Stoicism, The School of Life, and suicide.

Video

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.

ἰώ, ἰὼ Σατουρνάλια φίλες και φίλοι!

Aside

The traditional festival culminating in the winter solstice is upon us.  Massimo, my friend Yannos, and a few others have shared this article, and I thought you might like to see it also.  I would recommend Yannos’ post especially, (you may need to use FB’s translate function) for a more in-depth look at the festival than the linked article provides.

Yannos is a wealth of knowledge, and the online Stoic community is fortunate to have him.

How to Celebrate the Saturnalia!

Image result for saturnalia

Socrates… and kids?

Video

I’ve been doing some reading on Socrates lately, and so the google algorithms decided I’d be interested in this video.  This is not an aspect of Socrates I’m very familiar with, and I’ve not yet read any Montaigne.  You may also find it interesting.

Cosmopolitanism is discussed, there’s a note of “shamelessness,” and maybe oikeiôsis too.

“On the notion of Ethical Exercises in Epictetus,” by Braicovich

Link

I came across this article which discusses what Hadot calls “spiritual exercises” in some depth.  The author takes exception to that label, but I think it suits just fine.  I had recently joked in a conversation that if I had a dollar for every scholar who said something along the lines of “I won’t detail exactly what the exercises in Epictetus are…” that I’d have a goodly number of dollars.

Braicovich does not say this, however.  He notes 18, although (spoiler alert), he later pares that down significantly.  Either way, it’s worth the read.

https://seer.ufs.br/index.php/prometeus/article/viewFile/1950/1722