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AndyFletcher October 28th, 2005 09:14 AM

Self-Control of Thought
 
Quote from Augustine of Hippo, excert from his work on thought sin:

"Sometimes the action itself, which results in delectation, is the object of delectation, in so far as the appetitive power, to which it belongs to take delight in anything, is brought to bear on the action itself as a good: for instance, when a man thinks and delights in his thought, in so far as his thought pleases him; while at other times the delight consequent to an action, e.g. a thought, has for its object another action, as being the object of his thought; and then his thought proceeds from the inclination of the appetite, not indeed to the thought, but to the action thought of. Accordingly a man who is thinking of fornication, may delight in either of two things: first, in the thought itself, secondly, in the fornication thought of."

How is the former accomplished in the bold script above?

How would one distinguish between the thought itself and that which is thought of?. If possible, is the control of it simple?

Thanks.

alexandra_k January 19th, 2006 07:30 AM

Re: Self-Control of Thought
 
I do believe I might have an answer. There are two kinds of thoughts (that are relevant to answering your question).

1) Lower order thoughts

2) Higher order thoughts

Lower order thoughts (aka 'first order thoughts') are thoughts about things. So (in this case) a thought - about the act of fornication.

Higher order thoughts are thoughts about thoughts. So (in this case) a thought - about (the thought about fornication).

Clear as mud?

Also...

I am struggling with the passage but related to the control thing...

If someone is a kleptomaniac...
And really enjoys stealing really very much
But has the higher order desire not to enjoy stealing...
Then on some theories this person is not free.

So if first and second order desires conflict then the person isn't free.

So if someone thinks about fornication a great deal and really gets off on that...
But they have the higher order desire that they wish to god they didn't get off on those kinds of thoughts...
Then there is a sense in which they are not free.

Don't know if that was related at all. I do believe that was... David Hume on freedom.

Charles Lockhart July 18th, 2009 01:57 PM

Re: Self-Control of Thought
 
Quote:


Also...

I am struggling with the passage but related to the control thing...

If someone is a kleptomaniac...
And really enjoys stealing really very much
But has the higher order desire not to enjoy stealing...
Then on some theories this person is not free.
If I understand you correctly, then this conflict is what gives rise to the emotion "GUILT"?

Bertrand May 2nd, 2010 02:27 AM

Re: Self-Control of Thought
 
I think control is not the best choice of words here...

I do think the approach you are describing is a good one, though...

But 'control' can also become a terrible trap for some people.

Actually, I think what you are really describing here is not 'control' at all, but is instead "creation".

You are really outlining an approach to creating a better life / healthier / happier self.

So what you are describing is a kind of creation more so than control.

Another risk with the word 'control' is that if someone wants to try your approach, and gets the wrong idea, they will become very controlling (in the negative sense) in trying to implement your program, which will tend to sabotage their efforts.

Whereas the word 'creation' or 'creating', will set them on the right track from the start.

Please understand, however, I am not disagreeing with your approach (I think it makes a lot of sense and could work very well). Just the word 'control' since control can be a real trap for some people.

albert August 24th, 2010 06:30 AM

Re: Self-Control of Thought
 
very useful and nice information are discussed in this post about Self-Control,..
i really appreciate it ,.. thanks


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