What we're about

The Global Agora is run by City College of New York philosopher Massimo Pigliucci. It is based on the principle of the Socratic dialogue. Every meeting (on- or off-line) focuses on a topic in general philosophy, based on a short suggested reading. Join us to enter into a conversation with the best minds humanity has produced over millennia, exploring the most important themes for human existence.

Upcoming events (4+)

[NYC Stoics] In-person outdoor Stoic discussion

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[Cross-posted from NYC Stoics]

Come join us for some informal discussion about Stoicism! Anything relevant to Stoicism is on the table.

Here's our agenda for this meetup:

  • Hanging out/getting to know each other
  • Open Q&A and discussion about Stoicism
  • Deep read of Enchiridion 13: we'll read through Enchiridion 13 together and share our main practical takeaways (I'll be reading from the Robin Hard translation. You can compare multiple public domain translations here: https://enchiridion.tasuki.org/)

Come join us at the Elevated Acre! Bring whatever you may need to be comfortable for a couple of hours (e.g., water, a blanket if we settle on the grass).

You can read more about our meeting spot and how to access it here: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-elevated-acre-new-york-new-york

If it rains, we'll meet indoors at the atrium of 180 Maiden Lane in FiDi. Greg will update the meeting location on the day before the event if rain looks likely.

7 Lessons From Diogenes the Cynic

Needs a location

Diogenes of Sinope was quite a character. He was a Cynic philosopher whom Plato referred to as "Socrates gone mad." But was Diogenes really mad? Where the Cynics really "dog-like," as the name implies?

Join Massimo to discuss seven lessons for modern life that we can gather from the adventures and sayings of Diogenes the Dog. Our conversation may not quite turn you into a Cynic, but it might give you some new perspectives on life and how to live it authentically.

The suggested reading can be downloaded here or here.

Xenophon's Memorabilia, Book II

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[Cross-posted from NYC Stoics]

After being shipwrecked and stranded in Athens, Zeno of Citium passed some time browsing a book about Socrates. This book inspired him to start his philosophical journey with the Crates the Cynic, which culminated in his foundation of Stoicism.

At this meetup, we'll walk in Zeno's shoes by reading the book that started the philosophical tradition we're striving to explore and practice today: Book II of Xenophon's Memorabilia.

To prepare, please read all ten chapters of Book II. You can find the public domain translation by Dakyns that I'll be working from at Gutenberg.org.

Online Seminar: Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations

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Join Prof. Massimo Pigliucci (City College of New York) for two intensive sessions on the Stoic philosophy of the emperor Marcus Aurelius as it transpires from his personal journal of self-reflection, the Meditations. Over the course of two days, for a total of eight hours, we will explore and discuss together various aspects of Marcus’ Stoicism making use of a new annotated translation by Robin Waterfield. Prof. Pigliucci will introduce points for discussion and facilitate the conversation among participants.


  • Marcus Aurelius, the emperor-philosopher
  • Stoicism 101
  • Epictetus’ influence on Marcus
  • The Meditations, books I-XII

Readings: Participants to the seminar are encouraged to acquire a copy of Marcus Aurelius— Meditations, The Annotated Edition, translated by Robin Waterfield, Basic Books, 2021.

Textbook description: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus [masked] CE) was the sixteenth emperor of Rome—and by far the most powerful man in the world. Yet he was also an intensely private person, with a rich interior life and one of the wisest minds of his generation. He collected his thoughts in notebooks, gems that have come to be called his Meditations. Never intended for publication, the work has proved an inexhaustible source of wisdom and one of the most important Stoic texts of all time. In often passionate language, the entries range from one-line aphorisms to essays, from profundity to bitterness. This annotated edition offers the definitive translation of this classic and much beloved text, with copious notes from world-renowned classics expert Robin Waterfield. It illuminates one of the greatest works of popular philosophy for new readers and enriches the understanding of even the most devoted Stoic.

Refund policy (minus processing fee) if: (i) the seminar is canceled; or (ii) if you cancel by midnight (ET) on 5 August 2022.


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