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Arrian's Discourses of Epictetus
That when we cannot fulfil that which the character of a man promises, we assume the character of a philosopher.
What is the matter on which a good man should be employed, and in what we ought chiefly to practise ourselves.
1 Praecognitions (προλήψεις) is translated Praecognita by John Smith, Select Discourses, p. 4. Cicero says (Topica, 7): “Notionem appello quod Graeci tum ἔννοιαν, tum πρόληψιν dicunt. Ea est insita et ante percepta cujusque formae cognitio, enodationis indigens.” In the De Natura Deorum (i. 16) he says: “Quae est enim gens aut quod genus hominum, quod non habeat sine doctrina anticipationem quandam deorum, quam appellat πρόληψιν Epicurus? id est, anteceptam animo rei quandam informationem, sine qua nec intelligi quidquam nec quaeri nec disputari potest.” Epicurus, as Cicero says in the following chapter (17), was the first who used πρόληψις in this sense, which Cicero applies to what he calls the ingrafted or rather innate cognitions of the existence of gods, and these cognitions he supposes to be universal; but whether this is so or not, I do not know. See l. c. 2; Tuscul i. 24; De Fin. iii. 6, and πρόληψις in iv. 8. 6.
2 The word is ὅσιον, which is very difficult to translate. We may take an instance from ourselves. There is a general agreement about integrity, and about the worship of the supreme being, but a wondrous difference about certain acts or doings in trading, whether they are consistent with integrity or not; and a still more wondrous difference in forms of worship, whether they are conformable to religion or not.
4 Iliad, i. The quarrel of Achilles and Agamemnon about giving up Chryseis to her father.
5 The bath was a place of common resort, where a thief had the opportunity of carrying off a bather's clothes. From men's desires to have what they have not, and do not choose to labour for, spring the disorders of society, as it is said in the epistle of James, c. iv., v. 1, to which Mrs. Carter refers.
6 See i. 19. 6, note 2.
7 Upton refers to a passage in the Theaetetus (p. 150, Steph.), where Socrates professes that it is his art to discover whether a young man's mind is giving birth to an idol (an unreality) and a falsity, or to something productive and true; and he says (p. 151) that those who associate with him are like women in child-birth, for they are in labour and full of trouble nights and days much more than women, and his art has the power of stirring up and putting to rest this labour of child-birth. The conclusion in the chapter is not clear. The student is supposed to be addressed by some rich old man, who really does not know what to say; and the best way of getting rid of him and his idle talk is by dismissing him with a joke. See Schweighaeuser's note.
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