Sophrosyne

Σωφροσύνη| Tempérance | sophrosyne

The Greek term σωφροσύνη (sophrosúnê) denotes a philosophical approach that exemplifies self-control, wisdom and moderation. Sophrosyne derives from the ancient Greek “σῶς” (sôs: healthy), “φρήν” (phrên: consciousness) and from the suffix “-σύνη” (-syne) which forms names of qualities, innate or acquired. In a way, it designates the search for discretion and the necessary forbearance to achieve a serene and happy life. Plato also explains in The Republic, that “sophrosyne controls the propensity for concupiscence”. It is also a whole morality of fair measure, expression of a wisdom that shuns proud excess: sophrosyne, as “wisdom”, is opposed to hybris, as “violence accompanied by excess”. Basically, it is above all a vision of the world characterised by a deep awareness of oneself, of one’s own abilities and limitations, thus enabling an authentic relationship to the other.