November 16

Monday, November 16, 2020
Plenary – Chapel

Stoic Therapy: Self-Care and Care for Others

In this class we continue our study of Roman Stoicism, beginning with the distinction the Stoics drew between their approach to the good life and the approach of their main rival philosophical school, Epicureanism. We'll then move on to consider the Stoics' views on civic engagement, the relation between fate and free will, and their understanding of positive and negative emotions. At the end of class we will examine various challenges to Stoicism as well as the continuing influence of the Stoics' views in the rise of the Modern Stoicism movement.

  • Understand how the Stoics looked to distinguish their views in ethics from Epicureanism
  • Explore the Stoics’ cosmopolitan worldview
  • Consider how the Stoics approached the problem of free will and their understanding of healthy and unhealthy emotions
  • Become familiar with the influence of the Stoics in modern times and the revival of their views in the Modern Stoicism movement

Before Class

  • Review the core principles of the Stoic school by listening to the above interview between Peter Adamson and David Sedley on the development of Stoicism in antiquity
  • Next, please do the reading ⟹
  • As you read Seneca’s letters for today’s class, consider how his views in ethics connect with the views developed by Epictetus in last week’s reading and the core principles of Stoicism discussed in last week’s lecture.

After Class