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Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom (Bloomsbury Studies in Ancient Philosophy) Hardcover – July 10, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This monograph contains several insightful and subtle comments on Epictetan and Stoic ethics, and is of interest to anyone looking for a philosophical treatment of certain problems to which they give rise ... One attractive feature of the book is the author's engagement with general philosophical issues and the frequent comparison he makes between Epictetus and modern thinkers, for example, Erich Fromm (108-9 and 119 n. 9). Stephens' personal opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of Stoic and Epictetan ethics is carefully presented at the end (150-154). From this perspective, and considering also the great clarity with which it is written and the numerous quotations from Epictetus, Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom may be used as a good general introduction to this major Stoic philosopher." - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (Ricardo Salles)

"The book is a fresh and valuable overview of Stoic ethical themes as presented in Epictetus's writings. Its own writing is graceful, the examples are fascinating, and careful and thorough attention to the texts of Epictetus brings to light many bits of Epictetus which will be unfamiliar to those who have read only the Encheiridion...It makes an important contribution to our understanding of Roman Stoics' mighty struggle to find happiness in a turbulent and uncontrollable world which is, in those respects, much like our own."
-Eve A. Browning, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2010


"This monograph contains several insightful and subtle comments on Epictetan and Stoic ethics, and is of interest to anyone looking for a philosophical treatment of certain problems to which they give rise … One attractive feature of the book is the author's engagement with general philosophical issues and the frequent comparison he makes between Epictetus and modern thinkers, for example, Erich Fromm (108-9 and 119 n. 9). Stephens' personal opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of Stoic and Epictetan ethics is carefully presented at the end (150-154). From this perspective, and considering also the great clarity with which it is written and the numerous quotations from Epictetus, Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom may be used as a good general introduction to this major Stoic philosopher." - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

William O. Stephens is a Professor of Philosophy and of Classical &Near Eastern Studies at Creighton University, Nebraska, USA.
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Product Details

  • Series: Bloomsbury Studies in Ancient Philosophy
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (July 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826496083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826496089
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,575,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William O. Stephens was born in Lafayette, and raised in West Lafayette, Indiana. After two years at the College of Wooster in Ohio Stephens transferred to Earlham, a Quaker college in Richmond, Indiana where he studied Greek and Latin and earned a B.A. in philosophy in 1984. Stephens received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990. In autumn of that year he joined the Arts & Sciences faculty at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where he is Professor of Philosophy and of Classical & Near Eastern Studies.

He has published articles on topics in Stoicism, Epicureanism and friendship, ecology and vegetarianism, ethics and animals, sex and love, sportsmanship, and the concept of a person. His books include an English translation of Adolf Bonhöffer's work The Ethics of the Stoic Epictetus (Peter Lang, 1996), an edited collection The Person: Readings in Human Nature (Prentice Hall, 2006), Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom (Continuum, 2007), and Marcus Aurelius: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum, 2012).

Stephens' travels include the island of Rhodes, Crete, and mainland Greece, New Zealand, Iceland, the Bahamas, Cornwall, Scotland, Mexico, Canada, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and Antarctica. Stephens enjoys tennis, chess, hiking, spelunking, kayaking, and nature photography. He has visited all of the U.S. states except Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. From an early age he has closely followed the misadventures of the Chicago Cubs, which helps explain his interest in Stoicism. He lives with two cats in an old arts & crafts style house in Omaha.

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