On October 17th, 2020, the Modern Stoicism Association organised the eighth edition of the Stoicon (Stoic Conference). This unique event brings together every year researchers, practitioners and amateurs of Stoic philosophy. For the first time — due to the health crisis — the event took place entirely online. For more than eight hours, Donald Robertson, Massimo Pigliucci and Phil Yanov were responsible for the animation and the smooth running of the conferences on the Zoom application. What should we take away from these twenty-two presentations, which brought together more than 2,000 Internet users?

Stoicism is often seen as an individualistic or even selfish philosophy of life, which would isolate us from the social world to focus on our own happiness. This is a wrong view, as Kai Whiting and Leonidas Konstantakos brilliantly demonstrate in their book Being Better, Stoicism for a world worth living in.

being better book cover
being better book cover

Both authors focus on the virtue of justice. For a Stoic, justice is the art of distributing to each person what is due to him or her, the art of excelling in relations with others. This virtue binds us socially and, sometimes, politically.

Stoicism, a philosophy to train social justice warriors

By introducing Stoicism under the…

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius are a classic of Stoic literature. They can be read without any prerequisite: it is not necessary to know the biography of the emperor-philosopher, the geopolitical situation of the Roman Empire in the second century or the history of Stoicism to enjoy the writing. So why should we read Pierre Hadot’s study, which is presented as an Introduction to Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations?

The implicit structure of The Meditations

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius does not seem to have a particular structure. The twelve books can be read independently, and the reflections have no logical links between them. Yet, for Pierre Hadot…

What you will see with the philosopher’s eyes

“There are two kinds of blindness on this Earth: the blind of the view and the blind for life,” said the Ivorian writer Ahmadou Kourouma. Just as our sight is sometimes functional without being perfect (myopia, astigmatism, presbyopia…), our vision of life and ourselves is not always clear. To be blind for life is to live outside of wisdom, outside of the good, outside of our humanity. It is to let ourselves live instead of living. In this sense, we can all become blind if we are not careful. The best protection is therefore to develop a true philosophical vision.

The influence of Stoicism on the doctrine of the Roman jurisconsults

Firmin Laferrière was a 19th-century French jurisconsult — a lawyer then professor of administrative law. His thesis, De l’influence du stoïcisme sur la doctrine des jurisconsultes romains, or The influence of Stoicism on the doctrine of the Roman jurisconsults, published in 1860, studies how Stoic philosophy influenced Roman law and the doctrine of its commentators, the jurisconsults. His analysis, sometimes abstract, has the merit of shedding light on the juridical scope of Stoicism. Review.

Book cover
Book cover

This critical summary of an ancient and rare text is possible thanks to the partnership between Hachette Livre (publishing) and the National Library of France (reprinting)…

Seneca is a Stoic philosopher, a Roman statesman, Nero’s tutor and a prolific and recognized writer. The Letters to Lucilius have a special place in his work because they are both the testimony of a notable Roman about his time and his own life and the correspondence of a master of philosophy to a disciple.

In Letter 83 (10) to Lucilius, Seneca describes what he used to do in the New Year:

“I, a great lover of cold baths, who used to celebrate the new year by taking a plunge into the canal, who, just as naturally as I would…

landscape for illustration
landscape for illustration

P. Hello, I discovered your site yesterday and this initiative is very timely in my case because I only recently began to take a more serious interest in the ideas of Stoicism without knowing that there was this movement/start of a social movement. In fact, I would like to understand this philosophy more deeply, but above all to apply it, to train myself to it. That’s how I discovered your site by searching the web for the keywords stoicism and modern. To be more precise about my expectations, I don’t want to know if I should buy organic or not…

From September 1, 2019 to September 1, 2020, I tried to turn the shower faucet to its coldest end as often as possible. This voluntary discomfort exercise, which I had already carried out for a month in the winter of 2018, has had concrete effects on my health and, above all, my well-being.

Jorge Guillen on Unsplash

Within the framework of this challenge, a cold shower simply consists to expose yourself to the lowest possible thermostat temperature from the beginning until the end of the shower under normal/high water pressure. It is a voluntary discomfort exercise recommended by many stoics. Seneca, for example, used…

Mutually exclusive disciplines for some and fully complementary for others, philosophy and sociology maintain a contrasting dialogue. In Stoic Philosophy and Social Theory (2020), Will Johncock defends the interest of bringing the two subjects closer together. However, it is not ‘philosophy’ in general that he confronts with modern sociological authors and concepts, but a system of practical philosophy that is thousands of years old: Stoicism.

Will Johncock is a sociologist and philosopher specialising in time. He is the author of Naturally Late: Synchronization in Socially Constructed Times (2019). His book Stoic Philosophy and Social Theory, published in 2020, explores the…

Review of anew book on Stoicism by Piotr Stankiewicz

The modernization of Stoicism is a process that seems to impose itself. Lawrence C. Becker had cleared the ground in his book A new Stoicism, published in 1998. Its level of technicality did not, however, make it really accessible to anyone. With the Manual of Reformed Stoicism (2020), the philosopher Piotr Stankiewicz offers a new interpretation of the system, much clearer, without jargon or theoretical dissertations, accessible to all audiences and dedicated to practice; at the price, however, of a minimalism that can confuse even the most familiar readers of the doctrine.

The book is structured in six main parts…

Un regard stoïcien / A Stoic Perspective

French blogger on Modern Stoicism. I’m (mostly) using Medium to offer English translations of my articles that are published on www.unregardstoicien.com

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