Spiritual Exercises in Epictetus: Difficult but Justified

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Creator: 

Tremblay, Michael

Date: 

2016

Abstract: 

The aim of this thesis is to provide a new interpretation about the role played by spiritual exercises in Epictetus’ program of moral therapy, in response to Brennan (2003) who holds that they may potentially conflict with Epictetus’ intellectualism. I argue that spiritual exercises are intended to cause us to assimilate theory by causing one to form specific beliefs that are in accordance with theory. Understood this way, any sort of tension seems to resolve itself. I rely upon the work that Braicovich (2012) has done on this question, and go further, ultimately demonstrating that all three of Epictetus’ spiritual exercises can be explained coherently when understood as aiding in the assimilation of theory. I conclude by proposing that Epictetus thought of Stoics like athletes in training for whom spiritual exercises are essential to staying fit and ready to perform.

Subject: 

Philosophy

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 
M.A.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Philosophy

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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