Epictetus Analysis

Carlton, Forrest

Thesis for Analysis

Upon receiving this assignment the apparent need for a substantially interesting topic was obvious. Paragraph five from Epictetus Handbook was a clear choice. Explaining that it is a common misconception that our emotions are influenced by outside sources when in fact it is our seemingly inherent judgment of the situations that control us. People become discontented and unhappy not from situations themselves but because of the preconceptions and ideas about the situations taken into them.

Born in 55 AD, Epictetus was a Greek philosopher who taught and practiced stoicism. His birth name is unknown. As a child he was sold ...

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that became very popular among aspiring stoic philosophers. Epictetus never wrote anything himself. Everything that pertains to his teachings come from a student by the name of Arrian. It is believed that he wrote the Discourses as well as the Encheiridion,also known as the The Handbook or the Manual. Towards the end of Epictetus' life, he adopted a young child from a friend. He began raising the child with the help of an unknown woman. Epictetus died in the year 135 AD at the age of about eighty.

Throughout the entire text of the Encheriridion the central theme of obtaining happiness is present. Since, the text is based in the thought of stoicism, happiness is obtained only when one let's unreasonable desires take place with realistic ones. Desires, according to Epictetus, have to be in line with the true nature of our surroundings. For example, if a piece of pottery breaks one should not be upset that the pottery has broken. But instead, one should accept ...

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fifth passage of the The Handbook presents a complicated argument, mostly because there are two conclusions to be noted. The first conclusion is that when we are unhappy we should, "never blame someone else but rather ourselves, that is, our own judgments." Although the second conclusion is not technically a conclusion at all, when Epictetus refers to our level of education he is alluding to the fact that our happiness is based in our ability to understand what it is that upsets us and where we place our blame.

[Premise 1] The amount of blame a person places on a situation is inversely proportional to their level of true education

[Premise 2] The judgments that people take into ...

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Added: 10/5/2013 12:35:48 PM
Submitted By: fcarlton24
Category: Philosophy
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1485
Pages: 6

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