- Stoicism research papers explain the philosophy, founded by Zeno of Citium, that taught that destructive emotions came about through errors in judgment and that the true intellectual would not suffer from such emotions.
1.• Select a moral teaching from one of the Stoic readings and explain how this relates to the Stoic understanding of virtue, justice, and human flourishing.
2. • Then explain how you can implement this moral exercise into your life. Why did you select this particular moral teaching? How does it improve your quality of
3. use MLA format.
4. Use citations and ideas from the book, Diogenes the Cynic (Oxford).
I’m not alone. Thousands of people, for instance, participated in the third annual , a worldwide philosophy event cum social science experiment organized by a team at the University of Exeter, in England. The goal of Stoic Week is twofold: on the one hand, to get people to learn about Stoicism and how it can be relevant to their lives; on the other hand, to collect systematic data to see whether practicing Stoicism actually does make a difference to people’s lives.
Stoicism was born in Hellenistic Greece, very much as a practical philosophy, one that became popular during the Roman Empire, and that vied over centuries for cultural dominance with the other Greek schools. Eventually, Christianity emerged, and actually incorporated a number of concepts and even practices of Stoicism. Even today, the famous Serenity Prayer recited at Alcoholic Anonymous meetings is an incarnation of a Stoic principle enunciated by Epictetus: “What, then, is to be done? To make the best of what is in our power, and take the rest as it naturally happens.” (“Discourses”)
I arrived at Stoicism, not on my way to Damascus, but through a combination of cultural happenstance and deliberate philosophical choice. First, I was raised in Rome, and I have considered Stoicism part of my cultural heritage ever since I studied ancient Greek and Roman history and philosophy in high school. This is no different, I take it, from so many people who (at the least initially) fall into Buddhism or Catholicism because they happen to be raised in a particular cultural milieu.
It is worth keeping in mind that the people who elected to participate in Stoic Week are a highly self-selected sample (and, probably, so are the people who choose C.B.T. over, say, Freudian or Jungian psychoanalysis), so a cautious and a healthy degree of skepticism is certainly warranted.
Nonetheless, I think it is worth considering what it means to “be a Stoic” in the 21st century. It doesn’t involve handling a turbulent empire as Marcus Aurelius had to do, or having to deal with the dangerous madness of a Nero, with the fatal consequences that Seneca experienced. Rather, my modest but regular practice includes a number of standard Stoic “spiritual” exercises.
This is not entirely surprising, given that Stoicism is the philosophical root of a number of evidence-based psychological therapies, including Victor Frankl’s logotherapy and the increasingly diverse family of practices that go under the general rubric of cognitive behavioral therapy (C.B.T.).
I begin the day by retreating in a quiet corner of my apartment to meditate. Stoic meditation consists in rehearsing the challenges of the day ahead, thinking about which of the four cardinal virtues (courage, equanimity, self-control and wisdom) one may be called on to employ and how.
Is Stoicism’s reputation as a useful practical philosophy justified? While the preliminary results from the Exeter experiment are tentative (more sophisticated experimental protocols and larger sample sizes would clearly be needed), they are promising. Participants in Stoic Week reported a 9 percent increase in positive emotions, an 11 percent decrease in negative emotions and a 14 percent improvement in life satisfaction after one week of practice (they also did longer term followups, which confirmed the initial results for people who kept practicing). People also seem to think that Stoicism makes them more virtuous: 56 percent of participants gave Stoic practice a high mark in that regard.
Finally, I pick a Stoic saying from my growing collection (saved on a spreadsheet on DropBox and available to share), read it to myself a few times and absorb it as best as I can. The whole routine takes about ten minutes or so.
- Actual idealism research papers examine the system of philosophy, developed by Giovanni Gentile, that thought is all that truly exists and that the act of thinking is what defines reality.
Throughout the rest of the day, my Stoic practice is mostly about mindfulness, which means to remind myself that I not only I live “hic et nunc,” in the here and now, where I must pay attention to whatever it is I am doing, but, more importantly, that pretty much every decision I make has a moral dimension, and needs to be approached with proper care and thoughtfulness. For me this often includes how to properly and respectfully treat students and colleagues, or how to shop for food and other items in the most ethically minded way possible (there are apps for that, naturally).
Lastly, Stoicism speaks directly to a lifelong preoccupation I’ve harbored that is present in nearly all forms of religion and philosophical practice — the inevitability of death and how to prepare for it. The original Stoics devoted a great deal of effort and writing to what Seneca famously referred to as the ultimate test of character and principle. “We are dying every day,” he wrote to his friend Marcia in consolation for the loss of her son. Because of this confluence of factors, I decided to take a serious look at Stoicism as a comprehensive philosophy, to devote at least a year to its study and its practice.