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[14] And indeed these duties under discussion in these books the Stoics call “mean duties”;1 they are2 a common possession and have wide application; and [p. 283] many people attain to the knowledge of them through natural goodness of heart and through advancement in learning. But that duty which those same Stoics call “right” is perfect and absolute and “satisfies all the numbers,”3 as that same school says, and is attainable by none except the wise man.

1 See Note on I,8.

2 The “absolute” and the “mean.”

3 I.e., fills all the requirements of absolute perfection—an allusion to the Pythagorean doctrine that specific numbers stand for perfection of specific kinds; “absolute duty” combines them all.

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