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The Philosophy of Epictetus$
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Theodore Scaltsas and Andrew S. Mason

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199233076

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233076.001.0001

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Epictetus on Moral Perspectives

Epictetus on Moral Perspectives

(p.140) 9 Epictetus on Moral Perspectives
The Philosophy of Epictetus

Julia Annas (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Epictetus frequently tells us to remember our duties as son, brother, town councilor and the like, and thus to think of our duties in terms of a perspective embedded in our social lives. However, he also tells us to think in terms of the perspective of universal reason, from which the Stoic thinks of his duties as being owed to all rational humans. How are these two perspectives to be related in Epictetus' thought? This chapter argues that it is important that we think of the universal perspective as an ideal to which we aspire from within the social roles that form the structure of our actual lives, and defends this position against criticisms that it is too unambitious and quietistic.

Keywords:   perspectives, duties, reason, social lives, universal reason, rational humans

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