2014-2-PHI110-03

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__NOTITLE__ Studying 2014/2 PHI110: Philosophy, Morality and Society. Week 3. Undertaken Study Period 2, 2014. Content is quoted and/or summarised from the university website in fair dealing for purpose of research or study. See also: StudyWISE and AIMS.

Contents

Stoic Ethics

Stoicism was the other major school of ethics in the Hellenistic period. It was founded by Zeno of Citium (331-261 BCE). The term ‘Stoic’ comes from the word “Stoa” (painted collonade) where Zeno used to teach. Zeno’s teachings were then elaborated and modified by his pupils Cleanthes and Chrysippius. Stoicism was then taken up in the Roman world, popularised by Cicero, and made famous by the personal diaries (the Meditations) of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD). Other important Stoics included Epictetus and Seneca (senator and advisor to Nero).

Links

Herewith a list of additional content:

Lectures

Lecturer for Section 1: Dr Robert Sinnerbrink.

Lecture 5, t=26:24: "Stoic themes have ever since continued to recur in all sorts of different contexts. Existentialist philosophy is often described as quite Stoic, before that there was Spinoza, a 17th century rationalist philosopher; as well as Immanuel Kant, who are both often described as having kind of slightly Stoic aspects to their moral philosophy. Even the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, if you read some of his texts on religion and civilisation it has quite a Stoic view of morality."

Lecture 5, t=43:17: Spinoza mentioned again, especially as he equates God with Nature.

Lecture 6, t=55:37: Spinoza mentioned for the third time, as he spoke of the "view-point of eternity".

Notes

Questions

Readings

Readings downloaded from e-Reserve.

Answers

  1. What is the source of frustrations such as anger in life, according to Seneca? Can you think of your own examples of this occurring?
    • The source of frustrations is at root a disparity between what one expects and what happens. Seneca says anger is an emotional response that happens when people can't predict or control what happens to them.
    • This can occur any time when what happens is discordant with what is expected. For example ordering your steak rare and getting it well done, or applying for a job and not being employed, and many other situations where your hopes and dreams are met with frustration.
  2. How does Seneca think we are to overcome these frustrations? What sort of adjustment is involved? What is the role of philosophy in this process?
    • Seneca says we can avoid anger and its frustrations by using our reason to accept things as they are, rather than as we imagined or hoped them to be.
    • The adjustment is an emotional one wherein anger is replaced by cool reason.
    • The role of philosophy is to provide a framework and perspective for letting our reason triumph over our emotions and the whims of Fortune.
  3. Epictetus draws a link between the idea that we are citizens of the world, rather than of particular places, and the idea that we are 'kindred to God'. How are these ideas connected? What is their significance in the Stoic view?
    • I'm not really sure how to answer this question. The link between where we come from and our being kindred to God seems to do with our place in the world. Epictetus says that we are connected to God by reason, and to our place in the world by reason. The significance to the Stoic view is perhaps that as son's of God we need not fear what happens among men.
  4. In what sense are we fettered by the needs of living and surviving? How does Epictetus think we should respond to these fetters?
    • We are fettered by the needs of the living in the sense that we need to find food and shelter. Epictetus says to cast of such concerns, although it's not clear how he intends for us to eat if we follow his advice... he does say that "what is good is easy to get", so perhaps he's certain that we will find that we actually need very little to survive and thus should always be able to get what we need, however humble.
  5. What do dread and a tendency to flatter in some people result from, according to Epictetus? Does his discussion alter your perspective on dread and worry?
    • The tendency to dread and flatter comes from our belief that we are fragile embodied creates, an "assemblage of stomach and entrails". The point Epictetus makes is that we don't need to dread or worry because our life is of divine providence, but I didn't find his argument made me feel differently to worry or dread.
  6. Epictetus tells us that one man cannot be "rendered unfortunate by another" (p.23). Why?
    • He seems to be saying that everything he needs he receives from God and thus another man can not hinder him by giving or refusing to give him possessions.
  7. Epictetus proposes a particular view of freedom: "he is free to whom all happens agreeably to his choice, and whom no one can restrain" (p. 29). How does freedom differ from unrestrained or random choice?
    • Freedom is doing things as they ought be done, and entails following learned conventions, as opposed to mere random choice.
  8. Why does Epictetus think of those who are in a situation against their will as already in prison?
    • Because to be in a situation against your will is to be restrained in the same manner as if one were in prison.
  9. What is Epictetus proposing we should do, in seeking freedom?
    • I think he wants us to resign ourselves to our fate, and have us hope and dream of things that are so, and to eschew or be impartial towards things that are not so.
  10. Cicero describes the honourable and good life for the Stoics as "doing everything in order to acquire the primary natural things, even if we do not succeed" (B84.20, p148) What are classed as 'the primary natural things'? Why is pleasure not among them?
    • The 'primary natural things' include "the integrity and preservation of all of our parts, health, sound sense organs, freedom from pain, strength, good looks, and other things of this kind."
    • Pleasure is not among the primary natural things because "if nature seemed to have classed pleasure among the primary objects of impulse, then many shameful consequences would follow."
  11. Why does having a good life not require us to succeed in our attempts to acquire the primary natural things?
    • For Stoics "doing everything in order to acquire the primary natural things, even if we do not succeed, is honourable." It's the intention that counts, not the outcome.
  12. Cicero wrote, "Since the goal of the good life is to live consistently and in agreement with nature, it follows necessarily that all wise men always live happy, perfect, and fortunate lives" (85.26, p186). Does this follow? Why or why not? What does it mean to live in agreement with nature?
    • It doesn't necessarily follow. There might be some disagreeable elements to nature, in which case, even if one has lived in agreement with nature, one won't necessarily end up living happy, perfect and fortunate lives. Given that Cicero has asserted conformance to nature leads to happy, perfect and fortunate lives, he must, thereby, be asserting that nothing in nature is disagreeable, which one could argue. As a trivial example: death is natural but not necessarily happy, perfect or fortunate. Although perhaps, given that death is natural, it may be wise to view death without any negative emotion.
    • To live in agreement with nature means to want what nature delivers and to not want that which nature does not deliver.
  13. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of the Stoic 'good life'? How would it compare with that endorsed by the Epicureans?
    • An advantage of Stoicism is that it prepares you to handle misfortune. A disadvantage of Stoicism is that you don't get to enjoy pleasures or avoid pains. Whereas the Stoics value virtue and emotional steadiness the Epicureans value pleasure, and particularly, the absence of pain.
  14. What claim do the Stoics make about virtue and happiness? How is it a stronger claim than those made by Plato or Aristotle?
    • The Stoics say that virtue is important and happiness is not. Only virtue matters.
    • This is a stronger claim than the claims made by Plato and Aristotle who value happiness and pleasure in addition to virtue.
  15. The Stoics see virtue as involving living according to nature. What do they take our nature to aim at? What are the roles of instinct and reason?
    • The Stoics consider our nature to be the sorts of things we do by instinct, that is preserve our bodies, eat, sleep, love. The most important part of our nature is our reason.
    • Instinct and reason guide us in deciding what to do. Instincts can be unopposed provided they don't conflict with our reason or our virtue.
  16. What are 'preferred indifferents'? What sorts of things are preferred indifferents, and why?
    • Preferred indifferents are things which are nice to have, but not essential to being virtuous. For example being wealthy is a preferred indifferent, it's nice to have, and one can even use additional wealth to be "more" virtuous, but it's not important to have wealth to be virtuous, and being virtuous is the important thing.
  17. The Stoics think that selection of the right ends is more important than obtaining those ends. Why is this?
    • Even the Stoic sage cannot know the future. All that is available to him is to pursue what he understands, through his reason, as his nature. If the universe turns out differently and he does not get what he seeks he can not be at fault.
  18. Why does the Stoic sage come to realise that the things they thought were good in themselves are not in fact so? How is this a difference in attitude?
    • The Stoic sage understands that acquisition of things in themselves is not important, what is important is trying, not succeeding.
  19. What aspects of the Stoic view of humans and the universe relate to the Stoic virtue of indifference? What sort of submission is required in Stoicism?
    • The Stoics submit to the idea that what is natural, that is what happens, is for the best; as we are all part of a universe that is larger than us and no doubt unfolding as it should. There is some argument that Stoicism could stand without this view of the universe, but in general Stoics believe they are a part of something bigger and more important than any individual.

Activities

Work

TODO

Things to do, most important on top:

Finished!

Done

Things that are done, most recent on top:

Glossary

Herewith a list of new and/or interesting words and selected definitions.

See also Glossary from Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics.

stoicism

stoicism
Indifference to pleasure or pain; impassiveness.
A school of philosophy during the Roman Empire that emphasised reason as a means of understanding the natural state of things, or logos, and as a means of freeing oneself from emotional distress.

consequentialism

consequentialism
The view that the value of an action derives solely from the value of its consequences.

karmic

karmic
Of or pertaining to karma.

karma

karma
Hinduism & Buddhism The total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person's existence, regarded as determining the person's destiny.
Fate; destiny.
Informal A distinctive aura, atmosphere, or feeling: There's bad karma around the house today.

secular

secular
Worldly rather than spiritual.
Not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body: secular music.
Relating to or advocating secularism.
Not bound by monastic restrictions, especially not belonging to a religious order. Used of the clergy.
Occurring or observed once in an age or century.
Lasting from century to century.
A member of the secular clergy.
A layperson.
Not specifically religious.
Temporal; something that is worldly or otherwise not based on something timeless.

sentient

sentient
Having sense perception; conscious.
Experiencing sensation or feeling.

censure

censure
An expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism.
An official rebuke, as by a legislature of one of its members.
To criticize severely; blame. See Synonyms at criticize.
To express official disapproval of.

utility

utility
The quality or condition of being useful; usefulness: "I have always doubted the utility of these conferences on disarmament” ( Winston S. Churchill).
A useful article or device.
A public utility.
A commodity or service, such as electricity, water, or public transportation, that is provided by a public utility.

altruism

altruism
Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.
Zoology Instinctive behavior that is detrimental to the individual but favors the survival or spread of that individual's genes, as by benefiting its relatives.

psychologist

psychologist
A person trained and educated to perform psychological research, testing, and therapy.

psychological

psychological
Of or relating to psychology: psychological research.
Of, relating to, or arising from the mind or emotions.
Influencing or intended to influence the mind or emotions: psychological warfare.
Of or being any of certain primary colors whose mixture may be subjectively conceived as producing other colors.

innate

innate
Possessed at birth; inborn.
Possessed as an essential characteristic; inherent.
Of or produced by the mind rather than learned through experience: an innate knowledge of right and wrong.

culture

culture
The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.
These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty.
These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture.
The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.
Intellectual and artistic activity and the works produced by it.
Development of the intellect through training or education.
Enlightenment resulting from such training or education.
A high degree of taste and refinement formed by aesthetic and intellectual training.
Special training and development: voice culture for singers and actors.
The cultivation of soil; tillage.
The breeding of animals or growing of plants, especially to produce improved stock.
Biology The growing of microorganisms, tissue cells, or other living matter in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
Biology Such a growth or colony, as of bacteria.
To cultivate.
To grow (microorganisms or other living matter) in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
To use (a substance) as a medium for culture: culture milk.

tillage

tillage
The cultivation of arable land by plowing, sowing and raising crops.
Land that has been so cultivated.

pact

pact
A formal agreement, such as one between nations; a treaty.
A compact; a bargain.

compact

compact
Closely and firmly united or packed together; dense: compact clusters of flowers.
Occupying little space compared with others of its type: a compact camera; a compact car.
Brief and to the point; concise: a compact narration.
Marked by or having a short solid physique: a wrestler of compact build.
To press or join firmly together: a kitchen device that compacted the trash.
To make by pressing or joining together; compose.
To consolidate; combine.
To be capable of being pressed tightly together or to become so pressed: garbage that compacts easily.
A small case containing a mirror, pressed powder, and a powder puff.
An automobile that is bigger in size than a subcompact but smaller than an intermediate.
An agreement or a covenant. See Synonyms at bargain.

consist

consist
To be made up or composed: New York City consists of five boroughs.
To have a basis; reside or lie: The beauty of the artist's style consists in its simplicity.
To be compatible; accord: The information consists with her account.

rational

rational
Having or exercising the ability to reason.
Of sound mind; sane.
Consistent with or based on reason; logical: rational behaviour.
Capable of reasoning.
Logically sound; not contradictory or otherwise absurd.
Healthy or balanced intellectually; exhibiting reasonableness.
A rational number: a number that can be expressed as the quotient of two integers.

basis

basis
A foundation upon which something rests.
The chief constituent; the fundamental ingredient: The basis for most liquids is water.
The fundamental principle.
A pattern or schedule for proceeding: on a weekly basis.
A condition for relating or proceeding: a first-name basis; a friendly basis.

ought

ought
Used to indicate obligation or duty: You ought to work harder than that.
Used to indicate advisability or prudence: You ought to wear a raincoat.
Used to indicate desirability: You ought to have been there; it was great fun.
Used to indicate probability or likelihood: She ought to finish by next week.

conduct

conduct
To direct the course of; manage or control.
To lead or guide. See Synonyms at accompany.
Music To lead (an orchestra, for example).
To serve as a medium for conveying; transmit: Some metals conduct heat.
To comport (oneself) in a specified way: She conducted herself stoically in her time of grief.
To act as a conductor.
To lead.
The way a person acts, especially from the standpoint of morality and ethics.
The act of directing or controlling; management.
Obsolete A guide; an escort.

equanimity

equanimity
The quality of being calm and even-tempered; composure.

principle

principle
A basic truth, law, or assumption: the principles of democracy.
A rule or standard, especially of good behavior: a man of principle.
The collectivity of moral or ethical standards or judgments: a decision based on principle rather than expediency.
A fixed or predetermined policy or mode of action.
A basic or essential quality or element determining intrinsic nature or characteristic behavior: the principle of self-preservation.
A rule or law concerning the functioning of natural phenomena or mechanical processes: the principle of jet propulsion.
Chemistry One of the elements that compose a substance, especially one that gives some special quality or effect.
A basic source. See Usage Note at principal.

fester

fester
To generate pus; suppurate.
To form an ulcer.
To undergo decay; rot.
To be or become an increasing source of irritation or poisoning; rankle: bitterness that festered and grew.
To be subject to or exist in a condition of decline: allowed the once beautiful park to fester.
To infect, inflame, or corrupt.
A small festering sore or ulcer; a pustule.

suppurate

suppurate
To form or discharge pus.

colonnade

colonnade
Architecture A series of columns placed at regular intervals.
Architecture A structure composed of columns placed at regular intervals.
Portico, stoa.

discourse

discourse
Verbal expression in speech or writing.
Verbal exchange; conversation.
A formal, lengthy discussion of a subject, either written or spoken.
Archaic The process or power of reasoning.
To speak or write formally and at length. See Synonyms at speak.
To engage in conversation or discussion; converse.
Archaic To narrate or discuss.

robust

robust
Full of health and strength; vigorous.
Powerfully built; sturdy. See Synonyms at healthy.
Requiring or suited to physical strength or endurance: robust labour.
Rough or crude; boisterous: a robust tale.
Marked by richness and fullness; full-bodied: a robust wine.

recur

recur
To happen, come up, or show up again or repeatedly.
To return to one's attention or memory.
To return in thought or discourse.
To have recourse: recur to the use of force.

context

context
The part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning.
The circumstances in which an event occurs; a setting.

reflect

reflect
To throw or bend back (light, for example) from a surface. See Synonyms at echo.
To give back or show an image of (an object); mirror.
To make apparent; express or manifest: Her work reflects intelligence.
To bring as a consequence: The victory reflects credit on the coach.
Archaic To bend back.
To be bent or thrown back: Her voice reflected off the canyon walls.
To give something back, as light or sound: a shiny surface that reflects well.
To give evidence of the characteristics or qualities of someone or something: That student's performance reflects well on the whole school.
To bring blame or discredit: Hasty preparation of the report will reflect on you.
To think seriously. See Synonyms at think.
To express carefully considered thoughts: In the essay, he reflects on his career.

analyse

analyse
To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.
Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.
Mathematics To make a mathematical analysis of.
To psychoanalyze.

existentialism

existentialism
A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.

wan

wan
Unnaturally pale, as from physical or emotional distress.
Suggestive or indicative of weariness, illness, or unhappiness; melancholy: a wan expression.
To become pale.

wane

wane
To decrease gradually in size, amount, intensity, or degree; decline.
To exhibit a decreasing illuminated area from full moon to new moon.
To approach an end.
The act or process of gradually declining or diminishing.
A time or phase of gradual decrease.
The period of the decrease of the moon's illuminated visible surface.
A defective edge of a board caused by remaining bark or a bevelled end.

motif

motif
A recurrent thematic element in an artistic or literary work.
A dominant theme or central idea.
Music A short rhythmic or melodic passage that is repeated or evoked in various parts of a composition.
A repeated figure or design in architecture or decoration. See Synonyms at figure.

virtue

virtue
Moral excellence and righteousness; goodness.
An example or kind of moral excellence: the virtue of patience.
Chastity, especially in a woman.
A particularly efficacious, good, or beneficial quality; advantage: a plan with the virtue of being practical.
Effective force or power: believed in the virtue of prayer.
Christianity The fifth of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.
Obsolete Manly courage; valour.

ecstasis

ecstasis
In pathology, same as ecstasy.

pathology

pathology
The scientific study of the nature of disease and its causes, processes, development, and consequences. Also called pathobiology.
The anatomic or functional manifestations of a disease: the pathology of cancer.
A departure or deviation from a normal condition: "Neighbourhoods plagued by a self-perpetuating pathology of joblessness, welfare dependency, crime" (Time).

ecstasy

ecstasy
Intense joy or delight.
A state of emotion so intense that one is carried beyond rational thought and self-control: an ecstasy of rage.
The trance, frenzy, or rapture associated with mystic or prophetic exaltation.
Slang MDMA.

imperturbability

imperturbability
A state of calm, unruffled self-assurance; aplomb, composure.

psychology

psychology
The science that deals with mental processes and behaviour.
The emotional and behavioral characteristics of an individual, group, or activity: the psychology of war.
Subtle tactical action or argument used to manipulate or influence another: He used poor psychology on his employer when trying to make the point.
Philosophy The branch of metaphysics that studies the soul, the mind, and the relationship of life and mind to the functions of the body.

nature

nature
The material world and its phenomena.
The forces and processes that produce and control all the phenomena of the material world: the laws of nature.
The world of living things and the outdoors: the beauties of nature.
A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or artificiality: couldn't tolerate city life anymore and went back to nature.
Theology Humankind's natural state as distinguished from the state of grace.
A kind or sort: confidences of a personal nature.
The essential characteristics and qualities of a person or thing: "She was only strong and sweet and in her nature when she was really deep in trouble" (Gertrude Stein).
The fundamental character or disposition of a person; temperament: "Strange natures made a brotherhood of ill" (Percy Bysshe Shelley).
The natural or real aspect of a person, place, or thing. See Synonyms at disposition.
The processes and functions of the body.

attain

attain
To gain as an objective; achieve: attain a diploma by hard work.
To arrive at, as by virtue of persistence or the passage of time. See Synonyms at reach.
To succeed in a directed effort, process, or progression: attained to high office; eventually attained to wisdom.

attuned

attuned
Simple past tense and past participle of attune.
Tuned to the correct pitch.
Brought into harmony.
Adapted to a particular context.

lead by the nose

lead by the nose
Conceal one's true motives from especially by elaborately feigning good intentions so as to gain an end.

cosmetic

cosmetic
A preparation, such as powder or a skin cream, designed to beautify the body by direct application.
Something superficial that is used to cover a deficiency or defect.
Serving to beautify the body, especially the face and hair.
Serving to modify or improve the appearance of a physical feature, defect, or irregularity: cosmetic surgery.
Decorative rather than functional: cosmetic fenders on cars.
Lacking depth or significance; superficial: made a few cosmetic changes when she took over the company.

holism

holism
The theory that living matter or reality is made up of organic or unified wholes that are greater than the simple sum of their parts.
A holistic investigation or system of treatment.

holistic

holistic
Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
Concerned with wholes rather than analysis or separation into parts: holistic medicine; holistic ecology.

ego

ego
The self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves.
In psychoanalysis, the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and is most in touch with external reality.
An exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit.
Appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem.

transcendent

transcendent
Surpassing others; preeminent or supreme.
Lying beyond the ordinary range of perception: "fails to achieve a transcendent significance in suffering and squalor" (National Review).
Philosophy Transcending the Aristotelian categories.
Philosophy In Kant's theory of knowledge, being beyond the limits of experience and hence unknowable.
Being above and independent of the material universe. Used of the Deity.

divine

divine
Having the nature of or being a deity.
Of, relating to, emanating from, or being the expression of a deity: sought divine guidance through meditation.
Being in the service or worship of a deity; sacred.
Superhuman; godlike.
Supremely good or beautiful; magnificent: a divine performance of the concerto.
Extremely pleasant; delightful: had a divine time at the ball.
Heavenly; perfect.
A cleric.
A theologian.
To foretell through or as if through the art of divination. See Synonyms at foretell.
To know by inspiration, intuition, or reflection.
To guess.
To locate (underground water or minerals) with a divining rod; douse.
To practice divination.
To guess.

pantheism

pantheism
The belief that the universe is in some sense divine and should be revered. Pantheism identifies the universe with God but denies any personality or transcendence of such a God.
The belief in all gods; omnitheism.

sophism

sophism
A plausible but fallacious argument.
Deceptive or fallacious argumentation.

fickle

fickle
Characterized by erratic changeableness or instability, especially with regard to affections or attachments; capricious.

indifferent

indifferent
Having no particular interest or concern; apathetic: indifferent to the sufferings of others.
Having no marked feeling for or against: She remained indifferent toward their proposal.
Not mattering one way or the other: It's indifferent to me which outfit you choose.
Characterized by a lack of partiality; unbiased: an indifferent judge.
Being neither too much nor too little; moderate.
Being neither good nor bad; mediocre: an indifferent performance. See Synonyms at average.
Being neither right nor wrong.
Not active or involved; neutral: an indifferent chemical in a reaction.
Biology Undifferentiated, as cells or tissue.

conundrum

conundrum
A riddle in which a fanciful question is answered by a pun.
A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma: "the conundrum, thus far unanswered, of achieving full employment without inflation" (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.)

thought

thought
Past tense and past participle of think.
The act or process of thinking; cogitation.
A product of thinking. See Synonyms at idea.
The faculty of thinking or reasoning.
The intellectual activity or production of a particular time or group: ancient Greek thought; deconstructionist thought.
Consideration; attention: didn't give much thought to what she said.
Intention; purpose: There was no thought of coming home early.
Expectation or conception: She had no thought that anything was wrong.

action

action
The state or process of acting or doing: The medical team went into action.
Something done or accomplished; a deed. See Usage Note at act.
Organized activity to accomplish an objective: a problem requiring drastic action.
The causation of change by the exertion of power or a natural process: the action of waves on a beach; the action of a drug on blood pressure.
A movement or a series of movements, as of an actor.
Manner of movement: a horse with fine action.
Habitual or vigorous activity; energy: a woman of action.
Behavior or conduct. Often used in the plural.
The operating parts of a mechanism.
The manner in which such parts operate.
The manner in which a musical instrument can be played; playability: a piano with quick action.
The series of events and episodes that form the plot of a story or play.
The appearance of animation of a figure in painting or sculpture.
Law A judicial proceeding whose purpose is to obtain relief at the hands of a court.
Armed encounter; combat: missing in action.
An engagement between troops or ships: fought a rear-guard action.
The most important or exciting work or activity in a specific field or area: always heads for where the action is.

ideal

ideal
A conception of something in its absolute perfection.
One that is regarded as a standard or model of perfection or excellence.
An ultimate object of endeavor; a goal.
An honorable or worthy principle or aim.
Of, relating to, or embodying an ideal.
Conforming to an ultimate form or standard of perfection or excellence.
Considered the best of its kind.
Completely or highly satisfactory: The location of the new house is ideal.
Existing only in the mind; imaginary.
Lacking practicality or the possibility of realization.
Of, relating to, or consisting of ideas or mental images.
Philosophy Existing as an archetype or pattern, especially as a Platonic idea or perception.
Philosophy Of or relating to idealism.

obstinacy

obstinacy
The state or quality of being stubborn or refractory.
The act or an instance of being stubborn or refractory.

refractory

refractory
Obstinately resistant to authority or control. See Synonyms at unruly.
Difficult to melt or work; resistant to heat: a refractory material such as silica.
Resistant to treatment: a refractory case of acne.
One that is refractory.
Material that has a high melting point.

panoply

panoply
A splendid or striking array: a panoply of colorful flags. See Synonyms at display.
Ceremonial attire with all accessories: a portrait of the general in full panoply.
Something that covers and protects: a porcupine's panoply of quills.
The complete arms and armor of a warrior.

pernicious

pernicious
Tending to cause death or serious injury; deadly: a pernicious virus.
Causing great harm; destructive: pernicious rumours.
Archaic Evil; wicked.

adamantine

adamantine
Made of or resembling adamant.
Having the hardness or luster of a diamond.
Unyielding; inflexible: "If there is one dominant trait that emerges from this account, it is adamantine willpower" (Eugene Linden).

adamant

adamant
Impervious to pleas, appeals, or reason; stubbornly unyielding. See Synonyms at inflexible.
A stone once believed to be impenetrable in its hardness.
An extremely hard substance.

deracinate

deracinate
To pull out by the roots; uproot.
To displace from one's native or accustomed environment.

retinue

retinue
The retainers or attendants accompanying a high-ranking person.

lamprey

lamprey
Any of various primitive elongated freshwater or anadromous fishes of the family Petromyzontidae, characteristically having a jawless sucking mouth with rasping teeth. Also called lamper eel.

remit

remit
To transmit (money) in payment.
To refrain from exacting (a tax or penalty, for example); cancel.
To pardon; forgive: remitted their sins.
To restore to a former condition or position.
Law To refer (a case) to another court for further consideration or action.
Law To refer (a matter) to a committee or authority for decision.
To allow to slacken: The storm remitted its fury.
To desist from; give up.
To put off; postpone.
To transmit money.
To diminish; abate.
The act of remitting, especially the referral of a case to another court.
A matter remitted for further consideration.

immobile

immobile
Immovable; fixed.
Not moving; motionless.

exculpation

exculpation
The act of freeing from guilt or blame.

venality

venality
The condition of being susceptible to bribery or corruption.
The use of a position of trust for dishonest gain.

inveigh

inveigh
To give vent to angry disapproval; protest vehemently.

aloof

aloof
Distant physically or emotionally; reserved and remote: stood apart with aloof dignity.
At a distance but within view; apart.

codicil

codicil
Law A supplement or appendix to a will.
A supplement or appendix.

stalwart

stalwart
Having or marked by imposing physical strength.
Firm and resolute; stout.
One who is physically and morally strong.
One who steadfastly supports an organization or cause: party stalwarts.

recitation

recitation
The act of reciting memorized materials in a public performance.
The material so presented.
Oral delivery of prepared lessons by a pupil.
The class period within which this delivery occurs.

metrical

metrical
Of, relating to, or composed in poetic meter: metrical verse; five metrical units in a line.
Of or relating to measurement.

abject

abject
Brought low in condition or status.
Being of the most contemptible kind: abject cowardice.
Being of the most miserable kind; wretched: abject poverty.

preceptor

preceptor
A teacher; an instructor.
An expert or specialist, such as a physician, who gives practical experience and training to a student, especially of medicine or nursing.
The head of a preceptory.

judicature

judicature
Administration of justice.
The position, function, or authority of a judge.
The jurisdiction of a law court or judge.
A court or system of courts of law.

ingenuous

ingenuous
Lacking in cunning, guile, or worldliness; artless.
Openly straightforward or frank; candid. See Synonyms at naive.
Obsolete Ingenious.

guile

guile
Treacherous cunning; skillful deceit.
Obsolete A trick or stratagem.
Archaic To beguile; deceive.

insensible

insensible
Imperceptible; inappreciable: an insensible change in temperature.
Very small or gradual: insensible movement.
Having lost consciousness, especially temporarily; unconscious: lay insensible where he had fallen.
Not invested with sensation; inanimate: insensible clay.
Devoid of physical sensation or the power to react, as to pain or cold; numb.
Unaware; unmindful: I am not insensible of your concern.
Not emotionally responsive; indifferent: insensible to criticism.
Lacking meaning; unintelligible.

supervene

supervene
To come or occur as something extraneous, additional, or unexpected. See Synonyms at follow.
To follow immediately after; ensue.
Philosophy To be dependent on a set of facts or properties in such a way that change can occur only after change has occurred in those facts or properties.

fixity

fixity
The quality or condition of being fixed.
Something fixed or immovable.

helmsman

helmsman
A person who steers a ship.

horme

horme
Psychology Activity directed toward a goal; purposive effort.
Greek hormḗ: impetus, impulse.

congenial

congenial
Having the same tastes, habits, or temperament; sympathetic.
Of a pleasant disposition; friendly and sociable: a congenial host.
Suited to one's needs or nature; agreeable: congenial surroundings.

salutary

salutary
Effecting or designed to effect an improvement; remedial: salutary advice.
Favorable to health; wholesome: a salutary climate.

assent

assent
To agree, as to a proposal; concur.
Agreement; concurrence: reached assent on a course of action.
Acquiescence; consent: gave my assent to the plan.

concord

concord
Harmony or agreement of interests or feelings; accord.
A treaty establishing peaceful relations.
Grammar Agreement between words in person, number, gender, or case.
Music A harmonious combination of simultaneously sounded tones.

consonant

consonant
Being in agreement or accord: remarks consonant with our own beliefs.
Corresponding or alike in sound, as words or syllables.
Harmonious in sound or tone.
A speech sound produced by a partial or complete obstruction of the air stream by any of various constrictions of the speech organs, such as (p), (f), (r), (w), and (h).
A letter or character representing such a speech sound.

magnanimity

magnanimity
The quality of being magnanimous.
A magnanimous act.

magnanimous

magnanimous
Courageously noble in mind and heart.
Generous in forgiving; eschewing resentment or revenge; unselfish.

expound

expound
To give a detailed statement of; set forth: expounded the intricacies of the new tax law.
To explain in detail; elucidate: The speaker expounded the approach of positive thinking. See Synonyms at explain.
To make a detailed statement: The professor was expounding on a favorite topic.

copious

copious
Yielding or containing plenty; affording ample supply: a copious harvest. See Synonyms at plentiful.
Large in quantity; abundant: copious rainfall.
Abounding in matter, thoughts, or words; wordy: "I found our speech copious without order, and energetic without rules" (Samuel Johnson).

syllogism

syllogism
Logic A form of deductive reasoning consisting of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion; for example, All humans are mortal, the major premise, I am a human, the minor premise, therefore, I am mortal, the conclusion.
Reasoning from the general to the specific; deduction.
A subtle or specious piece of reasoning.

subtle

subtle
So slight as to be difficult to detect or describe; elusive: a subtle smile.
Difficult to understand; abstruse: an argument whose subtle point was lost on her opponent.
Able to make fine distinctions: a subtle mind.
Characterized by skill or ingenuity; clever.
Crafty or sly; devious.
Operating in a hidden, usually injurious way; insidious: a subtle poison.

specious

specious
Having the ring of truth or plausibility but actually fallacious: a specious argument.
Deceptively attractive.

supervenient

supervenient
In a relationship with another set such that membership in the other set implies membership in the present set.
Supervening; occurring subsequently; coming after something, especially when not causally connected.

felicitate

felicitate
To offer congratulations to: "I felicitate you on your memory, sir" (John Fowles).
Archaic To make happy.