Starting Stoic Week 2014: Monday, Nov 24th

Stoic Week 2014 Handbook Cover Design by Rocio De TorresHi everyone,

Our Modern Stoicism elearning site will sometimes experience brief periods of down-time because of the large volumes of traffic.  We now have nearly 2,000 people pre-enrolled for Stoic Week 2014 – which is a lot!  If you want to take part, though, you’ll also be able to do it without even accessing that site.  (I call that “Plan B”.)  The first step is to complete the initial pre-study questionnaire forms below, if you don’t mind, so that we can gather data on the averages, and track the effects of Stoic Week again this year.  We will be making the whole Stoic Week 2014 Handbook available as a PDF in the next couple of days as well, on this blog, and on the official Stoicism Today blog run via the University of Exeter.

Complete the Stoic Week Questionnaires

It’s really important that we collect data from participants in Stoic Week.  Please help by filling out these online forms before you read the Handbook.  It will only take a few minutes.  Previous participants have told us they find it very interesting and useful to fill out the questionnaires and monitor their own progress.

Click on each link below in turn to open the form in a new browser window.  Please remember to use exactly the same name and email address for all questionnaires and to click “submit” when you’ve entered your responses.  You should receive an email confirming your responses for each form, within the next week.  This will also include some interesting notes on your scores and comparisons with previous student averages for the SABS.

  1. Stoic Attitudes and Behaviours Scale (SABS)
    This scale was developed by our research team and has gone through various revisions.  The items have been checked with academics for their relevance to Stoicism and revised based on feedback from hundreds of previous participants.
  2. The Flourishing Scale (FS)
    This brief scale provides a measure of general psychological wellbeing, such as your sense of having a meaningful life.
  3. Scale of Positive and Negative Experiences (SPANE)
    This brief scale measure a range of different emotions, like joy, contentment, anger, sadness, etc.
  4. Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS)
    This is another brief scale, designed to measure your overall level of contentment with life.

Thanks very much for taking the time to do this!

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Cover Design: Stoic Week 2014 Handbook

Stoic Week 2014 Handbook, cover design by Rocio De Torres.

Stoic Week 2014 Handbook Cover Design by Rocio De Torres


Preparing for Stoic Week 2014

Stoic Week 2014 begins on 24th November.  You can register to take part just by following the link below to our e-learning site Modern Stoicism.

Create an account, if you don’t already have one there, and then enrol yourself on the Stoic Week course, where the Handbook will be published this year.

Enrol Here for Stoic Week 2014

Brace Yourselves MemeLast year, over 2,400 people participated in Stoic Week 2013, and this year about 1,200 of you have already enrolled in advance for our new e-learning site, Modern Stoicism.

The Stoic Week 2014 Handbook will be available very soon. We’re just putting the finishing touches to it. In the meantime, there are some things you might like to do to prepare for the 24th of November, when Stoic Week beings…

  • Read the sample chapter from Teach Yourself Stoicism on The Contemplation of Death.
  • Subscribe to our Stoicism Today blog, where loads of articles are about to be posted by different guest authors during Stoic Week.
    • Even better, start writing a short blog article on Stoicism yourself and send it to Patrick Ussher via the blog, to have it published during, or following Stoic Week 2014!
  • Join our Facebook group or follow Stoic Week on our Facebook event page.
  • Follow @Stoicweek on Twitter for updates and announcements.
  • Join our Google+ community.
  • Update your profile information on Modern Stoicism, and upload your own profile picture.
    • Tip: use your real name if possible.  It creates a much friendlier and more welcoming environment for others to know the name of the person they’re interacting with online.
  • Post an introduction about yourself to the Stoic Week discussion forum on Modern Stoicism, or comment on other people’s posts, e.g., say hello to people from the same part of the world who are doing Stoic Week.

As always, if you need any help or have any questions, just get in touch.


Donald Robertson


Stoic Week 2014: How do I Participate?

Stoic_Week_2014Stoic Week 2014 starts on November 24th.  Stoic Week is an international and online event – anyone can take part.  All you have to do is follow the Stoic Week 2014 Handbook for seven days, and try to live, to at least a small extent, in accord with some of the key teachings of the ancient Stoic philosophers, such as Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius.  Last year over 2,400 people took part in Stoic Week 2013, and another 500 people participated in the longer follow-up course, Stoic Mindfulness and Resilience Training.

All you have to do if you want to take part is register on our Modern Stoicism elearning site, which is hosting the course:

Register on Modern Stoicism

Then go to the Stoic Week 2014 page and enrol on the elearning course, by clicking the “enrol” button:

Stoic Week 2014 Course on Modern Stoicism

You can follow Stoic Week 2014 on social media via our Facebook page:

Stoicism Group on Facebook

You can also follow our Stoic Week Twitter account for updates and announcements:

@Stoicweek on Twitter

So there you go!  If you have any problems, just get in touch and we’ll help you.  If you’re not keen on enrolling on an elearning course, that’s okay, we’ll probably be publishing the new handbook as a PDF and EPUB for you to download anyway, so everyone can take part.  Please help spread the word!  Thanks for your support!

Donald Robertson

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Stoic Week REDUX

Stoic Week REDUX

Did you miss Stoic Week 2013?  Or would you be interested in doing it again?  This is your chance!  Starting on Monday 7th April 2014, we’re asking for volunteers to repeat Stoic Week on a more informal basis.  We may keep this going by repeating the Handbook, starting on Mondays, over the next few weeks, so you can drop-in or drop-out.  Use this discussion thread and the Google+ Community to support each other by posting updates each day (if possible) and commenting supportively on other people’s updates.

You can read (or print) a free HTML copy of the Stoic Week 2013 Handbook on the new modernstoicism.com e-learning website.  There’s also an EPUB e-book version of the Handbook, which you can read on most tablets, mobile phones, and e-readers, etc.  You’ll also find the audio/video materials for Stoic Week on the Stoicism Today website.

If you’re interested in taking part in Stoic Week, please register to use the modernstoicism.com e-learning site and introduce yourself on the general discussion forum thread below below, or just post any questions you have.

General Discussion Forum: Stoic Week REDUX


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Stoic Week in the News

Teach yourself Stoicism Stoic Week 2013 is now over but there will probably still be more media coverage over the next few weeks.  My practical introduction to Stoicism is coming out in December 2013:

Teach Yourself: Stoicism and the Art of Happiness

Here are some links to recent newspaper and magazine articles…

News Stoicism

Stoic Week 2013 starts on Monday!

Stoic Week 2013 officially begins on Monday morning, the 25th November 2013.  Stoic Week is a collaboration between a multi-disciplinary team of academic philosophers, classicists, psychotherapists and psychologists involved in research on Stoicism’s potential applications for the challenges of modern living.  This is its second year, and over 600 people have already registered online to take part by following our Stoic Handbook during the week and recording the outcomes.  You can still register to participate by completing the pre-study questionnaires online at the Stoicism Today website run by the University of Exeter:

Register to Participate in Stoic Week 2013

You can get regular updates by following @Stoicweek on Twitter or joining our Stoicism Facebook group.  Stoic Week has been covered across the media in The Guardian, Telegraph, Times, Financial Times, and Independent newspapers in the UK, as well as The Spectator magazine and the Channel 4 website.  You can see a current list of links to relevant media coverage on the page below:

Media Coverage of Stoic Week 2013

The team have also organised a one-day conference called “Stoicism for Everyday Life” on 30th November, at Birkbeck, the University of London.  (I’m speaking on the relationship between Stoicism and CBT.)  Tickets were issued free of charge and we expected around 200 people to attend.  However, around 400 people attempted to register so extra spaces were made available!  This event is now sold-out.

Stoicism for Everyday Life Event

Naturalistic Psychology in Galen and Stoicism
Naturalistic Psychology in Galen and Stoicism

Who are the team?

Stoic Week is led by Professor Christopher Gill of Exeter, author of Naturalistic Psychology in Galen and Stoicism  (2010).  The team also includes a number of other authors in the field of Stoicism: Jules Evans, author of Philosophy for Life and other Dangerous Situations (2012) and philosopher John Sellars, of Birkbeck, the University of London, who is the author of Stoicism (2006) and The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy (2003).  I’m also involved; my books on Stoicism are The Philosophy of CBT: Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy (2010) and Teach Yourself Stoicism and the Art of Happiness (2013), my self-help book Build your Resilience (2012) also has a chapter on Stoic philosophy.

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New Book: Teach yourself Stoicism and the Art of Happiness (2013)

Teach Yourself:

Stoicism and the Art of Happiness (2013)

Teach Yourself: Stoicism and the Art of HappinessDonald J. Robertson

Due for publication by Hodder, December 2013. ISBN: 9781444187106. You can pre-order from Amazon and all major online booksellers.  Follow the book on Goodreads.

Why, then, do you wonder that good men are shaken in order that they may grow strong? No tree becomes rooted and sturdy unless many a wind assails it. For by its very tossing it tightens its grip and plants its roots more securely; the fragile trees are those that have grown in a sunny valley. It is, therefore, to the advantage even of good men, to the end that they may be unafraid, to live constantly amidst alarms and to bear with patience the happenings which are ills to him only who ill supports them. – Seneca, On Providence

This new addition to Hodder’s popular Teach Yourself series provides a detailed introduction to Stoic philosophy, with particular emphasis on applying Stoic ethics and therapy to modern living. Donald Robertson is a registered psychotherapist, specialising in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety and other evidence-based approaches, with a background in academic philosophy. He is the author of four previous books, two of which also deal with Stoicism and its relation to modern psychology and psychotherapy:

Stoicism and the Art of Happiness is the product of Donald’s experience over the past fifteen years, in his attempt to integrate the ancient wisdom of Stoic philosophy with modern evidence-based approaches to psychological therapy and stress management.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface: modern Stoicism
  2. The way of the Stoic: “Living in agreement with Nature”
  3. Stoic Ethics: The nature of the good
  4. The promise of philosophy (“therapy of the passions”)
  5. The discipline of desire (Stoic acceptance)
  6. Love, friendship, and the ideal Sage
  7. The discipline of action (Stoic philanthropy)
  8. Premeditation of adversity
  9. The discipline of judgement (Stoic mindfulness)
  10. Self-awareness and the “Stoic fork”
  11. The view from above & Stoic cosmology
  12. eBook Appendix: The contemplation of death
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@Stoicweek 2013 – How to stay in the loop?

Stoicism and ResearchStoic Week 2013 starts on 25th November.  You can register to participate by completing the online forms on the page below, where you can also download the official Handbook.  The Handbook contains basic guidance on how to live like a Stoic, and was put together by a team of academics and psychologists who specialise in the study of Stoicism.

The Stoic Week 2013 Handbook

For regular updates via social media and your mobile phone, etc., you can follow the event through one of the pages below:

Follow @Stoicweek on Twitter

We have 1,200 followers on Twitter.  You can also use the #Stoicweek hashtag.

Follow the Stoic Week Event Page on Facebook

There are 271 people who have “joined” the event via this page, and 850 people following the associated Stoicism discussion group on Facebook.

Follow the Stoic Week Event Page on Google+

We’ve just set this up but people have been joining already.  I’m guessing this will allow you to get notifications direct to your Android mobile phone, etc.

Follow the Stoicism Today blog via the University of Exeter

You can join 255 people who subscribe to this using the widget in the top-right of the WordPress blog.  You’ll get notified of the blog posts.  There are lots lined up during Stoic Week from various authors and academics on Stoicism, etc.


Flyer for Stoic Week 2013

Stoic Week 2013