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  • kcantekin 7:42 am on March 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , reason   

    Concerning reason, and how it studies itself 

    Epictetus – Discourses Book 1
    I.20. Concerning reason, and how it studies itself

    1. Thinking that money is valuable to us, we have developed the art of assaying to assess whether a coin is forged or not.
    2. We should be concerned with the veracity and value of impressions, just as we are concerned with the value of coins.
    3. To assess and make correct use of impressions, nature has given us the gift of reason.
    4. Reason itself is a collection of individual impressions, but it can study and pass judgment on itself, and the impressions that constitute itself.
    5. This ability makes reason the supreme faculty.

    But using reason to make correct assessment of impressions is not easy. It requires intensive preparation and hard study. “So what? Do you think the greatest art can be acquired easily and overnight?”

    Take Epicurus, who says that flesh is the principle thing. How did he reach this judgment if not through the faculty of reason. So isn’t the thing that passes judgment greater than the thing that is judged?


  • kcantekin 8:05 am on February 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , reason   

    How a person can preserve their proper character in any situation 

    Epictetus – Discourses Book 1
    I.2. How a person can preserve their proper character in any situation

    As a rule,

    1. Humans can tolerate what is reasonable, and
    2. They cannot tolerate what is unreasonable.

    Education is needed to align our preconceptions of reasonable and unreasonable with nature.

    But this alignment requires knowing your own individual nature, as much as it requires appraising the value of externals.

    A person’s character, and its value, can only be estimated by the person himself. In taking account of the valuations of others’, which are externals, we risk mistaking the value of our own character.

    1. Only a person himself can know how to keep with his own character.
    2. Only a person himself can realise his own strengths.
    3. So only I can know what is in keeping with my own Character.
    4. Only I can realise my own strengths.

    No one becomes a hero overnight, one has to train many winters. But not everyone has in his individual nature what takes to be a hero.

    This is inconsequential. This should not keep us from trying to do our best, according to our nature. “We do not abandon any discipline for despair of ever being the best in it.”

  • kcantekin 2:08 pm on February 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , reason   

    Concerning what is in our power and what is not 

    Epictetus – Discourses Book 1
    I.1. Concerning what is in our power and what is not


    1. The only faculty that can analyse itself.
    2. The only thing we humans actually own.
    3. It is a gift, in a way that our bodies aren’t.
    4. Our bodies do not belong to us.
    5. They belong to the material world.
    6. Reason gives us the powers of positive and negative impulse, desire, and aversion.
    7. These are the powers of God, and he gave us a part of his power.
    8. That to every human being.
    9. Impressions of good and bad are made by reason.
    10. A thing itself cannot make an impression.

    If you are on the Path of the Philosopher, you must write down these thoughts every day, and put them in practice.

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