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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)

In-person Stoic discussion

60 Wall St

While online meetings have allowed NYC Stoics to reach more people in a more convenient way, the downside is that it's harder to socialize and have free-flowing discussion online.

NYC Stoics will be continuing our main reading sessions online because of its convenience and broader reach. But we'll also be taking advantage of the lower COVID rates by meeting again in person to chat about Stoicism.

Since the weather's getting chilly, we'll be meeting at our pre-COVID indoor spot: the 60 Wall Street atrium. Since this is indoors, please bring and wear a mask. If it winds up being a nice day and everyone's okay with it, perhaps we'll continue our meeting outdoors after gathering in the atrium. Masks won't be necessary if we move outdoors.

Here's our agenda for this meetup:
- Hanging out/getting to know each other
- Q&A and discussion about Stoicism in general
- Q&A and discussion about Stoic physics
- Deep read of Enchiridion 5: we'll read through Enchiridion 5 together and share our main practical takeaways

Online - Stoic Physics, Redux

Online event

The large majority of what the ancient Stoics wrote are lost to time. Fortunately, we can still learn quite a bit about Stoicism by reading the works of ancient writers who weren't Stoics.

At this meetup, we'll continue our 2021 theme of "the Year of Stoic B-Sides" by returning to the topic of Stoic physics, which we covered earlier this year through the writings of Diogenes Laertius. During the meeting, we'll learn more about Stoic physics by reviewing excerpts from several ancient non-Stoic writers.

To prepare for the meetup, please purchase Inwood and Gerson's "The Stoics Reader" (Hackett, 2008 - https://www.hackettpublishing.com/the-stoics-reader) and read the following Texts from the section on "Physics":

-General: Texts 26-27 (p.58)
-Theology: Texts 28-31 (pp.58-80)
-Bodily and non-bodily realities: Texts 34-39 (pp.85-86); Texts 41-50 (pp.87-90); Texts 52-59 (pp.90-92)
-Structures and powers: Texts 60-71 (pp.92-97)
-The soul: Texts 73-83 (pp. 97-100)
-Fate: Texts 86-89 (pp[masked]); Texts 91-93 (pp[masked]); Texts[masked] (pp[masked])

If purchasing the text presents a financial burden, Greg will buy a copy and send it to you -- just send a private message to work out the details.

Past events (185)

Conclusion to the Stoic Week Practice Group

Online event

Photos (99)