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Author Topic: Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom  (Read 4490 times) Average Rating: 0
LyricFox
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« Topic Start: September 17, 2010, 08:39:44 pm »

Title: Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom
Author(s): William O. Stephens
Publisher: London/New York:  Continuum
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 0826496083
ISBN-13:
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

From the Bryn Mawr Classic Review:
The decision to publish a doctoral dissertation, especially one which has only been “lightly edited” (foreword, first sentence) and with a bibliography only partially updated to reflect the scholarship of the intervening years, must always seem a risky one. In this case the risk is well-taken and the resultant book is a delightful addition to our too-meager store of book-length overviews of Epictetus’ philosophy in the wider context of Stoic ethics.

Read the full review at the Bryn Mawr Classic Review web site.

Additional Description:
Shortly after Aristotle's death, ancient philosophy shifted away from abstract technical issues and focused on the more practical moral question of how to be happy. While many schools of thought arose on the subject, Stoicism and Epicureanism dominated the philosophical landscape for nearly 500 years, often locked in bitter rivalry with each other. Epicureanism advised pursing pleasure as a means to happiness, and Stoicism held that true happiness could only be achieved by accepting one's assigned lot in life. The lasting impact of these philosophies is seen from that fact that even today 'Stoic' and 'Epicurean' are household words. Although the founder of Stoicism was an obscure Greek philosopher who wrote nothing on the subject, his school consistently attracted more followers than its Epicurean counterpart. Little, in fact, survives of early Stoicism, and our knowledge of it comes largely from a few later Stoics. In this unique book, William O. Stephens explores the moral philosophy of Epictetus, a former Roman slave and dynamic Stoic teacher whose writings are the most compelling defence of ancient Stoicism that exists. Epictetus' philosophy dramatically captures the spirit of Stoicism by examining our greatest human disappointments, such as the death of a loved one. Stephens shows how, for Epictetus, happiness results from focusing our concern on what is up to us while not worrying about what is beyond our control. He concludes that the strength of Epictetus' philosophy lies in his conception of happiness as freedom from fear, worry, grief, and dependence upon luck.

Special Notes:
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Legal Notes: Some description text and item pictures in this post may come from Amazon.com and are used by permission. The Cauldron is an Amazon Affiliate and purchases made through the Amazon links in this message help support The Cauldron.



Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.
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« Reply #1: September 17, 2010, 08:55:11 pm »




I so wish I was on my old salary - I'd buy this NOW! As it is, it might have to wait a few weeks Sad
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« Reply #2: September 17, 2010, 09:04:33 pm »

I so wish I was on my old salary - I'd buy this NOW! As it is, it might have to wait a few weeks Sad

I had you in mind when I saw this review. Smiley
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BGMarc
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« Reply #3: September 17, 2010, 09:26:03 pm »

I had you in mind when I saw this review. Smiley

Much appreciated Cheesy It's definitely something to look forward to.
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"If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been wallpapered" Robin Tyler

It's the saddest thing in the world when you can only feel big by making others feel small. - UPG

Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime. The sentence is death. There is no appeal and sentence is carried out automatically and without pity. Lazarus Long.

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