#1018 True Philosophy

Is the Practice of Noble Behavior

In our last +1, we talked about Musonius’s thoughts on theory vis-a-vis practice.

Recall his wisdom: “Theory which teaches how one must act assists action and logically precedes the practice, for it is not possible for something good to be accomplished unless it is accomplished in accordance with theory. But as a matter of fact, practice is more important than theory because it more effectively leads humans to actions than theory does.’

And: ”Therefore practicing each virtue must always follow learning the lessons appropriate to it, or it is pointless to learn about it. The person who claims to be studying philosophy must practice it even more diligently than the person who aspires to the art of medicine or some similar skill, inasmuch as philosophy is more important and harder to grasp than any other pursuit.

Thank you, Musonius.


After reading William B. Irvine’s The Stoic Challenge and Musonius Rufus’s Lectures and Sayings, I decided to hang out with another Roman Stoic—this one of the modern variety: Massimo Pigliucci.

Massimo has 3 Ph.D.’s. One in genetics. Another in evolutionary biology and a third in philosophy. These days, he’s a very rare species: A professor of philosophy AND a practitioner of (Stoic) philosophy.

He wrote a phenomenal book called How to Be a Stoic—which Tim Ferriss says is “One of the best explorations of Stoic philosophy that I’ve read.” <- I agree.

Massimo teaches us how to be a Stoic via imaginary dialogues with his favorite Stoic teacher: Epictetus.

Recall: Musonius taught Epictetus.

And… Get this: “Epictetus” wasn’t even his real name. The word epictetus simply meant “acquired” which reflects the fact that he was born a slave. 😲

Now, back to business.

You know what Massimo has to say about the whole theory vs. practice chat?

He tells us: “True philosophy is a matter of a little theory and a lot of practice.

Which makes me think of Musonius again.

He tells us: “Indeed philosophy is nothing but the practice of noble behavior.

That’s Today’s +1.

True philosophy.

A little theory. And a lot of practice.

Here’s to a little more noble behavior.

T O D A Y.

P.S. Ready to make 2020 the Year of Noble Behavior? Join us for our Heroic Mastery Series! Let’s practice some philosophy and go from theory to practice to mastery.

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