Epictetus
Epictetus


Conjecture and Life

For as we conjecture in philosophic arguments, so ought we to do in life. "Suppose it to be night." I suppose that it is night. "Well then; is it day?" No, for I admitted the hypothesis that it was night. "Suppose that you think that it is night?" Suppose that I do. "But also think that it is night." That is not consistent with the hypothesis. So in this case also: "Suppose that you are unfortunate." Well, suppose so. "Are you then unhappy?" Yes. "Well, then, are you troubled with an unfavorable demon?" Yes. "But think also that you are in misery." This is not consistent with the hypothesis, and another forbids me to think so.

Here, Epictetus reminds us to live our philosophy. In effect, if we profess Christianity, then we should live it. In the face of the world, even in the face of evil, we should be happy that we have the support of God. Epictetus here explores the hypothetical evils that might afflict the average Roman and says. Yes, you will be happy in spite of all this as long as you stay true to God.

Chapter 25:

  1. More on Struggle
  2. Faculty of Understanding (25a)
  3. God Gave Us a Brain (25b)
  4. The Saturnalia (25c)
  5. Conjecture and Life (25d)
  6. Examples of Application (25e)
  7. Where to Sit in the Amphitheater (25f)
  8. Give Up the Material (25g)
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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