Quotable #88: Free Will


“Man, what are you talking about? Me in chains? You may fetter my leg but my will, not even Zeus himself can overpower.”  — Epictetus, The Discourses of Epictetus, with the Encheridion and Fragments (1877 edition), tr. by George Long, c. 2nd century

“A horse that is hitched with others to a wagon is not free not to walk in front of the wagon; and if it will not draw, the wagon will strike its legs, and it will go whither the wagon goes, and will pull it involuntarily. But, in spite of this limited freedom, it is free itself to pull the wagon, or be dragged along by it. The same is true of man.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You, 1894

“Might it not be the case that that extremely foolhardy and fateful philosophical invention, first devised for Europe, of the ‘free will’, of man’s absolute freedom [Spontaneität] to do good or evil, was chiefly thought up to justify the idea that the interest of the gods in man, in man’s virtue, could never be exhausted?” ― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Geneology of Morals: Second Essay, 1887

“We must believe in free will. We have no choice.” — Isaac B. Singer


“Yes I have free will; I have no choice but to have it.” — Christopher Hitchens

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com

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