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Discourses

132 pages, 2017

philosophy

philosophy

711 books
Takeaways
Description
The Discourses of Epictetus are extracts from the teachings of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, written and compiled by his pupil Arrian c. 108 AD. The books were originally eight in number, but only four now remain in their entirety, along with a few fragments of the others. In a preface attached to the Discourses, Arrian explains how he came to write them:I neither wrote these Discourses of Epictetus in the way in which a man might write such things; nor did I make them public myself, inasmuch as I declare that I did not even write them. But whatever I heard him say, the same I attempted to write down in his own words as nearly as possible, for the purpose of preserving them as memorials to myself afterward of the thoughts and the freedom of speech of Epictetus. The books did not have a formal title in ancient times; they are known today under their first line: "All that concerns right opinion depends on this: whether you choose to consider that... ".
Control What You Can

Epictetus emphasizes the importance of focusing on what you can control and letting go of what you can't. He suggests that our reactions to events are within our control, even if the events themselves are not. This can help reduce stress and increase happiness.

Value of Virtue

In Discourses, Epictetus explores the concept of virtue. He believes that virtue is the highest good and the foundation of a good life. He encourages readers to cultivate virtues like wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance.

Embrace Change

Epictetus encourages us to embrace change and see it as a natural part of life. He believes that accepting change can lead to personal growth and a deeper understanding of the world around us.

The Power of Perspective

One of the key takeaways from Discourses is the power of perspective. Epictetus teaches that our perception of events can shape our reality. By changing our perspective, we can change our emotional response to situations.

The Importance of Self-Discipline

Epictetus stresses the importance of self-discipline in achieving a good life. He suggests that self-discipline can help us control our desires and emotions, leading to inner peace and happiness.

Quotes 5

Epictetus' Discourses was my guiding light during the darkest days of my captivity in Vietnam. It taught me the power of the mind over circumstances.

Admiral James StockdaleAdmiral James Stockdale - Vietnam War POW

Epictetus' Discourses is a profound exploration of human nature and the potential for personal transformation.

Tom WolfeTom Wolfe - American Author

Epictetus' Discourses is a book of timeless wisdom, a must-read for those seeking self-improvement.

Theodore RooseveltTheodore Roosevelt - 26th U.S. President

Epictetus' Discourses was a major influence in developing the psychotherapeutic approach of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

Albert EllisAlbert Ellis - Psychologist, Psychotherapist

Epictetus' Discourses provides practical advice on how to handle the challenges of daily life and how to live a good life.

William IrvineWilliam Irvine - Philosophy Professor
Admiral James StockdaleTom WolfeTheodore RooseveltAlbert EllisWilliam Irvine

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