The Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius was extremely well-read. Indeed, he urges himself several times in The Meditations, his personal notebook of philosophical reflections, to set aside his reading and focus on improving his character instead. He was clearly a bit of a bookworm. So what exactly did he like to read? We have several… Continue reading What Books did Marcus Aurelius Read?
Against being unemotional and the case for a “Passionate Stoicism” I do not withdraw the wise man from the category of man, nor do I deny to him the sense of pain as though he were a rock that has no feelings at all. — Seneca, Letters, 71 Stoicism has become a quite trendy over… Continue reading The Difference between stoicism and Stoicism
Exploring the Historic Ruins in Athens Every single “academy” in the world is named after the original Akademia of Athens. Founded by Plato after the execution of his teacher, Socrates, at the start of the 4th century BC, Plato’s Academy was the first major school of philosophy, the first academic institution. It’s one of the very foundation… Continue reading Rebuilding Plato’s Academy
The philosopher Socrates once asked why all men praise liberty but so many neglect to acquire self-discipline. Without the virtue of temperance, he reasoned, none of us can truly become wise or free, as we’re bound to be misled and enslaved by our own passions. It was the Stoic school of philosophy, though, founded a… Continue reading Should the Military Teach Stoicism?
Tickets are now available for the forthcoming Stoicon-x Military conference May 15th. See EventBrite for the initial program details – more speakers to be confirmed soon.
In one of the most famous passages of The Meditations, the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius writes that everything physical is as transient as a stream rushing past us, everything belonging to the mind is as insubstantial as vapour and deceptive as smoke or mist, and that… …life is warfare, and a sojourn in foreign land. —… Continue reading Marcus Aurelius and the Military Metaphor in Stoicism
George Washington, known for his exemplary self-discipline and mental composure, is a figure in whom many see the influence of Stoicism. Unlike some of the other Founding Fathers, he lacked a classical education. Nevertheless, according to Eliot Morison’s The Young Man Washington (1932), Washington was indeed inspired by Stoic philosophy. Morison attributed Washington’s self-discipline to a philosophy of… Continue reading The Stoicism of George Washington
The idea of a Roman emperor undergoing a course of psychotherapy probably sounds like historical fiction, right? Well, it’s not. The Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, was famously a lifelong follower of the ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism. Stoic philosophers employed an early form of cognitive psychotherapy, and Marcus had a therapist. How do we know this?… Continue reading Marcus Aurelius in Therapy
Socratic Questioning, Stoicism and a Return to Virtue Ethics Why did an angry mob storm the U.S. Capitol Building on 6th January? Perhaps simply because it seemed to them like the right thing to do. In their own imagination, they were acting quite righteously, and felt completely justified in doing things that looked to the… Continue reading How Could Socrates Save America?