Recent Stoic Meditations, #7

When Fortuna allows, I publish a short morning meditation based on a short quote from a Stoic writer, seeking to apply that ancient wisdom to life in the 21st century. Here are the most recent entries:

Seneca dispels the stereotype of Stoics going through life with a stiff upper lip by explicitly advocating suffering for those we love. What marks the Stoic is not that she doesn’t suffer, but how she handles suffering. (listen here)

Cicero reminds us that in virtue ethics the answer to moral questions is always going to depend on circumstances, a striking contrast with modern – and arguably less useful – universalist frameworks like deontology and consequentialism. (listen here)

Want to become a better person? Forget about traveling, since you will bring with you the same problems you are trying to flee. Read a good book instead, enter in conversation with the best minds humanity has produced across time. (listen here)

Seneca continues his analysis of the relationship between traveling and self-improvement. While there are good reasons to travel (leisure and learning), self-improvement isn’t one of them, because that requires critical reflection, wherever one happens to be. (listen here)

As Socrates said to someone who was complaining that traveling brought him no benefits: “It serves you right! You travelled in your own company!” (listen here)

Advertisements

Published by

Massimo

Massimo is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He blogs at platofootnote.org and howtobeastoic.org. He is the author of How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life.