more from Epictetus

Single Idea 23354

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / c. Motivation for virtue]

Full Idea

Since he has harmed himself by wronging me, shall not I harm myself by harming him?

Gist of Idea

If someone harms themselves in harming me, then I harm myself by returning the harm


Epictetus (The Discourses [c.56], 2.10.26)

Book Reference

Epictetus: 'The Discourses, The Handbook, Fragments', ed/tr. Gill,C [Everyman 1995], p.97

A Reaction

I am very keen on this idea. See Hamlet's remarks to Polonius about 'honour and dignity'. The best strategy for achieving moral excellence is to focus on our own characters, rather than how to act, and to respond to others.