A discourse on dating from a to z
He is no Plato or Aristotle, nor even a Sextus Empiricus or Alexander of Aphrodisias.
To a certain extent this judgement is perfectly fair and reasonable.
Whereas the former is concerned with creating a particular philosophical doctrine, the latter is a practical exercise or training designed to assimilate that doctrine into one's habitual modes of behavior.
Following the account of three types of philosophical training outlined by Epictetus, Marcus reflects in the upon a medley of physical, ethical, and logical ideas.
However, in order to assess the philosophical qualities that Marcus does have and that are displayed in the it is necessary to emphasize that in antiquity philosophy was not conceived merely as a matter of theoretical arguments.
Such arguments existed and were important, but they were framed within a broader conception of philosophy as a way of life.
may be read as a series of practical philosophical exercises, following Epictetus' three topics of study, designed to digest and put into practice philosophical theory.
Central to these exercises is a concern with the analysis of one's judgements and a desire to cultivate a "cosmic perspective." From a modern perspective Marcus Aurelius is certainly not in the first rank of ancient philosophers.
Marcus also makes reference to a number of Stoics by whom he was taught and, in particular, mentions Rusticus from whom he borrowed a copy of the works of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus ( does Marcus explicitly call himself a Stoic.In order to transform the way in which one behaves, it is necessary to train the impulses that shape one's behavior.By so doing the apprentice philosopher will be able not merely to ), is devoted to logic.However, he did find time to establish four Chairs of Philosophy in Athens, one for each of the principal philosophical traditions (Platonic, Aristotelian, Stoic, and Epicurean). Marcus' reputation as a philosopher rests upon one work, the AD 171-175.The entries appear to be in no particular order and may simply be in the original order of composition.