more from Epictetus

Single Idea 23362

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / c. Particularism]

Full Idea

The cause of all human ills is that people are incapable of applying their general preconceptions to particular cases.

Gist of Idea

All human ills result from failure to apply preconceptions to particular cases


Epictetus (The Discourses [c.56], 4.01.42)

Book Reference

Epictetus: 'The Discourses, The Handbook, Fragments', ed/tr. Gill,C [Everyman 1995], p.230

A Reaction

I'm not sure whether 'preconceptions' is meant pejoratively (as unthinking, and opposed to true principles). This sounds like modern particularism (e.g. Jonathan Dancy) to the letter.