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Control methods for anger

Seneca addresses the question of mastering anger in three parts: 1. how to avoid becoming angry in the first place 2. how to cease being angry and 3. how to deal with anger in others.[12]Seneca suggests, to avoid becoming angry in the first place, that the many faults of anger should be repeatedly remembered. One should avoid being too busy or deal with anger-provoking people. Unnecessary hunger or thirst should be avoided and soothing music be listened to.[12] To cease being angry, Seneca suggests "one to check speech and impulses and be aware of particular sources of personal irritation. In dealing with other people, one should not be too inquisitive: It is not always soothing to hear and see everything. When someone appears to slight you, you should be at first reluctant to believe this, and should wait to hear the full story. You should also put yourself in the place of the other person, trying to understand his motives and any extenuating factors, such as age or illness."[12] Seneca further advises daily self-inquisition about one's bad habit.[12] To deal with anger in others, Seneca suggests that the best reaction is to simply keep calm. A certain kind of deception, Seneca says, is necessary in dealing with angry people.[12] Galen repeats Seneca's points but adds a new one: finding a guide and teacher can help the person in controlling their passions. Galen also gives some hints for finding a good teacher.[12] Both Seneca and Galen (and later philosophers) agree that the process of controlling anger should start in childhood on grounds of malleability. Seneca warns that this education should not blunt the spirit of the children nor should they be humiliated or treated severely. At the same time, they should not be pampered. Children, Seneca says, should learn not to beat their playmates and not to become angry with them. Seneca also advises that children's requests should not be granted when they are angry.[12]

Medieval era
During the period of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, philosophers elaborated on the existing conception of anger, many of whom did not make major contributions to the concept. For example, many medieval philosophers such as Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Roger Bacon and Thomas Aquinas agreed with ancient philosophers that animals cannot become angry.[12] On the other hand, al-Ghazali (also known as "Algazel" in Europe), who often disagreed with Aristotle and Ibn Sina (Avicenna) on many issues, argued that animals do possess anger as one of the three "powers" in their Qalb ("heart"), the other two being appetite and impulse. He also argued that animal will is "conditioned by anger and appetite" in contrast to human will which is "conditioned by the intellect."[59] A common medieval belief was that those prone to anger had an excess of yellow bile or choler (hence the word "choleric").[12] This belief was related to Seneca's belief that "redhaired and red-faced people are hot-tempered because of excessive hot and dry humors." By gender Wrath was sinful because of the social problems it caused, sometimes even homicide. It served to ignore those who are present, contradicts those who are absent, produces insults, and responds harshly to insults that are received.[60] Aristotle felt that anger or wrath was a natural outburst of selfdefense in situations where people felt they had been wronged. Aquinas felt that if anger was justified, it was not a sin. For example, "He that is angry without cause, shall be in danger; but he

that is angry with cause, shall not be in danger: for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes unchecked. Therefore to be angry is not always an evil."[61] The concept of wrath contributed to a definition of gender and power. Many medieval authors in 1200 agreed the differences between men and women were based on complexion, shape, and disposition. Complexion involved the balance of the four fundamental qualities of heat, coldness, moistness, and dryness. When various combinations of these qualities are made they define groups of certain people as well as individuals. Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Galen all agreed on that, in terms of biology and sexual differentiation, heat was the most important of the qualities because it determined shape and disposition. Disposition included a balance of the previous four qualities, the four elements and the four humors. For example, the element of fire shared the qualities of heat and dryness: fire dominated in yellow bile or choler, meaning a choleric person was more or hot and dry than others. Hot and dry individuals were active, dominant, and aggressive. The opposite was true with the element of water. Water, is cold and moist, related closely to phlegm: people with more phlegmatic personalities were passive and submissive. While these trait clusters varied from individual to individual most authors in the Middle Ages assumed certain clusters of traits characterized men more than women and vice versa.[62] Women Scholars posted that females were seen by authors in the Middle Ages to be more phlegmatic(cold and wet) than males, meaning females were more sedentary and passive than males.[62]Womens passive nature appeared natural due to their lack of power when compared to men. Aristotle identified traits he believed women shared: female, feminine, passive, focused on matter, inactive, and inferior. Thus medieval women were supposed to act submissively toward men and relinquish control to their husbands.[62] However Hildergard of BIngen believed women were fully capable of anger. While most women were phlegmatic, individual women under certain circumstances could also be choleric. Men Medieval scholars believed most men were choleric, or hot and dry. Thus they were dominant and aggressive. (Barton) Aristotle also identified characteristics of men: male, masculine, active, focused on form, potent, outstanding, and superior. Men were aware of the power they held. Given their choleric nature, men exhibited hot temperatures and were quick to anger.[62] Peter of Albano once said, The males spirit, is lively, given to violent impulse; [it is] slow getting angry and slower being calmed. (Peter of Albano)Medieval ideas of gender assumed men were more rational than women. Masculinity involved a wide range of possible behaviors, and men were not angry all the time. Every mans humoral balance was different, some men were strong, other weak, also some more prone to wrath then others.[62]

Control methods
Maimonides considered being given to uncontrollable passions as a kind of illness. Like Galen, Maimonides suggested seeking out a philosopher for curing this illness just as one seeks out a physician for curing bodily illnesses. Roger Bacon elaborates Seneca's advices. Many medieval writers discuss at length the evils of anger and the virtues of temperance. John Mirk asks men to

"consider how angels flee before them and fiends run toward him to burn him with hellfire."[12] In The Canon of Medicine, Ibn Sina (Avicenna) modified the theory of temperaments and argued that anger heralded the transition of melancholia to mania, and explained that humidity inside the head can contribute to such mood disorders.[63] On the other hand, Ahmed ibn Sahl al-Balkhi classified anger (along with aggression) as a type of neurosis,[64] while al-Ghazali (Algazel) argued that anger takes form in rage, indignation and revenge, and that "the powers of the soul become balanced if it keeps anger under control."[65]

Modern times
The modern understanding of anger may not be greatly advanced over that of Aristotle.[12] Immanuel Kant rejects revenge as vicious. Regarding the latter, David Hume argues that because "anger and hatred are passions inherent in our very frame and constitution, the lack of them is sometimes evidence of weakness and imbecility."[15] Two main differences between the modern understanding and ancient understanding of anger can be detected, Kemp and Strongman state: one is that early philosophers were not concerned with possible harmful effects of thesuppression of anger; the other is that, recently, studies of anger take the issue of gender differences into account. The latter does not seem to have been of much concern to earlier philosophers.[12] The American psychologist Albert Ellis has suggested that anger, rage, and fury partly have roots in the philosophical meanings and assumptions through which human beings interprettransgression.[66] According to Ellis, these emotions are often associated and related to the leaning humans have to absolutistically depreciating and damning other peoples' humanity when their personal rules and domain are transgressed.