more from Epictetus

Single Idea 23358

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / f. ‹bermensch]

Full Idea

In every species nature produces some exceptional being, in oxen, in dogs, in bees, in horses. We do not say to them 'Who are you?' It will tell you 'I am like the purple in the robe. Do not expect me to be like the rest, or find fault with my nature'.

Gist of Idea

Every species produces exceptional beings, and we must just accept their nature


Epictetus (The Discourses [c.56], 3.01.23)

Book Reference

Epictetus: 'The Discourses, The Handbook, Fragments', ed/tr. Gill,C [Everyman 1995], p.151

A Reaction

This idea began with Aristotle's 'great soul', and presumably culminates in Nietzsche, who fills in more detail. In the modern world such people are mostly nothing but trouble.