Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER XX.: IN WHAT MANNER REASON CONTEMPLATES ITSELF. - The Works of Epictetus. Consisting of His Discourses, in Four Books, The Enchiridion, and Fragments
CHAPTER XX.: IN WHAT MANNER REASON CONTEMPLATES ITSELF. - Epictetus, The Works of Epictetus. Consisting of His Discourses, in Four Books, The Enchiridion, and Fragments [100 AD]
The Works of Epictetus. Consisting of His Discourses, in Four Books, The Enchiridion, and Fragments. A Translation from the Greek based on that of Elizabeth Carter, by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1865).
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- The Discourses of Epictetus.
- Arrian to Lucius Gellius Wisheth All Happiness.
- Book I.
- Chapter I.: Of the Things Which Are, and the Things Which Are Not In Our Own Power.
- Chapter II.: In What Manner, Upon Every Occasion, to Preserve Our Character.
- Chapter III.: How, From the Doctrine That God Is the Father of Mankind, We May Proceed to Its Consequences.
- Chapter IV: Of Progress.
- Chapter V.: Concerning the Academics. †
- Chapter VI.: Of Providence.
- Chapter VII.: Of the Use of the Forms of Right Reasoning.
- Chapter VIII.: That Logical Subtleties Are Not Safe to the Uninstructed.
- Chapter IX.: How From the Doctrine of Our Relationship to God, We Are to Deduce Its Consequences.
- Chapter X.: Concerning Those Who Seek Preferment At Rome.
- Chapter XI.: Of Natural Affection.
- Chapter XII.: Of Contentment.
- Chapter XIII.: How Everything May Be Performed to the Divine Acceptance.
- Chapter XIV.: That All Things Are Under the Divine Supervision.
- Chapter XV.: What Philosophy Promises.
- Chapter XVI.: Of Providence.
- Chapter XVII.: That the Art of Reasoning Is Necessary.
- Chapter XVIII.: That We Ought Not to Be Angry With the Erring.
- Chapter XIX.: Of the Right Treatment of Tyrants.
- Chapter XX.: In What Manner Reason Contemplates Itself.
- Chapter XXI.: Of the Desire of Admiration.
- Chapter XXII.: Of General Principles.
- Chapter XXIII.: Against Epicurus.
- Chapter XXIV.: How We Ought to Struggle With Difficulties.
- Chapter XXV.: On the Same Subject.
- Chapter XXVI.: What the Rule of Life Is.
- Chapter XXVII.: Of the Varied Appearances of Things to the Mind, and What Means Are At Hand By Which to Regulate Them.
- Chapter XXVIII.: That We Ought Not to Be Angry With Mankind. What Things Are Little, What Great, Among Men.
- Chapter XXIX.: Of Courage.
- Chapter XXX.: Weapons Ready For Difficult Occasions.
- Book II.
- Chapter I.: That Courage Is Not Inconsistent With Caution.
- Chapter II.: Of Tranquillity.
- Chapter III.: Concerning Such As Recommend Persons to the Philosophers
- Chapter IV.: Concerning a Man Who Had Been Guilty of Adultery.
- Chapter V.: How Nobleness of Mind May Be Consistent With Prudence.
- Chapter VI.: Of Circumstances. *
- Chapter VII.: Of Divination.
- Chapter VIII.: Wherein Consists the Essence of Good.
- Chapter IX.: That Some Persons, Failing to Fulfil What the Character of a Man Implies, Assume That of a Philosopher.
- Chapter X.: How We May Infer the Duties of Life From Its Nominal Functions.
- Chapter XI.: The Beginning of Philosophy.
- Chapter XII.: Of Disputation.
- Chapter XIII.: Of Anxiety.
- Chapter XIV.: Concerning Naso.
- Chapter XV.: Concerning Those Who Obstinately Persist In Whatever They Have Determined.
- Chapter XVI.: That We Do Not Study to Make Use of the Established Principles Concerning Good and Evil.
- Chapter XVII.: How to Apply General Principles to Particular Cases.
- Chapter XVIII.: How the Semblances of Things Are to Be Combated.
- Chapter XIX.: Concerning Those Who Embrace Philosophy Only In Words.
- Chapter XX.: Concerning the Epicureans and Academics.
- Chapter XXI.: Of Inconsistency.
- Chapter XXII.: Of Friendship.
- Chapter XXIII.: Of Eloquence.
- Chapter XXIV.: Concerning a Person Whom He Treated With Disregard.
- Chapter XXV.: That Logic Is Necessary.
- Chapter XXVI.: What Is the Test of Error.
- Book III.
- Chapter I.: Of Personal Adornment.
- Chapter II.: In What a Well-trained Man Should Exercise Himself; and That We Neglect the Principal Things.
- Chapter III.: What Is the Chief Concern of a Good Man; and In What We Chiefly Ought to Train Ourselves.
- Chapter IV.: Concerning One Who Made Himself Improperly Conspicuous In the Theatre.
- Chapter V.: Concerning Those Who Plead Sickness.
- Chapter VI.: Miscellaneous.
- Chapter VII.: Concerning a Certain Governor Who Was an Epicurean.
- Chapter VIII.: How We Are to Exercise Ourselves Against the Semblances of Things.
- Chapter IX.: Concerning a Certain Orator, Who Was Going to Rome On a Lawsuit.
- Chapter X.: In What Manner We Ought to Bear Sickness.
- Chapter XI.: Miscellaneous.
- Chapter XII.: Of Training.
- Chapter XIII.: What Solitude Is; and What a Solitary Person.
- Chapter XIV.: Miscellaneous.
- Chapter XV. *: That Everything Is to Be Undertaken With Circumspection.
- Chapter XVI.: That Caution Should Be Used, As to Personal Familiarity.
- Chapter XVII.: Of Providence.
- Chapter XVIII.: That We Ought Not to Be Alarmed, By Any News That Is Brought Us.
- Chapter XIX.: What Is the Comparative Condition of the Philosopher, and of the Crowd.
- Chapter XX.: That Some Advantage May Be Gained From Every Outward Circumstance.
- Chapter XXI.: Concerning Those Who Readily Set Up For Sophists.
- Chapter XXII.: Of the Cynic Philosophy.
- Chapter XXIII.: Concerning Such As Read and Dispute Ostentatiously.
- Chapter XXIV.: That We Ought Not to Be Affected By Things Not In Our Own Power.
- Chapter XXV.: Concerning Those Who Waver In Their Purpose.
- Chapter XXVI.: Concerning Those Who Are In Dread of Want.
- Book IV.
- Chapter I.: Of Freedom.
- Chapter II.: Of Complaisance.
- Chapter III.: What Things Are to Be Exchanged For Others.
- Chapter IV.: Concerning Those Who Earnestly Desire a Life of Repose.
- Chapter V.: Concerning the Quarrelsome and Ferocious.
- Chapter VI.: Concerning Those Who Are Annoyed At Being Pitied.
- Chapter VII.: Of Fearlessness.
- Chapter VIII.: Concerning Such As Hastily Assume the Philosophic Dress.
- Chapter IX.: Concerning a Person Who Had Grown Immodest.
- Chapter X.: What Things We Are to Despise, and What Chiefly to Value.
- Chapter XI.: Of Purity.
- Chapter XII.: Of Taking Pains.
- Chapter XIII.: Concerning Such As Are Too Communicative.
- The Enchiridion, Or Manual.
- Part I
- From StobÆus, Antonius, and Maximus. *
- The Following Fragments Are Ascribed Jointly to Epictetus and Other Authors.
- The Following Fragments Are Omitted By Mr. Upton; But As They Stand Under the Name of Arrian, and Seem to Be In the Spirit of Epictetus, They Are Added Here.
IN WHAT MANNER REASON CONTEMPLATES ITSELF.
EVERY art, and every faculty, contemplates certain things as its principal objects. Whenever, therefore, it is of the same nature with the objects of its contemplation, it necessarily contemplates itself too. But, where it is of a different nature, it cannot contemplate itself. The art of shoemaking, for instance, is exercised upon leather; but is itself entirely distinct from the materials it works upon; therefore it does not contemplate itself. Again, grammar is exercised on articulate speech. Is the art of grammar itself, then, articulate speech? By no means. Therefore it cannot contemplate itself. To what purpose, then, is reason appointed by nature? To a proper use of the phenomena of existence. And what is reason? The art of systematizing these phenomena. Thus, by its nature, it becomes contemplative of itself too.
Again; what subjects of contemplation belong to prudence? Good and evil, and that which is indifferent. What, then, is prudence itself? Good. What imprudence? Evil.
You see, then, that it necessarily contemplates both itself and its contrary. Therefore, the first and greatest work of a philosopher is, to try and distinguish the phenomena of existence; and to admit none untried. Even in money, where our interest seems to be concerned, you see what an art we have invented, and how many ways an assayer uses to try its value. By the sight, the touch, the smell, and, lastly, the hearing. He throws the piece down, and attends to the jingle; and is not contented with its jingling only once; but, by frequent attention to it, trains his ear for sound. So when we think it of consequence whether we are deceived or not, we use the utmost attention to discern those things, which may deceive us. But, yawning and slumbering over our poor neglected reason, we are imposed upon by every appearance, nor know the mischief done. Would you know, then, how very languidly you are affected by good and evil, and how vehemently by things indifferent; consider how you feel with regard to bodily blindness, and how with regard to being deceived; and you will find, that you are far from being moved, as you ought, in relation to good and evil.
“But trained powers, and much labor, and learning, are here needed.”
What, then? Do you expect the greatest of arts to be acquired by slight endeavors? And yet the principal doctrine of the philosophers is in itself short. If you have a mind to know it, read Zeno, and you will see. It is not a long story to say, “Our end is to serve the gods,” and “The essence of good consists in the proper use of the phenomena of existence.” If you say, what then is God? What are phenomena? What is particular, what universal nature? Here the long story comes in. And so, if Epicurus should come and say, that good lies in the body; here, too, it will be a long story, and it will be necessary to hear, what is the principal, and substantial, and essential part in us. It is unlikely, that the good of a snail should be placed in the shell; and, is it likely, that the good of a man should? You yourself, Epicurus, have in you something superior to this. What is that in you, which deliberates, which examines, which recognizes the body as the principal part? Why light your lamp, and labor for us, and write so many books? That we may not be ignorant of the truth? But what are we? What are we to you? Thus the doctrine becomes a long story.