Download A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine PDF

By William B. Irvine

One of many nice fears many people face is that regardless of all our attempt and striving, we are going to realize on the finish that we've got wasted our existence. In A advisor to the nice lifestyles, William B. Irvine plumbs the knowledge of Stoic philosophy, probably the most well known and profitable colleges of notion in old Rome, and indicates how its perception and recommendation are nonetheless remarkably appropriate to fashionable lives.

In A consultant to the nice lifestyles, Irvine deals a fresh presentation of Stoicism, displaying how this old philosophy can nonetheless direct us towards a greater lifestyles. utilizing the mental insights and the sensible options of the Stoics, Irvine bargains a roadmap for a person looking to steer clear of the sentiments of continual dissatisfaction that plague such a lot of folks. Irvine appears at numerous Stoic ideas for achieving tranquility and exhibits tips to positioned those recommendations to paintings in our personal existence. As he does so, he describes his personal reviews training Stoicism and provides useful first-hand recommendation for a person wishing to stay larger via following within the footsteps of those historical philosophers. Readers how you can reduce fear, the right way to permit move of the previous and concentration our efforts at the issues we will regulate, and the way to accommodate insults, grief, previous age, and the distracting temptations of repute and fortune. We study from Marcus Aurelius the significance of prizing in simple terms issues of actual price, and from Epictetus we tips on how to be extra content material with what we have.

Finally, A consultant to the great lifestyles indicates readers tips on how to turn into considerate observers in their personal lives. If we watch ourselves as we move approximately our day-by-day company and later think about what we observed, we will larger determine the assets of misery and finally steer clear of that soreness in our lifestyles. by means of doing this, the Stoics idea, we will desire to achieve a really pleased lifestyles.

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Extra resources for A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

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Instead, it depends on her excellence as a human being—on how well she 36 The Rise of Stoicism performs the function for which humans were designed. In the same way that a “virtuous” (or excellent) hammer is one that performs well the function for which it was designed—namely, to drive nails—a virtuous individual is one who performs well the function for which humans were designed. 18 The Stoics would add that if we do this, we will have a good life. And for what function were people designed? To answer this question, the Stoics thought, we need only examine ourselves.

Furthermore, although the Stoics thought they could prove that theirs was the correct philosophy of life, I don’t (as we shall see in chapter 21) think such a proof is possible. Instead, I think that which philosophy of life a person should choose depends on her personality and circumstances. But having made this admission, let me add that I think there are very many people whose personality and circumstances make them wonderful candidates for the practice of Stoicism. Furthermore, whatever philosophy of life a person ends up adopting, she will probably have a better life than if she tried to live—as many people do—without a coherent philosophy of life.

In these writings, Seneca talks about the things that typically make people unhappy—such as grief, anger, old age, and social anxieties—and about what we can do to make our life not just tolerable but joyful. Seneca, like the other Roman Stoics I will discuss, was not stoically resigned to life; he was instead an active participant in it. And like these other Stoics, he was a complex individual. Indeed, even if Seneca had never written a word of philosophy, he would have made it into the history books for three other reasons.

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