Aristotle And Aristotle 's Theory Of Virtue

2685 Words11 Pages
Matt Westermeyer
Epictetus and Aristotle in Practice

Mankind has been searching for existential reasoning since our earliest beginnings. One of the biggest questions, the one that keeps me up at night, “How ought we to live?” will be explained from the viewpoints of Epictetus in his Enchiridion and Aristotle in Nicomachean Ethics. In this paper, I will discuss both philosophies in principle and practice, while giving insight to how to they may function in a modern world situation. Although both theories have useful guidance for navigating the human condition, Aristotle’s theory of virtue encompasses more of a real world schematic of how to interpret oneself in relation to our surroundings through compassion rather than apathy.
Epictetus’ Enchiridion or “Manual” lays out guidelines according to his stoic doctrines. He essentially instructs the reader to understand their relativity to nature and guide one into a submissive state under the grander scheme of cosmological law. Epictetus tells us to let go of fears of death and loss and to find balance amongst needed desires and aversions. He assures that everything happens for some good reason, and that as a rational and sentient creature, one should see things for how they really are and consider the consequences of our actions and thoughts. Since beliefs can correct emotions, those who have control over their thoughts are in control of their freedom; strong words coming from someone who was born into actual physical slavery

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