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Handbook of Epictetus

Handbook of Epictetus - Epictetus does not fully state that...

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Handbook of Epictetus Etienne Lescure Philosophy 1305 Professor Nelson
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In Epictetus’s handbook he tries to lay down the guidelines of how someone should live a happy life by helping the reader to understand what the world is like. Epictetus states that for us to live a happy life we must approach every situation fully aware of what is bound to happen to us, good or bad, “When you are about to undertake some action, remind yourself what sort of action it is,” (Epictetus 3). Therefore I would agree with Epictetus because if we are not willing to accept the bad things that occur in life then we truly are not happy, yet we must also acknowledge the fact that these bad things that have happened to us are not someone else’s fault but our own fault. We may not have the ability to choose our outcomes, but things can go better or worse depending on our attitude towards each outcome. Thus if we know what the risks are of our actions then we know if it is worth doing at all.
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Unformatted text preview: Epictetus does not fully state that in order to be happy we need to rid ourselves of desires and attachments, but know what kind of outcome is to happen if we choose to follow those desires and attachments. Free will is fundamental in the pursuit of happiness, and it is the complete control over our desires, and our ability to reflect on them is what helps us to decide which are worth doing and which are not. Consequently we must know that something bad is bound to happen, but don’t let that stop us from doing it and approaching it with the right attitude so as to not hurt the chances for good to happen. Epictetus backs this claim up with a very profound statement “Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well,” (Epictetus 8). This is a hard way to think for most people, but once someone is able to change their thoughts they will be able to truly live a happy life. 2...
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