Single Idea 6018

[catalogued under 16. Persons / F. Free Will / 1. Nature of Free Will]

Full Idea

By posing the problem of determinism, Epicurus became arguably the first philosopher to recognise the philosophical centrality of what we call the Free Will Question. His strongly libertarian approach is strongly contrasted with Stoic determinism.

Gist of Idea

Epicurus was the first to see the free will problem, and he was a libertarian


report of Epicurus (fragments/reports [c.289 BCE]) by AA Long / DN Sedley - Hellenic Philosophers commentary

Book Reference

'The Hellenistic Philosophers:Vol.1 translations', ed/tr. Long,A. /Sedley,D. [CUP 1987], p.107

A Reaction

Epicurus introduced the rather dubious 'swerve' of the atoms to make room for free will. It seems to me more consistent to stick with the determinism of Democritus. Zeno became a determinist in reaction to Epicurus.