36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
One we should revisit,
This review is from: Discourses and Selected Writings (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
The morality of Greek philosophers was the antithesis of our modern one: they believed we should eschew all material desires, not because of some dictate of the heavens, but because they can never be satisfied and come to tyrannise us rather than make us happy. Like Epicurus, Epictetus believed that you had to implement your own philosophy so for his followers it became a quasi-religion. The quasi is justified by the fact that they never drifted away from rational thought. Read Epictetus on why we should not be angry when our neighbour steals from our house, and you will find his logic quite convincing.
His thoughts survive (mainly in the form written down by one of his students) because the Church found this Theistic philosopher acceptable, but he is now somewhat ignored.
This excellent new translation reads very well, and should encourage us to revisit this thinker.
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Initial post: 22 Jun 2009 13:27:05 BDT
Good review, but let me just point out that you probably mean to say that the Church found this PAGAN (not "Theistic") philosopher acceptable. He was certainly not a theist in the usual sense of that word. Besides that, I agree very much with your review.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jul 2010 12:46:19 BDT
William Shardlow says:
Epictetus believed in a God, so he was a theist. A pagan is someone who does not believe in *your* God, at least, if you are a Christian. So you can be a pagan and a theist.
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