more from Seneca the Younger

Single Idea 13292

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / h. Self interest]

Full Idea

No one can lead a happy life if he thinks only of himself and turns everything to his own purposes. You should live for the other person if you wish to live for yourself.

Gist of Idea

Selfishness does not produce happiness; to live for yourself, live for others


Seneca the Younger (Letters from a Stoic [c.60], 048)

Book Reference

Seneca: 'Letters from a Stoic (Selections)', ed/tr. Campbell,Robin [Penguin 1969], p.96

A Reaction

It is important to see this as a key aspect of the ancient aspiration to virtue. The end result is not far from Christianity. It is simplistic to see the quest for virtue as a crass self-obsessed quest for self-improvement. We are social.