Volume 2, Issue 3, 2018
Ancient Greek Philosophy: Hellenistic Philosophy
Miriam van Reijen
Stoic Philosophy as Inquiry and a Way of Life in the 21st Century
Stoic philosophy and, above all, one sentence of Epictetus (55- 135), still is very important as a philosophical inquiry and a happy way of life. Albert Ellis’ wrote about his rational emotive therapy (RET) in the 20th century that he borrowed from philosophy: especially from the Stoics. My claim is that I restore the philosophy in his method. The A(ctivating situation) - B(elief) - C(onsequences) refer to the sentence of the stoic Epictetus: Things themselves or other people (A) don’t hurt (C) us; it is how we view (B) these things. The insight (D) follows another sentence of Epictetus: happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: some things are within our control, and some things are not. Keep your attention focused entirely on what you can do, and accept all other things. To distinguish between the one and the other, philosophy can help you, and practicing this is, is the true art of living. It is a misunderstanding that Stoic philosophy makes passive, because it concerns only the acceptance of what you cannot change. It makes you active, concerning the things that are under your control.