What Philosophy Professes

Epictetus – Discourses Book 1
I.15. What philosophy professes

Philosophy cannot advise us on the behaviour and life of others.

It cannot give us anything that is outside of our control.

Philosophy teaches you the art of living your own life. That means essentially, keeping the soul’s governing principle aligned to nature.

But that is only for your soul. The souls of others are external to you, you cannot control them, and philosophy cannot teach you to change them.

Learning to stay true to nature without being affected by externals such as property, health, or reputation is not an easy process. It requires extensive and repetitive training. Nothing comes to fruition overnight.