The Discourses of Epictetus (, Epiktētou diatribai) are a series of informal lectures by the Stoic philosopher Epictetus written down by his pupil Arrian around 108 AD. Four books out of an original eight are still extant. The philosophy of Epictetus is intensely practical. He directs his students to focus attention on their opinions, anxieties, passions and desires, so that "they may never fail to get what they desire, nor fall into what they avoid." True education lies in learning to distinguish what is our own from what does not belong to us, and in learning to correctly assent or dissent to external impressions. The purpose of his teaching was to make people free and happy.