Epictetus: His Continuing Influence and Contemporary by David B. Suits, Dane R. Gordon

By David B. Suits, Dane R. Gordon

Epictetus (c. 50-c. a hundred and twenty CE) used to be born a slave. His grasp, Epaphroditus, allowed him to wait the lectures of the Stoic thinker Musonius Rufus and later gave him his freedom. From various references in his Discourses it truly is transparent that Epictetus valued freedom as a important ownership. He may were at the facet of the numerous humans residing now who, whereas no longer truly enslaved, are denied precise freedom by means of the tough situations in their lives. Epictetus's teachings approximately freedom and human dignity have echoed in the course of the millennia-in the writings of Spinoza, Thomas Paine and Martin Luther King, Jr., to call a couple of. He was once a lot all in favour of human habit. His recommendation not to fear approximately what's now not in our keep watch over is pointedly suitable to our busy sleek society-which is usually fraught with nervousness. a few humans could argue that what Epictetus taught isn't severe philosophy, extra like self-help. however the variety of issues addressed by way of the essays during this ebook in actual fact exhibits that the lessons of Epictetus supply robust incentive to give day philosophical considering. "Epictetus: His carrying on with effect and modern Relevance" is the name of a convention on Epictetus held at Rochester Institute of expertise in April 2012, whilst a few of the rules in those essays have been first offered.

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Most importantly, human beings are members of several different kinds of communities. Socrates is a member of Athens and is a member of a specific family. Socrates’s humanity makes possible certain kinds of community roles (such as that of “gadfly”), but his humanity is insufficient to explain his specific role in the civic community. While the deflationary reading has Socrates’s specific roles “deflate” into his human role, this move makes it difficult to see what Epictetus means by the role of a citizen, a father, or a gadfly.

How is the habit of knowledge instilled? 22 Ethical knowledge requires askesis and does not require the support of a free will to be effective, which is part of the reason that medical knowledge and medical imagery are assimilated into ethical discussions. Askesis deploys the power of techniques to produce results (regardless of what a “will” may choose), to force changes onto its object—which, in askesis, is the technician herself. The constituting of an individual by herself, the production and technical adjustment of behavior (with no necessary reference to her will), is at issue here.

S. Mason, eds. The Philosophy of Epictetus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Schofield, Malcolm. “Epictetus on Cynicism”. In The Philosophy of Epictetus, edited by Theodore Scaltsas and Andrew Mason, 71–86. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Sorabji, Richard. “Epictetus on proairesis and Self ”. In The Philosophy of Epictetus, edited by Theodore Scaltsas and Andrew Mason, 87–98. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. ———. Self: Ancient and Modern Insights about Individuality, Life, and Death.

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