a Stoic paradox
- View SourceAn interesting potential paradox in Stoicism that I found it Martha
Nussbaum's "The Therapy of Desire" P.359. It goes like this: The only thing
that can make one truly happy (eudaimonia) is to become virtuous. Virtue is
so special because it does not depend on externals (money, friends) that are
beyond our control. But virtue is not acquired gradually, only a sage has
Martha Nussbaum writes:
"For since the Stoics, beginning at least with Chrisyppus, did not claim to
be wise men, for which decent effort alone is not sufficient, they might
appear to be placing this most important matter in the control of forces
beyond the agent."
So only the quest for virtue is under our control, but attaining virtue
itself is beyond our control. So why pursue something likely to be beyond
our control? Does someone see a solution to this puzzling paradox?
Let us cultivate humanity - Seneca