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Sophrosuné

(Dedicated to Miranda... ;-))

Greek philosophic term of the week: Sôphrosuné ("moderation, discretion, self-control, the character of the sôphrôn"), from verb sôphronizô ("to moderate, chasten, control"). In Plato's Republic, sôphrosuné is distinguished and differentiated as an arété ("virtue, excellence") by relating it to polypragmosuné, and dikaiosuné. Conventionally, the latter two are straightforwardly and respectively translated as "busibodieness" and "justice". However, sôphrosuné, the condition symbolically represented as prevalent in the City of Sows or Healthy City, is set-up in opposition to the polypragmosuné of the Feverish City, and of the "democratic" psyche. It is also related to dikaiosuné as a necessary but insufficient condition for the excellent or well-ordered psyche. Thucidides, associates polypragmosuné, for good or ill, with the character of the Athenians in the lead-up and during the Peloponnesian War, along with a prevailing lack of phronesis ("prudence, prudential thinking, practical reasoning").

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