Epictetus Rhetorical Analysis

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What does it mean to be a stoic? One philosopher answers this question. In the “Enchiridion,” we encounter Epictetus writing a law of sorts that dictates what is considered ethical stoic behavior. Stoicism in Epictetus view is simply being able to control our actions, but relinquishing the want or need to control what isn’t a product of our own actions. For Epictetus, some of the things that are in our control are our likes, opinions, and pursuits. While, the things out of our control is the body, your reputation, property, and instruction. In a stoic view one's disappointment only comes into play when one attaches their dislikes to what is considered uncontrollable. Contrarily, one is in control of their emotions because they are in control of their actions. My argument based upon Epictetus stoicism rhetoric is that Thoreau himself is a stoic when considering his philosophical outlooks. First, Thoreau was an advocate for the emotional detachment of material or property as we see in the “Walden,” (Economic chapter E). Thoreau’s belief that what a man owns doesn’t implicate who he is as a person. Falls in line with Epictetus claims of property not being under our control. Reason being, is it might…show more content…
We see during Thoreau's time injustices were a major concern in society. Slave ownership was a commonality, government didn’t legitimize the interest of it’s citizens, and Thoreau felt as if taxpayers weren’t represented properly. Stoics don’t necessarily accept the rules and laws those who govern lay down if they aren’t just. Natural laws are never unjust because, natural laws treat every human being with respect and goes with the flow. If man’s law break the rules of natural laws it thus rendered unjust and problematic. A sentiment Thoreau so gladly fights for in his avocation for the civil disobedience of the unjust state
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