Forty-odd years ago I read something to the effect that ‘the Stoic mistake was to believe that a man could always be capable of what he was capable of at his best’. (I am sure this is inexact)

Does anyone have an idea of where it originated?

  • 2
    Are you looking for the origin of that quotation (bearing in mind it's probably not exact), or just who first used the phrase "the Stoic mistake"? There was a lot of criticism of Stoicism in Classical Greek philosophy including Aristotle, identifying various mistakes. Later critics of Stoicism included Nietzsche in Beyond Good and Evil, who objected to the Stoic idea of living according to nature and its laws.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Mar 28 at 14:04
  • I believe I read it in someone like H.D.F. Kitto (although Nietzsche is an interesting suggestion) or one of his contemporaries, so that's what I'm looking for.
    – Barnaby
    Commented Apr 4 at 21:21


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