Chapter 52

52.1 ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ἀναγκαιότατος τόπος ἐστὶν ἐν φιλοσοφίᾳ ὁ τῆς χρήσεως τῶν δογμάτων, οἷον ὁ τοῦ μὴ ψεύδεσθαι· ὁ δεύτερος ὁ τῶν ἀποδείξεων, οἷον πόθεν ὅτι οὐ δεῖ ψεύδεσθαι· τρίτος ὁ αὐτῶν τούτων βεβαιωτικὸς καὶ διαρθρωτικός, οἷον πόθεν ὅτι τοῦτο ἀπόδειξις· τί γάρ ἐστιν ἀπόδειξις, τί ἀκολουθία, τί μάχη, τί ἀληθές, τί ψεῦδος; 52.2 οὐκοῦν ὁ μὲν τρίτος τόπος ἀναγκαῖος διὰ τὸν δεύτερον, ὁ δὲ δεύτερος διὰ τὸν πρῶτον· ὁ δὲ ἀναγκαιότατος καὶ ὅπου ἀναπαύεσθαι δεῖ, ὁ πρῶτος. ἡμεῖς δὲ ἔμπαλιν ποιοῦμεν· ἐν γὰρ τῷ τρίτῳ τόπῳ διατρίβομεν καὶ περὶ ἐκεῖνόν ἐστιν ἡμῖν ἡ πᾶσα σπουδή, τοῦ δὲ πρώτου παντελῶς ἀμελοῦμεν. τοιγαροῦν ψευδόμεθα μέν, πῶς δὲ ἀποδείκνυται ὅτι οὐ δεῖ ψεύδεσθαι, πρόχειρον ἔχομεν.

Application of Philosophical Principles

The application of philosophical principles (rather than proving them or explaining the logical principles behind the proofs) is the most important thing.

τόπος: “area,” “part,” “topic”

ὁ τῆς χρήσεως: “the (topic) of use,” an example of the so-called “appositive” genitive, defining the application of a substantive (S. 1322)

ὁ τοῦ μὴ ψεύδεσθαι: “the (topic) of ‘not lying,’” appositive genitive with articular infinitive

πόθεν ὅτι οὐ δεῖ ψεύδεσθαι: “why it is that one must not lie?”

βεβαιωτικὸς καὶ διαρθρωτικός: supply λόγος.

πόθεν ὅτι τοῦτο ἀπόδειξις: “how (we know) that this is a proof,” i.e., an explanation of the principles of logic. Logis was a key Stoic preoccupation, though not one emphasized by Epictetus. There follows a list of examples of topics in logic, introduced by γάρ (LSJ γάρ I.1.b).

ψεῦδος: “a false conclusion,” “a fallacy” (rather than a lie), see (LSJ ψεῦδος I.A.2.)

ἀναπαύεσθαι: “dwell on,” “focus on”

ἔμπαλιν ποιοῦμεν: “we do the exact opposite”

τοιγαροῦν: “that’s it,” “exactly so”

πρόχειρον ἔχομεν: “we have it at hand,” “we are quite ready” to explain how (πῶς).

ἀναγκαῖος,-α,-ον, necessary

φιλοσοφία, -ας , ἡ, philosophy

χρῆσις, -εως, ἡ, use

δόγμα, -ατος, τό, opinion, belief, judgment, decision; philosophical principle

ψεύδω, ψεύσω, ἔψευσα,  to lie, deceive

δεύτερος,-α,-ον, second

ἀπόδειξις, εως, ἡ, proof, demonstration

πόθεν, from where, whence; how, why

τρίτος, -η, -ον, third

βεβαιωτικός , -ή, -όν, confirmatory, that which confirms

διαρθρωτικός , -ή, -όν, explanatory, that which explains or articulates

πόθεν, from where, whence; how, why

ἀκολουθία,-ας, ἡ,  a following; consequence

μάχη,-ης, ἡ, battle; (in logic) inconsistency or contradiction


οὐκοῦν, therefore

ἀναπαύω, ἀναπαύσω, ἀνέπαυσα, to stop, rest

ἔμπαλιν, (adv.) backwards, contrarily

διατρίβω, διατρίψω, διέτριψα, to spend time, waste time

σπουδή,- ῆς, ἡ, speed, zeal, effort

παντελῶς, (adv.) absolutely, completely

ἀμελέω, ἀμελήσω, ἠμέλησα, to neglect, have no care for (+gen)

τοιγαροῦν, therefore

ἀποδείκνυμι,-δείξω,-έδειξα, to point out, prove, demonstrate

πρόχειρος, -ον, at hand, readily accessible

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Suggested Citation

Albert Watanabe, Epictetus: Encheiridion. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2020. ISBN: 978-1-947822-13-9.