Explore Digital Artwork of Ancient Figures

Stoics on the good, the bad, and the indifferent

          The Stoics classify three things as good, bad, and indifferent. The only thing that stoics classify as good is virtues. The four cardinal virtues of the stoics are wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice. Just like any other philosophy, the stoics believe that virtues are enough to live a happy life. The opposite of virtues are vices which the stoics are classified as bad.

          The opposite of wisdom is folly, courage – cowardice, temperance – indulgence and justice, and justice – unfairness. One will live a chaotic and tumultuous life if he chooses vices at the center of his life.

          Things stoics do not necessarily classify as good or bad are called indifference. These external things such as wealth, money, and power and events such as death and calamities. What matters is your attitude towards them. Power in itself is not bad or good but if you abuse it for your selfish goals then it becomes bad. Death in itself is also not bad especially if you face it with courage.





 “What Chance has made yours is not really yours. The good that could be given, can be removed.” Letters from A Stoic 8


  1. “People who are excited by posthumous fame forget that the people who remember them will soon die too. And those after them in turn. Until their memory, passed from one to another like a candle flame, gutters and goes out.” Meditations 4.19
  1. “You take things you don’t control and define them as “good” or “bad.” And so of course when the “bad” things happen, or the “good” ones don’t, you blame the gods and feel hatred for the people responsible—or those you decide to make responsible. Much of our bad behavior stems from trying to apply those criteria. If we limited “good” and “bad” to our own actions, we’d have no call to challenge God, or to treat other people as enemies.” Med 6.41

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

FREE weekly practical tips, reflections and key takeaways from the works of the stoics

Leave a Reply