Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life

Clarendon Press
2
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The philosophy of Epictetus, a freed slave in the Roman Empire, has been profoundly influential on Western thought: it offers not only stimulating ideas but practical guidance in living one's life. A. A. Long, a leading scholar of later ancient philosophy, gives the definitive presentation of the thought of Epictetus for a broad readership. Long's fresh and vivid translations of a selection of the best of Epictetus' discourses show that his ideas are as valuable and striking today as they were amost two thousand years ago. The translations are organized thematically within the framework of an authoritative introduction and commentary, which offer a way into this world for those new to it, and illuminating interpretations for those who already know it. Epictetus is known as one of the great Stoic thinkers. But he took the life and conversation of Socrates as his educational model. His Socratic allegiance, scarcely examined before, is a major theme of this ground-breaking book. Long shows how Epictetus offered his students a way of life premised on the values of personal autonomy and integrity. Never a sermonizer, Epictetus engages his students in brilliantly challenging dialogue; Long offers the first accessible study of his argumentative and rhetorical methods. This is a book for anyone interested in what we can learn from ancient philosophy about how to live our lives.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Clarendon Press
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Published on
Jan 10, 2002
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780191057380
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Social History
Language Arts & Disciplines / Translating & Interpreting
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical
Self-Help / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Mark Lilla
From one of the country’s most admired political thinkers, an urgent wake-up call to American liberals to turn from the divisive politics of identity and develop a vision of our future that can persuade all citizens that they share a common destiny.

In The Once and Future Liberal, Mark Lilla offers an impassioned, tough-minded, and stinging look at the failure of American liberalism over the past two generations. Although there have been Democrats in the White House, and some notable policy achievements, for nearly 40 years the vision that Ronald Reagan offered—small government, lower taxes, and self-reliant individualism—has remained the country’s dominant political ideology. And the Democratic Party has offered no convincing competing vision in response.

Instead, as Lilla argues, American liberalism fell under the spell of identity politics, with disastrous consequences. Driven originally by a sincere desire to protect the most vulnerable Americans, the left has now unwittingly balkanized the electorate, encouraged self-absorption rather than solidarity, and invested its energies in social movements rather than in party politics. 

With dire consequences. Lilla goes on to show how the left’s identity-focused individualism insidiously conspired with the amoral economic individualism of the Reaganite right to shape an electorate with little sense of a shared future and near-contempt for the idea of the common good. In the contest for the American imagination, liberals have abdicated.

Now they have an opportunity to reset. The left is motivated, and the Republican Party, led by an unpredictable demagogue, is in ideological disarray. To seize this opportunity, Lilla insists, liberals must concentrate their efforts on recapturing our institutions by winning elections. The time for hectoring is over. It is time to reach out and start persuading people from every walk of life and in every region of the country that liberals will stand up for them. We must appeal to – but also help to rebuild –  a sense of common feeling among Americans, and a sense of duty to each other.

A fiercely-argued, no-nonsense book, enlivened by Lilla’s acerbic wit and erudition, The Once and Future Liberal is essential reading for our momentous times.

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