Friday, March 29, 2013

Translation - Interpretation Issues

Reading the Stoics creates some interesting thoughts, concepts, and mental gymnastics, considering there are multiple translations and then there are interpretations.

Consider Epictetius Enchiridion 1, which in my crude understanding, based on Penguin Classics, says we are responsible for our own judgements, impulses, desires, aversions, decisions, and mental faculties. We are not responsible for anything we do not control. Simple, while in Irving's Stoic Joy, he, a Ph D. in philosophy, attributes Epictetus of saying we have control, and then goes on to say he is not in agreement, entirely (pg 90). Irving missed the difference between responsibility and control. We can influence and grow our desires, opinions, etc, but cannot simply dictate them to ourselves.

Desire is a big issue for me, in that appetite is a desire that I must not grow, in fact, must reduce. I cannot want to eat something and want to lose weight at the same time. These are mutually exclusive.

Just as I cannot listen and follow multiple experts, I cannot have a desire to eat and lose weight. As I move from the emotional toward rational, I need to prune my desires.

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