(1033)ΠΕΡΙ ΣΤΩΙΚΩΝ ΕΝΑΝΤΙΩΜΑΤΩΝ1
1. Πρῶτον ἀξιῶ τὴν τῶν δογμάτων ὁμολογίαν ἐν τοῖς βίοις θεωρεῖσθαι· δεῖ γὰρ οὐχ οὕτως τὸν Bῥήτορα κατ᾿ Αἰσχίνην ταὐτὸ φθέγγεσθαι καὶ τὸν νόμον ὡς τὸν βίον τοῦ φιλοσόφου τῷ λόγῳ σύμφωνον εἶναι. ὁ γὰρ λόγος τοῦ φιλοσόφου νόμος αὐθαίρετος καὶ ἴδιός ἐστιν, εἴ γε δὴ2 μὴ παιδιὰν καὶ εὑρησιλογίαν3 ἕνεκα δόξης ἀλλ᾿ ἔργον ἄξιον σπουδῆς τῆς μεγίστης, ὥσπερ ἔστιν, ἡγοῦνται φιλοσοφίαν.
On Stoic Self-Contradictions
1. In the first place I require that the consistency of men’s doctrinesa be observed in their way of living, for it is even more necessary that the philosopher’s life be in accord with his theoryb than that the orator’s language, as Aeschines says,c be identical with that of the law. The reason is that the philosopher’s theory is a law freely chosen for his own,d—at least it is if they believe philosophy to be not a game of verbal ingenuity played for the sake of glory but, as it really is, an activity worthy of the utmost earnestness.e
- aThe Stoics emphasized the coherence and internal consistency of their system: Diogenes Laertius, vii, 40; Sextus, Adu. Math. vii, 17–19; Cicero, De Finibus iii, 74 with iv, 53 and v, 83. Cf. Goldschmidt, Le système stoïcien, pp. 60–67.
- bPlato, Laches 188 c-e (cf. Plutarch, Adv Colotem 1117 e). Zeno the Stoic was praised on this very account in the honorary decree recorded by Diogenes Laertius, vii, 10–11 (S.V.F. i, p. 7, 26–27): . . . παράδειγμα τὸν ἴδιον βίον ἐκθεὶς ἅπασιν ἀκόλουθον ὄντα τοῖς λόγοις οἷς διελέγετο. . . .
- cAeschines, In Ctesiphontem 16.
- dCf. the statement in Maxime cum Princ. Philos. Disserendum 779 b that οἱ λόγοι τῶν φιλοσόφων, if inscribed in the minds of politcal leaders νόμων δύνμιν λαμβάνουσιν and in Ad Principem Ineruditum 780 c the identification of the νόμος that should rule the ruler as ἔμψυχος ὢν ἐν αὐτῷ λόγος.
- eCf. Cicero, Pro Murena 62: “haec (scil. Stoic doctrines) . . . M. Cato . . . adripuit neque disputandi causa, ut magna pars, sed ita vivendi.” The Stoics themselves insisted that philosophy is the art of life (cf. Plutarch, Quaest. Conviv. 613 b), the practice of virtuous living, and not mere intellectual virtuosity or erudition: S.V.F. ii, frag. 35 and iii, frags. 202 and 508; Seneca, frag. 17 (in Lactantius, Divin. Inst. iii, 15, 1); Musonius Rufus, frags. iii (p. 9, 13–16; p. 10, 6–7; p. 12, 11–19 [Hense]), iv (p. 19, 6–14 [Hense]), and vi; Epictetus, Diss. iii, ii, x (6–16), xv (8–13), xxiv (78–83) and iv, iv (8–18), viii (4–20). For the connexion of θεωρία and πρᾶξις in S.V.F. iii, frag. 202 see also Diogenes Laertius, vii, 126 and 130 and Seneca, De Otio v, 1 and 8 and vii (interpreted differently by Grilli, Il problema della vita contemplativa, pp. 96–102 and pp. 252–257 and by Joly, Le thème . . . des genres de vie, pp. 143–147).