How to practice Stoicism

Despite the title of the video below, this isn’t about my first book on Stoicism, How to be a Stoic, but rather the more recent one, A Handbook for New Stoics, co-written with my friend Greg Lopez.

The talk was presented at the HowTheLightGetsIn festival, organized in Hay (Wales) by the Institute of Arts and Ideas, May 2019. The video is about 40 minutes long. Enjoy!

Suggested readings, #27

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

The consciousness illusion. Phenomenal consciousness is a fiction written by our brains to help us track the impact that the world makes on us. (Or not, I’m going to write about this “illusion” craziness soon.) (Aeon)

I read one book 100 times over 10 years… Here are 100 Life-Changing lessons I learned. (About Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations) (Medium)

The fast track to a life well lived is feeling grateful. (I’m a bit skeptical about this sort of quick achievement of wisdom, still…) (Aeon)

Stoicism, insults, and political correctness. What Stoic philosophy would say about offensive behaviour. (Medium)

But is it science? Theoretical physicists who say the multiverse exists set a dangerous precedent: science based on zero empirical evidence. (Aeon)

Suggested readings, #26

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

Overrated: Ludwig Wittgenstein. The Austrian philosopher and 20th-century genius disabled others and inspired decades of needless self-destruction among his disciples. (Standpoint Magazine)

Stoicism at the Athenian Acropolis. The view from above in Stoic philosophy. (Medium)

If the Louvre was on fire, should we rescue the art first or the people? (Well, can you tell me a bit more about those people of yours…?) (3 Quarks Daily)

There are no easy answers when it comes to eating consciously. New book “Messy Eating” gathers academics to discuss the philosophy of eating animals. (Medium)

Why love ends. (OUP Blog)

The simple art of not being miserable. (Actually, not that simple.) (Medium)

Dan and Massimo on natural kinds

My friend Dan Kauffman (Missouri State University) and I just published a new video conversation, on the topic of “natural kinds.” What are they? Do they really exist? Among other things, we discuss what the former planet Pluto can teach us about natural kinds, and explore why I changed my mind, over the past several years, about the ontological status of theoretical entities. Enjoy!

Suggested readings, #25

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

The purpose of life is not happiness: it’s usefulness. (Medium)

Robot priests can bless you, advise you, and even perform your funeral. AI religion is upon us. Welcome to the future. (Vox)

Mind the gap between science and religion. And don’t turn fundamental physics into an article of faith. (Nautilus)

Laziness does not exist. But unseen barriers do. (Medium)

Artificial Intelligence confronts a ‘reproducibility’ crisis. Machine-learning systems are black boxes even to the researchers that build them. That makes it hard for others to assess the results. (Wired)

How can I distinguish between my needs and wants? Unthinkable: economist and philosopher Adam Smith encourages us to reflect on ‘how much is enough.’ (Irish Times)

Philosophy as practice and philosophy as body of knowledge. (Medium)

Stoicon-X Toronto: How to Thrive in a World out of Your Control, One Practical Exercise at a Time

Here is my very practical presentation (about 25 minutes) on Epictetus’ three disciplines (desire, action, and assent), at the recent Stoicon-X Toronto. Based on my book with Greg Lopez, A Handbook for New Stoics: How to Thrive in a World Out of Your Control―52 Week-by-Week Lessons.

Suggested readings, #24

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

The five most popular books on Stoicism. Modern introductions to Stoic philosophy as a way of life. (Medium)

The three classic books on Stoic philosophy. The most important ancient texts on Stoicism. (Medium)

Metaphors are us. War, murder, music, art. We would have none without metaphor. (Nautilus)

Righteous incivility. The temptation to be uncivil grows as public discourse gets nastier and more aggressive. Can rudeness ever be righteous? (Aeon)

The death of Alexander the Great: one of history’s great unsolved mysteries. When you party too hard after conquering the world. (LitHub)

My name is Wil Wheaton. I live with chronic depression and generalized anxiety. I am not ashamed. (Medium)

A famous argument against free will has been debunked. For decades, a landmark brain study fed speculation about whether we control our own actions. It seems to have made a classic mistake. We shall patiently await Sam Harris correcting himself… (Atlantic)