Figs In Winter

Below is a periodically updated list of essays as they have appear on my current writing site, Figs In Winter, available on both Patreon and Medium. They are arranged by clusters, according to the main theme of each essay. Within clusters, the most recent essays are on top. Original publication date indicated.

(Note: Medium is a relatively new platform for me, so not all essays have been republished there. Yet.)

General Stoicism
Practical Stoicism
Criticism of Stoicism
Seneca
Seneca to Lucilius
Epictetus
Marcus Aurelius
Cicero
Stoic advice
Stoic Q&A
Philosophy and pop culture
Book Club
Book reviews
Other practical philosophizing

General Stoicism

  • $toicism, Broicism, and stoicisM — Part III: Stoicism and the Military – 5 Dec 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • $toicism, Broicism, and stoicisM — Part II: the Manosphere – 2 Dec 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • $toicism, Broicism, and stoicisM — Part I: it’s not about becoming rich & famous – 29 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoicism’s origin stories – 8 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Are you ready to die? – 5 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoicism and arousal: so you think you can’t control your emotions, eh? – 22 Oct 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Prosochē or not prosochē? On Stoic mindfulness – 20 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The lure and danger of extreme examples – 17 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How to square the circle: Stoicism as personal philosophy vs issues of social justice – 10 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • My first three (Stoic) steps – 27 Aug 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Epic battles in practical ethics: Stoicism vs Objectivism – 4 Jul 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What is wisdom? – 21 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Arête: on the nature of human excellence – 14 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What is and is not in our power, part II – 13 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What is and is not in our power, part I – 10 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Silicon Valley style Stoicism – 26 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoic epistemology 101: Zeno and the metaphor of the hand movement – 12 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoicism, friendship, and grief – 29 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Immigration, borders, and the thorny issue of cosmopolitanism – 22 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Here and now, we say. But does modern physics have a problem with that? – 18 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Nope, Jeff Bezos is not a Stoic – 15 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Toward the Fifth Stoa: the return of virtue ethics, part II – 22 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Toward the Fifth Stoa: the return of virtue ethics, part I – 21 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • There is nothing banal about philosophy – 14 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoic psychology 101: impressions, assent and impulses – 28 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What don’t you get about “do your best”? – 26 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Oikeiôsis: how to feel at home in the world – 24 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Is “X” Stoic? – 21 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Lawrence Becker (1938-2018) and how to live a meaningful life against the odds – 28 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoic minimalism is not enough: why physics and logic are crucial to ethics – 12 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoic cosmopolitanism: ideal state or individual ethics? – 22 oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Epic battles in practical ethics: Stoicism vs Epicureanism – 13 Aug 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoicism, a 5-minute introduction – 20 Jul 2018 (Patreon)

Practical Stoicism

  • The three rules of Stoic Club – 15 October 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How to deal with insults, the Stoic way – 30 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Learning Stoicism from non-Stoics – 11 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoicism in three simple steps – 20 Aug 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Let’s talk about the premeditation of adversity – 5 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • New Year’s resolutions, Stoic style – 31 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How to become a better Stoic (hint: same as becoming a better Christian) – 26 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How I practice Stoicism: 9 easy exercises – 6 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • On resisting the lure of offense, a Stoic perspective – 29 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Criticism of Stoicism

  • Catherine Wilson: an Epicurean is (again) wrong about Stoicism – 22 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stand up, be a Stoic! – 30 Jul 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Surprisingly, you may not be the best judge of your own emotions – 16 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Could caring hurt your soul? What does that mean, anyway? – 1 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Yes, Stoicism can make us “happy” – 8 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • There is no darkness at the heart of Stoicism – 6 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Martha Nussbaum on Stoicism: a respectful reply – 6 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Seneca

  • Seneca’s commandments to himself – 1 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Seneca On Anger is not exactly about anger, and rightly so – 11 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Seneca to Lucilius

  • 48, tricks of logic – 15 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 47, on slaves and human beings – 13 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 44, philosophy as the great equalizer – 11 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 42, good people are rare, sages exceedingly so – 2 Aug 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 41, the god within us – 27 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 39, on healthy and unhealthy desires – 28 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 36, helping others to keep their commitments – 15 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 33, on the use of philosophical maxims – 11 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 31: the great potential of the human mind – 11 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 30, death of an Epicurean – 8 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 29, how to truly help a friend – 25 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 28: traveling won’t cure your inner problems – 21 Aug 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • 27: on the source of real joy – 26 Jul 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Previous entries in this series can be found here.

Epictetus

  • Epictetus vs Jesus on figs: the difference between philosophy and religion – 8 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Epictetus argues against the death penalty – 3 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Marcus Aurelius

  • Marcus Aurelius’ ten commandments to himself – 27 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Heraclitus, the pre-Stoic philosopher who inspired Marcus Aurelius – 15 Aug 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Cicero

  • Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods, and why the Stoics got it wrong: part II – 5 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods, and why the Stoics got it wrong: part I – 3 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Cicero’s Academica, part II – 9 Aug 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Cicero’s Academica, part I – 7 Aug 2019 (Patreon / Medium)

Stoic advice

  • How do I date a single mom (or dad)? – 30 Aug 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What’s the Stoic attitude toward virtual reality? – 16 Jul 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How to deal with a fickle wedding planner, Stoic style – 11 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • I’m in love, and terrified to lose her – 4 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Should I support my evangelical family? – 13 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How do I deal with unhappy memories? – 20 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • I’m no longer a Christian, but I haven’t come out yet – 24 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • We cannot have children, now what? – 7 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Is it acceptable to eschew filial duty in order to make room for more positive influences in one’s life? – 13 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How do I say “no”? – 12 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • I hurt my best friend and she won’t accept my apologies – 1 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What about politics? – 23 Au 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What about the toxicity of public discourse? – 25 Jul 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Stoic Q&A

  • Why do Stoics emphasize leading a virtuous life as opposed to answering how to lead a happy life? – 25 Jul 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What if people are objectively bad? – 15 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Is gratitude a Stoic value? – 5 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How is non-existence ever preferable? – 31 Jul 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Philosophy and pop culture

  • Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen: a Stoic commentary – 17 Oct 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Socrates on stage, with notes on the problem with democracy – 21 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Television review: Netflix’s Roman Empire – 19 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Theater review: The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, tyranny, and the Stoicism of Brutus – 9 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)

Book Club

  • The Art of Living, 3, The hidden structure of the Enchiridion – 1 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Art of Living, 2, The concept of spiritual philosophical exercises – 3 Oct 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Art of Living, 1, The Skeptics don’t believe in the art of living. Or do they? – 16 Aug 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Inner Citadel, 9, Marcus Aurelius: the man himself – 12 Aug 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Inner Citadel, 8, The discipline of action, in the service of humanity – 16 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Inner Citadel, 7, The discipline of desire, or amor fati – 2 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Inner Citadel, 6, The discipline of assent – 13 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Inner Citadel, 5, The beautifully coherent Stoicism of Epictetus – 2 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Inner Citadel, 4, The philosopher-slave and the emperor-philosopher – 17 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Inner Citadel, 3, The Meditations as spiritual exercises – 21 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Inner Citadel, 2, A first glimpse of the Meditations – 17 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Inner Citadel, 1, Marcus Aurelius’ teachers – 18 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Character Gap, 4, Improving character by way of divine assistance? – 14 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Character Gap, 3, What can we do to improve our characters? – 9 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Character Gap, 2, The way we actually are – 25 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Character Gap, 1, What is character and why is it important? – 4 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Early Socratics Dialogues, 8, Euthydemus and the difference between sophistry and philosophy – 19 Sep 2018 (Patreon)
  • Early Socratic Dialogues, 7, Hippias Minor – or why virtue is knowledge and no one does evil on purpose – 30 Aug 2018 (Patreon)
  • Early Socratic Dialogues, 6, Hippias Major and what it means when something is “fine” – 2 Aug 2018 (Patreon)
  • Previous entries on Early Socratic Dialogues can be found here.

Book reviews

  • The Stoic Life, by Tad Brennan – 28 Oct 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Cicero, the life and times of Rome’s greatest politician – 27 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • John Sellars’ Stoicism, a no-nonsense guide to the ancient philosophy – 30 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens – What can we learn from ancient history? – 11 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Divination in the ancient world, from Plato to the Neoplatonists by way of Aristotle and the Stoics – 19 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Beware of the dark side of Stoicism – 6 Aug 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Other practical philosophizing

  • The ethics of suicide — assisted or not – 10 Dec 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Thucydides and the human condition – 27 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Following in Socrates’ steps: from natural science to moral philosophy – 19 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Ethics begins at home, a personal update – 25 Oct 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Secular pilgrimages: the Academy, the Lyceum, and the Stoa – 10 Oct 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Emerson on self-reliance – 24 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Misguided ideas in applied ethics: the neurophilosophy of moral intuitions – 12 Jul 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What does it mean to be “from” somewhere? – 18 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Thoreau’s Journal: on writing (why and how) – 7 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The perils of neurophilosophy – 23 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Bad ideas in practical philosophy, Nick Bostrom edition – 7 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • David Brooks and the five lies culture tells us – 3 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Some of my most loved relatives are sexists and racists. Now what? – 23 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Another attack on western philosophy, because, sex – 4 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Thoreau and civil disobedience – 25 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Practical problems in medical ethics: III. Taking the sting out of memory – 22 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Practical problems in medical ethics: II. Deaf by design – 20 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Practical problems in medical ethics: I. An unexpected finding of non-paternity – 18 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Epic battles in practical ethics: Virtue ethics vs Consequentialism – 8 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Is public philosophy good? Obviously – 4 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The seven universal rules of morality – 25 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Epic battles in practical ethics: Arendt vs Thoreau – 29 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What on earth is practical philosophy? – 28 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Is there a will to meaning? – 16 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Weekend Epicureanism? – 31 oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Protagoras: should we re-evaluate the Sophists? – 10 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Telic vs atelic activities, and the meaning of life – 20 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • On the objectivity of ethical judgments – 4 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Luck is all in your mind – 28 Aug 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The neuroscience and philosophy of evil – 8 Aug 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Why does your life matter? A personal story and a challenge to readers – 7 Aug 2018 (Patreon / Medium)