Chapter

From Theology to Ethics

A. A. Long

in Epictetus

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780199245567
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597923 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199245568.003.0008
 From Theology to Ethics

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Like earlier Stoics, Epictetus views the goal of ethics as life in accordance with nature, but he gives that goal distinctively theonomic foundations. His conception of happiness is explored, together with his insistence that everyone is naturally motivated by self‐interest, which, when properly understood, is the precondition of a properly social identity. He construes living well as making the most skilful use of every circumstance, as exemplified by the way Socrates conducted himself at the end of his life.

Keywords: Epictetus; ethics; happiness; living well; self‐interest; social identity; theology

Chapter.  10323 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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