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.