What is it about?

Ancient Greek philosophers were interested in explaining why people acted contrary to what they know is best. This phenomena was called Akrasia, or a lack of power over yourself. I explore Aristotle's answer to this question, and compare it to the Stoic Epictetus.

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Why is it important?

What is important about this work is that it shows that Aristotle and Epictetus have very similar answers to why people act against what they recognize to be their own best interests. This is not something that would be expected, because Aristotle and Epictetus have a very different understanding of human psychology and human motivation.


I hope this work continues to encourage people to examine Epictetus as a serious philosopher, with a complex and innovative understanding of the self and human motivation.

Michael Tremblay
Queen's University

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This page is a summary of: Akrasia in Epictetus: A Comparison with Aristotle, Apeiron, June 2020, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/apeiron-2018-0071.
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