EUPATHOS is ‘right feeling’. In fact, this ancient Greek word comes from <eu> (right) and <pathos> (feeling). Stoics use to distinguish between <propathos> (instinctive reaction) and <eupathos> (feeling resulting from correct judgment). The goal of life for authentic philosophers is the achievement of <apatheia> that is peace of mind. This quietness should result from clear judgment and the maintenance of equanimity in life.

In Lives of the Eminent Philosophers 7.116 Diogenes Laertius writes “Stoics assert there are three good emotional states (<eupatheia>): joy, caution, and wishing. Firstly joy is rational elation. Secondly caution is rational avoidance. Thirdly wishing is rational inclination. Then, under ‘wishing’, they place goodwill, benevolence, friendliness and affection. So, under ‘caution’, they place respect and modesty. In conclusion, under ‘joy’, they place delight, good cheer and contentment”.

Sokratiko Logo

<Eupathos> is ‘right feeling’. And a feeling is correct when an accurate evaluation supports and validates it. Therefore any <eupathos>, like joy as an example, is such because a mental assessment precedes it. For instance, an individual might estimate that positive public acknowledgements of his behaviour are desirable and honourable. Hence, he could feel joy if a high institution issued a formal praise and congratulated him for his behaviour. On the contrary, it could well be that someone becomes famous because inheriting a fortune. The same person could estimate not to be commendable a fame just deriving from an inheritance. So he could not feel joy. And this lack oj joy (joy for his fame) would result from his negative judgement.