Living palely

The Stoics may have taken rationality too far in their resolute minimisation of all feeling. Are emotions no more than disturbances in the logical landscape? What of Pascal’s ‘the heart has its reasons that reason is not acquainted with’? Perhaps the rationality/emotion divide is overdrawn, risking battle lines forming around pure opposites never found in real life examples. Yet the issue has bite, relevance to intimate features of our life: our friendships, our sense of safety in the world, how much we give of ourselves and give up of ourselves to our working life and the living texture of what it feels like to be us: fugitive, or having the ‘warm antiquity of self’.

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