APOTINCHANO is ‘faulting to achieve’. It is the disturbing experience of the fall, of failing to gain, of mistaking to hit, of getting wrong in performing. But a philosophical lifestyle should be immune from any flattery deriving from the “god of success”. Moreover, a self-conscious form of existence (the philosophical one) should have its own – and extremely critical – interpretation of’ success’.

Thus, a failure in achieving a vile and petty objective (money, power, properties), should never cause intense feelings. Therefore a ‘fiasco’ is such only if in strong relation with one’s austere philosophical values. For instance, we should never consider lack of money as a flop. Instead lack of integrity and decency could really be personal problems. In particular, they are such for whoever is himself responsible (through his actions and decisions) of such despicable situations. By the way, for a philosopher, even a shameful condition never is a catastrophe. He’d better pay for his own mistakes and he’d better soon put things right, with no panic or anxiety.

Sokratiko Logo

Apotinchano is ‘faulting to achieve’. And another kind of ethically significant ‘failure’ is the omission to make a move when one has the moral duty to act. In this case, what becomes philosophically relevant is not a mistaken action, but the absence of an action. An action which is desirable by moral standards. For instance the inaction to save someone in serious need of help. Patricia G. Smith notes that there are two ways one can not do something: consciously or unconsciously. A conscious omission is intentional, while an unconscious omission may be negligent, not intentional. Hence, Smith suggests that ‘failure’ is an event when we expect someone to do something, but the someone does not do it, regardless of whether he intends to do it or not.