Dogmata, Epictetus and Socrates

Alex Long*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is about dogmata (judgements) in the third book of the Discourses. I examine first their content and distinguish between dogmata with general content and those with person-specific content. The Discourses do not have the kind of progression from the latter to the former that we find in Plato’s Socratic dialogues. I then turn to the attitude of Epictetus’ interlocutor or addressee and show that some of the dogmata targeted by Epictetus are not yet possessed at the time of instruction. Here too he differs from Plato’s Socrates. Despite Socrates’ significance in other respects for the Discourses, Epictetus’ treatment of dogmata should be understood in the light of Stoic moral psychology rather than Socratic elenchus.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Epictetus
  • Socrates
  • Dogma
  • Judgement
  • Belief
  • Elenchus


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