Young, Understanding The New Testament, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, Inc. Epictetus is aspiring beyond the alleviation of distress, of course, towards true freedom and happiness. While are largely drawn from the teachings of the philosopher , they are heavily influenced by certain teachings of. He does accept this is very difficult, perhaps impossible for many, and he struggles himself. You may be unconquerable, if you enter into no combat in which it is not in your own control to conquer. It was interesting to read Epictetus as an atheist.
Everything, even our lives and our loved ones, only has value because we give it value with our minds. He suggests that you aim not to suffer at all, to accept what is outside your control and be happy about the little that is within it. The external world is ultimately outside of our control. Unlike the other schools of philosophy, such as the , Zeno chose to teach his philosophy in a public space, which was a overlooking the central gathering place of Athens, the. Zeno's most influential follower was , who was responsible for the molding of what is now called Stoicism. Never call yourself a philosopher, nor talk a great deal among the unlearned about theorems, but act conformably to them. In character, too, he is far removed from either Aurelius or Seneca.
A major work of Stoic practical ethics, the Discourses teach that the basis of happiness is up to us. Born a slave, sent into exile, never rich nor powerful, he certainly had more need of the stoic philosophy than Aurelius, an emperor, or Seneca, a senator. Epictetus forms one part of the triad of classic stoic authors, along with Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. Epictetus is like a sassy staff-sergeant. I highly recommend the works of Epictetus and this translation specifically! These criticisms are minor when I consider that this book is easily one of the greatest books on the art of living that I have yet read.
Suicide could be justified if one fell victim to severe pain or disease, but otherwise suicide would usually be seen as a rejection of one's social duty. Robin Hard's accurate and accessible translation is accompanied by Christopher Gill's full introduction and comprehensive notes. Individuals, however, are responsible for their own actions which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. The stoics make much ado about living in harmony with nature or Zeus. Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power.
Am I alone in finding that curiously comforting? There is no afterlife; death is the end of existence. They still speak eloquently to modern readers seeking meaning in their own lives. No, but pigs do, and filthy geese, and worms, and spiders spiders used to be weird This really is the best modern translation of the works of Epictetus you can find today. Epictetus wa 'About things that are within our power and those that are not. In his , Paul reflected heavily from his knowledge of Stoic philosophy, using Stoic terms and metaphors to assist his new converts in their understanding of Christianity. Regarding the , Staniforth wrote: Again in the doctrine of the Trinity, the ecclesiastical conception of Father, Word, and Spirit finds its germ in the different Stoic names of the Divine Unity.
Forceful, direct, and challenging, their central message is that the basis of happiness is up to us, and that we all have the capacity, through sustained reflection and hard work, of achieving this goal. Surely it is more accurate to think of a scale, or a gradation, of things more or less within our power. It is highly accurate while also being very readable for modern audiences, whether for scholars or non-scholars. There is little plan or order to the sections. There is no grand unifying scheme, merely a succession of chapters haphazardly arranged.
What kind of teacher, then, are you still waiting for, that you should delay any effort to reform yourself until he appears? A History of Western Philosophy, p. The active substance, which can be called or Universal Reason Logos , is an intelligent or primordial fire, which acts on the passive matter: The universe itself is God and the universal outpouring of its soul; it is this same world's guiding principle, operating in mind and reason, together with the common nature of things and the totality that embraces all existence; then the foreordained might and necessity of the future; then fire and the principle of aether; then those elements whose natural state is one of flux and transition, such as water, earth, and air; then the sun, the moon, the stars; and the universal existence in which all things are contained. Stoic theology is a and : God is never fully transcendent but always , and identified with. Diogenes the Cynic and Socrates are the two most often cited by Epictetus as good examples to follow, both men he describes as humble, ascetic, and unafraid to speak unwanted truths to power. Epictetus was a teacher, and a freed slave, whose discourses have a vivid informality, animated by anecdotes and dialogue. Marietta, 1998 , Introduction to ancient philosophy, pp. This ancestry was often evident while I read; Epictetus demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of psychology many centuries before such a discipline existed.
This accessible new translation is accompanied by a full introduction and thorough notes. Zeno's ideas developed from those of the , whose founding father, , had been a disciple of. While some might think that the Stoic goal might not be ideal or achievable, I think incorporating even a little of the Stoic approach would provide a lot of benefit to not only yourself, but also to everyone with whom you come into contact. Of these, they emphasized ethics as the main focus of human knowledge, though their logical theories were of more interest for later philosophers. Middle and Roman Stoics taught that sex is just within marriage, for unitive and procreative purposes only.
Stoicism teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive ; the philosophy holds that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker allows one to understand the universal reason. No complete work by any Stoic philosopher survives from the first two phases of Stoicism. Robin Hard's accurate and accessible translation is accompanied by Christopher Gill's full introduction and comprehensive notes. Seneca was witty, cosmopolitan, and certainly not unfeeling. Books like these can easily become moralizing and unpleasant; but this one is saved by Epictetus's rollicking humor and puckish wit.