The Stoic Philosopher

The Journal of the College of Stoic Philosophers

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Stoicism and ShameGeorge Nagle372022In this article, faculty member George Nagle discusses how Stoicism, from a psychotherapeutic perspective, can help a person overcome persistent shame.
A Stoic Understanding of Morita Therapy: Applied Stoic Ethics and Japanese Psychotherapeutic PracticesMiklós Cseszneky362022‘Nature’ plays an important role in Morita Therapy; it refers not only to an isolated concept of the natural world as distinct from humans, but in a broader sense to the reality of all phenomena, encompassing both the environment and human nature. This kind of understanding of Nature rings a bell with Stoic practitioners as well.
An Alternate View of the Cosmos (New and Old)Glassborow, Nigel352022In our age, there are many scientific approaches to observe the nature of the Universe, from the subatomic and quantum realms, to the macro-structural and cosmological. Zeno, of course, did not have our modern scientific tools. So his investigations used simple observation and reason to establish an understanding of the universe. Nigel Glassborow explores the significance of the old approach in light of the new.
The Stoic NegotiatorRoth, Ian342022SES graduate Ian Roth compares some of the best practices of negotiation with classical Stoicism as an applied philosophy. His intention is twofold: To determine in what ways the two are compatible in principle, and to identify how they can supplement and complement one another in practice.
Some Thoughts on the Stoic GodBroadfoot, Ryan332022COSP student Ryan Broadfoot explores the nature of the Stoic God, and how that understanding has enhanced his practice.
Old Stoic BooksStary, Mark322022Newly appointed faculty member Mark Stary describes his adventures in our digital "stacks", with special attention to two old volumes: one focused on the Hymn of Cleanthes, and another a poet's tribute to the Enchiridion.
Thinking Like ZenoGlassborow, Nigel312019Stoicism is not solely about sorting out one’s thought processes in order to achieve a sound mind. Overall Stoicism, as envisioned by Zeno, is a theistic belief system that is about physically living life honorably and appropriately in a manner that aligns one’s will with the will of God – as Epictetus so clearly informs us.
Coming to ReasonCoSP students302019This quarter, we have essays written by two students of the College of Stoic Philosophers. Although they have ended up on the same path of virtue, aretē, their lives began in profoundly different ways. It is only in the intensity of their efforts to follow reason that their stories can be viewed as similar or the same.
The Last Interview: Social Oikeiosis Becker, Lawrence292019The following interview took place via email over a period of about one month last Fall. The subject of the interview was prompted by a concern that many Stoics may be unaware of our responsibility for the well-being of all members of society. It was decided that Professor Lawrence Becker would be the ideal source for explaining that responsibility.
Using Actors' Techniques as Stoic ExercisesEverett, Martha282018Martha Everett studied Stage Management at Guildhall in London where she received her BA Degree with Honors. She has been working as a freelance Stage Manager for 13 years in everything from fringe theater to national opera. Martha said, “I have always been fascinated by the daily discussions about the human condition that my job allows me to be part of; it’s been really fun feeding that experience in to my Stoic practice.”
Stoicism and Bipolar DisorderCampbell, Ian272018Reflections on Destruction and Resurrection, Philosophy and Doubts.
Right and WrongWiegardt, Erik262018The Scholarch examines one of his favorite Heraclitus fragments, (#60, Burnet): “To God all things are fair and good and right, but men hold some things wrong and some right.”
Hypomnemata and the HumoristSteen Nielsen252018Steen Nielsen is a stand-up comedian, the kamikaze of the theater, who also writes cartoon captions and just about anything that requires an exceptional sense of humor and pays money. Recently, he was out of work, lost his apartment, and separated from his wife and children. So, no money, no home, and a family lost–all at the same time. Steen was also a student in his final term in the Marcus Aurelius School program, the term when original hypomnemata is required. Here’s what he wrote about this extraordinary time in his life. . . .
How would a Stoic govern society?Lanagan, Paul242017How would a Stoic take a position on issues of importance to the public and how would they deal with those who opposed them? The objective of this paper is to investigate an aspect of applied ethics as it applies to the world of political systems.
Is the Cosmos Conscious and Providential? Take 2Glassborow, Nigel232017This essay is from a reader who disagreed with Ryan Jenkins article of the last eJournal issue #22, “Is the Cosmos Conscious and Providential?”
Is the Cosmos Conscious and Providential?Jenkins, Ryan222017In this issue, Ryan Jenkins, Ph.D., examines the validity of the traditional Stoic claim as preserved by the Society of Epictetus that the cosmos is conscious and providential.
Death by GangreneWiegardt, Erik212017In keeping with our tradition this essay examines Stoic concepts of death, suicide, and what lies beyond the grave in both theory and practice. To philosophers the subject of death is profoundly important and can often appear to be the only thing that really matters. It’s as true today as it ever was.
Being ContentWiegardt, Erik202016I wrote this more than three years ago. I know it’s hard to remember that life existed way back then, back before the current American presidential election, but it did.
The Pleasure of TeaWiegardt, Erik192016Among those who know, being an expert on even one group of teas, such as the oolong, can be the work of a lifetime and can enjoy the same prestige in the tea community as the connoisseur of rare wines has in his. But, is this expertise acceptable for a Stoic? Is there such a thing as an acceptable Stoic pleasure?
Death on Mount FujiWiegardt, Erik182016“Libertarians are morally bankrupt,” he said. The young man saying this was our Airbnb host in Tokyo. I will abbreviate his name by the initials, DR, to protect his privacy. So, DR and I were talking about political philosophy while sitting and drinking green tea in his kitchen, which was surprisingly roomy for a Tokyo apartment. . . .
On Political DiscoursePetroff, Brendan172016“We have two essays for the Winter issue of our eJournal: one was written by a Marcus Aurelius School student in partial fulfillment of his 3rd term examination of ethics. In it he asks and answers the question of a Stoic’s need to be involved with the storm and stress of political action. This work follows the style of Seneca’s great work, Letters From a Stoic. The second, much briefer essay, is written by a Marcus Fellow and member of the faculty who examines the value of Logic in the life of the Stoic philosopher. An alternative title for this work could be, ‘In Praise of Logic’.”
Channeling Marcus: Hypomnemata TodayCampbell, Ian162015“Ian Campbell is a Stoic living in Hong Kong, and has recently completed the one year Marcus Aurelius School programme. As part of the fourth term, students are required to engage in the practice of hypomnemata, or writing notes to one’s self, as Marcus Aurelius himself did.”
Stoicism in the Post-Singularity FutureUmbrello, Steven & Tina Forsee152015“Futurists like Ray Kurzweil believe that advancements in the field of artificial intelligence will culminate to a point in the near future to allow humans to transcend their biological form. This is what he calls the Singularity and he describes it as follows:”
The Gospel According to EpictetusWasson, Gregory142015“The attitudes of Christians to pagan philosophy in the first four centuries of the Christian Era varied dramatically and from the very beginning from outright hostility to admiration.”
The Bonobo and the StoicWieringen, Marije van132015“The aim of the book, ′The Bonobo and the Atheist′, is to convince us that our own morality is an intrinsic part of human nature . . . . chimpanzees and bonobos behave according to rules of morality, which leads to the inevitable conclusion that, as we share the same ancestors, morality must have been part of the human species for much longer than people originally thought.”
The PilgrimageWiegardt, Erik122014“This travel narrative is in the eJournal, because in our school we are expected to study AND practice our philosophy. A pilgrimage is philosophy in action, and with airline travel being what it is, the journey and test of one’s Stoic skills will likely begin at the airport before the destination is achieved.”
Elevator Speeches & The Big TentWiegardt, Erik112014In this issue we have two articles for your consideration. First, we have several “Elevator Speeches” written by Mentors of the College of Stoic Philosophers. The second article, “The Big Tent,” by Erik Wiegardt, is the main feature of this issue and deals with an increasingly persistent inquiry from some members of the Stoic community about whether or not we should be organized as a religion.
Seeking WisdomWiegardt, Erik102014“I was out working in the garden this morning when I heard a couple of crows cawing. I don’t know the crow language well, but I knew something was going on. I looked up. Sure enough, two crows were cawing incessantly and flying around in all directions–the way they do when first spotting a hawk . . . .”
Stoicism and the Philosophies of the Jedi and the SithStephens, William O.92014“Stoic ideas have influenced the history of Western philosophy for centuries. This is because Stoic ideas provide effective strategies for addressing conflicts, interacting positively with people, and coping with adversities. Stoic ideas also appear in Hollywood science fiction films, including the Star Wars movies. Many elements of the Jedi philosophy, and even a couple of elements of the Sith philosophy, are very Stoic in character . . . .”
Epictetus, Jesus and Curly, Dimpled LunaticsWasson, Gregory82013“Ralph Waldo Emerson once characterized children as curly, dimpled lunatics, a humorous image that started me thinking about how children are portrayed in the teachings of Epictetus, Jesus, and St. Paul . . . .”
Some Reflections about Stoic Ethics at WorkTrueba, Manolo72013“The Stoic, like any other man, by the mere fact of being human, takes part in several social circles at a time: family, work, neighborhood, country, et cetera. This necessarily involves the assumption of certain obligations that must be met in order to . . . . “
Self-Coherence: The Fundamental Institution of StoicismFisher, Chris62013Self-coherence is a disposition of the soul where your Self–your guiding principle or rational nature–is united with universal Reason, universal Nature, and humanity as a whole. Self-coherence is the fulfillment of the Stoic maxim “live according to Nature.”
Epictetus, Jesus, and the Fig TreeWasson, Gregory52013“Jesus often employed illustrative parables in his teachings, but he was not, in fact, the only spiritual or philosophical figure who adopted parable as an important teaching tool.”
Stoic GlossaryWasson, Gregory42012[Editor] “In my bookcase full of Stoic philosophy books I have never been able to find a pronunciation guide for the many Greek and Latin words we Stoics use every day. It’s been a source of frustration to me for years. Now, we have one . . . .”
Aging WellMurrell, Beatrix32012“Many of the great Stoic thinkers, like Seneca, were quite down-to-earth and talked in a universal language that holds meaning for most of us today. These philosophers spoke to and wrote for their friends, for the citizenry of the Greco-Roman world, and maybe they just might speak to us”!
The Conscious CosmosBrown, John22012"Many atheist Stoics have disagreed with the ancient orthodox Stoic belief that the cosmos is a conscious, living entity. There are several ways the orthodox Stoic conception may be defended . . . . “
The Laughing StoicBarnett, John12012“Chrysippus of Soli was the third head of the Stoic school. Legend has it that when he was 73 years old, he saw a donkey eating a plate of figs from a table in a garden. When the lady of the house came out and saw the donkey had eaten her figs . . . “

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