But if the Trinity is true, neither of the persons in the Godhead are omnipotent, because the power of each can be challenged by the power of the other. The Father cannot make a universe, unless the Son or Holy Spirit consent. That is less powerful than if only the Father exists.

Here is a reply: If God exists, God is essentially good. That is, God cannot will that which is not good. If the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share an essentially good nature, their wills cannot conflict. This seems more plausable when one takes up what I mentioned in my earlier reply: the parichoretic model of the Trinity which understands each Person as interpenetrating or being in a state of co-inherence with mutual, unequaled access to the mind of the other.

Here is one other interesting argument from medieval philosophy, but revived today by Richard Swinburne and Stephen Davis.

If God exists, God is perfect in love. (This might be justified either by an appeal to revelation or some kind of ontological argument to the effect that if God exists, God is maximally excellent)

The three highest loves are: love of self; love of another; and the love of two for a third.

IF God is Triune, God has self-love (each of the Persons possess this), the Father loves the Son, and the Father and the Son love the Holy Spirit.

Why not the love of three for four, etc? Swinburne thinks that is a further love that extends the three highest, so love of three for four or five or... are all goods, but they are not the chief, maximal perfections of love from which the other loves follow. A further point can be made that in classical theism, the love in the Triune Godhead, does lead to the love of more, namely the love of creation.

In any case, check out the reference I gave earlier, starting with the free online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

I thought I would add just a tad more. Here is one argument against the Trinity and a reply: It has been argued that the Trinity involves Tri-theism or the supposition that there are three Gods (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). There cannot be three Gods for this reason: If there is a God, God is omnipotent. A being is omnipotent if it is maximally powerful; there can be no being more powerful than an omnipotent being. But if the Trinity is true, neither of the persons in the Godhead are omnipotent, because the power of each can be challenged by the power of the other. The Father cannot make a universe, unless the Son or Holy Spirit consent. That is less powerful than if only the Father exists. Here is a reply: If God exists, God is essentially good. That is, God cannot will that which is not good. If the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share an essentially good nature, their wills cannot conflict. This seems more plausable when one takes up what I mentioned in my earlier reply: the...

The doctrine of the Trinity has been receiving more attention today than almost ever before by philosophers. One can easily parody the Trinity as holding that one plus one plus plus one equals one! But there is a huge, nuanced body of literature in which philosophers have proposed various models in which there can be one God and yet the divine nature is not homogonous, but constituted by three persons. Really easy access to the latest work can be found on the free Enclopedia of Philosophy (online) for the entry "Trinity." I myself favor the periochoretic model, defended by Stephen Davis. Here are three recent books: Which Trinity? Whose Monotheism? by Thomas McCall An Introduction to The Trinity by Declan Marmion and Rik van Nieuwenhove And just published last month, I think, you might consider The Cambridge Companion to The Trinity edited by Peter Phan. The Stanford article is written by Dale Tuggy, a Christian philosopher who is skeptical of the different models, and so that entry will...

Is it logically contradictory for a person to say that they are humble, in a

Is it logically contradictory for a person to say that they are humble, in a broad sense? After all, humility is generally considered a desirable quality.

Great question. It would be self-refuting for a person to arrogantly claim they are humble (assuming, I think correctly, that arrogance and humility are incompatable), but insofar as one can say (with humiility) that one is humble there is nothing practically or logically contradictory at stake (in my view). Perhaps the reason why we think it would be at least odd for a humble person to mention that she is humble is that we expect a humble person to not be self-conscious of the fact or feel the need to draw attention to herself and humility.

The definition of humility is a bit tricky, though I suggest that it is different not just from vanity but from false humiility or excessive self-deprecation. The person who thinks she is the worst person in the world may not be humble at all, but wierdly narcissistic and full of self-hate or simply melodrama. A number of phiilosophers actually identify humility with proper pride. That may not seem intuitively right, but a good case can be made that a humble person does not entertain lots of inflated or deflated views of her talents and failures; a humble person takes a proper view of her character, without blowing out of proportion her status as a champion or abject failure.

I think you are right that humility is generally considered a desirable quality. Indeed, I think it is the key to good philosophy: humility requires holding one's views without arrogance and being open to objections and alternatives. I think humility can widen one's openness to the world and others. Although I have proposed in my reply to your questiion that it is not logically contradictory for a person to claim to be humble, I will NOT claim that I am humble --though I think I can say that I try to be (however awful I may fail in the task) and that humility is an ideal well worth striving for!

Great question. It would be self-refuting for a person to arrogantly claim they are humble (assuming, I think correctly, that arrogance and humility are incompatable), but insofar as one can say (with humiility) that one is humble there is nothing practically or logically contradictory at stake (in my view). Perhaps the reason why we think it would be at least odd for a humble person to mention that she is humble is that we expect a humble person to not be self-conscious of the fact or feel the need to draw attention to herself and humility. The definition of humility is a bit tricky, though I suggest that it is different not just from vanity but from false humiility or excessive self-deprecation. The person who thinks she is the worst person in the world may not be humble at all, but wierdly narcissistic and full of self-hate or simply melodrama. A number of phiilosophers actually identify humility with proper pride. That may not seem intuitively right, but a good case can be made that a humble...

Is it possible to conceive of an irrational entity or can only rational things

Is it possible to conceive of an irrational entity or can only rational things be conceived of? Can irrational things exist? Of course it depend on how you define rational but maybe vagueness has more creative potential for philosophical thought.

You are right that the answer or reply will depend on what is meant by "rational" and "irrational." If "irrational" means something (some state of affairs or entity) that defies the laws of logic, this is doubtful. Take the law of identity (everything is itself or A is A) and the law of non-contradiction (A is not not A). Thinking or speaking seems to require both; we must assume that when we think of A (whatever), we are thinking of A and this is not the same as thinking of notA. But if "irrational hings" is more broadly defined and refers to subjects who act or think in ways that seem unreasonable or (at least to us) unintelligible, then matters change. If we pursue this a bit further, though, and ask about how irrational an agent might be, we may come up with some internal limits. That is, so long as a person is acting it may be that she or he has to have some reason or other for their action; the reason may be very odd or fleeting or not fully conscious or out of touch with reality, but if a person acts on the basis of no reason whatsoever (even subconscious) we may think that the person is not so much acting but reacting or merely moving or he or she has become the equivalent of a zombie.

You are right that the answer or reply will depend on what is meant by "rational" and "irrational." If "irrational" means something (some state of affairs or entity) that defies the laws of logic, this is doubtful. Take the law of identity (everything is itself or A is A) and the law of non-contradiction (A is not not A). Thinking or speaking seems to require both; we must assume that when we think of A (whatever), we are thinking of A and this is not the same as thinking of notA. But if "irrational hings" is more broadly defined and refers to subjects who act or think in ways that seem unreasonable or (at least to us) unintelligible, then matters change. If we pursue this a bit further, though, and ask about how irrational an agent might be, we may come up with some internal limits. That is, so long as a person is acting it may be that she or he has to have some reason or other for their action; the reason may be very odd or fleeting or not fully conscious or out of touch with reality, but if a...

My teacher claims that he is utterly emotionless; according to him, he isn’t

My teacher claims that he is utterly emotionless; according to him, he isn’t clouded by emotions of any form, and has no emotional desire. He argues that any emotions he appears to possess are simply superficial occurrences, with the purpose of manipulating others. He argues that he is utterly objective and consequently, completely exclusive from any form of bias. My question is that surely somebody who objectively chooses to use logic over any form of emotional guidance and has “no emotional desire whatsoever”, is therefore exhibiting a desire in itself? Surely, if one assumes logic as their only form of reasoning, the logic must be based upon basic desires and principles, therefore denoting an emotional presence? I would be grateful if somebody could enlighten me!

I worry that framing the question this way begs the question -- you seem to assume that any 'choice' comes from or out of 'desire', but isn't that precisely what's at issue? I think we'd need to get a lot clearer on what a 'desire' is before we could answer the question in a satisfactory way ... For example, you seem to consider 'desire' a kind of 'emotion', but philosophers of mind typically would distinguish the two in various ways -- perhaps desires share a kind of 'qualitative character' or 'qualia' with emotions, but desires are typically characterized by having an object or content, one often expressible in words, in a way emotions are typically characterized as 'raw feelings' that may or may not have a specific object or content -- Once you separate desires from emotions, you then need to define desire in such a way as to make it clear that every choice comes from some desire ..... (Charles mentions Spock -- consider this thought. Suppose you could program a computer to do all sorts of complex tasks, including navigating its environment successfully. Maybe it's a robot that's programmed to explore the surface of Mars and send back data. That robot seems to have to make all sorts of 'choices' -- as it navigates its terrain, taking samples of some things, not others -- but do you want to say it has any desires? If not, why must all human choices come from desire?)

AP

Are you studying under Spock from Star Trek? You are on to what sometimes is called the paradox of desire. If one seeks to be rid of desire, one seems to be in the paradoxical position of desiring to be without desires, which is as hopeless as deliberately trying to go to sleep. Still, like going to sleep, it seems we can indirectly achieve this through relaxing and, arguably, someone may endeavor to be rid of desire by going into a state of what the stoics called apotheos (from which we get the English term apathy) a process of shedding desire rather than a state of desiring to be rid of desire. Richard Sorabji has a terrific book on the Stoics' project of taming and then either eradicating or simply moderating desire. If one is working with a general understanding of desire which would include wants and appetites it seems very hard to imagine a complete eradication of desire (can one really give up on the desire to breathe?)

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