Une volonté sous condition ? Un commentaire d’Epictète, Entretiens 1.12.7-19
Through a commentary on a text by Epictetus (Diat. 1.12.7-19), I would like to study the Greek (and Stoic) concepts that allow us to speak and think about the freedom of a will that is grappling with the thought (and reality) of fate. My thesis could be expressed as follows: even if destiny gives a framework to the will and to actions, and to the conditions of these, the will is still configured by a prior, almost prejudicial choice, a first choice which is also the choice of oneself. This is witnessed by the prohairesis in Epictetus, which is in each person the instance of this choice, an instance to the completion of which all apprentice philosophers work: this is their project – to become free by discovering the freedom of this faculty of choice. Therefore, if he cannot change the context of the will, the framework of his action, every apprentice philosopher is called upon, in contrast, to modify 1) his internal disposition towards events; 2) the consequences of his actions.