• Review of video "John Rawls" (Part 2)

    Panera Bread

    This is the Friday night meeting for Orlando Stoics (located in Altamonte Springs). We'll continue our discussion from last week about "John Rawls" and his thought-experiment (the "veil of ignorance"). We will also have some new material on the social contract and some criticism of John Rawls. If you didn't watch the video from last week, please do so (it's just 7 minutes). Special assignment: think of examples of improving society (using the 'veil of ignorance'). An example: since people look at their phones too much, what should the rules be? (1) At the dinner table with family? (2) Walking around town? (3) Driving a car? Ok, the last one there is obvious, but you get the point. Post your ideas in the comments below, or just bring them to the Monday meeting! :) Video - https://youtu.be/5-JQ17X6VNg Length - 7 minutes As usual, I'll prepare an outline of discussion points, so you don't have to watch the video in advance. Our group enjoys open-minded, respectful conversations on Stoicism and how it relates to science, culture, philosophy, other belief systems, and even pop culture (books and movies). If we differ in our opinions, then "we agree to disagree". The long-term goal is to improve our minds via group discussions. In general, Stoicism teaches us how to handle difficult people and events, how to avoid anger and worry, and overall to use moderation in all aspects of our lives. Venue - Panera Bread at the corner of 436 and Maitland Avenue. Parking is free (plenty of parking spaces in the parking lot). If you are a newcomer, arrive a few minutes early for an introduction to Stoicism. The host usually arrives 30 minutes in advance.

  • Field Trip - Sunday Afternoon Movie

    Winter Park Public Library

    This is the monthly movie event for Orlando Stoics. We are partnering with local filmmaker Banks Helfrich, who presents "Life Screenings" at the Winter Park Library at 3PM on this Sunday. It's a free event. Every month, this event will showcase a series of short films that explore the humanities and lead to engaging conversation. Like the weekly discussions at Orlando Stoics, this event will include secular topics like philosophy, justice, love, friendship, community togetherness, and open dialogue. Politics and religion are avoided. The list of short films (to be shown) will not be available in advance. This event is free, and parking is free. However, please arrive a few minutes early, because the parking lot on Sundays is busy. We are usually in the FIRST FLOOR community room. However, if you don't see us there, check the THIRD FLOOR community room. To RSVP, you can click the button on this site, but also reserve your seat at the following web site: https://www.wppl.org/life-screenings-25 Venue - Winter Park Public Library, 460 E. New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789. This is just a couple blocks from Rollins College. Directions - from I-4 and Fairbanks Avenue, go east 2.2 miles, - you will pass Rollins College on your right, - in 2 blocks more, you will see the library on your left, - turn left at Chase Avenue, go 1 block, - turn left on New England, go to first entrance on left (the parking lot). We hope to see you there!

  • Review of "The Enchiridion" by Epictetus (Part 7)

    This is the Monday night meeting for Orlando Stoics (located in South Orlando). This week we continue reading from the book "The Enchiridion" by Epictetus (paragraphs 34-45). This portion of the book covers how a Stoic manages their desires, plus the famous "two handles" concept of dealing with adversity. Epictetus [masked] AD) was considered by some to be the greatest Stoic philosopher. He wanted people to be happy and avoid difficulties in life. As a child, he was a slave and weak, yet he educated himself and rose to influence Marcus Aurelius, the emperor. His wisdom lives on in a book called "The Enchiridion" (which means "the Handbook"). This book was compiled by his student Arrian in the year 135 AD. It includes many practical tips to avoid stress and anger in life, how to solve obstacles, and to create a flourishing and happy life. Free book online - http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html (Read the paragraphs mentioned above) Overview of book - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enchiridion_of_Epictetus As usual, I'll prepare an outline of discussion points, so you don't have to read the book in advance. Our group enjoys open-minded, respectful conversations on Stoicism and how it relates to science, culture, philosophy, other belief systems, and even pop culture (books and movies). If we differ in our opinions, then "we agree to disagree". The long-term goal is to improve our minds via group discussions. In general, Stoicism teaches us how to handle difficult people and events, how to avoid anger and worry, and overall to use moderation in all aspects of our lives. The meeting venue is Panera Bread, 3136 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806 (just south of the intersection of South Orange Avenue and Pineloch Avenue). Parking is free (plenty of parking spaces in the parking lot). If you are a newcomer, arrive a few minutes early for an introduction to Stoicism. The host usually arrives 30 minutes in advance.

  • Unsocial: What role do women play in the "Social Contract"?

    This is a one-time StoicDan lecture and Q&A on "Social Contract" (Part 2) for the Orlando Thinkers Group. The discussion last month was based on the ideas of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Rawls (all men!). This month, we will explore the aspects of sexuality, human desire, and the role of women in the "Social Contract". Have men used the "Social Contract" through history to control women? Does the "Social Contract" create an internal struggle between individuality and human sexuality? And finally, the "Social Contract" metaphors were based on masculine figures, so how can we update these notions with feminine figures? We'll share the ideas of Mary Wollstonecraft, Carol Pateman, Virginia Held, and Christine Di Stefano, plus there'll be a cameo appearance by Freud. We'll also have time to continue last month's discussion of how to modernize "Social Contract" in other ways. Review of Mary Wollstonecraft's book (5 minutes to read) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Wollstonecraft#Vindication_of_the_Rights_of_Woman_(1792) Overview of Carol Pateman's book (2 minutes to read) - https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=2978 Venue - Boston Coffeehouse, 851 S State Rd 434, Suite 1190, Altamonte Springs, FL Parking is free, and this meetup is free. This is not the normal weekly meeting of the Orlando Stoics. This is a one-time lecture. This group enjoys open-minded, respectful conversations on philosophy and related topics. So, sometimes "we agree to disagree", but the long-term goal is to improve our minds via group discussions. We hope to see you there!

  • A Walking Meditation - The Seminole Trail

    2180 W State Rd 434

    This is our walking meditation on "Fourth Sundays". It's free. We will walk along the Seminole Wekiva Trail (little sun, mostly shade). It's 2 miles total, and an estimated 1 hour. The format is flexible: you can talk with others on the trail, or be silent. Henry David Thoreau [masked]), a naturalist and philosopher who was influenced by the Stoics, believed that going into wilderness was a chance to admire the great beauty of this world, and a chance to discover your true self. In our busy lives today, Thoreau's message helps us rediscover the beauty of nature and a simpler way of life. Note: since this event is Sunday evening at 6PM, the temperatures will be lower outside. It's usually a great time of day to walk. Parking: our meeting spot is the Sanlando Center Office Park (2180 State Road 434, Longwood, FL 32779). Enter the parking lot, and drive past the building, all the way to the BACK of the lot. We enter the trail at the back of the parking lot. Some of our friends from other groups might join us (Emerson & Thoreau Discussion Group and the Secular Buddhists), so this will be fun. You can invite your friends also. We will gather at the back of the parking lot at 6:00PM, and then we start the hike at 6:05PM. If you're late, walk the trail to the right and catch up to the group. The trail is 2 miles long. Bring a water bottle. At the half-way mark, we will rest. Directions are easy: - take I-4 to exit 94 (Longwood), go west, - pass one traffic light, and it's the next left, - drive to the back of the parking lot. Google Maps - https://goo.gl/maps/RM9F6U3am1peiyPy5 This meetup is free, and parking is also free. This trail is part of Florida's "Rails to Trails". You can read more here: https://www.traillink.com/stateactivity/fl-bike-trails/

  • A Walking Meditation - Lake Baldwin

    Baldwin Park

    This is our monthly field trip for Orlando Stoics (Second Sundays). Our walking meditation is around Lake Baldwin (at the city of Baldwin Park). It's 2.5 miles total and an estimated 1 hour. NOTE: our meeting time is one hour earlier than usual, at 5:00PM, due to Daylight Savings Time (the sunset will arrive one hour earlier). So, remember to meet at 5:00PM. It's a great time of day to walk. The temperatures are lower, and it's usually breezy around the lake. Some of our friends may join from a local Buddhist or Mindfulness group, so this will be fun. Stoicism shares many concepts with Buddhism and Mindfulness. Our meeting spot is the Baldwin Park fountain (between Colibri Mexican Restaurant and Gator's Dockside Restaurant). We will gather here at 5:00PM, and then we start the hike at 5:05PM. If you're late, walk around the lake "counter-clockwise" (go right, not left) and catch up to the group. The trail is 2.5 miles long. Bring a water bottle. At the half-way mark, we rest for a bathroom break. Orlando Stoics usually has meetings that are structured conversations with an outline, but this meeting is un-structured. So, you can discuss whatever topics you like, or you can walk silently. Directions - from the intersection of Colonial Drive and Bennett Road - go north on Bennett for 1/2 mile - turn right on New Broad Street and go to the end (less than 1 mile) - you'll see the fountain in the middle of the traffic circle - park nearby on the street Google Maps - https://goo.gl/maps/nx3YkEjDMbA2 Parking - Free parking along all the nearby streets. Remember to observe parking signs and loading zones. This meetup is free.