What we're about

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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 (1)

Stoicism and Emotion: Finale

Atrium of 60 Wall Street

For the past three meetings, we've dug deep into what exactly the Stoics meant by "emotion". While the Stoics wanted to quell emotions, the ideal Stoic life is definitely NOT one that is devoid of feelings. In this final meetup of 2019 we'll be driving this point home by discussing Chapters 8 and 9 of Margaret Graver's excellent book "Stoicism and Emotion", finishing off both the book and this year's theme of reading through modern sources. These chapters describe the roles that love, affection, and friendship play in an ideal Stoic life. We'll also explore how Stoicism, contra its caricature, leaves room for the negative feelings of remorse and sorrow, too. To prepare for the meetup, please read chapters 8 (City of Friends and Lovers) and 9 (The Tears of Alcibiades) and mark any concepts that you'd like to bring up for discussion. Massimo Pigliucci has summaries of each chapter we're covering, which you can find at the following links: https://howtobeastoic.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/stoicism-and-emotion-viii-city-of-friends-and-lovers/ https://howtobeastoic.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/stoicism-and-emotion-ix-the-tears-of-alcibiades-or-of-stoicism-and-remorse/ Afterwards, we'll chat about what themes and material we'll tackle 2020, so if you want to have a say in what we cover, be sure to stop by!

Past Events

Stoicism and Emotion III

Atrium of 60 Wall Street

Photos (33)