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Epictetus

A. A. Long

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780199245567
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597923 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199245568.001.0001
Epictetus

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The Discourses of Epictetus, an emancipated Graeco‐Roman slave, are the most powerful surviving record of an ancient Stoic teacher at work. This book offers a comprehensive analysis of Epictetus’ philosophy as a guide to life, focusing on his dialectical methodology, principal ideas, and long‐term influence. It also shows, for the first time, how strongly he aligned his thought and educational goals with those of the Platonic Socrates. The first part of the book treats Epictetus’ intellectual and cultural context and the conversational style of the Discourses. In the second part, the core of his philosophy is found to consist in four fundamental themes: freedom, judgement, volition, and integrity. The book is also intended to serve as a guide to reading and sampling Epictetus, and it includes numerous excerpts from the Discourses in the author's original translations. Long finds Epictetus a thinker whose theism (though non‐Christian) is strikingly personalist, and whose acute psychological analysis scarcely needs updating.

Keywords: dialectical methodology; Epictetus; freedom; integrity; judgement; personalist theism; Platonism; psychological analysis; Socrates; Stoicism; volition

Book.  324 pages. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Epictetus

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The Discourses in Epictetus

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