Access to the full content is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.



Epictetus (AD c.50–c.120)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-A048-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 16, 2024, from

Article Summary

Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher of the late first and early second centuries ad. He developed Stoic ideas of responsibility into a doctrine of autonomy and inner freedom based on his concept of moral personality (prohairesis). Ethics and practical moral training are central to his thought, but he was also responsible for innovations in epistemology. He emphasized the need to achieve freedom from the passions and to maintain equanimity in the face of a world determined by a providential, though often inscrutable, fate. He frequently treats the Stoic Zeus as a personal deity, and his distinctive combination of personal piety and stringent rationalism (together with his pungent style) have contributed to his enduring influence.

Citing this article:
Inwood, Brad. Epictetus (AD c.50–c.120), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-A048-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

Related Searches


Related Articles