Hey, so you found my blog! Great! Your first question is probably “What the heck is a Prokopton? Is that a new Pokemon or something?” Well…uh…no. It is not a new Pokemon, at least not yet? I think?
Prokopton – One who is making moral progress.
Prokopton is a word that was used by the ancient Greek Stoic Philosophers to describe an individual that has accepted the claim that ‘Virtue is the Sole Good’, and has decided to apply this to their daily life.
What did the Stoics mean by virtue? Well, when they said virtue what they really meant ‘excellence of character’. They thought that one who seeks to have an excellent character would intentionally act according to the virtues of courage, justice, wisdom, and temperance.
The prokopton seeks that all of his actions align with these virtues. However, one of the key aspect of being a prokopton is that his (or her) actions are not always perfect. He will sometimes become angry with others due to minor grievances. He may become bitter because things did not turn out exactly the way he wished. He may even wrong another for his own benefit at times.
But the prokopton tries to learn from each of these mistakes, and attempts in earnest to not repeat them. He makes it his goal to improve his behavior, his character, and he takes steps towards this goal every day. This is what a prokopton is, one who is making moral progress.
And then, because I’m not naturally gifted, shall I therefore abandon all effort to do my best? Heaven forbid. Epictetus won’t be better than Socrates; but even if I’m not too bad, that is good enough for me.
– Epictetus, Discourses 1.2.35
I think that we should all strive to be a prokopton in our daily lives, in the sense that we should all strive towards an ‘excellence of character’. Too often do we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of every day life. We need to take time to reflect on our actions, and check on ourselves to make sure that we are behaving in a way that is consistent with our morals and our beliefs.
We should also examine what we believe, and why we believe it. We often go through life, picking up unintentional baggage along the way, without realizing what exactly we have picked up, or why we even decided to pick it up in the first place.
Philosophy can help us to examine ourselves and our beliefs, as well as guide us on how we should live our lives.
The unexamined life is not worth living.
I will primarily be using this blog as a notebook for myself, but also as a sounding board for my own beliefs on what I think it might mean to live a good life, along with other Philosophical ideas. You may disagree with me at times, and that is ok. I am by no means an expert on any of this. Feel free to voice your opinion respectfully in the comments. We cannot discover the best way to live through introspection alone, a discourse with others, especially those of differing opinions, is often required for us to truly examine ourselves.
The topics I post on may jump around from time to time, but the goal of this blog, and Philosophy, is to explore what we believe, why we believe it, and how we can ask the right questions that will lead us on a journey towards a good life, whatever that may entail.