Questions tagged [stoicism]

an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge, and that the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.

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4 answers
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Should happiness be attained by reforming the world around us for the better or by accepting it as it is?

Two of the most influent philosophers in the antiquity proposed different perspectives on how we should attain happiness: Plato and Epictetus. Plato points out that our civilization contains ...
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What's the point of this quote from Seneca (Stoicism)?

If anyone says that the best life of all is to sail the sea, and then adds that I must not sail upon a sea where shipwrecks are a common occurrence and there are often sudden storms that sweep the ...
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Has anyone described etc. Ataraxia from not asking needless questions?

Has anyone described etc. Ataraxia from not asking needless questions? I am most familiar with the idea of ataraxy from Epicurus if one is frightened by the empty name of death, the fear will persist ...
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What does Marcus Aurelius' "Lower things for the sake of higher ones, and higher ones for one another" mean and how does it relate to stoic ideals?

From Book Seven of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations: Everything has to do what it was made for. And other things were made for those with logos. In this respect as in others: lower things exist for the ...
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Epictetus quote on Love and Wise

"If someone is incapable of distinguishing good things from bad and neutral things from either – well, how could such a person be capable of love? The power to love, then, belongs only to the ...
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What is the importance of compassion in stoicism?

I am quite attracted to a lot of buddhist ideas, but have always had a problem in that compassion is a cornerstone of the buddhist way, and I don't have any. There are tools for developing compassion, ...
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What do Ancient philosophers mean by matter?

For example Stoics thought that Pneuma pervades all matter. There are several definitions of matter but I think the most reasonable is the one based on Elementary fermions. But in the ancient times ...
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Does Stoicism condone passivity?

According to Google, Stoicism means: "The endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint." So does it mean that amid most difficult circumstances where ...
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Differentiating between key Stoics

At first blush, the major Stoics - Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca - seem quite similar in the somewhat limited selections of their works that I have read. Gen. Mattis carries Marcus Aurelius, ...
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Modern-day examples of Stoicism? [closed]

Having listened to the Meditations audiobook on YouTube, and having watched Professor Michael Sugrue's lecture on Marcus Aurelius - it seems to me, the essence of Stoicism is: to accept what is, as it ...
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wisdom vs thoughts vs meditations of marcus aurelius

i don't know anything about stoicism but am trying to buy a present for someone who likes it a lot. i am seeing books called 'meditations of marcus aurelius', 'wisdom of marcus aurelius', and 'the ...
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Is stoicism still relevant in modern world?

As the world with each day is becoming more hyperconnected and communication-centric, will being emotionally enduring and closed up self-destructive in the long-term? Is stoicism still relevant in the ...
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Two passages in Marcus Aurelius Meditations

My question is about passages 20 and 24 in Book 7. Passage 20 is rendered, at least in my book like this: One thing only troubles me, that I may not myself do something which the constitution of ...
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Marcus Aurelius' progression in stoic thought

In what is ascribed to be Verse 18, Book V of Marcus Aurelius' Mediations, Marcus writes: [1] "Nothing happens to any man which he is not formed by nature to bear." Alternative ...
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What are the some of the most effecive arguments against stoicism?

I searched the question a bit and I found these two articles that present some arguments against stoicism. I found some of their more general arguments like Crantor's argument against stoicism ...
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What are the reasons as to why many important ancient philosophers ascribed to stoicism whereas few ancient philosophers were epicurians?

It seems to me that there were relatively few prominent ancient (if not prominent at least with wikipedia entries with their names) philosophers that espoused Epicureanism while there were many ...
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Stoic way of dealing with insults and humiliation

Are there any stoic writings lecturing on dealing with insults, humiliations and even extreme physical humiliations that might drive one to commit suicide?
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Are there historical connections between the concepts of apatheia/ataraxia and nirvana?

These concepts seem very similar to me: loosely speaking, it's all about how limiting our desires is good. Knowing that there was contact between ancient Greece and ancient India, could it be that one ...
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How can I understand references in Seneca's Moral letters to Lucilius?

I have been reading Seneca's Moral letters to Lucilius, and some times I find references that I don't understand. I'm not sure if this is a notation specific to these works or if it's a notation ...
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Reference request for philosophies like Stoicism

I'm doing a bit of a review of philosophical systems... At one end being the logic and reason of Critical thinking, in the middle are logical problems with "accepted" answers, and at the other end "...
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What is the essence of stoicism?

I am a materialist, and I heard that stoic philosophers can be described (to some extent) as materialists. I am a big fan of stoic logic and ethical philosophy (and attitude towards death, emotions, ...
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Enchiridion, 16: Does a stoic moan, or not?

The translation of Epictetus' Enchiridion, part 16 by Elizabeth Carter (http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html) seems to contradict that of Thomas Wentworth Higginson's (https://www.gutenberg....
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The meaning behind Seneca's quote

Seneca once said, "What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears". I have read this quote over and over again and I have searched for a clear explanation about this ...
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Criticism of stoicism

In relation to the writings of Epictetus or Seneca, what is some adequate criticism to stoicism? Any writings/papers dealing with that in particular?
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Is feeling motivated in our control, from perspective of stoicism? [closed]

People often don't feel motivated and there is ample psychological literature that acknowledges this. But from a Stoic philosophical perspective it is indeed worth pondering whether "feeling not ...
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Can we adopt a certain perspective without subjective experience?

Introduction I am not speaking about our conscious perspective that includes our conscious knowledge of what is rational and what is irrational. I am speaking about the deep perspective that controls ...
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On the universal and preconception in stoic logic: the word "natural" (naturale) from Diog. L., VII, 54

Foreword: as an Italian student, I hope that I will not make many mistakes in translating the lexicon from my native language to English; sometimes this will happen, and so putting the Italian word in ...
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As someone studying philosophy and applying it to my life with success, how far does one take the ideals learnt?

I am studying several philosophers and applying all the knowledge I am learning into a 'melting pot' of ideals and characteristics I am applying to my life to better myself and attempt to live more ...
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How does Stoicism relate to Existentialism?

I was wondering about the relation or influence that Stoicism had on Existentialism and Existentialist thinkers, such as Camus, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Sartre. In any of their works do they ...
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How does Stoicism deal with human interdependence?

Well as humans are inherently social animals we tend to rely on each other for the specific duties which are sometimes voluntarily accepted or sometimes prescribed strictly. For e.g. the duty of a ...
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Similarities between Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life and Stoicism

I was wondering if these two paths have similarities in their implementation or if they are two different paths that lead to the same place? Peterson is very interesting in doing something meaningful ...
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Stoicism: How can you be calm and uncaring and rush to do your best at the same time?

I've been studying stoic philosophy lately and I have incorporated more of the calmness and de-stressing elements of it into my daily life. However, I have noticed that I also do not seem to try ...
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What is your view of Stoicism as a philosophy for present day living? [closed]

Do you approve of the Stoic philosophy presented in the discourses of Epictetus, the meditations of Marcus Aurelius and the writings of Lucius Annaeus Seneca? How do you reconcile the Stoic idea of ...
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Can you apply Stoic Philosophy to a Business Goal?

I have recently read Irvine's book about stoic philosophy and I am interested about his take on the trichotomy of control. He states that you have 3 options for control: Some things that you have ...
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What is the stoic response to something like the events in Las Vegas?

I have recently been trying to learn about stoicism. It is the one philosophy that I think closely represents me and how I live in general. Reading a few sites and have ordered Meditations. http://...
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How is contemporary Stoicism related to classical Stoicism?

Is the popular, modern conception of stoicism equivalent to the actual philosophy espoused in books like Epictetus' The Discourses? How are they different, and what might we misunderstand without ...
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Stoic thoughts on sharing achievements

I've started practising and I wonder what are the stoic thoughts on sharing your achievements with friends/anyone. I used to share all my achievements with everyone and it was causing some troubles, ...
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Why does Philo skip Genesis 1?

In Νόμων Ἱερῶν Ἀλληγορίαι, (Legum Allegoriæ), Stoic Philosopher Philo of Alexandria sets out to make an allegorical commentary on Genesis 2-3. Why does Philo choose to pick up with chapter 2 instead ...
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Is there any other philosophy or belief system like stoicism?

I am looking for something similar to stoicism. I know buddhism and secular humanism have lots of similarity, but that's it.
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What stoicism offers for platonic love? [closed]

There is a girl that I am in love with, and she is going to marry soon, not with me. We are friends, and I don't want to lose her; however, it hurts. Can stoicism help me with that? If it can, how?
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Death and Epictetus

In the Enchiridion, Epictetus seems suggest that goodness and badness are not “in” the world. They are “in” our reactions. For example he says that, “Death, for instance, is not terrible, else it ...
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What does Marcus Aurelius mean by quoting Plato here?

Keep always before you that “this is no different from an empty field,” and the things in it are the same as on a mountaintop, on the seashore, wherever. Plato gets to the heart of it: “fencing a ...
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What would be the implications if the equality of opposites was true?

Heraclitus famously believed in the equality of opposites, as do I. Would the truth of the equality of opposites have any significant implications for reason and logic?
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Is Kant's idea of imperatives derived from stoicism?

Upon reading "The Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius, I felt that in the author's view a man should only be concerned about the things which he has control over what he can do, i.e. duty. "A man's ...
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Understanding progress and improvement (Epictetus)

So, I've started reading "Discourses" of Epictetus. I'm stuck at Chapter IV. I can't understand the part that I'm going to post below. I've highlighted the most difficult piece, if you don't want to ...
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What does Marcus Aurelius mean by 'sympathetic link'?

I am reading Meditation by Marcus Aurelius and finding difficulty in understanding this sentence: When they (agitations of the flesh) make their way into your thoughts, through the sympathetic link ...
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How did the idea of fate arise?

Once I read that Stoics thought that both humans and animals have no free will, because they are just dragged by fate against their will. How did they come to this idea without any knowledge of brain ...
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How did the ideas of a poor slave like Epitectus spread before the printing press? [closed]

Was he literate? Even if he was, how did his ideas spread during his own lifetime? Was word of mouth that contagious back then? Were people writing down his ideas on stone tablets and passing them ...
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What is the causal connection between virtues and eudaimonea in virtue ethics?

Eudaimonea is typically mistranslated as "happiness" (subjective mental states) when it is an objective state of fulfillment of purpose. (I consider that to be the central definition of the concept ...
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Stoic Aphorisms?

What are some poignant aphorisms that a practitioner of stoicism could internalize to help remain stoic throughout their day. Think motivational calendar and you'll know what I'm after. I'm aware ...