What we're about

How does one live a good life?

This simple question can be surprisingly difficult to answer. Yet not taking an honest try at answering it (or even worse: ignoring the question entirely) can lead to the risk of misliving one's life. One of the main goals of ancient philosophy in the West was to help guide people in answering this question rigorously and well, and then helping people to live in accordance with their life's philosophy (literally "the love of wisdom").

One of the most successful and influential schools of thought in the ancient world which addressed this question was Stoicism. Stoicism taught that by cultivating personal excellence ('arete' in Greek) was all that was needed to lead a good life and flourish as a human being ('eudaimonia' in ancient Greek). To do this, the ancient Stoics taught a host of practices and a sophisticated theory of mind to help the Stoic student on the path to eudaimonia. Stoic philosophy had a huge influence on the West, from helping shape early Christianity to being a strong influence on the modern psychological movement of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

But Stoic philosophy is not only useful for those in the ancient world. For instance, James Stockdale has cited Stoic philosophy as helping him cope with the horrors of being a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Also, the University of Exeter in the UK has conducting pilot studies starting in 2012 of the effect of Stoic practices on various measures psychological well-being with promising preliminary results. Stoicism can be of great use to people in our modern era.

The goal of this meetup is to introduce Stoic philosophy as a way of life to people interested in living a more meaningful, tranquil life and to support experienced students of Stoic philosophy in their practice. While many of the meetups will be focused around reading, this is not a group for disengaged study of ancient philosophy from an academic perspective. Instead, this is a group for helping people to put Stoic philosophy into practice in their daily lives, so they can live the best life they can.

Are you ready to attempt to live a more tranquil, meaningful, and happy life? Then join us today!

Upcoming events (2)

Stoicism: Dichotomy of Control and more

Atrium of 60 Wall Street

1) We will start at 12:30pm with Shrikant providing a concise overview of Stoicism. 2) Then we will invite those who have been practicing Stoicism to comment for 2-5 minutes each about their Stoic practice, so those unfamiliar with Stoicism can understand what it means to be a Stoic. 3) We will then focus on the foundational idea of Stoicism: Dichotomy of Control—the distinction between what is not fully within our control and what is fully within our control. 4) Finally, we will ask what guidance do Stoic virtues—of Acceptance of that which is not fully within our control, and Courage to change the things that are within our control—provide to our use of our "System 1" the fast, instinctive and emotional faculty; and "System 2" slower, more deliberative, and more logical faculty, as presented in Thinking, Fast and Slow. Those curious about Stoicism are welcome to come to learn about why Stoicism is experiencing a resurgence of interest today, and get a basic overview of the philosophy and hear what it means in practice. Stoic practitioners are invited to share their Stoic practice with others. We will be joined by 20+ members of other conversation groups.

John Sellars' Stoicism I

Atrium of 60 Wall Street

We've spent the past three years at the NYC Stoics covering ancient primary texts alongside scholarly texts that discuss these sources. While the ancient texts are very rewarding, modern overviews of Stoicism have a lot to offer, often clarifying concepts that can be difficult to ascertain from ancient sources alone. For this reason we will be starting a new theme for this year: a year of modern sources. We'll begin this theme by working through one of the most readable modern comprehensive overviews of Stoicism: "Stoicism" by John Sellars. Working through this book should give you a very clear feel for the basics of Stoicism as a coherent philosophical system. While this is an introductory text, it's not just for newcomers! While people new to Stoicism will get a lot out of this book, people who are familiar with the topic will probably also benefit from this book's lucid introduction of the whole of Stoicism. To prepare for the meetup, please read from Chapter 1 (Introduction) through Chapter 3 (Stoic Logic). Also please come prepared with at least one topic per chapter that you'd like to bring up for discussion with the group. If you aim to study this book with the group but buying it presents a significant financial strain, please contact Greg privately to obtain a copy.

Past events (94)

The Inner Citadel: Finale

Atrium of 60 Wall Street

Photos (26)