tri_blog (tri_blog) wrote in learnphilosophy,

Stoic philosophy: Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca

Hi! In February, I posted on this community about Epictetus and The Art of Living.

I'm focused again on Stoic philosophy now. The Stoic Place is a good starting point to learn the basic ideas of Stoic ethics:
by Dr. Jan Garrett

1. The key to successful living (sometimes called happiness) is freedom from the violent feelings.

2. The key to freedom from the violent feelings is living in accordance with virtue.

3. The key to virtue is living consistently in agreement with nature.

4. The things called good by most people, such as life, health, possessions, good reputation, and the like, are often in accord with our nature.

5. But they are not consistently in accord with our nature, as they are sometimes purchased or preserved at the expense of a person's integrity.

6. Virtue and successful living are not inborn but result from deliberate choice and continuous attention to what is in our power and what is not.
My original plan was to cover 3 major Stoics. (Only the LATE Stoics, whose ideas I find more practical for today):

1) Epictetus, who taught the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. I posted the best parts of The Art of Living, a paraphrase by Sharon Lebell of his two major works, The Enchiridion and The Discourses.

Here are all 24 of my Epictetus posts summarizing The Art of Living.

2) Marcus Aurelius, an exceptional ruler who was the last of the "5 Good Emperors." His death ended the 200 year Pax Romana period of the Roman Empire.

I will post the best parts of The Emperor's Handbook: A New Translation of The Meditations, by C. Scot Hicks and David V. Hicks. I like their translation of Marcus Aurelius's The Meditations best.

3) Seneca the Younger, tutor to the young Emperor Nero. (Nero later ordered him to kill himself.)

I'll post juicy parts from his Letters from a Stoic, translated by Robin Campbell.

Ready? Let's start talking about Marcus Aurelius!
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