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The Role Ethics of Epictetus: Stoicism in Ordinary Life offers an original interpretation of Epictetus ethics and how he bases his ethics on an appeal to our roles in life. Epictetus believes that every individual is the bearer of many roles from sibling to citizen and that individuals are morally good if they fulfill the obligations associated with these roles. To understand Epictetus account of roles, scholars have often mistakenly looked backwards to Cicero s earlier and more schematic account of roles. However, for Cicero, roles are merely a tool in the service of the virtue of decorum where decorum is one of the four canonical virtues prudence, justice, greatness of spirit, and decorum. In contrast, Epictetus sets those virtues aside and offers roles as a complete ethical theory that does the work of those canonical virtues. The book proceeds to elucidate the unique features of Epictetus role based ethics. First, individuals have many roles and these roles are substantial enough that they may conflict. Second, Epictetus is taken to have only a sparse theory of appropriate action (or duty in older translations). However, The Role Ethics of Epictetus examines the criteria by which appropriate action is measured in order to demonstrate that Epictetus does have an account of appropriate action and that it is grounded in his account of roles. Finally, Epictetus downplays the Stoic ideal of the sage and replaces that figure with role bound individuals who are supposed to inspire each of us to meet the challenges of our own roles. Instead of looking to sages, who have a perfect knowledge and action that we must imitate, Epictetus' new ethical hero is someone we do not imitate in terms of knowledge or action. The book simply approaches the challenges of our roles as do they.
|Number of Pages:||200|
|Author:||Johnson, Brian E.|
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H):||6.20 x 0.90 x 9.10 Inches|
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