It’s not about Stoic WEEK, But Life

Here we are, with International Stoic Week upon us once again. This is exciting because thousands of new people will be exposed to philosophy for the very first time. Philosophy, as the Stoics saw it, was not abstraction. It was not theoretical. It was not something you fooled around with just for school. It was designed to help … Continued

Amor Fati: The Formula for Human Greatness

The great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche would describe his formula for human greatness as amor fati—a love of fate. “That one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backwards, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it….but love it.” The Stoics were not only familiar with this attitude … Continued

A Stoic Response to Writer’s Block

The Stoics were writers. Real writers, too. Marcus Aurelius was such a brilliant writer that his private journal has survived and become one of the most beloved philosophy texts in history. In his own time, Seneca was considered one of Rome’s great playwrights, and was popular enough that a line from his play Agamemnon is … Continued

A Stoic Response To Wanderlust (and the Travel Bug)

“Do you suppose that you alone have had this experience? Are you surprised, as if it were a novelty, that after such long travel and so many changes of scene you have not been able to shake off the gloom and heaviness of your mind? You need a change of soul rather than a change … Continued

A Stoic Response to Being Punched or Insulted

  “Who then is invincible? The one who cannot be upset by anything outside their reasoned choice.” — Epictetus In his essay “Of Anger” Seneca relates a telling story about another prominent Stoic. Visiting the public baths one day, Cato was shoved and struck. Once the fight was broken up, he simply refused to accept … Continued

Stoicism and Emotion: An Interview with Professor Margaret Graver

Professor Margaret Graver is one of the best known and respected scholars on Stoicism and ancient philosophy. She is the author of the popular academic text Stoicism and Emotion, in which she disproves the myth of Stoicism as a philosophy advocating being emotionless. Currently, Professor Graver is Aaron Lawrence Professor in Classics at Dartmouth, where … Continued

The Stoic Art of Journaling

Epictetus the slave. Marcus Aurelius the emperor. Seneca the power broker and playwright. These three radically different men led radically different lives. But they seemed to have one habit in common: Journaling. In one form or another, each of them did it. It would be Epictetus who would admonish his students that philosophy was something they should “write down day … Continued