Miriam T. Griffin (ed.), Seneca on Society: A Guide to De Beneficiis
(2.) 31–5. The paradoxes of the Stoics went with the role they inherited from the Cynics, of 'changing the currency' or challenging conventional moral views. Cicero in the Paradoxa Stoicorum had shown how they could be defended in oratorical fashion. The three other paradoxes mentioned by Seneca at (2.) 35. 2 are known from Greek sources (SVF iii. 567, 578–9; iii. 593; iii. 662–3). Seneca defends the paradox 'He who receives a benefit gladly has repaid it' in two ways: 1. by appealing to the primacy of intention in virtuous acts, so that the giving and receiving of benefits can be seen as in essence a transaction between minds ((2.) 31–4); 2. by demonstrating that the term beneficium is ambiguous, the Stoic paradox using it in the sense of the act of giving, not in its more ordinary sense of the object given. Though that common usage had been pg 204condemned as ignorant in 1. 5. 2, here Seneca makes clear that the Stoics respect it, to the extent that they impose on the recipient the obligation to try and make a return when possible ((2.) 35. 2–5).