more from Epictetus

Single Idea 23331

[catalogued under 16. Persons / F. Free Will / 3. Constraints on the will]

Full Idea

You can fetter my leg, but not even Zeus himself can get the better of my choice.

Gist of Idea

Not even Zeus can control what I choose


Epictetus (The Discourses [c.56], 1.01.23)

Book Reference

Epictetus: 'The Discourses, The Handbook, Fragments', ed/tr. Gill,C [Everyman 1995], p.7

A Reaction

This is the beginnings of the idea of free will. It is based on the accurate observation that the intrinsic privacy of a mind means that no external force can be assured of controlling its actions. Epictetus failed to think of internal forces.