SOPHOS is ‘wise person’. This ancient Greek word indicates a ‘virtuous sage‘, someone who possesses the virtue of <phronesis>.

In ethics, this desirable condition represents the ideal of all practicing Stoics. In fact, the training (<askesis>) of our philosophers has the very target of acquiring the enviable state deriving from wisdom.

The goal of Stoicism is to conduct a life of virtue. ‘Virtue’ consists in a will in agreement with Nature. Therefore, <sophos> is whoever is fully in accordance with Nature and whose life consequently becomes serene. Such a standard is so high that Stoics are always unsure whether a true <sophos> ever existed. Possibly only Sokrates (Socrates) or Diogenes ho Kynikos (Diogenes of Sinope) do match the standard.

Sokratiko Logo

<Sophos> is ‘wise person’. Hence the definition of who is wise and what is wisdom is crucial to assign the ‘title’ of <sophos>. That is why a consonance with Nature might seem not enough a qualification. Nonetheless, we should never underestimate the difficult task of living in tune with Nature. After all, human beings strongly detached themselves from Nature along the course of thousands of thousands of years. So, it is now really hard for them to catch up with Nature itself. The preponderance of the mind over instincts, senses, intuitions and feelings, makes the effort almost impossible. But yet, the final reward is immense. For Stoics, the sage is beyond any possibility of harm from destiny. The problems that other humans normally face (disease, deprivation, disapproval, disregard, death) could not cause any sorrow to the <sophos>. At the same time, all the circumstances of life praised by other people (good health, wealth, praise, fame, long life) are considered by the Stoic sage as superfluous externals.