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The Stoic Epictetus famously believed that his mind was free even if his body was enslaved, and this was enough freedom for him.
The Stoic word for freedom, ἐλευθερία, emphasizes the freedom from external coercion that modern compatibilists argue is the only freedom in the idea of voluntary actions and “free will.”
But long before the Stoics, Aristotle had used “depends on us” (ἐφ’ ἡμῖν), to describe the kind of internal freedom Epictetus prized.
Epictetus knew that some actions in the world were external to his will and out of his control. Like all Stoics, he said we should not be bothered by anything out of our control. Our emotions should only respond to things that we can control, that depend on us, and these he called προαίρεσις.
For Epictetus, good and evil were exclusively involved in things under our control, not in external events.
Tag Archives | Aristotle
And all this time I thought politicians just spoke a different language that only sounded like English. E. Magill writes in Open Salon:
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The human brain is wired all wrong. Those not versed in logic are blissfully unaware of how much our brain messes up the most basic of arguments, leading to the mess of random thoughts, non-sequiturs, cognitive dissonance, white lies, misinformation, and syntax errors that we call consciousness. Luckily, there is one place where all of these logical misteps can be exemplified: politics. What follows is a crash course in some of the most prevelant fallacies we all make, as they appear in modern American politics. And though I consider these the “top 10″ logical fallacies in politics, they are not in order, for reasons that should become clear rather quickly.
The man who invented Western philosophy, Aristotle, considered ignoratio elenchi, which roughly translates to “irrelevant thesis,” an umbrella term that covered all other logical fallacies.