A discourse on moderation as a philosophical concept

  • F A Airoboman
Keywords: Moderation, Sensuality, Ancient philosophers, Virtue, Vice, Environment


This work is a contemporary attempt to revivify interest in the ancient philosophical concept of moderation. It attempts a conceptual analysis of the concept of moderation as virtue. It examined this concept hand in hand with sensual desire and holds that appetites and passions need not be eradicated completely, but instead, they should be put under control by reason because most of what humans are concerned with are neither good nor bad in themselves; it is manner, disposition, situation and rational application or otherwise that make them good or bad, virtuous or vicious. Just as the endless and untamed quest for satisfaction of ones appetite or desire is a vice, so also the complete lack or eradication of desire is a vice- that is, vices of excess and defect, respectively. Thereafter, the work inquires briefly into the conceptions which some ancient philosophers (Plato, the Stoics, Confucius, Buddha) have on moderation. It attempts an extension and application of the concept to environmental interaction, which is one of the topical issues in our time and opines that to be virtuous in this regard, is to avoid extremes and tow the line of moderation. It concludes that to go beyond moderation is as vicious as falling short of reasonable limit; and to be able to apply moderation when and where necessary is a virtue.

Keywords: Moderation, Sensuality, Ancient philosophers, Virtue, Vice, Environment


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1119-443X