Apoproegmena

APOPROEGMENA is ‘disfavored things’. This Ancient Greek word is the opposite of <pro├¬gmena>. In a general sense, we are talking about things/occurrences which are ordinarily out of our command. Also, these things possess a negative value that makes them naturally (not morally) undesirable. For instance, an illness or the death of a relative. Equally, an earthquake producing tragic consequences does match the two requisites of <apoproegmena>.

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From the moral standpoint, there is nothing bad in an illness, but all diseases are unpleasant. Therefore these <apoproegmena> are disfavored things and we dislike them. To the same extent, there is nothing reprehensible in the death of a relative, but such an event is normally undesirable. It is something that happens, something we can do nothing about and something we dislike. Same argument applies to earthquakes. All earth tremors have no moral values in themselves. They are just natural physical events. Nonetheless, we dislike them and we can do nothing about them. As another example we can mention a spontaneous miscarriage in a woman wishing to have a baby. It is of course a negative event. But it is spontaneous, not a clinical intervention, so the woman can do nothing in order to avoid it. In this example we assume that the woman is very careful and follows all the medical instructions not to pose risks to her pergnancy.

In the vocabulary of Stoicism, <apoproegmena> are distinct from <adiaphora>, being the latters neither good nor bad. The negative tone of <apoproegmena> is out of discussion, but we have to keep in mind that the negativity is a natural aspect and not a moral one.