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[32] They fail to see that nothing in the world can contribute so powerfully to material gain, to good repute, to right action, in a word, to happiness, as virtue and the qualities of virtue.1 For it is by the good qualities which we have in our souls that we acquire also the other advantages of which we stand in need.2 So that those who have no care for their own state of mind are unwittingly disparaging the means of attaining at the same time to greater wisdom and to greater well-being.

1 Literally, virtue and its parts. The particular virtues mentioned by Isocrates are piety, justice, and moderation. See Isoc. 8.63.

2 Cf. Isoc. 15.290; Socrates in Plat. Apol. 30a-b: “I go about doing nothing else than trying to persuade you, young and old, not to care for your bodies nor for your possesssions before nor even as much as you care for your soul that it may be the best possible, saying to you that not from your possessons does virtue spring, but from virtue spring possessions and all other good things to makind in private and in public life.” For this as a sound principle of foreign policy see Isoc. 12.185 ff.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (4):
    • Isocrates, Panathenaicus, 185
    • Isocrates, On the Peace, 63
    • Isocrates, Antidosis, 290
    • Plato, Apology, 30a
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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