Summary of Stoicism

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Stoicism Stoicism is the philosophy that states one has free will, but there are aspects in which one can and cannot control. Although Stoics believe in fate, there are “appropriate actions, in addition to just controlling our attitudes.” (AOW, 197) Stoics also emphasized on acceptance of such fate and detachment as well as self-discipline. They believed Stoicism was a way of life and not just an interesting type of knowledge. (SEP, p. 2) In order to achieve happiness, one must detach themselves from personal relationships and motives and also reject emotion as much as possible. (AOW, 209) As Epictetus says in his Manual, everything has a price and the price of happiness is personal detachment from the outside world. (AOW, 210) Self-discipline in Stoicism must always be in active pursuit and seeking anything other than self-discipline would cause “avoidable unhappiness.” Stoics believed that unhappiness stemmed from one’s own negative attitude and confusion in thought of what was under one’s control or not as well as excessively desiring material goods. They also believed that one’s attitude determined one’s happiness and that one’s own attitude is self-caused. Stoicism states that in order to have great character, one must go through great struggles. (AOW, 211) Stoics believed that one’s life was fated but free will remains and to control our attitudes, one must choose appropriate actions aligned with our fate. (AOW, 197) One’s life is not entirely in one’s control and the result is determined by the Logos. However, one does have control over one’s own happiness but must find it by aligning it with the Logos’s will. (AOW, 199) Those, whose will is in accordance with Logos, will have peace of mind. The goal is to master and identify what one can control and to dispose of any negative feelings when fate, or Logos, gives one hardship. They believed that, “…by
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