Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom - Bloomsbury Studies in Ancient Philosophy (Hardback)
  • Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom - Bloomsbury Studies in Ancient Philosophy (Hardback)
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Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom - Bloomsbury Studies in Ancient Philosophy (Hardback)

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£100.00
Hardback 208 Pages / Published: 10/05/2007
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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.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9780826496089
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 467 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"The book is a fresh and valuable overview of Stoic ethical themes as presented in Epictetus's writings. Its own writing is graceful, the examples are fascinating, and careful and thorough attention to the texts of Epictetus brings to light many bits of Epictetus which will be unfamiliar to those who have read only the Encheiridion...It makes an important contribution to our understanding of Roman Stoics' mighty struggle to find happiness in a turbulent and uncontrollable world which is, in those respects, much like our own."
-Eve A. Browning, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2010

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