Abstract

The Stoics, who advocated the extirpation of the passions, the sufficiency of virtue for happiness, and the equality of sins, embodied their radical doctrines in the figure of the sage, provoking both ancient and modern critics of Stoicism to dismiss this exemplar as an impracticable and unappealing ideal. This paper attempts to add depth and richness to an understanding of the sage by highlighting the sage's more human qualities and by examining how the Stoics’ idealized paradigm derives from, or maps onto, the figure of Socrates, with special attention paid to the iconic philosopher's characteristic irony and erotic playfulness.

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