Epictetus and the Stoic Self

Daniel C. Russell

in Happiness for Humans

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199583683
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745713 | DOI:
Epictetus and the Stoic Self

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This chapter begins the argument that the Stoics’ thesis that virtuous activity is sufficient for happiness stems not from their belief that virtuous activity is the only good, but from the conjunction of that belief and their conception of virtuous activity as the exercise of choice in circumstances from which the self is always distinct. This chapter examines Epictetus’ articulation of that conception of activity. Following a close reading of Epictetus, Discourses I.1., the chapter argues that Epictetus’ conception of virtuous activity is an orthodox Stoic view.

Keywords: activity; discourses; Epictetus; Margaret Graver; Handbook; Enchiridion; Hierocles; self; Seneca; Richard Sorabji; stoicism; sufficiency of virtue for happiness; virtuous activity; vulnerability

Chapter.  12711 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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