R. Rossi - Vol. 10, December 2004, Issue 4

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Seneca o Nerone? Philosophe, cura te ipsum

Many studies emphasize the importance of cognitive dimensions in coping with and controlling emotional troubles and mental disorders.

So many books are being published, sometimes really bestsellers, which suggest methods about the control of emotions, finding happiness, fighting depression by the strenght of mind. This new need for philosophy remembers the activity of the stoics, especially Seneca in some essays as De Tranquillitate Animi, which may be considered the first of these modern bestsellers. However the contrast between Seneca tragedist and Seneca philosoph, and his really troubled relation with a man like Nero, lead us to some general considerations on the limited utility of these cognitivist and optimistic needs for philosophic control on mental troubles, because of their conflictual structure.