On Stoicism


“Those who receive the bare theories immediately want to spew them, as an upset stomach does its food. First digest your theories and you won’t throw them up. Otherwise they will be raw, spoiled, and not nourishing. After you’ve digested them, show us the changes in your reasoned choices, just like the shoulders of gymnasts display their diet and training, and as the craft of artisans show in what they’ve learned.”


This quote encourages readers to move beyond simply quoting wise words and to instead put them into practice by living with sound conduct. Musonius Rufus’s quote reminds readers that philosophy should be demonstrated through actions instead of simply through words. Therefore, readers should ask themselves if it is better to speak the wisdom or show it through their own actions.


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