“Sometimes, even to live is an act of courage” – Seneca

Several years ago I bought a book on the philosophy of Epictetus – the ancient Greek philosopher that lived in 55 A.D. I was profoundly effected by his words of wisdom, but only recently I discovered he was also the founder of Stocism.

Let me tell you, Stoicism is totally what I’m in to these days.

Remember that Stoicism isn’t about judging other people. It’s not a moral philosophy you’re supposed to project and enforce onto the world. No, it’s a personal philosophy that’s designed to direct your behavior. This is what Marcus Aurelius meant when he said: “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.”


Definition from Britannica: “Stoicism, a school of thought that flourished in Greek and Roman antiquity. It was one of the loftiest and most sublime philosophies in the record of Western civilization. In urging participation in human affairs, Stoics have always believed that the goal of all inquiry is to provide a mode of conduct characterized by tranquillity of mind and certainty of moral worth.”

5 thoughts on “Stoiscm

  1. yusufdini

    Why didn’t you just buy a translation of Epictetus? Probably because so little material is extant, that’s usually the case. Then they attempt a “reconstruction” and use it to write and sell a book of opinions about a philosopher whose words you think you read.
    After the recommendations, emendations and theoretical translations of words unknown to us today, you will be lucky if only half of what you believe was said by Epictetus came from the pen of the author. Who, for some reason wrote a book about a rather insignificant ancient philosopher.
    You know all the ancient source material is public domain and free in pdf, yes? If Epictetus’ writings are extant you can just download and read them.
    If they are not, how is some guy writing a book about what he said?

  2. yusufdini

    You are kidding yourself if you think that any sect of philosophy had an agreed upon set of beliefs, always or otherwise. It’s not your fault this is what is preached, the “Stoics believed…” but nobody likes to quote and cite the source of their assertion that “Stoics believed.”
    Someone reads it, accepts, repeats it. And just like that the ancient Stoics are spoken for. Just never quoted. I see so many different claims from “staunch monotheism (nope, polytheists, believed in the” gods”) to “this is a Stoic doctrine” in the footnotes of writings that are possibly older (Biblical Apocrypha for instance) than Stoicism and either way it is never mentioned which Stoic, what writing, or why the translator imagines this to be the case.
    Like so many false things, it is just claimed.

  3. yusufdini

    “It was one of the loftiest and most sublime philosophies in the record of Western civilization. ”
    I disagree. I disagree it existed in western civilization. Cittium is off the coast of Lebanon, the mid east. The modern nation of Greece is pretty east itself and they didn’t do much west of Italy, the Greeks that is. They conquered the east, the Macedonians did. That kind of makes it an Eastern civilization, in the west Latin would come to be the dominant language of Europe, Greek was used by the Eastern Roman Empire.
    So what exactly makes it part of the record of only western civilization? Was Zeno really from France?


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