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Self-knowledge at Epictet and Marc-Aurèle

Articles

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Keywords
Triple Keywords
Mental philosophy
Philosophy
Volition
Conation
Will
Affluence
Wealth
Distribution of wealth
Fortunes
Riches
Political power
Empowerment (Social sciences)
Power (Social sciences)
Ontology
Being
Jurisdiction
Subject (Philosophy)
Self (Philosophy)
Fatalism
Fate and fatalism
Destiny

Abstract

This article is intended to be an exploration of the topic of self-knowledge among stoicy philosophers Epictet and Marc-Aurèle. In the light of the socratic definition of gnothi seauton (know yourself), we propose to look at the ‘philosophy of self-esteem’ that Épictet and Marc-Aurèle have developed. More specifically, we would like to explain the famous distinction made by Epictet in his Manual (which will be taken up by Marc-Aurèle in his Things for myself) between what depends on us (judgements, trends, desires, aversions, etc.) and what does not depend on us (body, celebrity, wealth, power). From the stoicy perspective of Epictet and Marc-Aurèle, we will seek to demonstrate that “knowing oneself” means being able to identify what depends on our jurisdiction, and therefore not subject to the Destin.

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