I don’t always agree with the content of the thinkers highlighted by The School of Life, nor indeed with their interpretation of those thoughts. However, this video came across the transom recently, and I thought it was a well-handled take on what is one of the more contentious aspects of Stoicism.
Epictetus’ reminder that the door is always open is probably the most meme-like distillation of the Stoic position on suicide. There are few others positions which get such a heated debate by newcomers to the school and outsiders alike. I spoke about this once before, and it still holds I think.
It is difficult to carefully handle such a topic, when emotions are high and the results seems to affect others sharply as they do the subject. There is an opportunity to whitewash this position for the modern, and I think The School of Life did a good job of avoid that.
2 thoughts on “Stoicism, The School of Life, and suicide.”
But it’s yet another example of a presentation that steps through a dozen Stoic ideas without ever mentioning virtue or benefiting others as a goal, motivation, or value.
Stated differently, the video’s discussion of both suicide and negative visualization remains almost completely amoral.
For me, this makes it almost unrecognizable.
That’s a good point.