The Stoic Jew

Thinking Aloud About My Fundamental Disagreement with Epictetus (Epictetus – Enchiridion 8, Discourses 3:8)

April 22, 2021 Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss Season 4 Episode 9
The Stoic Jew
Thinking Aloud About My Fundamental Disagreement with Epictetus (Epictetus – Enchiridion 8, Discourses 3:8)
Show Notes

Synopsis: Warning – if you’re expecting a clear, neatly packaged, practical insight, then I advise you to skip this episode and listen to another one. Epictetus and I have been gradually coming to a head, and I finally decided to attempt to talk about it. The key word here is “attempt.” On the one hand, I am aware that Epictetus’s view of The Good is at odds with that of the Torah. On the other hand, his view has merit and fits into the Torah’s framework. The question is: How? Wherein is he mistaken and wherein is he correct? I didn’t manage to answer these questions, but I hope that I was at least successful in raising them in my 15 minutes of rambling this morning. If you have thoughts on any of this, I’m all ears.

Related Episodes:
- Aurelius - Meditations 4:7: The Secret to Not Getting Hurt
- Aurelius - Meditations 4:22: That's a Jacket, Not a Bad Cat!
- TSJ Interlude - I Got Got By An Impression! 

Sources:
- Epictetus, Discourses 3:8
- Keith Seddon, Epictetus’ Handbook and the Tablet of Cebes (pp.10-11)
- Bereishis Rabbah on 1:31 (9:5)
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If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail.
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Stoic texts:
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Letters from a Stoic Master (Seneca)
The Discourses of Epictetus
The Enchiridion (Handbook) of Epictetus
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