Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Epictetus [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]: "Epictetus aims to make his students consider carefully what the philosophic life – for a Stoic – consists in, and how to live it oneself. He discusses a wide range of topics, from friendship to illness, from fear to poverty, on how to acquire and maintain tranquillity, and why we should not be angry with other people.

The early Stoic philosophers (Zeno, Cleanthes and Chrysippus) were read and discussed in Epictetus' classes.

Epictetus' doctrine recognized two categories of influences to life, distinguishing between those under human control and those outside thereof (adiaphora). The first category includes aspects like ambition or animosity; the latter health, fame or property. He concludes that positive or negative interpretation of personal circumstances emerging from uncontrollable facts is an act of free will. Stoicism is the state of recognition that such facts cannot affect life.

"It is the difficulties that show what men are" ..Epictetus*

Man is disturbed not by things, but by his opinion of things.
- Epictetus, Roman Philosopher, 1st Century AD

"Think first who you would be, then do what you must do." Epictetus.

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows."
- Epictetus: 50-138 A.D. -

First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.

What is the first business of one who practices philosophy? To get rid of self-conceit. For it is impossible for anyone to begin to learn that which he thinks he already knows.
Epictetus, Discourses

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