The chapter examines the discussion of virtue in Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, and Plutarch. It shows how these writers put forward criteria whereby we may distinguish between apparent and true virtue. The key conception here is that virtue is a disposition (a state of character) to perform praiseworthy deeds for their intrinsic merit, and not for any gain or glory that might arise. Such deeds must be voluntary, and not determined by passion. Seneca’s more exacting Stoic ethic is then described, and certain similarities are noted between his moral preoccupations and those of Christianity.
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