The name given by stoics to actions that follow a rational ite, select preferred indifferences and respect others is kath-konta (DL 108-10). Often this is misrepresented as “duties,” but Zeno`s neologism should reflect the whole other, not necessarily “legalistic,” thinking of kata tines h`kei “what falls on some people” (DL 108). Kath-konta are actions that are “appropriate” for human beings to perform in certain circumstances. They may, as such, be accompanied by an “appropriate defence.” What is remarkable is that even children by natural inclination choose many such appropriate acts (DL 107), and can come with adults distrust and example to do much more (for example, share with others). But the purpose of the ethics of stoic virtue, like that of Aristotle before, is not easy to do what is necessary outside (“Continence” of Aristotle or Enkrateia). Sophrosyne is about doing the right thing (orthos logos). In doing so, our actions corresponding to what stoic katorth-mata call the actions of a virtuous person (Cic. End. III 22; Long 1996: 210-11). Now, in the strictest sense of “virtue,” only human beings can have virtues – in fact, only adults. This is why the more general sense of virtue, in which it applies to all natural things, is casual or cataclysmic. But the analytical links between virtue and nature are the same and must be the same for the argument to pass.
There is only one type of nature whose perfection is considered a virtue in the strictest sense: rational nature, the nature of a rational being. It can be said that a statue has statuary virtues because of its perfection as a statue, and it can be said that trees or horses have virtues because of the perfect development of their nature, but these perfections are not strictly considered virtues, for what is perfected is not the right thing. Not all natures can be perfected to become a virtue in the strict sense of the word. But nothing can be a virtue, in the strict sense of the word, in which it applies to man, or even in the moderately casual sense, in which it applies to horses and trees, except by being the perfection of the nature of this thing (and if we further soften the feeling of “virtue” to speak of the virtues of statues and knives , we do this by further relaxing our use of “nature” so that it can be applied metaphorically to the essence or function of the artifact). What is the nature of a human being? That`s the reason. If it is right and perfect, it is the happiness of a human being. When every thing, when it reaches its good, is commendable and has reached the end of its nature; and if the good of a human being is right; If man perfected this, she is commendable and understood the end of her nature.