Handbook epictetus essay

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Because it can be a positive assessment of this event. This is the famous Stoic equanimity ataraxia , which leads to stay calm under all circumstances. Your wife is dead, it is made. My property I was delighted. Well it is also made.

Stoicism: Epictetus & Seneca

Finally it is serious and austere. What is a demonstration, a consequence, an objection that the true, the false? Or Stoicism is essentially a practice. The aim of philosophy is not to know things from a theoretical point of view, but to apply our theoretical findings:. Us, we act in reverse.

What Epictetus Really Thinks Is in Our Power

We focus in the third part, all our concern is for her, and we neglect the first absolutely. We lie because we are prepared to demonstrate that one should not lie. You must be logged in to post a comment. The suggestion that Epictetus has more than one idea of proairesis and more than one 'self' in his theory is intriguing but will, I suspect, remain controversial. The trio of papers by Keimpe Algra, Katerina Ierodiakonou and Malcolm Schofield demands particular attention because of their close and rewarding interconnections.

One of Epictetus' most striking features is his conception of a philosophical vocation, inspired no doubt by the mission of his hero Socrates. This is intimately connected to Epictetus' seemingly distinctive theological stance, an issue which has been the subject of much scholarship and considerable misunderstanding for over a century.

Algra argues persuasively that in substance Epictetus remains consistent with the theology of earlier Stoics and that doctrinally he does not veer into a more personal conception of god, as has often been thought. Algra is sensitive to the way Epictetus' personality and temperament shape the way he talks about god, but for an exploration of how this might be developed in detail we turn to Ierodiakonou's detailed study of Epictetus' frequent presentation of the philosopher as a messenger from god, or a witness to truth, someone with a calling or vocation to bring philosophical insight to other human beings.

This is clearly part of the reason behind earlier and misguided attempts to compare Epictetus' philosophical commitment to a quasi-Christian religiosity, but Ierodiakonou shows that the key connections are to Socratic and Cynic precedents though one might add, as she does not, a reference to other religiously tinged portrayals of philosophical heroes, such as Lucretius' treatment of Epicurus as a quasi-divine bringer of salvation in the proem to book 5 of De Rerum Natura. However strange it may seem to us to regard philosophical rigour as part of a god-given mission, Epictetus presents us with just such an image.

This rich essay concludes with a sketch of how it happened that philosophy eventually lost its 'divine' warrant when faith and revelation, rather than reason, were successfully institutionalized as the path to salvation. Epictetus' habit and it is not just his habit alone of using religious language for philosophical commitment came to look quite different when seen against the background of dogmatic and institutionalized monotheism. Schofield focuses closely on the role of Cynicism in Epictetus' conception of the mission of philosophy.

From the beginning, Cynic philosophers developed in detail the Socratic notion of a divine philosophical vocation, and Cynicism was very much a part of the philosophical and social scene in the early Empire. Epictetus took a strong interest in it, often defining his own mission by comparison with it.

  • Epictetus: Enchiridion Summary?
  • An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers..
  • Discourses of Epictetus: Book Summary, Key Lessons and Best Quotes.

Schofield's essay on the topic is an extended exploration of Disc. To be a philosopher and so to care properly for young people involves more than just being wise, according to Epictetus. It is also necessary to be fit for the job in various ways and additionally necessary "that god be advising you to occupy this role, as he advised Socrates to take on the role of cross-examiner, Diogenes [of Sinope] the role of king and critic, and Zeno the role of teacher and formulator of doctrine.

Michael Erler and Myrto Dragona-Monachou explore the connections between Epictetus and other philosophers, Plato and Wittgenstein, in essays of very different character. Erler underlines the relationship of Epictetus with the Socrates of Plato's dialogues, above all the Phaedo , from which he takes a metaphor the "child within" expressing the proper Stoic attitude to the fear of death, in my view correctly focussing on this dialogue as of distinctive importance to Stoicism. Dragona-Monachou reviews Stoic ideas of freedom, by and large embracing the work of Susanne Bobzien Determinism and Freedom in Stoic Philosophy , Oxford and with particular attention to Epictetus' Discourse 4.

The consideration of Wittgenstein's apparent similarities to some facets of Stoicism is suggestive, but Dragona-Monachou refrains from drawing any conclusions about the conscious reception of Epictetus by Wittgenstein. Julia Annas tackles a central feature of Epictetus' contribution to the tradition of moral deliberation, his sensitivity to the balance between the different perspectives which we need to adopt as moral agents and to the roles or relationships we find ourselves in even before we adopt a more comprehensive view of the obligations we each have as rational beings alongside others in the world.

An eclectic mixture of essays on Epictetus, some interpretive, some highlighting his relevance to contemporary philosophy, and several concerned with his later influence.

The Enchiridion by Epictetus (Audio Book)

Graver, Margaret. In The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Edited by Edward N. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ.


A brief but informative overview of the central themes in Epictetus. First published in , revised in Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic guide to life.

Oxford: Clarendon. DOI: An accessible introduction by a leading scholar on Stoicism, wide ranging but especially interested in the Socratic educational project at work in the Dissertationes. The best sole-authored volume on Epictetus available in English. Available online via Oxford Scholarship Online , by subscription.

Similar Essays

Mason, eds. The philosophy of Epictetus. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Ten essays by leading ancient philosophy scholars on a range of topics in Epictetus, all highly recommended. Essential reading for anyone contemplating serious work on Epictetus. Stephens, W.

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Stoic ethics: Epictetus and happiness as freedom. London: Continuum. Originally written in

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handbook epictetus essay Handbook epictetus essay
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