Thursday, April 2, 2009

And I quote...Epictetus

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows."


Epictetus (Greek: Ἐπίκτητος; ca. 55–ca. 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.

Epictetus taught that philosophy is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events were 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 idea was that a person who followed these precepts would achieve happiness.

While I don't agree with his philosophical ideas I do love this quote!



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