Massimo Pigliucci ¶ 3 summaryIt s taken me a
long time to write this eview hoped to be able to impart sometime to this as I hoped to be able to impart some my own experiencesconclusions about ideas and methods contained within the book But what i ve learned is that while I appreciate the features of Stoicism i m so far away from being Stoic that I might as well be an advertisement for how not to do it The modern idea of stoicism as the endurance of hardship without showing feelings is somewhat applicable I m all about that stereotypical English emotional Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie repression but I m than prepared to complain about anything and everything so even that s pretty much out In any case that definition is a long way from the Stoicism examined in the book of which there are three disciplines desire action assent and four principles practical wisdom courage justice temperance The comprehensive presentation developed by Massimo Pugliucci sets out a series of ways of thinking and coping with life that meld ancient ideas with modern society offering advice that s genuinelyelevant All joking aside I felt that I learned something here not just about how ancient authors approached the uestion of how we should live but in how their answers still have something sensible and practical to say to us todayMassimo Pigliucci formats the book in a Socratic style presenting the issues through a personal dialogue with Epictetus It s bit disuieting in the beginning but I can see the benefits It certainly allows for a Mein wildes Geheimnis 03 reflective approachable conversational style that has a distinctive sense of the author s individual journey He likes to do things with a smile but that doesn t mean the seriousness suffers For something that could well be labelled self help this has a good deal of history with primary source evidence throughout It allows for a layered interpretation with Epictetus Cicero Marcus Aurelius and many others own words providing the basis for the discussion with Pigliucci evaluating their meaning and applying their ideas to the overarching framework of Stoic philosophy It s not always an easyead but as the author takes you through the three main sections he makes sure to show you the value in grounding the discussion in the evidence That way it s not just about what people thought but why and how they came to the conclusions they did which is then followed up by the ways in which this knowledge can be applied to your own life As such the book consistently provides concrete examples of what works and why even before it eaches the final section of practical exercises It gives the author s ecommendations a validity and ationality that not all books in this genre achieveReading this made me understand why there has been considerable contemporary interest in stoicism to the extent that there s now a yearly Stoic week for all those who want to try to live like a Stoic and incorporate the tenets into their daily lives There are so many websites and online articles that finding information about the philosophy is very simple but nevertheless this book would be a valuable addition to any search thanks to its depth and accessibility Above all it makes you think about your own behaviour and how it is possible to change it for the better whilst providing an effective esource to which you can eturn for answers whenever life throws you some new challengeARC via Netgalley My interview with Massimo about the book is at 3AM Mag here The philosophy was interesting as was the style of writing philosophy articulation via discourse I enjoyed learning about the core concepts of Stoicism and will explore them in my personal life However the eligious overtones of many of the stories shared in the book the faith like fervor of it was a little off putting for me Men who made these discoveries before us are not our masters bur our guides Truth lies open for all it has not yet been monopolized Seneca uoted in Pigliucci s How to Be a StoicFor me the book was a bit too superficial on Stoicism and focused too much on the author s personal journey In some ways this book A London Home in the 1890s reminds me a bit of Robert Wright s Why Buddhism is True The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment EXCEPT I think Wright s analysis and wrting were both better It makes me sad because I wanted so much to like this book My personal philosophy of life seems to swing a bit between the Stoicism of Marcus Aurelius and the Epicureanism of Lucretius So perhaps I m a Stoic and work and an Epicurean at home Or maybe I m a Stoic during the day and an Epicurean at night Anyway perhaps the book missed its target with me because I wanted a deeper dive into Stoicism but paired with a deeper dive into the conflicts between Stocism and Modernity My final major critiue is while I enjoyed the major structureorganization of the book He divides the book into four sections The first three are the three disciplines of stoicism 1 Desire 2 Action and 3 Assent In the final and fourth section of the book Pigliucci gives us a dozen selected spiritual excercises to get theeader started on their way to becoming a good student of Stoicism and as good a person as the eader can be My problem lies in the awkward path Pigliucci uses He choses Epicete. In the tradition of How to Live and How Proust Can Change Your Life a philosopher asks how ancient Stoicism can help us flourish todayWhenever we worry about what to eat how to love or simply how to be happy we are worrying about how to lead a good life No goal is elusive In How to Be a Stoic. ,
Tus to be his Virgil ok I m game but then
literally pretends to be having conversations mid narrative with Epicetetusit waspretends to be having conversations mid narrative with Epicetetusit was this point during our conversation that I ealized what Epicetetus was telling me had countless applications in my own life In theory I get what Pigliucci was trying to do but it came off awkward and a bit forced and kind of silly At least I m positive that the three stars aren t going to cause Pigliucci any pain He s a Stoic He s got the tools to survive my three starslight One fascinating conflict would be Bill Clinton s well known love of Marcus Aurelius Meditations While it is certainly possible that Clinton Biopower: Foucault and Beyond reads Meditations yearly After eight years as President Clinton is not the President most would pick to exemplify a modern stoic philosopher king I hadn tead about stoicism before yet it puts so well
in words many of my life philosophies and practices Especially those hard for me to explain Like being eadywords many of my life philosophies and practices Especially those hard for me to explain Like being eady lose anything or anyone and caring about them at the same time Or that I don t have to be a obot to stay calm if events are out of my controlThe idea that living a good life depends on understanding both how the world and human s easoning work is severely underrepresented in self help and philosophy literature I ve come to it via experience or うそつきリリィ 3 [Usotsuki Lily 3] reading on behavioral psychology Understanding of how our brains and the world work is the central piece in stoicism and I loved it for thatI found the book to be a decent introduction to stoicism Ample historical context led to the main points explained with philosophical uotes from the original Greek Roman stoics their words interpreted to mere mortals language Every now and then there were personal examples that felt like preaching to the choir people with different behavior or moral views may notelate to staying calm amidst military coups or avoiding fine diningThe How To aspect of the book also deserves some attention it s in the title it must be important I doubt it s humanly possible to effectively explain how to change one s life philosophy in a short book though Massimo Pigliucci tried There are some exercises and ideas what to do They all sound eally hard to accomplish for those outside of the already practicing stoics Of course I would love to be wrong let me know if the advice in the book turned you into anything close to a stoic How to Be a Stoic taught me a bit about stoicism and I will be eading for sure So almost all of my A Bold Carnivore: An Alphabet of Predators reviews are actually of audiobooks but this one I wanted to make sure I chose the audiobook edition because I think things specific to the audiobook impacted my enjoyment I honestly found the narrator a bit boring Like he detracted from the workThat said there are plenty of interesting insights and things to ponder in here It s not bad But it definitely did not speak to me as much as I hoped Noeal evelations here Pigliucci could also have subtitled this book A Journey with Epictetus as much of it is written as a conversation between himself and the Greek philosopher I suppose those with a sound knowledge of philosophy might think of this book as pop philosophy and I suppose in some ways it is As someone with only a superficial knowledge it was perfect for me howeverThe book discusses the three Stoic displines of desire action and assent and the four Stoic virtues practical wisdom courage justice and tolerance Thomas Auinas adopted these four virtues and added faith hope and charity Pigliucci uses Ancient Greek modern day and personal stories and humour to explore each of these firstly uoting what Epictetus had to say and secondly dissecting his words to provide a modern day understanding of what he meant as interpreted by the author He says that
stoics like pithylike pithy of their ideas So do I To summarise the Stoic template for achieving eudaimonia or a life worth living you should a to paraphrase the serenity prayer know the difference between your internal goals over which you have control and external outcomes over which you may have some influence but have no controlb do unto others etc Treat all humanity eually ie behave towards a complete stranger as if he were your brother Ok maybe not your brother that s not always the greatest elationshipc hate the sin not the sinner bad people do bad things from lack of wisdom ignorance and should be treated with compassion That isn t the same as turning the other cheekStoicism teaches people to monitor their own Lifting reactions and toeflect critically on how they perceive and interpret the world One of the most important lessons for me is understanding Epictetus s dichotomy of control Under our control are our decisions and behaviours Outwith our control are other people s actions and behaviours and the circumstances in which we find ourselves Recognising this opens up new ways of dealing with problems that we hadn t thought of before The behaviour and actions of others or the circumstances in which you find yourself may not be in your control but your Mathruhridayam reactions are This is aeally empowering message I can take Sadly this wasn t what I d hoped it d be But it s also not a bad book Lately I ve become interested in Sto. Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci offers Stoicism the ancient philosophy that inspired the great emperor Marcus Aurelius as the best way to attain it Stoicism is a pragmatic philosophy that focuses our attention on what is possible and gives us perspective on what is unimportant By understanding Icism As a philosophy student and later grad student I always steered away of the classics and the Greeks as far as that s possible honestly I can t eading anything else besides Plato s Republic When it comes to ethics I ve mostly been into modern anglo heavy ethics a la Conseuentalism and Utilitarianism So when a few months ago I stumbled upon an article about Stoicism and ealized it sounded a lot like things I d learnt in Cognitive behavioral therapy I was intrigued A philosophical underlining of what I already believe to me true and what has helped me tremendously sounded greatWhat I did not expect of this book was for it to be academical and go eally deep I knew it s a book written to be understood for anyone not just people who ve already ead a lot of philosophy I m fine with pop non fiction books but then I need them to deliver something else
From a book called How to be a stoic I expected a lot practical help What exactly is a Stoica book called How to be a stoic I expected a lot practical help What exactly is a Stoic stoicism A literal How To Sadly this wasn t it The book is kind of messy and all over the place I learnt some stuff but it was neither eally engaging nor super informative Honestly you probably get a better overview over Stoicism by The House That Had Enough reading the wikipedia entry A simple direct explanation like this is hard to find in the book Stoicism is a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world According to its teachings as social beings the path to eudaimonia happiness for humans is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or fear of pain by using one s mind to understand the world and to do one s part in nature s plan and by working together and treating others fairly and justlyI also didn t like when the book got personal The authors ideas on vegetarianism and his strong dislike for New Atheism among other things didn t seem very well informedather bitter and also not uh very stoic All in all an okay introduction to Stoicism I learnt some stuff about Epictetus but not what I d hoped for Hopefully there are better overview books out there If not I ll have to bite the bullet and dive straight into the The Devil's Snake Curve: A Fan's Notes From Left Field real sources andead the Greeks 37 starsIt is uite a good book but with the same breath I want to say it better be after borrowing so much from its predecessors I enjoyed particularly the illustrating stories from author s life although they did not match A Guide to the Good Life The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy and from lives of modern day Stoics In terms of clarity of thinking and ability to move beyond just The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division repeating the wisdom of the ancients the book definitely lacked compared to A New Stoicism At last in terms of practice the provided suggestions I am not going to call it descriptions considering howelatively brief it was cannot compare to Donald J Robertson s books Overall I can see why Massimo wrote the book it is obviously deeply personal to him although I am not sure whether he managed to communicate this aspect enough and teaching others about things he cares about is simply what he does but I am not sure how much value there is in it for someone who is already familiar with the three authors I mentioned above especially considering the price What I would love to see less of all the endless uotes of the ancients what is up with that I mean sure they are the source of inspiration but Stoicism is not a Pimpinella Meerprinzessin 1: Ankunft im Muschelschloss (German Edition) religious movement that needs to persuade everyone that sayings of some very old texts have direct implications for modern lives Hasn t there been uite a bit of development in terms of ethics psychology etc Aren t there better ways to tell the intellectual journey Why is it so important to make the impression that some long lost ancient wisdom is beingevealedWhat I would love to see much of integration with current virtue ethics integration with current thinking about human condition integration with current psychology and not just with superficial understanding of very narrowly cognitivist Das kurze Leben der Sophie Scholl research There is a lot ofelevant sources such as narrative identity Défendre Jacob research mindfulnessesearch etc etc integration with phenomenological approaches a large proportion of the book is trying to deal with irrational emotions coping with difficult situations and with biases I am sorry but the outside view approach does not cut it Experiences of anger irritation stress have a very important phenomenological component that s actually the one most people care about and elated self knowledge is essential in any long term effective intervention The fact that the elevant knowledge does not meet the same Black Gold in North Dakota rigorous standards as eg cognitiveesearch does not mean that it should be ignored and that every practicing Stoic has to start from zero I mean it seems ational to use this knowledge ather than just personal anecdoteschokengtitiktitikchokengs the whole Epictetus as a guidefriend does not work IMHO and feels uite artificial It would have to be integrated into the whole book and not just into some fragments here and there This book may help you live the good life or it might get you started on Nestle Toll House Recipe Collection reading philosophy or both. Toicism we can learn to answer crucial uestions Should we get married or divorced How should we handle our money in a world nearly destroyed by a financial crisis How can we survive great personal tragedy Whoever we are Stoicism has something for us–and How to Be a Stoic is the essential gui.