Singular virtue

2019-07-30

The Stoic philosopher Seneca believed that virtue is singular. In his opinion, all the different things we might consider virtues - kindness, temperance, integrity, and so on - are really aspects of the same thing. In any situation, you can act with virtue, or you can not, and those are the only two options.

It’s a hard position to explain, let alone defend. He spent a lot of effort on it and I’m not sure I buy it, deep down. But let me try expressing an adjacent idea:

The more often you do what’s right, the easier it gets to do what’s right in the future.