Epictetus’ characterisation of philosophy as preparing us for meeting the things that happen in life (Discourses 3.10.6; see Introduction to Epictetus, ‘The promise of philosophy’) implies that in a pre-or nonphilosophical condition we will be, in at least some sense, ill-equipped to face life. To be better equipped, says Epictetus, we will need not to change any of the things that ‘come upon us’, but to change our outlook upon the things that ‘come upon us’ (Discourses 1.12.17). The point of Epictetus’ Stoic ethics is to show us how to effect this change.