A guide to the good life : the ancient art of Stoic joy by William B. Irvine

By William B. Irvine

One of many nice fears many people face is that regardless of all our attempt and striving, we are going to become aware of on the finish that we have got wasted our lifestyles. In A consultant to the great Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the knowledge of Stoic philosophy, probably the most well known and winning colleges of concept in historic Rome, and indicates how its perception and suggestion are nonetheless remarkably acceptable to trendy lives.

In A advisor to the great Life, Irvine bargains a clean presentation of Stoicism, exhibiting how this old philosophy can nonetheless direct us towards a greater existence. utilizing the mental insights and the sensible strategies of the Stoics, Irvine bargains a roadmap for a person trying to steer clear of the emotions of persistent dissatisfaction that plague such a lot of people. Irvine appears to be like at a number of Stoic options for achieving tranquility and exhibits tips on how to positioned those concepts to paintings in our personal lifestyles. As he does so, he describes his personal stories training Stoicism and gives helpful first-hand recommendation for someone wishing to stay larger by means of following within the footsteps of those historical philosophers. Readers how one can reduce fear, the best way to allow pass of the previous and concentration our efforts at the issues we will be able to keep watch over, and the way to house insults, grief, outdated age, and the distracting temptations of repute and fortune. We research from Marcus Aurelius the significance of prizing merely issues of real worth, and from Epictetus we the right way to be extra content material with what we have.

Finally, A consultant to the great Life indicates readers tips to turn into considerate observers in their personal lives. If we watch ourselves as we pass approximately our day-by-day company and later ponder what we observed, we will be able to larger establish the resources of misery and finally steer clear of that discomfort in our lifestyles. through doing this, the Stoics notion, we will wish to realize a really pleased existence

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Extra info for A guide to the good life : the ancient art of Stoic joy

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Indeed, many readers will equate having a good life with making a good living—with, that is, having a high-paying job. The Stoics, however, thought it entirely possible for someone to have a bad life despite making a very good living. Suppose, for example, that he hates his high-paying job, or suppose that the job creates conflict within him by requiring him to do things he knows to be wrong. What, then, must a person do to have what the Stoics would call a good life? Be virtuous! But again, “virtue” is a word that invites misunderstanding.

4 20 The Rise of Stoicism Presumably, some of those drawn to Socrates were impressed primarily by his theorizing, while others were most impressed by his lifestyle. Plato belonged to the former group; in his Academy, Plato was more interested in exploring philosophical theory than in dispensing lifestyle advice. Antisthenes, in contrast, was most impressed with Socrates’ lifestyle; the Cynic school he founded eschewed philosophical theorizing and focused instead on advising people about what they must do to have a good life.

This, at any rate, is what, in the following pages, I will be encouraging readers to do. In ancient Greece, when schools of philosophy were still prominent features of the cultural landscape, there were any number of schools to which parents could send their children. Suppose we could travel back in time to 300 bc and take a thinking person’s walking tour of Athens. We could begin our tour in the Agora, where Socrates a century earlier had philosophized with the citizens of Athens. On the northern side of the Agora we would see the Stoa Poikile, or Painted Porch, and holding forth there might be Zeno of Citium, the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy.

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