What we're about

Welcome to the Berlin Stoics!

We're an eclectic group of individuals who are interested in learning more about the philosophy of Stoicism, both its theoretical framework and its practical applications. We usually meet once every week, usually hosting an open discussion on a Stoic principle, reviewing a Stoic text, comparing and contrasting Stoicism with other philosophies or ideas, discussing how we've experienced Stoic training and would like to implement it in our lives, and related themes.

We welcome everyone who's interested in learning more about Stoicism, incorporating Stoic virtues into their lives, sharing related personal experiences with others, or simply having fruitful discussions about it. We also recommend a curriculum through which to study and practice it alongside a community of socially, ethically, and philosophically like-minded people. You need not consider yourself a Stoic or abide by the Stoic philosophy to participate in our events. You only need the motivation to learn and better yourself. Indeed like many of us you may be one who's not necessarily beholden to the philosophy as a whole but is rather captivated by its psychological and broader ethical and social recommendations by which to live and achieve the good life, some of which you'd like to incorporate into your own repetoire of day-to-day self-improvement and self-fulfillment strategies.

Stoicism can be characterized – and this is by no means the only version of a summary definition – as a non-doctrinal philosophy which encourages one to recognize and critique their desires and judgments, act in accordance with their personal values and treat others fairly for the sake of improving their community and society at large, and to accept the things outside of their control as they are, while changing for the better those things within their sphere of influence, in order to think more rationally and come to truth, develop virtuous character, and cultivate a eudaimonic or tranquil and meaningful life. The Stoics thought this virtuous character, the chief motivator behind practicing the philosophy, could be embodied by thinking and acting prudently, justly, temperately, and courageously.

Sometimes we even host events or set up curricular objectives in which together we focus on practicing some Stoic strategies to achieve these goals, including negative visualization, journaling, contemplating the sage, postponement of action, meditating on our desires and emotions, visualizing Hierocles' circles, and more. Other kinds of events we host include Stoic games for training and learning, social visits to museums or the park, and other adventures. Unfortunately, during the pandemic it's not possible at the moment to do all these things as it had been when we started to meet in person. For the time being we're meeting for the most part virtually.

You can find out more about Berlin Stoics as well as some resources for learning more about Stoicism at berlinstoics.com. Berlin Stoics is a part of The Stoic Fellowship (https://stoicfellowship.com/), an international non-profit organization which has built a hub of materials, resources, and a database of Stoic members who congregate in cities around the world as part of local chapters of Stoic meetups known as Stoa. You can also check out another Stoics group here in Berlin known as A good Life with Stoic Philosophy (https://www.meetup.com/a-good-life-with-stoic-philosophy/). They have no direct affiliation with Berlin Stoics and are organized by other interested Stoic practitioners in Berlin, but some members from our group sometimes attend their events, which are usually in-person (and limited) and discuss over a mug of beer how one has experienced employing particular Stoic principles and strategies in their everyday lives.

Welcome again, make sure to subscribe for notifications and to check out our upcoming events, and we while we remain indifferent, it'd be eudaimonic to see you soon.

Upcoming events (1)

Book of the Month: Month of Montaigne

Online event

Greetings fellow Stoics!

Firstly, please check out the event on our website: https://www.berlinstoics.com/event-details/book-of-the-month-month-of-montaigne

Today we're hosting our fifth open discussion in our Book of the Month series. You can check out the page for our Book Series at https://www.berlinstoics.com/book-series but essentially, each month we recommend one book or a selection of books or other works to read and at the culmination of that month we come together and discuss what we read. The books or texts (sometimes they may be journal articles or others) are focused on Stoicism and related topics.

For this month we're changing things up a bit. As our first non-Stoic philosopher and in honor of his birthday on 28. February, we'll be reading a selection of essays by 16th century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne. Montaigne had been influenced by Stoicism and other elements of the Hellenistic and generally classic philosophies, and sometimes even directly references the Stoics. In the end, he adopted Pyrrhonism, a school of philosophy founded on skepticism. Montaigne's essays are read the world over and they still influence fields of knowledge including psychology, philosophy, and education. Because of the breadth and scope of his collection, we won't be reading all of it (if you want to, by all means). Here listed below are the essays from his collection we'll be reviewing during our discussion. You can find free copies of the same translation either at Project Gutenberg https://gutenberg.org/files/3600/3600-h/3600-h.htm or Wikisource https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Essays_of_Montaigne, though you can also purchase a more updated translation if you so wish.

Of Constancy, Book 1, Chapter XII
Of Fear, Book 1, Chapter XVII
That to Study Philosophy is to Learn to Die, Book 1, Chapter XIV
Of the Education of Children, Book 1, Chapter XXV
Relish for Good and Evil Depends upon our Opinion, Book 1, Chapter XL
Of the Inconstancy of our Actions, Book 2, Chapter I
Of Drunkenness, Book 2, Chapter II
Apology for Raimond Sebond, Book 2, Chapter XII
Of Virtue, Book 2, Chapter XXIX
Of Diversion, Book 3, Chapter IV
Of Vanity, Book 3, Chapter IX
Of Managing the Will, Book 3, Chapter X

We would ideally expect everyone to read them all. Keep in mind this is in February and by the time this has been published, it's only October. So you have time to read these slowly but surely. That being said, while we encourage you to read them all, we also encourage to attend the discussion regardless of how many you have read!

You will notice that this Book of the Month is scheduled two months after the previous one in early December. This is in order to give everyone a break for the holidays.

A couple of words: (1) If you haven't already, you can join our Telegram discussion group and our announcements channel by messaging the host that you'd like to receive an invitation link. (2) The link to this event will be active between around 10 minutes ahead of the start time, and we use https://meet.jit.si/ for our video conferencing. (3) Lastly, we have recently been streaming our events live on youtube and saving them on file, especially for those who cannot make particular events; at the start of each event, Steve will of course ask if everyone is okay or anyone has a problem with this. Furthermore, we only share recordings afterwards if we reach the threshold of 4 participants (other than the facilitator).

We look forward to seeing you there!

Past events (77)

Introduction to Stoicism, Level 1 Event

Online event

Photos (78)

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