Stoicism has ratings and 23 reviews. Scriptor Ignotus said: Although today Stoicism is celebrated primarily as an ethical philosophy, John Sellars’s. “Stoicism needs a new work of this kind. Sellars not only takes good account of the last thirty years of research, he also has much of his own to contribute. Peter chats about Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus with John Sellars, an expert on Roman Stoicism and the reception of Stoicism in the.
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How would you introduce yourself and your work to our readers? I spend the bulk of my time reading, thinking, and writing about philosophy. Much of my academic work has focused on Stoicism and its later influence.
Stoicism – JOHN SELLARS
I think a number of different things pointed me towards Stoicism when I was first studying sellasr. Two philosophers who caught my imagination early on were Nietzsche and Spinoza. Nietzsche himself acknowledged the connection while also being very conscious of their differences.
I quickly found studies of both connecting them with Stoicism. So I was curious about what the philosophical common ground might be. At the same time I was studying Greek philosophy.
‘What is a Stoic? Some Historical Reflections’ by John Sellars
I was drawn to Diogenes the Cynic as an alternative follower of Socrates. Ancient Cynicism is entertaining but there is not much to it; what I read about them said that they had influenced the Stoics, who were serious philosophers.
I also remember reading somewhere that there was one philosopher from antiquity who embodied the spirit of Socrates without being a Platonist who also deeply admired Diogenes, and his name was Epictetus. So I first read Epictetus as an heir to Socrates, not even fully conscious that he was a Stoic. Both Epictetus and Marcus continually insist that we face up to the reality of both particular situations we find ourselves in and the human condition in general. We cannot control every aspect of our lives, sometimes bad things happen and we just have to accept it, we cannot control other people and how they behave towards us, we cannot avoid the fact that we shall die and so will all our loved ones.
These are just facts. I particularly like the idea that it is by studying Nature and understanding better how the natural world works that we can come to accept these as simply parts of the natural order of things rather than great tragedies or sources for melancholy.
These are perennial issues connected to the human condition.
As such they remain as relevant now as they have been since they were first written. These are issues that any reflective person will think about from time to time and so everyone can benefit from reading their works. It is also a way slelars reconnecting with a classical tradition of thought that has been a vital part of Western culture for centuries but more recently has fallen off typical educational curricula.
Many people encountering Stoicism for the first time are struck by how familiar some of the ideas seem, perhaps unaware of the influence Stoicism has had stoicis, so many different parts of our shared culture. Has reading about Stoicism changed me or did I simply find something that resonated with my natural predispositions?
But I have had a number of sustained periods just reading Stoic authors day after day, week after week, over the past twenty years and I have no doubt that a fair bit has been internalized along the way.
The first is from Epictetus, Discourses 1. The second is from Marcus Aurelius 2. In occasional moments of stress this stoicosm puts everything into perspective. Nothing that will happen today is of jlhn consequence at all in the larger scheme of things.
Stoicism by John Sellars
While I have heard some people say they find this depressing, I have always found it liberating: Etoicism advice would you give to someone who wanted to learn more about Stoicism? They are all readily available in cheap paperbacks.
To learn more about the wider philosophical system on which they are drawing and the earlier Athenian Stoics whose works are lost there are a number of introductions, including one by me.
It is only short but quite advanced and so only suitable for people already familiar with philosophy. It gives a good sense of the philosophical system that stands behind the practical advice of the Roman Stoics. And then, of course, there is Stoic Week, which is a good way to jump in and learn more about what following Stoic advice might actually involve.
Do you have anything else that you wanted to mention while we have the chance? Even if they turn out to be true, the encounter will itself be a valuable opportunity to think about sellsrs important topics.
The Art of Living: Professor John Sellars on Stoicism as a Medicine for the Mind
Too many people seem to fall into the trap of thinking they must be either true believers or dismissive cynics. Your email address will not be published.
Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. How do you currently make use of Stoicism in your work?
When and how did you first become interested in Stoicism? In what ways do you think Stoicism still matters today? How has Stoicism affected the way you live your life?
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