On self-harm and immorality

From Arrian (Epictetus), Discourses, 2.4: “But, goes on Epictetus, if we abandon this fidelity to which we are by nature born, and make designs against our neighbor’s wife, what are we doing? Why, what but ruining and destroying? Whom? The man of fidelity, of self-respect, or piety. Is that all? Are we not overthrowing also …

On the unity of holiness and self-interest

From Arrian (Epictetus), Discourses, 1.27: “…unless piety and self-interest be conjoined, piety cannot be maintained in any man.” Self-interest must converge with the loftiest conception of the human found in the conception of the human as united with the divine. So, piety. Real self-interest is different from selfishness, greed. It is not mere want. It …

On idolatry and sagacity

From Epictetus, Discourses, 2.2: “But if you gape open-mouthed at externals, you must needs be tossed up and down according to the will of your master. And who is your master? He who has authority over any of the things upon which you set your heart or which you wish to avoid.” What do I …

On Silent Action and Argument

Or, On Conversation with Epictetus From Epictetus, Discourses, 1.19: “For what is lacking now is not quibbles; nay, the books of the Stoics are full of quibbles. What then is the thing lacking now? The man to make use of them, the man to bear witness to the arguments by his acts.” ________________________________________ Notes: Epictetus …

Thanksgiving Cometh

We puritanical libertarians do utter purity first. To begin to classify and categorize the various strains of purity is one of the tasks of ethics. Thankfulness is one such strain. We puritanical libertarians hold the right to be thankful sacred at each moment of each day. Nothing wrong with a bit of worship of that …

Animal Expectation and Satisfaction

It is a fairly regular experience of mine that my expectations about the future fail. And, it is a fairly pervasive failure. Watch– (Career) I will become a doer of this work and all will be ponies, rainbows, and mild days of blue skies and bunnies…the reality has been good but far harder. (Family, friendship) …

The Precariousness of Thought

An Argument: P1)Appearances are everything. P2) Reality is nothing. P3)Reality is better than appearance. C) So, aim at nothing. I am interested in how the argument can be read either as a recommendation of giving up or as a recommendation of overcoming. Either one reads the conclusion as the statement of the worthlessness of aiming …