Other Items on Hellenistic Philosophy Generally 1. Resources at our disposal include just a handful of references in the ancient texts, to which we can add the few allusions that Epictetus makes to his own life in the Discourses. Epictetus was born in about 55 C.
He grew up in Rome where he would study Stoic philosophy before ultimately moving to Nicopolis, Greece and founding his own school. He is considered one of the greatest Stoic philosophers, believing that to live a virtuous life guided by philosophy is the way to achieve happiness.
Epictetus believed that people felt anxiety because they tried to control that which is beyond their control. By realizing that we only have control of ourselves, we can embrace our fate, and be guided by reason rather than our emotions.
Epictetus provides a practical guide for living this way of life in his work the Enchiridion. As a Stoic teacher, Epictetus encourages his students to live a life of reason, and to be guided by virtue in order to achieve happiness eudaimonia. As a Stoic, he sees the laws of nature as divine reason, and it is only because as humans we make the wrong impressions phantasiai of things that we see things as good or bad when they are neither.
Epictetus believes only virtue is good and only vice is bad. Wealth is not good because it does not guarantee happiness. Likewise, sickness, although not preferred, is not evil but merely another part of nature. As humans, we are in control of ourselves, but we cannot control things that are outside of ourselves.
He uses the metaphor of an archer. An archer realizes that he will not always hit the center of the target, because there are things beyond his control such as wind.
For the only thing that is good is acting virtuously (that is, motivated by virtue), and the only thing that is bad is the opposite, acting viciously (that is, motivated by vice). Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions. The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Epictetus: Enchiridion Summary. share. Contents. ruin our whole life, but we can also see it as the normal end of a natural cycle, or a rest that relieves the suffering of old age, and thus give him a positive value. only our judgments on these things, we are invincible, because our judgments on these things are our only power.
In the same way, the goal of life is not to be rich or famous, but to live well. Through philosophy, we can understand the nature of things and be prepared to deal with whatever comes our way.
Because most things are out of our control, the individual must learn to respond to tragic events in a calm and controlled way i.
Epictetus sees emotions as irrational, and therefore he explains that we must act according to reason. God is the divine reason which gives order to the world, and through acting rationally, we are able to live in harmony with the world.
Epictetus explains that life is like a festival, arranged by God for us to enjoy. Epictetus approved of suicide for the same reason, believing that if one no longer enjoys their life, it is acceptable to end it. Epictetus also saw life as similar to a play or being in the military, as we all have our part to play.
He explains that this simply the price to pay in living a virtuous life. Epictetus distinguishes between philosophers and non-philosophers. He believed a philosopher should marry and have children in order to provide a replacement for himself. Since Epictetus had done neither himself, a clever student once asked him if he could marry one of his daughters.
Epictetus has since served as an inspiration for others who have endured hardships. Most strikingly in recent times, James Stockdale, a prisoner of war in Vietnam was imprisoned for seven and a half years, tortured, and held in solitary confinement for four years. Grief is the most offensive; Epictetus considered the suffering of grief an act of evil.
It is a willful act, going against the will of God to have all men share happiness.Epictetus (/ ˌ ɛ p ɪ k ˈ t iː t ə s /; Greek: Ἐπίκτητος, Epíktētos; c.
55 – AD) was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia (present day Pamukkale, Turkey) and lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece for the rest of his life.
Epictetus was born into slavery about 55 ce in the eastern outreaches of the Roman Empire. Once freed, he established an influential school of Stoic philosophy, stressing that human beings cannot control life, only their responses to it. It is possible to draw only a basic sketch of Epictetus' life.
whatever material comes our way, it is our duty to make proper use of it, and if possible make it into the best thing of its kind as we can Translations of Epictetus (Note: 'Enchiridion', 'Encheiridion', 'Handbook'.
In his The Enchiridion, a work recorded by his student Arrian, Epictetus describes how the philosophical life, achievable by reason, has as its end eudaimonia (happiness).
By realizing that we only have control of ourselves, we can embrace our fate, and be guided by reason rather than our emotions. Epictetus provides a practical guide for living this way of life .
[Epictetus] states that some things are up to us and some things aren't up to us. The problem with this dichotomy is that the phrase "some things aren't up to us" is ambiguous: It can be understood to mean either "There are some things over which we have no control at all" or to mean "There are things over which we don't have complete control" (87).