Art of Living

Support Massimo’s Writings!

Like my writings? Consider supporting more of them with an occasional donation! And thanks!

$5.00

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.

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

General Stoicism

  • A philosophical dispute on the terrazza, by R.S. Colter – 20 Jul 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • $toicism, Broicism, and stoicisM — Part III: Stoicism and the Military – 5 Dec 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • $toicism, Broicism, and stoicisM — Part II: the Manosphere – 2 Dec 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • $toicism, Broicism, and stoicisM — Part I: it’s not about becoming rich & famous – 29 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoicism’s origin stories – 8 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Prosochē or not prosochē? On Stoic mindfulness – 20 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How to square the circle: Stoicism as personal philosophy vs issues of social justice – 10 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • My first three (Stoic) steps – 27 Aug 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Arête: on the nature of human excellence – 14 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What is and is not in our power, part II – 13 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What is and is not in our power, part I – 10 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Silicon Valley style Stoicism – 26 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoicism, friendship, and grief – 29 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Immigration, borders, and the thorny issue of cosmopolitanism – 22 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Nope, Jeff Bezos is not a Stoic – 15 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Toward the Fifth Stoa: the return of virtue ethics, part II – 22 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Toward the Fifth Stoa: the return of virtue ethics, part I – 21 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • There is nothing banal about philosophy – 14 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What don’t you get about “do your best”? – 26 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Oikeiôsis: how to feel at home in the world – 24 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Is “X” Stoic? – 21 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Lawrence Becker (1938-2018) and how to live a meaningful life against the odds – 28 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoic minimalism is not enough: why physics and logic are crucial to ethics – 12 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoic cosmopolitanism: ideal state or individual ethics? – 22 oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Practical Stoicism

  • I ain’t “bitching,” I’m pointing out that something ain’t right – 28 September 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • I am a (practicing) Stoic, not a stoic – 15 May 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoicism and creative works – 1 May 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • On COVID-19 and pandemics: a Stoic perspective – 5 Mar 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Gaius Blossius, the revolutionary Stoic – 20 Feb 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • A Stoic guide to your Valentine Day – 14 Feb 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The three rules of Stoic Club – 15 October 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How to deal with insults, the Stoic way – 30 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Learning Stoicism from non-Stoics – 11 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoicism in three simple steps – 20 Aug 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Let’s talk about the premeditation of adversity – 5 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • New Year’s resolutions, Stoic style – 31 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How to become a better Stoic (hint: same as becoming a better Christian) – 26 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How I practice Stoicism: 9 easy exercises – 6 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • On resisting the lure of offense, a Stoic perspective – 29 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Criticism of Stoicism

  • What if there is no such thing as character? – 24 Aug 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The ancients can’t help us. Yes, they can – 10 Jul 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Martha Nussbaum on cosmopolitanism — and why I once again disagree with her – 20 Jan 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stand up, be a Stoic! (On political activism) – 30 Jul 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Surprisingly, you may not be the best judge of your own emotions (A response to Agnes Callard) – 16 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Could caring hurt your soul? What does that mean, anyway? – 1 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Yes, Stoicism can make us “happy” – 8 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • There is no darkness at the heart of Stoicism – 6 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Martha Nussbaum on Stoicism: a respectful reply – 6 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Previous entries in this series can be found here

Seneca

  • Think of covid-19 as if you were in exile with Seneca – 20 Apr 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Interplanetary colonization? Seneca advices against it – 26 Mar 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Seneca’s commandments to himself – 1 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Seneca On Anger is not exactly about anger, and rightly so – 11 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Seneca to Lucilius

Epictetus

  • Epictetus’ Stoicism in nine crucial steps – 14 Sep 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Epictetus vs Jesus on figs: the difference between philosophy and religion – 8 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Epictetus argues against the death penalty – 3 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Marcus Aurelius

  • Marcus Aurelius’ ten commandments to himself – 27 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Cicero

Stoic Advice

  • I’m too nuanced from my friends, what should I do about it? – 24 Sep 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Do I have to be political? – 12 Jun 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How do I keep training myself to become a better person? – 8 Jun 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What do I do with my rage at the injustice I am witnessing? – 1 Jun 2020 (Patreon / Medium)What are the limits of our ethical duties? – 8 May 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Should I vote for the lesser evil? – 23 Apr 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Should I laugh at corona-memes? – 6 Apr 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Should I volunteer during a pandemic, at risk of my health? – 30 Mar 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Do I keep paying my cleaning person during self-isolation? – 24 Mar 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • My mother abused me, should I reach out to her? – 16 Mar 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How do I overcome fear? – 5 Feb 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How do I date a single mom (or dad)? – 30 Aug 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What’s the Stoic attitude toward virtual reality? – 16 Jul 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How to deal with a fickle wedding planner, Stoic style – 11 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • I’m in love, and terrified to lose her – 4 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Should I support my evangelical family? – 13 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How do I deal with unhappy memories? – 20 Feb 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • I’m no longer a Christian, but I haven’t come out yet – 24 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • We cannot have children, now what? – 7 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Is it acceptable to eschew filial duty in order to make room for more positive influences in one’s life? – 13 Dec 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How do I say “no”? – 12 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • I hurt my best friend and she won’t accept my apologies – 1 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What about politics? – 23 Au 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What about the toxicity of public discourse? – 25 Jul 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Stoic Q&A

  • What is the role of faith? – 4 May 20 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Why do Stoics emphasize leading a virtuous life as opposed to answering how to lead a happy life? – 25 Jul 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What if people are objectively bad? – 15 Nov 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Is gratitude a Stoic value? – 5 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • How is non-existence ever preferable? – 31 Jul 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Philosophy and General Culture

  • The Brand New Testament and the moment we die – 8 Sep 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Chekhov’s An Artist’s Story: a critique of charitable work – 24 Feb 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen: a Stoic commentary – 17 Oct 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Socrates on stage, with notes on the problem with democracy – 21 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Television review: Netflix’s Roman Empire – 19 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Theater review: The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, tyranny, and the Stoicism of Brutus – 9 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)

Other Philosophies of Life

  • Stoicism and Daoism: a comparison – 15 Jun 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoicism and Confucianism: a comparison – 20 Mar 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Bushido and Stoicism – 27 Feb 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Stoicism and Buddhism: a comparison – 16 Jan 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • GUEST POST: Wrong Again? One more on Stoicism vs Epicureanism, by Catherine Wilson – 13 Dec 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Catherine Wilson: an Epicurean is (again) wrong about Stoicism – 22 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Epic battles in practical ethics: Stoicism vs Objectivism – 4 Jul 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Epic battles in practical ethics: Stoicism vs Epicureanism – 13 Aug 2018 (Patreon / Medium)

Miscellaneous Practical Philosophizing

  • The great existential category mistake, or why Tolstoy was wrong about the meaning of life – 21 Sep 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The perils of trying to do (more of) the right thing – 31 Aug 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The perils of “audism” and of speaking on behalf of a group – 20 Aug 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Three decades in America, a personal journey – 17 Aug 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The Peter Parker Principle – 3 Aug 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Universal morality and the golden rule(s) – 27 Jul 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Can wisdom be taught? It’s complicated… – 23 Jul 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Letter, counter-letter, cancel culture and freedom of discourse – 13 Jul 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Popular vs populist philosophy: a response to Timothy Williamson – 29 Jun 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Hypomnema: the importance of keeping a notebook – 26 Jun 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • On philosophical counseling – 2 Mar 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What makes people happy or unhappy — the empirical evidence – 3 Feb 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • “Why do I need a philosophy of life?” Let me tell you – 31 Jan 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Liliana Segre: Holocaust survivor, natural Stoic – 22 Jan 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Is philosophy helpful when tragedy strikes? – 13 Jan 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Should we learn morals from AI? – 9 Jan 2020 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The ethics of suicide — assisted or not – 10 Dec 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Thucydides and the human condition – 27 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Following in Socrates’ steps: from natural science to moral philosophy – 19 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Are you ready to die? – 5 Nov 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Ethics begins at home, a personal update – 25 Oct 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Secular pilgrimages: the Academy, the Lyceum, and the Stoa – 10 Oct 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Emerson on self-reliance – 24 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • The lure and danger of extreme examples – 17 Sep 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What is wisdom? – 21 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What does it mean to be “from” somewhere? – 18 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Thoreau’s Journal: on writing (why and how) – 7 Jun 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • David Brooks and the five lies culture tells us – 3 May 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Some of my most loved relatives are sexists and racists. Now what? – 23 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Another attack on western philosophy, because, sex – 4 Apr 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Thoreau and civil disobedience – 25 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Epic battles in practical ethics: Virtue ethics vs Consequentialism – 8 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Is public philosophy good? Obviously (A response to Agnes Callard)- 4 Mar 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Epic battles in practical ethics: Arendt vs Thoreau – 29 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • What on earth is practical philosophy? – 28 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Is there a will to meaning? – 16 Jan 2019 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Weekend Epicureanism? – 31 oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Protagoras: should we re-evaluate the Sophists? – 10 Oct 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Telic vs atelic activities, and the meaning of life – 20 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • On the objectivity of ethical judgments – 4 Sep 2018 (Patreon / Medium)
  • Why does your life matter? A personal story and a challenge to readers – 7 Aug 2018 (Patreon / Medium)