Stoicism, enkrasia, and happiness Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kw52jd550

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  • Cicero wrote in Tusculan Disputations that we are born with the seeds of virtue which, if allowed to ripen, would lead us to a happy life (Cicero 227). However, as things are, we find ourselves in a world of "iniquity among a medley of wrong beliefs" that inhibits the ripening process (Cicero 227). The Stoics believed many of these iniquities and wrongful beliefs are the principal sources of unhappiness. In America today, some of these sources of unhappiness are manifest in the pursuits of wealth, prestige, power, and sensual pleasure, as well as the fear of unknown things, such as death. This thesis offers a solution to achieve greater happiness for those desiring to control their own destinies through reason, self-reliance, and will-power. This solution is to adopt and practice Stoic philosophy. This thesis first describes the ancient philosophy of Stoicism whose principle objective is to bring human felicity. Stoicism's fundamental themes could be that the world is as we make it, we should live in accordance with nature, and we can achieve happiness through virtue. The Stoics also believed that we are born with the ability to act enkratically, which enables us to practice Stoic salubrious beliefs. Through reason and other factors, such as intuition, imagination, effort, the ability to learn, experience, skill, and habit, this thesis argues that we can do what we will. With Stoic philosophy and enkrasia, this thesis concludes that many people can enhance their level of happiness.
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