The Stoic Citizenpolitics Of Epictitus Essay Research — страница 2

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more satisfying after doing so. Many of the unpleasant situations people find themselves in are the result of a hasty emotional response. This is not enough, however, to truly master the will. That, I believe, must be accomplished by a focused thought process such as contemplation or meditation (or whatever term or method suits the individual.) Again, most people will find that the closer that they come to the Stoic ideal the more satisfied they are. By controlling emotion and desire one need not face the difficulty and uncertainty of attempting to change his situation but can change his own mind and be satisfied with the situation as Even some things which were considered external by Epictitus can be affected for the good of the individual in this way. In dealing with others,

the Stoic (or `protostoicO), never acting out of greed, anger, or envy, is not likely to make many enemies. This does not eliminate the possibility of wrong-doing against him but it certainly does decrease the probability. Coming to AugustineOs realization that a man can do no more than a mushroom, he is not an appealing victim for threats and extortion. The Stoic also functions as EpictitusO Opurple threadO, leading others by example. The question of morality becomes mute in the Stoic view. The Stoic commits no evil actions because all evil acts are initiated from desire or emotion. He will not be tempted to steal, roused to kill or coerced to behave badly by fear. It is no loss for him to give help when asked by the needy because his possessions are irrelevant. He would be the

ideal citizen were it not for the fact that the state is never ideal. In a practical, political scene, the Stoic is a terrible citizen. He can not be coerced to do the will of the state if it does not suit him. But I donOt believe that any state will ever be in danger of having an over-abundance of Stoics. In Stoicism, we are presented with a straight forward, if ambiguous guide for just action. By eliminating all concerns outside of the self, it redirects the individual to take responsibility and improve the self, something ignored or under emphasized in many schools of thought. Although it may appear to be too fatalistic, escapist, or nihilistic at first glance, I believe it is a valid, sensible and effective response to our helplessness within society and the natural world.