Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Of Human Freedom” as Want to Read:
Of Human Freedom
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Of Human Freedom

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  221 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
A practical guide to moral self-improvement and living a good life. It tackles questions of freedom and imprisonment, stubbornness and fear, family, friendship and love, and leaves an intriguing document of daily life in the classical world.
Paperback, 91 pages
Published August 26th 2010 by Penguin Classics (first published 100)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Of Human Freedom, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Of Human Freedom

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dimitrouela
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readathon17
Ωραίο, μεστό, απλό και κατανοητό.
Καλοτάξιδος ο νέος εκδοτικός οίκος "ΔΩΜΑ", αναμένουμε και άλλα τόσο ωραία επιμελημένα βιβλία από τη σειρά "Τα στοιχειώδη".

----------------
#readathon17 - [24/13]

• Ένα βιβλίο από εκδοτικό που δεν έχετε ξαναδιαβάσει.
Bakunin
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"If I cherish my body, I make a slave of myself, if I cherish my property I make a slave of myself; because I've disclosed the means to make me a captive" (p. 20)

I was overwhelmed by this short manual on how to lead a free life according to slave-turned-philosopher Epictetus. It is written in a witty and humorous style, often emphasizing the vain wishes of man. Epictetus message is simple: do not let the external world control your life. The only thing which you can control is your temper and th
...more
Jonathan
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Witty and rational, and almost two thousand years old. Stoïcism should be taught in primary school.
oiseau brise
So this is the abstracted quintessence of the Discourses and Selected Writings of epictetus...that volume, which i will save a more substantial review for, costs $10 for kindle, while "of human freedom" costs five and a half....the other book costs twice as much for twice as much content, same publisher, same translator, with an informative introduction, (which this book lacks)....so, unless you just want to dip your toes into the pond of stoic thought, i would say buy or loan the other book
Lilian Dn
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Μεστό και ευκολοκατανόητο. Ιδιαίτερη μνεία στο εξαιρετικό επίμετρο. Περιμένουμε κι άλλα από τις νεοσύστατες εκδόσεις το "Δώμα" {ένα βιβλίο απο εκδοτικό οίκο που δεν έχετε ξαναδιαβάσει #readathon17 19/17}
Anca
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
My major problem with the book was the translation: "mates" and "retailers" and similar terms, not to mention modern idioms contrasted with the archaic structure of arguments (that I felt should have been improved by the translation). A very small part of the arguments in the book (such that can be salvaged) hold any meaning beyond the ancient world and the more you read the more they get muddled, repetitive and at times contradictory.
Lo
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philo, read-in-2016
fakes, each and every single one of you ! *screams from a rooftop* this isn't freedom!!
Sean Goh
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pers-dev
More stoic wisdom.

Reason is unique among the faculties assigned to us in being able to evaluate itself – what it is, what it is capable of, how valuable it is – in addition to passing judgement on others.

We have been given the power of positive and negative impulse, of desire and aversion – the power, in other words, of making good use of impressions. If you take care of it and identify with it, you will never be blocked or frustrated; you won’t have to complain, and never will need to blame or
...more
Manar Fleifel
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Epictetus's discourse on human freedom is a must read for everyone who struggles with the concept and practice of freedom in a world where freedom is decaying in essence and practice and where it is being preconceived and misconceived. If you read this book you will rethink your daily practices of freedom or the lack thereof. The main idea of this book is to practice everything that exists in our hands and will with caution, to be fearless and to do so by surrendering the things that are outside ...more
Lydia
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
"The body sometimes suffers but relief is never far behind.And if that isn't good enough for you the door stands open, otherwise put up with it."

Overall I really enjoyed the ideas explored and the whole concept of this text, naturally agreeing with some ideas and not others. But I think this particular translation is poor and uses alot of modern slang which ultimately undermined some of Epictetus arguments and statements. Nevertheless I took a lot away from this read.
Roula Maggina
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Αγόρασα αυτό το βιβλίο αφου επέσε στην αντίληψη μου μια ανάρτηση στα social media για τον νεο εκδοτικό οίκο.
Μόλις πήρα στα χέρια μου το βιβλίο εντυπωσιάστηκα απο το εξώφυλλο, την επιμέλεια της έκδοσης και το γεγονός οτι μύριζε ... βιβλίο.
Το κείμενο ούτε καν την μετάφραση δεν είμαι σε θέση να τα κρίνω, δεν έχω τις αντιστοιχες γνώσεις.
Θα πω μόνο το κλασσικό σχόλιο για τα αρχαία Ελληνικά κείμενα
Οτι δηλαδή ειναι τρομακτικά επίκαιρα χιλιάδες χρόνια μετα.
elliepe
"-Έτσι και στη ζωή συνολικά, ανεξάρτητο σε κάνει το να ξέρεις να ζεις."
David
Apr 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I found some interesting resonances.

Epictetus' assertion that it is desire which leads to suffering is very much in keeping with Buddhism. (I always think of the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers -- especially Heraclitus -- as being somewhat "Eastern", but here we have Roman-era philosopher saying very much the same thing as the Four Noble Truths.)

The notion of bringing one's desires into alignment with the will of the gods or destiny seemed very similar to the modern Christian concept of prayer b
...more
Anders
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I like the philosophical content of these essays better than the actual presentation. Having recently read Seneca, I can't help feeling that Epictetus comes off as fairly arrogant in laying out his theses. In my view, presenting advice in the form of "if you do x, how can you believe you will ever reach y, you stupid donkey" is not very pedagogical (I'm paraphrasing but the tone is the same). I've heard Epictetus style being described as "demanding", and I'd say that's an understatement. In my o ...more
Colleen
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This has been languishing on my shelf for far too long. And it's an awfully small book so I made it my first read for my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge.

All in all, a nice little read. I like Epictetus and this translation was fantastic. It comes across as light and playful and then it hits you with something profound - like "Is that your plan? Then go and jump in the lake and take your ridiculous plan with you."

Okay, that one is just funny. But there are some great lines. Like "In general, remember tha
...more
Vinay Kumar
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
mould your thoughts ....
Colin
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
A clear mind and a level head lie behind Epictetus's intensive philosophy of detachment from every-day, mundane worries.
Carlos Emilio
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Even though I disagree with some points made by Epictetus, I like his ideas better than the ones by Seneca, and I got a lot from reading this that I find useful in everyday life.
Richard Tullberg
“Finally, when he crowns it off by becoming a senator, then he becomes a slave in fine company, then he experiences the poshest and most prestigious form of enslavement.”
Stefan
rated it liked it
Jul 22, 2016
Alex
rated it liked it
Nov 30, 2014
Mohammed
rated it really liked it
Sep 24, 2016
Aleksander
rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2016
Tanya Mulkidzhanova
rated it liked it
Dec 26, 2014
Paul James Barclay
rated it liked it
Jun 11, 2013
Sstirland
rated it really liked it
May 25, 2014
George
rated it it was amazing
Aug 19, 2017
Shawn Soh
rated it it was ok
Oct 11, 2012
Bill
rated it it was amazing
Apr 25, 2015
Anthony
rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Missing cover 2 12 Dec 08, 2015 11:15AM  
  • Of the Abuse of Words
  • Some Anatomies of Melancholy
  • The Tao of Nature
  • Of Man
  • An Apology for Idlers
  • Writings from the Zen Masters
  • On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings
  • Of Empire
  • Dialogue Between Fashion and Death
  • Some Thoughts on the Common Toad
  • How to Achieve True Greatness
  • An Attack on an Enemy of Freedom
  • The Perpetual Race of Achilles & the Tortoise
  • The First Ten Books (Penguin Great Ideas)
  • Human Happiness (Penguin Great Ideas)
  • The Wolfman (Great Ideas)
  • Concerning Violence
  • Revolution and War
13852
Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was probably born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia (present day Pamukkale, Turkey), and lived in Rome until his exile to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece, where he lived most of his life and died. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses. Philosophy, he taught, is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. ...more
More about Epictetus...

Share This Book

“Why do you want to read anyway – for the sake of amusement or mere erudition? Those are poor, fatuous pretexts.
Reading should serve the goal of attaining peace; if it doesn’t make you peaceful, what good is it?”
9 likes
“Be happy when you find that doctrines you have learned and analysed are being tested by real events. If you’ve succeeded in removing or reducing the tendency to be mean and critical, or thoughtless, or foul-mouthed, or careless, or nonchalant; if old interests no longer engage you, at least not to the same extent; then every day can be a feast day – today because you acquitted yourself well in one set of circumstances, tomorrow because of another.” 5 likes
More quotes…