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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)

[Online] Cynicism

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Over the past two months, we've walked in the footsteps of the founder of Stoicism -- Zeno of Citium -- in order to get a better understanding of what led him to start practicing philosophy and the cultural milieu which helped facilitate his journey.

For the rest of 2022, we'll be taking a closer look at the philosophies that Zeno studied, practiced, and ultimately assimilated into the life philosophy that is Stoicism. In this meetup, we'll start where Zeno started: with the philosophy of Cynicism.

To prepare, please read the following excerpts from the Introduction to The Cynics: The Cynic Movement in Antiquity and Its Legacy, which can be found for free here:

  • History of the Movement (pp. 4-18, up to -- but not including -- "The Afterlife of Cynicism")
  • Was Cynicism a Philosophy? (pp. 21-27)

[Free Thinker Institute] [Online] An Introduction to Stoic Philosophy

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[Cross-posted from the Free Thinker Institute]

More and more people are turning to Stoicism in order to improve their modern lives. Some use it as a tool in their toolkit of lifehacks, others to assuage mental suffering. While using Stoic techniques for these purposes can be helpful, they don't really apply Stoicism to its fullest extent as a life philosophy.

At this meetup, you'll get a broad overview of Stoicism as a full life philosophy. We'll cover what a philosophy of life is and why such a philosophy may be desirable before covering the basic theory and practice of Stoic philosophy. There will also be plenty of time for discussion and questions.

Format: Lecture and discussion
Note: social time for our community 15 minutes before presentation.

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctdumvqD0pGdwrfItiS7nD_nDTjsYcjOz6

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Past events (209)

In-person INDOOR Stoic discussion

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