Would you like to hear three authors who have written books about Marcus Aurelius discussing his life and philosophy? Join us on 26th April at 3pm EDT for the Marcus Aurelius Anniversary Event hosted by Plato’s Academy Centre. Tickets are free; everyone is welcome. Don’t worry if you’re in a different time zone as recordings will be available to everyone who registers in advance.
- Dr. John Sellars is the author of several books on Stoicism, including Marcus Aurelius in Routledge’s Philosophy in the Ancient World series.
- Donald Robertson is the author of three books on Marcus Aurelius, including How to Think Like a Roman Emperor.
- Prof. William O. Stephens is the author of Marcus Aurelius: A Guide for the Perplexed.
Dear Stoic fam,
I want to begin by thanking you! In January, my newsletter became one of Substack’s official bestsellers, as a direct result of your support.
When I was thinking about starting it, I wondered whether it was really needed and what it could accomplish. Way back in Oct 2012, I was invited to a multi-disciplinary workshop, organized by Chris Gill, professor emeritus of Ancient Thought, at Exeter University. We went on to found the Modern Stoicism organization, the Stoic Week online course, and Stoicon conferences. We contributed, I hope, in our small way, to the renaissance in popularity that Stoicism has gone through since then. However, in some regards the philosophy we love has now become a victim of its own success.
Over the years, I noticed more and more articles, videos, podcasts, and books, which seemed to present Stoicism in a very superficial way, or even to badly misrepresent its central ideas. I also watched as the Stoicism communities on social media grew to hundreds of thousands of members but increasingly became dominated by joke memes, and articles about things like how to get rich quick, etc. This seemed very far removed from the Stoic philosophy of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. Controversial influencers, such as Andrew Tate and others like him, have jumped on the bandwagon, claiming to be inspired by Stoicism. I noticed that high-quality content from leading experts on the philosophy — like Chris Gill, Massimo Pigliucci, and Chris Gill — was often being drowned out by all the noise on social media.
I learned, though, that Substack was building a space designed to be different. I began to wonder if starting a newsletter might offer a way to create a community where I could help others to put Stoicism and other branches of Greek philosophy into practice, in ways that might help them in daily life.
Why we changed the name of our forthcoming virtual event about Stoicism and politics
The Plato’s Academy Centre’s March 11th virtual conference on how to save rational discourse is completely free of charge. Not available? Don’t worry because if you register now you’ll be able to watch videos of all the presentations later, at your leisure. So don’t miss out!
Extreme partisanship dominates. You must choose a team according to news networks, social media and even our own friends and family. This is not only a most unhealthy lens, but has led to the whole of society being uninformed and misinformed. It has even led to acts of violence as extreme as domestic terrorism.
The topic of politics is such a hot-button that it’s avoided at all costs for fear of the fall out. Being our authentic selves promotes our flourishing, happiness, and freedom, though!If we lose that freedom, we’ve lost who we are and have chosen to let those who anger us become our master, as Epictetus puts it.
After a meeting with our PAC Team, we decided that the title of our March 11th event, Stoicism and Politics: How Can We Save Civility, be changed to How Can We Save Rational Discourse: Philosophy & Politics. We felt this better encapsulated the essence of our message: that regardless of philosophical lens, society is in dire need of restoring civility when discussing politics.
Thanks for reading Plato’s Academy Centre Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.
Join us and other modern day philosophy academics and authors as we discuss in Socratic fashion, “How Can We Save Rational Discourse: Philosophy & Politics”. EVERYONE is welcome and encouraged to attend!
Our Finalized Run of Show
- Civic Friendship & Politics as an Act of Love, Spencer Klavan, author of How to Save the West: Ancient Wisdom for Five Modern Crises, associate editor at the Claremont Institute, host of Western Civilization podcast with the Daily Wire.
- Stoicism and the Friend-Enemy Distinction, Pat McGeehan, member of the West Virginia House of Delegates (US), author of Stoicism and the Statehouse
- Stoicism, the Enlightenment, Self-Othering, and Civility, Prof. Matthew Sharpe, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Deakin University, author of Stoicism, Bullying, and Beyond, The Other Enlightenment: Self-estrangement, Race, and Gender; series coeditor, Thinkers and Politics.
- What does Stoicism bring to the ‘diversity’ table?, Dr. Kai Whiting, Postdoctoral Researcher, Université catholique de Louvain, author of Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living In
- Save Yourself, Save Your City, Diane Kalen-Sukra, founder of the Kalen Academy civic leadership academy, author of Save Your City: How Toxic Culture Kills Community & What to Do About Ithttps://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/RhKg3ZmgmHk?rel=0&autoplay=0&showinfo=0&enablejsapi=0
- Aristotle and the Stoics Meet Rock and Roll: A Return to Rational Discourse in Politics, Dr. Tom Morris, author of The Stoic Art of Living and The Everyday Patriot , Chairman, Morris Institute for Human Values
- Solon of Athens on the Art of Positive-Sum Negotiation, Josiah Ober, American historian of ancient Greece and classical political theorist, Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Professor in honor of Constantine Mitsotakis, and professor of classics and political science, at Stanford University.
- Panel: Stoicism, Civility, and Politics, hosted by Anya Leonard.Panel includes: Justin Stead, Entrepreneur & Investor, CEO Radley London, Founder of Aurelius Foundation; Mick Mulroy, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for the Middle East. Senior Fellow for National Security and Defense Policy with the Middle East Institute, an Analyst for ABC News, and co-founder of the Lobo Institute; Alexandra O. Hudson, author of The Soul of Civility: Timeless Principles to Heal Society and Ourselves, founder of Civic Renaissance
- Keynote: Hubris Syndrome, Rt Hon. Lord David Owen, co-founder of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), member of the House of Lords, author of The Hubris Syndrome: Bush, Blair and The Intoxication of Power and Riddle, Mystery and Enigma. Two Hundred Years of British-Russian Relations
Our hosts will be Donald Robertson, the president of the Plato’s Academy Centre, and Anya Leonard, the founder and director of the Classical Wisdom website.
If you’re feeling stifled by extreme politics, know that you’re not alone. Please share this post and the message of rational, peaceful, and meaningful discourse with loved ones, friends, and colleagues by sharing the link below.
Thank you so much for your support. We can’t wait to see you there!
Seneca: On the Creation of Earthquakes, starring John Malkovich, will be released in Germany on 23rd March 2023.
Donald Robertson is the author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: the Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius; Verissimus, a graphic novel about Marcus Aurelius; and a forthcoming prose biography of Marcus Aurelius for Yale University Press.
Donald also wrote a biography of Seneca for the Capstone Classics edition of his Moral Letters.
- Seneca IMDB
- Seneca Instagram
- How to Think Like a Roman Emperor
- Verissimus graphic novel
- Seneca’s Moral Letters (Capstone Classics)
Are the classics only for university professors? Do you need to read ancient Greek or Latin to benefit from texts composed in those languages? Why should anyone give two
hoots about Plato or Socrates today? These are some of the questions I explore in this podcast episode with Anya Leonard from Classical Wisdom Weekly. Let us know your thoughts: have the classics had their day?
Anya Leonard on Why Classics Matter Today – Stoicism: Philosophy as a Way of Life Podcast
Audio of Interview with Markus Wachter, CEO, of the Carnuntum Archeological Park
This podcast episode contains the audio recording from a conversation about Marcus Aurelius, which I had with Markus Wachter, the CEO of the Carnuntum Archeological Park, at the Museum Carnuntinum, in 2019. I was visiting Austria for around a week, doing research for my books on Marcus Aurelius. The audio was recorded live in the main hall of the reconstructed Roman villa in the archeological park, hence the acoustics.
Marcus stationed himself at the Roman legionary fortress of Carnuntum, for part of the Marcomannic Wars. He included the note “At Carnuntum” near the start of the Meditations, proving that he must have written at least part of the manuscript there.
Thanks to Landessammlungen Niederösterreich, Archäologischer Park Carnuntum for permission to film, and to Adam Piercey for filming and editing.
Stoicism and Martial Arts with Michael Tremblay – Stoicism: Philosophy as a Way of Life Podcast
Sign up for our Substack newsletter to download this new Marcus Aurelius poster, with artwork by award-winning illustrator Zé Nuno Fraga.
We are delighted to be able to bring you this downloadable PDF of a full-color, 16” x 20” Marcus Aurelius poster designed by Zé Nuno Fraga, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press. Zé is the award-winning Portuguese illustrator, responsible for the artwork in our graphic novel, Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.
Send a Gift Subscription to a Friend
Stoicism – Philosophy as a Way of Life
🎁 For the New Year, why not send someone the gift of a subscription to our Substack newsletter “Stoicism – Philosophy as a Way of Life”?
- Download our exclusive free edition of the Stoic emperor's ancient biographies
- Listen to my conversation about Marcus Aurelius with Prof. Gad Saad
- Read the program of speakers for our virtual conference
- What the Stoics said about kingship, applied to leadership
- The Story of my Book on the Stoicism of Marcus Aurelius
Stoicism and Martial Arts with Michael Tremblay – Stoicism: Philosophy as a Way of Life Podcast
The latest podcast episode of my podcast, brand new today, is a conversation with Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, author of How to be a Stoic and The Quest for Character. I’ve known Massimo for years and wanted to talk to him about how he first became interested in Stoicism, whether his views had changed, his interest in Skepticism and anti-pseudoscience, as well as what his new book says about Socrates, Alcibiades, good leadership, and the development of character.
You can download from Substack Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and many other hosts.