Epictetus
Epictetus


Reason, Faith, and Understanding

If it is true that all men sin involuntarily, and you have learned the truth of goodness, of necessity you must act rightly. "Yet," the student interrupts, "in truth, I do not know the will of God." Who then tells us what it is? They say that it is Chrysippus who can tell us. I proceed, and I inquire what this interpreter says. If I begin not to understand what he says, then I seek an interpreter of Chrysippus. Yet, we have no need of Chrysippus for his own sake, but in order that we may understand the will of God.

Now we come to the crux of the matter. We understand the will of God by reading and studying the authorities. Ultimately, it is our reason and our faith and our UNDERSTANDING which allows us to act on this information and to create order in our minds and our world.

Chapter 17:

  1. The Logical Art is Necessary
  2. Logic and Philosophy (17a)
  3. The Logical Yardstick (17b)
  4. The Role of Authority (17c)
  5. Reason, Faith, and Understanding (17d)
  6. Reason Coupled with Faith (17e)
Stoicism and Christianity Index

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This is a translation and explanation of the first book of the Discourses of Epictetus. His words are in regular text, comments are in bold.

Biographical Information on Epictetus


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