PDF Reading Seneca: Stoic Philosophy at Rome

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It reminds people of what is truly important, providing practical strategies to get more of what is valuable. Stoicism was deliberately created to be understandable, actionable and useful. Stoicism is having a renaissance with entrepreneurs, athletes, and politicians. And don't forget us know what you think in the comment section below.

Stoicism is a school of philosophy that hails from ancient Greece and Rome in the early parts of the 3rd century, BC. It's important to keep in mind how differently people thought then. People's primary concern was to avoid living an unfortunate life. Therefore, they were more likely to order their thoughts, decisions, and behaviors to promote increased life satisfaction. With great urgency, people wanted to understand how they could have an excellent soul.

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Their ultimate answer to all of these issues essentially went as follows: I want enduring happiness and tranquility of mind, which come from being a virtuous person. For instance, a person could hone virtues of character by placing more value on actions over words. In short, positive behavior lead toward a more positive life experience. And, you guessed it-- negative behavior resulted in a more challenging one. Its principles may have started long ago, but Stoic strategies are as relevant today as they were in ancient times.

A handful of thinkers helped to form the Stoic philosophy. This section will provide pertinent information about several of the most famous Stoics, as well as what they contributed to the Stoic Philosophy. Marcus Aurelius was one of the most influential human beings in human history. He was the head of the Roman Empire for two decades, at a time when it was one of the largest and most influential civilizations the world had ever seen.

And despite being an individual of limitless power - who could do whatever he pleased with impunity - emperor Aurelius ardently practiced and lived the Stoic philosophy. He wrote nightly in his journal about his struggles to live as a restrained, wise and virtuous human being. He wrote them for himself entirely, later his writings were uncovered, collected, and published under the title Meditations. His writings are a direct look at the thoughts of a practicing Stoic, and he stands as an incredible example of how Stoic strategies can help individuals deal with stressful situations.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a statesman, a dramatist, and a writer, which gave him real charisma and a way with words. Recommended Reading. If you are new to the practice of Stoicism, or you are just curious about what it entails, this list will guide you through the various perspectives on bringing about the transformation to 'the good life'. Gilbert Murray's ' The Stoic Philosophy ' is a slightly dated, but overall excellent introduction to the heart of Stoic study and practice.

It is the transcription of a speech given in the early 20th century, but has aged suprisingly well.

You can download a free PDF from here. Once you've finished with Murray, F. H Sandbach 's The Stoics provide a quick overview of the origins of the school, along with a brief discussion of the main tenets of the philosophy. According to the Times Literary Supplement, this book is 'not only one of the best, but also the most comprehensive treatment of Stoicism written [in the 20th century.

Both The Stoic Art of Living Tom Morris and Guide to the Good Life William Irvine provide a general introduction for some Stoic ideas by bringing out popular themes into a modern context, leaving out any real rigor or challenging life adjustment. Nevertheless, they appeal to the majority of people looking for a Chicken Soup for the Stoic Soul approach to life.

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Brad Inwood, Reading Seneca: Stoic Philosophy at Rome - PhilPapers

Morris' offering is a piecemeal gathering of various Stoic ideas, filtered through a modern Christian sensibility. Irvine's book, which is quickly becoming the go-to text for explorers of Stoicism, has just as much of a personal bent. His focus is more Buddhist, with a serious leaning towards Epicurean tranquility as the central tenet of his Stoicism. If you are interested in the history of Stoicism, a good introduction is John Sellars' Stoicism. This book provides information without requiring application.

A more exhaustive look at the history of Stoicism, its origins and ongoing influence is Brad Inwood's Cambridge Companion to the Stoics. Opera omnia, IV:3 Moriae encomium , ed.


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Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. 4 B.C.E.—65 C.E.)

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