Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:18 pm
The power to choose or make a decision. ''Most normal, healthy human beings have proairesis.
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:16 pm
The Philosophy of Epictetus »
Epictetus on Proairesis and Self
(p.87) Epictetus on Proairesis and Self
The Philosophy of Epictetus
Richard Sorabji (Contributor Webpage)
Oxford University Press
According to Epictetus, we are our proairesis (will or rational decision). This is a striking view of the self, but we need to recognize that there are two senses of proairesis and two senses of self not previously distinguished. Otherwise, we shall find statements in Epictetus that appear to contradict his bold claim. Once we have got clear on this, we can see that even though Epictetus revived Aristotle's choice of proairesis as a central term for ethics, his position is rather different from Aristotle's superficially similar claim that the proairesis is the self. We can also see how Epictetus differs from earlier Stoics who had not allowed proairesis to be central. He is not as orthodox as is commonly claimed. The last part of this chapter explores how Epictetus' influence extended to the Neoplatonists, who, starting from Plotinus, borrowed their terminology for self-awareness chiefly from him.
Keywords: Aristotle, Neoplatonists, Plotinus, self-awareness, will