Stoicism, The School of Life, and suicide.


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.

New Translation of Epictetus


While I’ve been putting together those YouTube videos of the Enchiridion with Jean, he pointed me to a new translation of the works of Epictetus that I previously hadn’t been exposed to.dairesis

Franco Scalenghe runs and you can download as PDF or read as hypertext his new translation of the Enchiridion, Discourses, and Fragments.  Franco’s translation attempts to keep the conversational style of the Discourses alive, in a way that some of the translations from the 20th or 19th centuries may lack for modern readers.

I’m working Franco’s translation now, and it’s an exciting new light in which to view Epictetus.  I suspect it will get a permanent place right next to the Higginson translation for me.