On Greek Yogurt

As a practicing Stoic (or, if you like, a progressor—προκόπτων), I always smile when I come to the yogurt section of my local grocery store.

“Oikos” (ὁ οίκος) is the root of English words like “economics” and “ecology.” It means “house,” “home,” or “dwelling place,” and it is one of the first words students of Greek learn.

Οἰκος is also the root word in the core concept behind Stoic social ethics: “oikeiosis” (οἰκείωσις). It is translated with terms like “affinity,” “familiarization,” or “endearment,” and it is both the source of our natural affection toward humanity, and the justification for developing it.

But I always like to keep its root in mind: as if the word meant “making home-like” or “bringing into the family.” And what better way to symbolize family than with yogurt!