Tag Archives: Stoicism

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Martha Nussbaum:
Premier Citizen of the World

Nussbaum

Ecstatic with herself

3,166 words

The world of academia is full of hyper-inflated academics with multiple titles, prizes, honors, publications, grants and “original” ideas. Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, is a typical case in point; Read more …

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My Code, Continued

Aristotle-at-university-of-thessaloniki-greece2,926 words

In an earlier essay, I shared ten aphorisms from “my code.” In case you missed that essay, I will just say that a few years ago I decided to establish a code to live by. Like most of the things I do, this turned into a major project and I wound up gathering nuggets of “practical knowledge” from all manner of sources: Aristotle, the Stoics and Epicureans, the Eddas and Sagas, medieval Chivalry, Japanese Bushido, Tyler Durden, G. I. Gurdjieff, and even Indian Shaivism. Read more …

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The Pursuit of Happiness 
Detachment, Part 1

Epictetus

Epictetus

47:19 / 144 words

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Beginning in August of 1999, I gave a series of eight lectures on “The Pursuit of Happiness: Philosophies East and West,” dealing with different conceptions of the good life. Read more …

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My Code

Peter Paul Rubens, "The Four Philosophers," with a bust of Seneca, 1611-1612

Peter Paul Rubens, “The Four Philosophers,” with a bust of Seneca, 1611-1612

3,731 words

A few years ago, I decided I needed a code to live by: a set of principles to guide my life. Now, it’s not as if I hadn’t already discovered some principles that seemed right to me; it wasn’t as if I was flying blind, without any convictions. But I had never sat down and reflected on exactly what my “code” consisted in, and put it all on paper. So, I decided one day to do just that.

But nothing I do usually turns out to be easy or simple. Read more …

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The Pursuit of Happiness 
An Overview of the Course

bustamente-malecon-puerto-vallarta28:24 / 154 words

To download the mp3, right-click here and choose “save target or link as.”

To subscribe to our podcasts, click here.

Beginning in August of 1999, I gave a series of eight lectures on “The Pursuit of Happiness: Read more …

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The Right to One’s Own Life in East & West

Peter Paul Rubens, "The Death of Seneca," c. 1615, Museo del Prado, Madrid

Peter Paul Rubens, “The Death of Seneca,” c. 1615, Museo del Prado, Madrid

3,577 words

Translation anonymous, ed. Greg Johnson

In these short notes I shall not attempt to deal with the question of the right to life in general, but with the right to one’s own life, which corresponds to the ancient formula of jus vitae necisque; it is the right to accept human existence or to put an end to it voluntarily. I intend to compare certain characteristic points of view which have been formulated in this connection in the East and in the West. However, the problem will not be considered from a social point of view, but rather from an interior spiritual one, whence it appears in the shape of a problem of responsibility only to our own selves. Read more …

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The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, Part 4 
The Construction of the Western Self

Clemency of Marcus Aurelius, detail, Capitoline Museum

Clemency of Marcus Aurelius, detail, Capitoline Museum

3,381 words

Part 4 of 5

Ricardo Duchesne
The Uniqueness of Western Civilization
Leiden: Brill, 2011

Read more …

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The Relevance of Philosophy to Political Change

3,523 words

The title of this essay is somewhat misleading, since I am going to argue that philosophy is relevant to all human endeavors, not just politics.[1] Philosophy is not just metapolitical, but meta-everything.[2] But I know you are interested in political change, so that was my hook to get you reading. Furthermore, I will argue that philosophy is more than just relevant to life, but of paramount importance.

Read more …

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Christmas:
Beauty in Life

495 words

Translated by Greg Johnson

We are approaching Christmas (another name for the winter solstice). Associated with the evergreen tree, Christmas has always been celebrated in European countries since time immemorial as the great feast presaging the revival of nature and life after the repose of winter. Read more …

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