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Unformatted text preview: Ethics Epictetus Quiz #1: 1) Some things are up to us and some are not up to us. • Up to us: our impulses, aversions (whatever is our own doing) i. By nature free, unhindered, and unimpeded • Not up to us: our bodies, our possessions, our reputations, public offices or whatever is not our own doing i. Weak, enslaved, hindered, not our own • If you aim for such great goals, you must not pursue something in the middle of extremes (Aristotelian policy) one must let some things go and postpone others • Epictetus recommends aiming to have one’s state of mind in accord with nature i. Point is that if you aim for that and also simultaneously for certain “externals” like wealth, you will probably have neither and clearly will not have the former • Work on saying to each harsh appearance (appearance translates to phantasia or “impression” an appearance is roughly the immediate experience of sense or feeling, which may or may not represent an external state of affairs) “you are an appearance, and not at all the thing that has the appearance.” Then, assess if it is something that is up to us or not. If it isn’t, you say “you are nothing in relation to me.” 2) Desire proposes that you gain what you desire • An aversion proposes that you not fall into what you are averse to i. An aversion is a strong feeling of dislike, opposition, or dislike • Someone who fails to get what he desires is unfortunate , while someone who falls into what he is averse to has met misfortune. • Need to detach your aversion from everything not up to us, and transfer it to what is against nature among the things that are up to us. • For the time being, eliminate desire completely, B/C if you desire something that is not up to us, you are bound to be unfortunate. i. Also, none of the things that are up to us, which you should desire, will be available to you. • Only use impulse + rejection, but with reservation, lightly and without straining i. Impulse and rejection, in Stoic terms, are natural and non-rational psychological movements that are toward or away external objects 3) In the case of everything attractive/useful/or fond of remember to say just what sort of thing it is, beginning with the least things. • If you are fond of a jug, say “I am fond of a jug!” for when it is broken, you will not be upset (kiss your wife, when she dies, you will not be upset) 4) When you are about to undertake some action, remind yourself what sort of action it is. • If you are going to take a bath, put before your mind what happens at baths. you will undertake the action more securely, if you say “I want to take a bath and to keep my choices in accord with nature.” • If that way, if something happens to interfere with your bathing you will be ready to say “Oh well, I wanted not to only this but also to keep my choices in accord with nature, and I cannot do that if I am annoyed with things that happen.” 5) What upsets people is not things themselves but their judgments about the things. •...
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