• Shawn
    Hello Professor. Massimo Pigliucci, and thank you for joining us.

    Now, I don't think there is much doubt, within philosophical circles and if you track Facebook groups with a member count of almost 60,000 members, and Reddit's Stoicism sub with 221,000 followers, that Stoicism is experiencing a revival in the public domain of discourse. I have two questions that are interrelated from a subjective and more intersubjective point of view.

    1. With the above said, why is Stoicism experiencing a revival for people nowadays?

    a) Is it due to our way of living that is increasingly demanding our attention and foresight in regard to ensuring a safe and comfortable life of leisure and satisfaction? Perhaps, people (homo economicus) are realizing that ensuring a safe and comfortable future, isn't always guaranteed no matter what action or amount of effort they put towards this goal. Therefore, are people deriving satisfaction from the negative visualization practices and others, that Stoicism propounds towards life itself?

    b) Psychologically, what is appealing about Stoicism exactly? Is it its appeal to resilience, and enduring voluntary or too many involuntary discomforts that life may throw at us? Can this be characterized, as a selfish desire to become stronger, and if so, is this a botched understanding of Stoic philosophy?

    c) Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus are icons to be followed in the minds of many. They are shining examples, of the very role models you talk about in your TED talk in Athens. It is fascinating, and perhaps, exclusive to philosophy in its appeal, that a Roman Emperor and a slave, both talked about the very same thing, the sort of existential disquietude that can plague many found to be alleviated by an appeal to virtue and concern with the good. From a religious standpoint, it seems that Stoicism is becoming lately, dare I say, a type of secular religion of sorts. Would you agree with this characterization, or not?

    2. On a personal level Professor Pigliucci, why have you chosen Stoicism?

    a) What about Stoicism appealed to you instead of other schools of philosophical thinking, such as deontological or consequentialist ethics?

    Thank you for your time and patience.
  • Shawn
    Since Professor Pigliucci is busy and can't get to answer all our questions, @Baden, has opened this discussion up for the rest of the members of the forum.

    Any thoughts or responses welcome.
  • ovdtogt

    the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.

    If that is Stoicism I would never want to be stoical. Why would anybody be that masochistic?
  • TheYoungPhilosopher
    Stoicism promotes so many benefits to a healthier lifestyle. Those who follow this way of life will care less about what others think, waste less time, remember what is in their control, stop being distracted, stop being anxious, be more grateful, and want less. The revival is occurring because our modern and chaotic world often increases confusion, anger, and worry. Stoicism offers a respite from these challenges. Some find it difficult to follow, even impossible. However, I have found it is made so much easier to follow because of my religion.

    Therefore, why not stoicism?
  • Ciceronianus
    Perhaps "Enmity" would be a more appropriate choice of name. But then irony may be intended. (Flagged!)

    Regardless, I think part of Stoicism's appeal is that it provides a way of living which is less dependent on metaphysical and religious assumptions than others, and yet promotes tranquility. Ancient Stoics believed in an immanent divinity, but a modern Stoic need not believe in one of any kind, nor is there any requirement that a particular systemic philosophy of the nature of reality be constructed or accepted
  • vmarzell
    The Stoic and his sturdy appeal to "nature and conscience" had only the better prepared all Rome to receive Christ, at least in an intellectual sense. The Roman was by nature and training a lawyer; he revered even the laws of nature. And now, in Christianity, he discerned in the laws of nature the laws of God. A people that could produce Cicero and Virgil were ripe for Paul's Hellenized Christianity.
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.