Tag Archives | Stoic

Epictetus On How Perception And Accountability Can Render Freedom

Epictetus

Epictetus (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

How perception and accountability can render freedom.

The Stoic Epictetus famously believed that his mind was free even if his body was enslaved, and this was enough freedom for him.

The Stoic word for freedom, ἐλευθερία, emphasizes the freedom from external coercion that modern compatibilists argue is the only freedom in the idea of voluntary actions and “free will.”

But long before the Stoics, Aristotle had used “depends on us” (ἐφ’ ἡμῖν), to describe the kind of internal freedom Epictetus prized.

Epictetus knew that some actions in the world were external to his will and out of his control. Like all Stoics, he said we should not be bothered by anything out of our control. Our emotions should only respond to things that we can control, that depend on us, and these he called προαίρεσις.

For Epictetus, good and evil were exclusively involved in things under our control, not in external events.

Read the rest
Continue Reading