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Discourses and Selected Writings – Epictetus

Epictetus gets in your face, explains the source of your mental maladies and then offers the cure.

Philosophy for the Rest of Us

Book cover image of Epictetus - Discourses and Selected Writings

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An affordable, comprehensive, and indispensable collection.

There have been (and still are) are plenty of “ivory tower philosophers.”

I’ve met more than a few.

When pressed to explain exactly what they believe and how they apply those beliefs on a daily basis, they often stutter and stammer.

Epictetus, a Roman slave and philosopher, had no time for lack of clarity and even less for lack of action.

Don’t conflate Stoicism with lack of emotion. Epictetus is certainly emotional, delivering his guidance much as an outraged doctor would as they challenge a patient. In the case of Epictetus, he’s not diagnosing ailments of the body and prescribing treatment.

He’s diagnosing ailments of the mind and soul.

This is no gentle tome telling you that you’re perfect just the way you are or any of the other trite and clichéd aphorisms you’ll find in advice columns or self-help bestsellers.

Epictetus gets in your face, explains the source of your mental maladies and then offers the process to cure.

Just know the process never ends. There is no final destination. This is hard work. A lifetime of work.

But if practiced like one would any other skill, you’ll find he knew what was best for you all along.

You may grudgingly admit that after effort and time. Or you may find yourself smiling and eternally thankful for a man who’s been dead for more than a few centuries.

Isn’t that how timeless wisdom usually works?