• Online - The Epitome of Stoic Ethics, Part I

    Online event

    [Cross-posted from NYC Stoics: https://www.meetup.com/New-York-City-Stoics/events/277746920/ ]

    Some time in the 5th century CE, John of Stobi (Stobaeus) created an anthology of resources to help educate his son. Among those resources were summaries of some philosophies' ethical doctrines. And among those summaries was one from the 1st century BCE Stoic philosopher Arius Didymus.

    Arius Didymus seemed to have had some eclectic tendencies, which places him roughly at the end of the Middle Stoa. He was also a teacher of, and companion to, Augustus Caesar. His Stoic work preserved by Stobaeus, which we now call the "Epitome of Stoic Ethics", is one of the most complete overviews of Stoic ethics that we have from the ancient world.

    At this meetup, NYC Stoics will continue 2021's theme of "Stoic B-Sides" by reading the first half of the Epitome of Stoic Ethics.

    To prepare, please purchase The Stoics Reader by Inwood and Gerson (https://www.hackettpublishing.com/the-stoics-reader) and read the first half of The Epitome of Stoic Ethics, which is Sections 5-9 of Text 102 ("The Account Preserved by Stobaeus") on pp. [masked] of The Stoics Reader.

  • Nancy Sherman on Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience

    Join Massimo Pigliucci and Rob Colter as they chat with Nancy Sherman, author of Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience (https://bookshop.org/books/stoic-wisdom-ancient-lessons-for-modern-resilience/9780197501832)

    Nancy is a University Professor at Georgetown University and a Guggenheim Fellow. She holds a Ph.D. from Harvard in ancient philosophy.

    An ethicist with research training in psychoanalysis, she lectures worldwide on ethics, the emotions, moral injury, and resilience.

    She is the author of Afterwar (OUP, 2015), The Untold War (2010 and New York Times editors' pick), Stoic Warriors (OUP, 2005), and several other books on ancient and modern ethics.

    Nancy served as the Inaugural Distinguished Chair of Ethics at the United States Naval Academy.


    Please note that meetup time is Eastern Standard Time. The event may be recorded, so that others may benefit from our discussion after the video gets posted online.

    At the beginning of the meeting your audio will be off, but keep the video on, if you don't mind. This makes for less background noise and a more human interaction -- we see each other! That said, if you are participating by phone, please change your screen name, as the default will be your phone number, which you probably don't want to relate that to the world.

    When you'd like to ask a question, raise your hand using Zoom's tool. When you are called on, your mic will be turned on (don't try to do it yourself, you'll simply interfere with my remote control), at which point you may ask your question. The mic will then be turned back off to allow for the next participant to speak.

    Finally, during the event I will be busy and likely not able to monitor the chat, so see above if you'd like to ask a question or make a comment.

  • Stoa Nova workshop, 8th edition

    Online event


    Join us for the 8th edition of the Stoa Nova workshop!

    Because of the ongoing pandemic, the workshop is being held online (we'll get back to Rome, Paris, or Syracuse as soon as possible!).

    This edition we will focus on "Pierre Hadot's The Inner Citadel."

    Pierre Hadot was a French philosopher and historian of philosophy specializing in ancient philosophy, particularly Neoplatonism and Stoicism. Hadot is famous for his analysis on the conception of philosophy during Greco-Roman antiquity. He identified and analyzed the "spiritual exercises" used in ancient philosophy (influencing the thought of Michel Foucault in the second and third volumes of his History of Sexuality). By "spiritual exercises" Hadot means "practices ... intended to effect a modification and a transformation in the subjects who practice them. The philosophy teacher's discourse could be presented in such a way that the disciple, as auditor, reader, or interlocutor, could make spiritual progress and transform himself within."

    In the course of the workshop we'll take an in-depth look at one of the most influential of Hadot's books, The Inner Citadel, about Marcus Aurelius's Meditations and how the book is influenced by the early second century Stoic Epictetus. Reason, the guiding principle within us, is in Marcus Aurelius's Stoic philosophy an inviolable stronghold of freedom, the "inner citadel." Hadot's study of Marcus's thought offers a fresh picture of the fascinating philosopher-emperor, a fuller understanding of the tradition and doctrines of Stoicism, and rich insight on the culture of the Roman empire in the second century.

    (times refer to the Eastern / New York time zone)

    Friday, 9 July 2021, 11am-4pm
    (with short coffee breaks and a longer lunch break)

    I. Marcus Aurelius’ teachers
    II. A first glimpse of the Meditations
    III. The Meditations as spiritual exercises

    Saturday, 10 July 2021, 11am-4pm
    (with short coffee breaks and a longer lunch break)

    IV. The philosopher-slave and the emperor-philosopher
    V. The beautifully coherent Stoicism of Epictetus
    VI. The discipline of assent

    Sunday, 11 July 2021, 11am-4pm
    (with short coffee breaks and a longer lunch break)

    VII. The discipline of desire, or amor fati
    VIII. The discipline of action, in the service of humanity
    IX. Marcus Aurelius: the man himself


    The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, by Pierre Hadot, translated by Michael Chase