Epistles To Lucilium "Man Is A Reasoning Animal"
by Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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"Man Is A Reasoning Animal"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Seneca, a Stoic, believes in the god within oneself, the god one can feel while contemplating the wonders of nature. He maintains that man should cultivate the goodness in himself and not its external aspects. As he says:

Suppose that he [a man] has a retinue of comely slaves and a beautiful house, that his farm is large and large his income; none of these things is in the man himself; they are all on the outside. Praise the quality in him which cannot be given or snatched away, that which is the peculiar property of the man. Do you ask what this is? It is soul, and reason brought to perfection in the soul. For man is a reasoning animal. Therefore man's highest good is attained, if he has fulfilled the good for which nature designed him at birth.