The Role Ethics of Epictetus: Stoicism in Ordinary Life

2014.06.28 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Brian E. Johnson, The Role Ethics of Epictetus: Stoicism in Ordinary Life, Lexington Books, 2014, 200pp., $80.00 (hbk), ISBN
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2014.06.28 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Brian E. Johnson, The Role Ethics of Epictetus: Stoicism in Ordinary Life, Lexington Books, 2014, 200pp., $80.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780739179673. Reviewed by Margaret Graver, Dartmouth College This work, a revision of the author's 2007 dissertation, is an in-depth study of the distinctive and in some ways original ethical system developed by Epictetus in the early decades of the second century C.E. In contrast to the accounts of Stoic ethics given in Cicero and Seneca and in the doxographical tradition, Epictetus shows little interest in defining the cardinal virtues or in the theoretical absolutes expressed in the so-called "paradoxes," e.g., that all fools are insane or that only the sage is free. He concentrates rather on the particular nature of each person and on a small group of injunctions concerned with the individual's integrity of volition, attitude toward externals, and relations with others. The. . .

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