Epictetus Analysis

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Epictetus’s way of philosophy is one that is purely Stoic, imploring that the solution to human finitude is one where humans can live life without showing feeling or complaining about pain and hardships towards unsavory situations. Each of his rules in his handbook offers advice in which the subject simply “deals” with disappointment, or rather, doesn’t expect something out of the scopes of reason and logic, so that, figuratively, when occurrences don’t go their way, they aren’t disappointed. This is because to Epictetus, all external events in life are pre-determined by fate, so it’s already out of our hands from the beginning. With a calm dispassion, or indifference, we approach our fate and accept it. This is shown in his rules in The Handbook,…show more content…
. . . if you think that things naturally enslaved are free or that things not your own are your own, you will be thwarted, miserable, and upset, and will blame both gods and men. But if you think that only what is your is yours, and that what is not your own is, just as it is, not your own, then no one will ever coerce you, no one will hinder you, you will blame no one, you will not accuse anyone, you will not do a single thin unwillingly, you will have no enemies, and no one will harm you, because you will not be harmed at all.” (Epictetus: The Handbook, pg. 11). Basically saying he sees human limits in wanting what’s not in our power, what we can’t control such as our bodies, possessions, glory, and power (political power and status). He views that we have power in however, our opinions, impulses, desires, and what we stray away from in self-preservation. In focusing in what we have control over, what depends on us, and not focusing on anything but, we are free. In his third rule, his gives ways to not be saddened when your child dies by likening said child to an inanimate object, when it falls no tears are shed, so when said child dies, you shouldn’t be upset, according to…show more content…
Another would be that it is foolish to want those close to you – family, friends, etc, - to live forever because that’s not up to you and as stated in the quote above, it’s foolish to want things that aren’t yours to be yours because that’s impossible. He gives example in his sixteenth rule that when a person is mourning, it’s not what had happened, but rather his/her judgment of what has happened, so the best approach is to not mourning it inwardly, or applying feeling/judgment to it. So nothing beyond our own opinions belong to us, and because we can control our opinions, we can apply his reasoning that’ll supposedly lead to achieving peace of mind in life. This is because in his thinking, reason is good, and irrationality is bad, and to be intolerable of the rational – things out of your control – is irrational. Another part of human finitude that he gives way to improve upon is lack of self-discipline. “Remember, you must behave as you do at a banquet. Something is passed around and comes to you: reach out your hand politely and take
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