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There is a misconception held by some that Stoics have no interest in worldly goods and pleasures. This is not correct, as previously stated. The acceptance of a period of discomfort, similarly, is not an absolute end in itself for Stoic thinkers, but rather a means to the end of training in order to pursue spiritual progress and purification.

[Stoicism a beginners guide to the history and philosophy of stoicism]

Which is "the end" here? "training" or "pursuing spiritual progress and purification". I am so confused about this.

Thanks!

  • Author? Nationality? Date published? – user3169 Jun 30 '18 at 2:38
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It sounds like "training" is the end, but this is not a common use of the phrase. "A means to an end" is usually not so specific, and the "end" is usually some sort of end result, not the conclusion of something.

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That sentence is malformed. to the end and in order to are pleonastic.

... a means to the end of training in order to pursue spiritual progress and purification.

Perhaps the author wanted to say that hardship and penury are understood by the stoics to be a necessary part of training one must undergo if he wishes to attain spiritual purity.

P.S. Clearly the hardship is simply not a way to get to {training in order to pursue spiritual progress and purification}. If we strike training in order to pursue the sentence makes better sense.

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