November 16

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Stoic Freedom

This class is an opportunity to revisit material from Epictetus' Encheiridion and Discourses following the last plenary lecture. In today's breakout session we will reread passages from these two texts, focusing in particular on Epictetus' understanding of human freedom.

Before Class

  • Review the core principles of the Stoic school by listening to the above interview between Peter Adamson and David Sedley on the development of Stoicism in antiquity
  • Reread chapters 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 19, 44 of Epictetus’ Encheiridion and excerpt 4 from the Discourses
  • Before class, send a note to the faculty member leading your sections with a passage from the Encheiridion you want to discuss further.
  • Epictetus uses the metaphor of a boat at anchor to describe the situation of our lives in chapter 7 of the Encheiridion. For today’s class, come prepared to discuss the different parts of this metaphor.
  • In chapter 5 of the Encheiridion, Epictetus claims that “a fully educated person blames no one, neither himself nor anyone else.” What does it mean to be a “fully educated person” according to Epictetus?

After Class