Stoicism is an ancient school of philosophy that is gaining prominence again. One reason for this revival is the Stoics’ concern with making philosophy relevant as something that ought to be lived, or somehow be connected to our life. Doing philosophy is taking care of oneself, and considering how best to live a life that is also worth living.
In four thematic and interactive sessions we discuss a range of exemplary passages from the works of Seneca (e.g., from On the Happy Life) and Epictetus (e.g., from the Discourses). We focus on the period of the early Roman Empire (roughly 30–180 AC), but occasionally glance at the original Athenian Stoics (roughly 300–50 BC). We explore a variety of central ethical themes, and examine to what extent, and in what ways, Stoic ideas matter for our own lives now. Stoic teaching was public and open to anyone in antiquity: and so beginners in philosophy are most welcome today too.
A course pack with the relevant passages and sources will be available in advance.