Arête: on the nature of human excellence

a person who is striving to be the best she could be, would excel not just at the moral virtues, but also at reasoning

Statue of arête at the Library of Celsus in Ephesus, photo by the Author.

Let’s talk about arête, the Greek word often translated as “virtue.” It was used by Socrates (and, of course, Plato), Aristotle, and pretty much all the Hellenistic schools, including Stoicism. The…