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Epictetus Philosophy Analysis

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Yet, Epictetus offers another interesting concept for Stoics. He divides things into two categories: things that are “up to us” and those that are “not up to us” (Ench. 1.1-2). Things that are “up to us” include: opinions, desires, and actions, i.e., what are conditional on assent. Everything else such as our bodies, possessions, and reputations, are “not up to us.” Epictetus believes that we should only pay attention to things that are “up to us” and pay no attention to indifferents which fall into the “not up to us.” We should only focus on what is genuinely good, which is virtue, and resides in the only thing we have real control over: “choice.” Epictetus does not necessarily reject the idea of preferred and dispreferred indifferents, but…show more content…
However, in order to believe their philosophy, you must immediately accept some beliefs that a good number of people do not hold. You must think that everyone is in control of their own beliefs and their own emotions entirely. Even in the worst torture situation, you should be able to be happy as long as you have virtue or are performing virtuous actions. Also, some people think Stoics were determinists in the sense that it is in our control to assent or not to an impression, but we were also determined to do so or not. Moreover, according to some Stoics, in everyday life you should pursue preferred indifferents. Yet, it would be difficult, nearly impossible, to not have some kind of emotional reaction if you had been pursuing a preferred indifferent and all of the sudden it was taken away. Additionally, the inconsistencies in Stoic philosophy make it difficult to understand and argue against as a whole. Some of the problems with indifferents are not present with Stoics that simply do not distinguish between preferred and dispreferred. While others recognize preferred and dispreferred but cannot really explain which preferred indifferents would get priority. For these reasons, Stoic philosophy not a practical way to view and live
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