EpictetusEpictetus, (ca 55-135 A.D.) Greek philospher

Epictetus Quote

“We must not believe the many, who say that only free people ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers who say that only the educated are free.”

~ Epictetus


Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

History demonstrates over and over again why slaves were not educated. Once educated, they would strive for personal freedom and liberty. The intentional lack of education taught in America today proves once again that history's truths and the Founder's concept of the God of Nature's laws being absolute were accurate. Indoctrination against: personal responsibility, the principles of individual freedom and liberty, and the absolute law there related, by the many (such being expressed and outlined by the foundation that was the US's Constitution and the Representative Republic for witch it stood) is not an education of or to the free individual.

David L. Rosenthal

There are millions of educated slaves.

Mike, Norwalk
  • Reply
Mike, Norwalk David L. Rosenthal 4/24/24

David, for this discussion, education would have to be defined. The current occupying statist theocracy infesting this land indoctrinates rather than educates. Desired status here may also play a part in being a slave or a freeman with education only being an indicator. For example, socialists — regardless of IQ, demonstrate a form of mental illness that rationalizes enslavement over freedom, from a theocratic position; is that education?

E Archer, NYC

Not knowing the ancient Greek from which this must be a translation, I am willing to grant some leeway on the word 'educated'. Perhaps 'learned' would be a more accurate term as educated can imply being taught whereas 'learned' can refer to knowledge also acquired from experience and independent study.

Me Again
  • Reply
Me Again    6/10/06

This statement encourages the development of Personal Power which is a good thing. I agree with it.

Vic Prooth, Frejus France

Macaulay in his long essay on Milton has a wonderful paragraph which finishes with these words, which I first memorised in 1942, 'If men are to wait for freedom until they become wise and good in slavery, they may indeed wait forever.' The idea persists throughout the centuries.

J Carlton, Calgary

Once people realize that they have been trained and not educated, they will take the first steps towards personal liberty. "Education" happens outside the schools...

  • Reply
Robken    5/5/11

I could argue with Epictetus but I suppose I will just have to wait until we meet in another life. My first comment is that being free and being educated do not belong in the same argument if this is a premise of the argument. Being free is totally subjective and has nothing to do with being educate, though I know where he is going with this quote but it is really our of context with his other works. Being free is also reliant on the government who allows the individual to move and act freely within the society. If there is a word I would align with being free it is DISCIPLINE Have fun with that one..

Waffler, Smith

I suugest a nuanced interpretation, that is that the love of knowledge and/or education is what freedom is about. No one is ever fully or completly educated. It is a life long process for the free individual. Never being to old to learn somehting new should be our mantra.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Education into the schools now and forever. 


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