Art of Living

Index of essays on the art of living, i.e., “ethics” as understood by the Greco-Romans, or what we moderns may call practical philosophy. The emphasis is on Stoicism, but other philosophies of life are discussed as well. Individual essays appear on the Patreon and Medium platforms. Numbers refer to publication sequence since 2018 (higher numbers, more recent).

General Stoicism
Practical Stoicism
Criticism of Stoicism
Seneca
Seneca to Lucilius
Musonius Rufus
Epictetus
Marcus Aurelius
Cicero
Stoic Advice
Stoic Q&A
Philosophy and General Culture
Other Philosophies of Life
Miscellaneous Practical Philosophizing

General Stoicism

  • 238. Did the ancient Stoics believe in a living cosmos? Does it matter? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 214. GUEST POST: A philosophical dispute on the terrazza, by R.S. Colter (Patreon / Medium)
  • 147. $toicism, Broicism, and stoicisM — Part III: Stoicism and the Military (Patreon / Medium)
  • 146. $toicism, Broicism, and stoicisM — Part II: the Manosphere (Patreon / Medium)
  • 145. $toicism, Broicism, and stoicisM — Part I: it’s not about becoming rich & famous (Patreon / Medium)
  • 138. Stoicism’s origin stories (Patreon / Medium)
  • 125. Prosochē or not prosochē? On Stoic mindfulness (Patreon / Medium)
  • 122. How to square the circle: Stoicism as personal philosophy vs issues of social justice (Patreon / Medium)
  • 118. My first three (Stoic) steps (Patreon / Medium)
  • 103. Arête: on the nature of human excellence (Patreon / Medium)
  • 95. What is and is not in our power, part II (Patreon / Medium)
  • 94. What is and is not in our power, part I (Patreon / Medium)
  • 90. Silicon Valley style Stoicism (Patreon / Medium)
  • 82. Stoicism, friendship, and grief (Patreon / Medium)
  • 69. Immigration, borders, and the thorny issue of cosmopolitanism (Patreon / Medium)
  • 66. Nope, Jeff Bezos is not a Stoic (Patreon / Medium)
  • 58. Toward the Fifth Stoa: the return of virtue ethics, part II (Patreon / Medium)
  • 57. Toward the Fifth Stoa: the return of virtue ethics, part I (Patreon / Medium)
  • 55. There is nothing banal about philosophy (Patreon / Medium)
  • 48. What don’t you get about “do your best”? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 47. Oikeiôsis: how to feel at home in the world (Patreon / Medium)
  • 46. Is “X” Stoic? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 41. Lawrence Becker (1938-2018) and how to live a meaningful life against the odds (Patreon / Medium)
  • 36. Stoic minimalism is not enough: why physics and logic are crucial to ethics (Patreon / Medium)
  • 30. Stoic cosmopolitanism: ideal state or individual ethics? (Patreon / Medium)

Practical Stoicism

  • 302. The Vietnam War, Tonkin, and the alleged Stoicism of James Stockdale (Patreon / Medium)
  • 298. Your health is not under your control — A reminder (Patreon / Medium)
  • 293. It’s natural, but is it right? On the perils of rage (Patreon / Medium)
  • 280. Demonax, Cynic philosopher and Epictetus’ friend (Patreon / Medium)
  • 273. The last time you will do this (Patreon / Medium)
  • 269. Is it morally wrong to have children? A Stoic response to the anti-natalism argument (Patreon / Medium)
  • 268. Dreading hardship? Think like a Norwegian. Or a Stoic (Patreon / Medium)
  • 265. Stoic compassion: should I be understanding toward terrorists? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 250. Stoicism and… psychedelics? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 248. Socrates vs Epictetus: on suicide (Patreon / Medium)
  • 244. How to be a Stoic when facing modern politics (Patreon / Medium)
  • 235. I ain’t “bitching,” I’m pointing out that something ain’t right (Patreon / Medium)
  • 195. I am a (practicing) Stoic, not a stoic (Patreon / Medium)
  • 191. Stoicism and creative works (Patreon / Medium)
  • 175. On COVID-19 and pandemics: a Stoic perspective (Patreon / Medium)
  • 171. Gaius Blossius, the revolutionary Stoic (Patreon / Medium)
  • 169. A Stoic guide to your Valentine Day (Patreon / Medium)
  • 131. The three rules of Stoic Club (Patreon / Medium)
  • 128. How to deal with insults, the Stoic way (Patreon / Medium)
  • 123. Learning Stoicism from non-Stoics (Patreon / Medium)
  • 117. Stoicism in three simple steps (Patreon / Medium)
  • 73. How I practice Stoicism: 9 easy exercises (Patreon / Medium)
  • 62. Let’s talk about the premeditation of adversity (Patreon / Medium)
  • 50. New Year’s resolutions, Stoic style (Patreon / Medium)
  • 40. How to become a better Stoic (hint: same as becoming a better Christian) (Patreon / Medium)
  • 32. On resisting the lure of offense, a Stoic perspective (Patreon / Medium)

Criticism of Stoicism

  • 299. Why I am a Stoic (even if Mark Manson isn’t) (Patreon / Medium)
  • 291. 24 common criticisms of Stoicism — and some answers (Patreon / Medium)
  • 278. Gregory Hays, translator of Marcus Aurelius, does a hack job on Stoicism (Patreon / Medium)
  • 225. What if there is no such thing as character? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 211. The ancients can’t help us. Yes, they can (Patreon / Medium)
  • 161. Martha Nussbaum on cosmopolitanism — and why I once again disagree with her (Patreon / Medium)
  • 111. Stand up, be a Stoic! (On political activism) (Patreon / Medium)
  • 87. Surprisingly, you may not be the best judge of your own emotions (A response to Agnes Callard) (Patreon / Medium)
  • 71. Could caring hurt your soul? What does that mean, anyway? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 63. Yes, Stoicism can make us “happy” (Patreon / Medium)
  • 34. There is no darkness at the heart of Stoicism (Patreon / Medium)
  • 16. Martha Nussbaum on Stoicism: a respectful reply (Patreon / Medium)
  • Previous entries in this series can be found here

Seneca

  • 188. Think of covid-19 as if you were in exile with Seneca (Patreon / Medium)
  • 181. Interplanetary colonization? Seneca advises against it (Patreon / Medium)
  • 51. Seneca’s commandments to himself (Patreon / Medium)
  • 17. Seneca On Anger is not exactly about anger, and rightly so (Patreon / Medium)

Seneca to Lucilius

Musonius Rufus

  • 301. Lecture VII: That one should disdain hardship (Patreon / Medium)
  • 292. Lectures V & VI: On theory, practice, and training (Patreon / Medium)
  • 274. Lectures III & IV: On the education of women (Patreon / Medium)
  • 266. Lecture II: That people are born with an inclination toward virtue (Patreon / Medium)
  • 260. Lecture I: There is no need of giving many proofs for one problem (Patreon / Medium)

Epictetus

  • 262. Epictetus and freedom (Patreon / Medium)
  • 231. Epictetus’ Stoicism in nine crucial steps (Patreon / Medium)
  • 54. Epictetus vs Jesus on figs: the difference between philosophy and religion (Patreon / Medium)
  • 14. Epictetus argues against the death penalty (Patreon / Medium)

Marcus Aurelius

  • 22. Marcus Aurelius’ ten commandments to himself (Patreon / Medium)

Cicero

Stoic Advice

  • 296. Alzheimer’s: a Stoic take (Patreon / Medium)
  • 249. Stoic advice: should I join protests in the streets? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 243. My career doesn’t impact the world, should I change it? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 241. My mother doesn’t like my Stoic practice (Patreon / Medium)
  • 239. My coworkers are difficult, should I change job? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 236. My grandfather threatens to end our relationship if he doesn’t have his way (Patreon / Medium)
  • 234. I’m too nuanced for my friends, what should I do about it? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 203. Do I have to be political? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 202. How do I keep training myself to become a better person? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 200. What do I do with my rage at the injustice I am witnessing? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 193. What are the limits of our ethical duties? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 189. Should I vote for the lesser evil? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 184. Should I laugh at corona-memes? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 182. Should I volunteer during a pandemic, at risk of my health? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 180. Do I keep paying my cleaning person during self-isolation? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 178. My mother abused me, should I reach out to her? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 167. How do I overcome fear? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 119. How do I date a single mom (or dad)? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 109. What’s the Stoic attitude toward virtual reality? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 102. How to deal with a fickle wedding planner, Stoic style (Patreon / Medium)
  • 100. I’m in love, and terrified to lose her (Patreon / Medium)
  • 76. Should I support my evangelical family? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 68. How do I deal with unhappy memories? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 59. I’m no longer a Christian, but I haven’t come out yet (Patreon / Medium)
  • 53. We cannot have children, now what? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 43. Is it acceptable to eschew filial duty in order to make room for more positive influences in one’s life? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 28. How do I say “no”? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 23. I hurt my best friend and she won’t accept my apologies (Patreon / Medium)
  • 11. What about politics? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 1. What about the toxicity of public discourse? (Patreon / Medium)

Stoic Q&A

  • 288. Are Stoics anarchists? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 285. But, if people were Stoics, wouldn’t the Nazi win? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 281. Stoicism and developmental defects (Patreon / Medium)
  • 277. Shouldn’t Stoics be charitable toward other people’s behaviors? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 267. Shouldn’t a Stoic be something of a dick to get things done? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 251. Happiness, virtue, or tranquillity — what is the ultimate end of life? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 247. The four cardinal bad sensations (Patreon / Medium)
  • 192. What is the role of faith? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 110. Why do Stoics emphasize leading a virtuous life as opposed to answering how to lead a happy life? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 38. What if people are objectively bad? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 25. Is gratitude a Stoic value? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 3. How is non-existence ever preferable? (Patreon / Medium)

Philosophy and General Culture

  • 284. Stoicism and literature: A Man in Full, by Tom Wolfe (Patreon / Medium)
  • 229. The Brand New Testament and the moment we die (Patreon / Medium)
  • 172. Chekhov’s An Artist’s Story: a critique of charitable work b(Patreon / Medium)
  • 132. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen: a Stoic commentary (Patreon / Medium)
  • 97. Socrates on stage, with notes on the problem with democracy (Patreon / Medium)
  • 88. Television review: Netflix’s Roman Empire (Patreon / Medium)
  • 85. Theater review: The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, tyranny, and the Stoicism of Brutus (Patreon / Medium)

Other Philosophies of Life

  • 263. Stoic anti-role models: Achilles (Patreon / Medium)
  • 204. Stoicism and Daoism: a comparison (Patreon / Medium)
  • 179. Stoicism and Confucianism: a comparison (Patreon / Medium)
  • 173. Bushido and Stoicism (Patreon / Medium)
  • 160. Stoicism and Buddhism: a comparison (Patreon / Medium)
  • 149. GUEST POST: Wrong Again? One more on Stoicism vs Epicureanism, by Catherine Wilson (Patreon / Medium)
  • 143. Catherine Wilson: an Epicurean is (again) wrong about Stoicism (Patreon / Medium)
  • 107. Epic battles in practical ethics: Stoicism vs Objectivism (Patreon / Medium)
  • 8. Epic battles in practical ethics: Stoicism vs Epicureanism (Patreon / Medium)

Miscellaneous Practical Philosophizing

  • 300. Concept map your life to check if you are doing what is meaningful to you (Patreon / Medium)
  • 297. Kant’s three fundamental questions — How would you answer them? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 295. Does cancel culture exist? It doesn’t matter, it’s an almost entirely horrible idea anyway (Patreon / Medium)
  • 286. Academic writing and epistemic injustice (Patreon / Medium)
  • 283. The four ways to learn and practice virtue ethics (Patreon / Medium)
  • 271. Should we destroy the classics to save them from whiteness? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 264. No, Nature doesn’t have rights. And she’s not a person (Patreon / Medium)
  • 255. Gould on Darwin and Kropotkin: should we seek moral guidance in nature? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 245. Love at first sight, a philosophical analysis (Patreon / Medium)
  • 242. So, what have I done so far? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 237. The ultimate guide to talking with your friends about moral relativism (Patreon / Medium)
  • 233. The great existential category mistake, or why Tolstoy was wrong about the meaning of life (Patreon / Medium)
  • 227. The perils of trying to do (more of) the right thing (Patreon / Medium)
  • 224. The perils of “audism” and of speaking on behalf of a group c(Patreon / Medium)
  • 223. Three decades in America, a personal journey (Patreon / Medium)
  • 218. The Peter Parker Principle (Patreon / Medium)
  • 216. Universal morality and the golden rule(s) (Patreon / Medium)
  • 215. Can wisdom be taught? It’s complicated… (Patreon / Medium)
  • 212. Letter, counter-letter, cancel culture and freedom of discourse (Patreon / Medium)
  • 208. Popular vs populist philosophy: a response to Timothy Williamson (Patreon / Medium)
  • 207. Hypomnema: the importance of keeping a notebook (Patreon / Medium)
  • 174. On philosophical counseling (Patreon / Medium)
  • 166. What makes people happy or unhappy — the empirical evidence (Patreon / Medium)
  • 165. “Why do I need a philosophy of life?” Let me tell you (Patreon / Medium)
  • 162. Liliana Segre: Holocaust survivor, natural Stoic (Patreon / Medium)
  • 159. Is philosophy helpful when tragedy strikes? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 158. Should we learn morals from AI? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 148. The ethics of suicide — assisted or not (Patreon / Medium)
  • 144. Thucydides and the human condition (Patreon / Medium)
  • 142. Following in Socrates’ steps: from natural science to moral philosophy (Patreon / Medium)
  • 137. Are you ready to die? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 134. Ethics begins at home, a personal update (Patreon / Medium)
  • 130. Secular pilgrimages: the Academy, the Lyceum, and the Stoa (Patreon / Medium)
  • 126. Emerson on self-reliance (Patreon / Medium)
  • 124. The lure and danger of extreme examples (Patreon / Medium)
  • 105. What is wisdom? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 104. What does it mean to be “from” somewhere? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 101. Thoreau’s Journal: on writing (why and how) (Patreon / Medium)
  • 92. David Brooks and the five lies culture tells us (Patreon / Medium)
  • 89. Some of my most loved relatives are sexists and racists. Now what? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 84. Another attack on western philosophy, because, sex (Patreon / Medium)
  • 81. Thoreau and civil disobedience (Patreon / Medium)
  • 74. Epic battles in practical ethics: Virtue ethics vs Consequentialism (Patreon / Medium)
  • 72. Is public philosophy good? Obviously (A response to Agnes Callard) (Patreon / Medium)
  • 61. Epic battles in practical ethics: Arendt vs Thoreau (Patreon / Medium)
  • 60. What on earth is practical philosophy? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 56. Is there a will to meaning? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 33. Weekend Epicureanism? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 27. Protagoras: should we re-evaluate the Sophists? (Patreon / Medium)
  • 20. Telic vs atelic activities, and the meaning of life (Patreon / Medium)
  • 15. On the objectivity of ethical judgments (Patreon / Medium)
  • 6. Why does your life matter? A personal story and a challenge to readers (Patreon / Medium)