Philosophy Reading Analysis (The Enchiridion/The Handbook by Epictetus)

Philosophy 100
Reading Analysis Assignment

Epictetus writes: “What disturbs men’s mind is not events but their judgment on events. For instance, death is nothing dreadful or else Socrates would have thought it so. No, the only thing dreadful abut it is men’s judgment that it is dreadful. And so when we are hindered, or disturbed, or distressed, let us never lay the blame on others, but on ourselves, that is, on our own judgments. To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education; to accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun; to accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete” (p. 660).
In your assignment explicate this passage, being sure to draw on and include at least 3 other passages (though you are welcome to use as many as you wish) in The Enchiridion to support your interpretation of the passage.
What does it mean to explicate a passage? This clear short summary of what it is comes from philosopher Robert Burch:
“To explicate means literally to “fold out.” The task is to unfold the meaning of the passage in context and to come to some assessment of its importance and its truth. What this assignment is not: This assignment is not a standard essay assignment where you begin with a thesis statement, provide a series of arguments in defense of it, and finish with a summary statement or reiterating conclusion. What this assignment really is: Basically, this assignment is a matter of writing down in an organized and explicit way your actual process of critical reading. Your task is to demonstrate in the assignment how in your own reading of the text, you make sense of the passage in question and how you come to terms with it. Your assignment will be judged on the basis of the depth, coherence, thoroughness and insight of the reading that it provides.
The first concern of your assignment is simply to show that you have read the particular passage in question and understand what is being said in it. Second, you should look to add to this meaning by situating the passage in the larger context of the text, ultimately with a view to the role it plays both in the immediate discussion in which it is found and with respect to the broader purposes and main argument of the text as a whole. Third, you should try to come to some overall conclusion or assessment of the passage being considered.”
Your assignment should be 2-3 pages. This page limit does NOT include an additional reference page. Assignments over 3 pages will be penalized 10%.

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It should be typed, double-spaced, 1” margins, normal font size (e.g. 12 pt Times New Roman), and submitted via Blackboard in MSWord or PDF format.

Late penalty: 10% per 24 hr period. See syllabus for more information on this.

No external sources beyond the course material are required to complete this assignment, but you are welcome to use them, if they are properly cited with in-text citations (whether taking an idea, paraphrasing, or direct quoting).

Please use MLA style for all your citations.
Epictetus “The Handbook.” Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Gen. ed. Steven M. Cahn. 6th ed. 2018, pp. 658-674.

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