What makes the writings of a former slave so powerful today? Epictetus observed that although everyday life is fraught with difficulty, a life of virtue is within reach. He dedicated his life to outlining the simple way to happiness, fulfilment, and tranquility and his teachings are brought to the reader through his 93 witty, wise, and razor-sharp instructions. Reading Epictetus's deceptively simple words of advice is like discovering buried treasure. Let's face it: everyday life, no matter what our personal circumstances are, is fraught with difficulty. So, what are we going to do about it? This book has real answers. When all is said and done, there are only two important questions: how does one be a good person and how does one live a good life. Epictetus, the great first century sage, gives clear and practical answers to these questions in this primer for living the best possible life.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2013-01-03
No writings of Epictetus himself are really known. His discourses were transcribed and compiled by his pupil Arrian (author of the Anabasis Alexandri). The main work is The Discourses, four books of which have been preserved (out of an original eight). Arrian also compiled a popular digest, entitled the Enchiridion, or Handbook. In a preface to the Discourses, addressed to Lucius Gellius, Arrian states that "whatever I heard him say I used to write down, word for word, as best I could, endeavouring to preserve it as a memorial, for my own future use, of his way of thinking and the frankness of his speech."
The essence of perennial Stoic wisdom in aphorisms of stunning insight and simplicity. The West's first and best little instruction book offers thoroughly contemporary and pragmatic reflections on how best to live with serenity and joy.
Epictetus, a Greek stoic and freed slave, ran a thriving philosophy school in Nicropolis in the early second century AD. His animated discussions were celebrated for their rhetorical wizardry and were written down by Arrian, his most famous pupil. Together with the Enchiridion, a manual of his main ideas, and the fragments collected here, The Discourses argue that happiness lies in learning to perceive exactly what is in our power to change and what is not, and in embracing our fate to live in harmony with god and nature. In this personal, practical guide to the ethics of stoicism and moral self-improvement, Epictetus tackles questions of freedom and imprisonment, illness and fear, family, friendship and love, and leaves an intriguing document of daily life in the classical world.
Selections from the writings of the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus, compiled and translated by Hastings Crossley. Epictetus (AD 55-AD 135) was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was probably born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia (present day Pamukkale, Turkey), and lived in Rome until his exile to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece, where he lived most of his life and died. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses. Philosophy, he taught, is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control, but we can accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. Individuals, however, are responsible for their own actions which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. As part of the universal city that is the universe, human beings have a duty of care to all fellow humans. The person who followed these precepts would achieve happiness.
Author: William B. Irvine
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2008-11-04
One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives. In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have. Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows readers how to become thoughtful observers of their own lives. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doing this, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.
Author: A. A. Long
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 1986
The purpose of this book is to trace the main developments in Greek philosophy during the period which runs from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.c. to the end of the Roman Republic (31 B.c.). These three centuries, known to us as the Hellenistic Age, witnessed a vast expansion of Greek civilization eastwards, following Alexander's conquests; and later, Greek civilization penetrated deeply into the western Mediterranean world assisted by the political conquerors of Greece, the Romans. But philosophy throughout this time remained a predominantly Greek activity. The most influential thinkers in the Hellenistic world were Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics. This book gives a concise critical analysis of their ideas and their methods of thought. The last book in English to cover this ground was written sixty years ago. In the interval the subject has moved on, quite rapidly since the last war, but most of the best work is highly specialized. There is a clear need for a general appraisal of Hellenistic philosophy which can provide those who are not specialists with an up-to-date account of the subject. Hellenistic philosophy is often regarded as a dull product of second-rate thinkers who are unable to stand comparison with Plato and Aristotle. This book will help to remove such misconceptions and arouse wider interest in a field which is fascinating both historically and conceptually.
Do you feel that happiness and fulfillment are still missing even after reaching the high goals you set for yourself? This inspirational resource is a must for leaders who want to connect personal values, vision, and satisfaction to life and work. In this simple, straightforward leadership coaching guide, the authors provide seven keys to gaining fulfillment in your life and work: This inspirational resource is a must for leaders who want to connect personal values, vision, and satisfaction to life and work. In this simple, straightforward leadership coaching guide, the authors provide seven keys to gaining fulfillment in your life and work: Discovering your Purpose Possessing Vision Finding Meaningful Work Energizing Relationships Creating Peace Reviewing, Renewing, and Recommitting Forming Discipline
Author: D.Q. McInerny
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2004-08-03
Whether regarded as a science, an art, or a skill–and it can properly be regarded as all three–logic is the basis of our ability to think, analyze, argue, and communicate. Indeed, logic goes to the very core of what we mean by human intelligence. In this concise, crisply readable book, distinguished professor D. Q. McInerny offers an indispensable guide to using logic to advantage in everyday life. Written explicitly for the layperson, McInerny’s Being Logical promises to take its place beside Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style as a classic of lucid, invaluable advice. As McInerny notes, logic is a deep, wide, and wonderfully varied field, with a bearing on every aspect of our intellectual life. A mastery of logic begins with an understanding of right reasoning–and encompasses a grasp of the close kinship between logical thought and logical expression, a knowledge of the basic terms of argument, and a familiarity with the pitfalls of illogical thinking. Accordingly, McInerny structures his book in a series of brief, penetrating chapters that build on one another to form a unified and coherent introduction to clear and effective reasoning. At the heart of the book is a brilliant consideration of argument–how an argument is founded and elaborated, how it differs from other forms of intellectual discourse, and how it critically embodies the elements of logic. McInerny teases out the subtleties and complexities of premises and conclusions, differentiates statements of fact from statements of value, and discusses the principles and uses of every major type of argument, from the syllogistic to the conditional. In addition, he provides an incisive look at illogical thinking and explains how to recognize and avoid the most common errors of logic. Elegant, pithy, and precise, Being Logical breaks logic down to its essentials through clear analysis, accessible examples, and focused insights. Whether you are a student or a teacher, a professional sharpening your career skills or an amateur devoted to the fine points of thought and expression, you are sure to find this brief guide to effecting reasoning both fascinating and illuminating.
In this personal and practical guide to moral self-improvement and living a good life, the second-century philosopher Epictetus tackles questions of freedom and imprisonment, stubbornness and fear, family, friendship and love, and leaves an intriguing document of daily life in the classical world. GREAT IDEAS. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.