The Philosophers: Stoic revival
Sean Illing talks with author Ryan Holiday about Stoicism — a philosophy with roots in ancient Greece and which flourished in early imperial Rome — and how it can help us live fulfilling lives today. In addition to explaining what Stoicism is and how we can practice it, Holiday addresses the critical idea that Stoicism is a philosophy for elites, unpacks some of the parallels between Stoicism and Buddhism, and explains how being in touch with our mortality can relieve some of our modern anxieties.
This is the fourth episode of The Philosophers, a monthly series from Vox Conversations. Each episode will focus on a philosophical figure or school of thought from the past, and discuss how their ideas can help us make sense of our modern world and lives today. Check out the other episodes in this series, on Albert Camus, Hannah Arendt, and pragmatism with Cornel West.
Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews writer, Vox
References to works by Stoics:
Zeno of Citium (c. 334 – c. 262 BC) (about whom much is known from Diogenes Laërtius, c. 3rd c. AD, in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, VII)
Epictetus (c. 50 – c. 125 AD): The Encheiridion (or Handbook) of Epictetus; The Discourses of Epictetus
Seneca (c. 4 BC – 65 AD): Dialogues and letters
Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 AD): Meditations (Penguin Classics ; MIT Internet Classics Archive)
The Daily Stoic podcast with Ryan Holiday
Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman (Portfolio; 2020)
Courage Is Calling by Ryan Holiday (Portfolio; 2021)
Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus's Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior by James B. Stockdale (Hoover Institution Press; 1993)
"Self-pity" by D.H. Lawrence
The Stoic Life: Emotions, Duties, and Fate by Tad Brennan (Oxford; 2005)
How to Be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci (Basic; 2017)
Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience by Nancy Sherman (Oxford; 2021)
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This episode was made by:
Producer: Erikk Geannikis
Editor: Amy Drozdowska
Engineer: Patrick Boyd
Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall
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