Practical Stoicism

Course details

From £77.50

Sat 09 Mar 2019 - Sun 10 Mar 2019
3.00pm Saturday - 2.00pm Sunday

Practical Stoicism


There has been a resurgence of interest in Stoicism in recent years, with people as varied as cognitive psychotherapists, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, resilience trainers, practitioners of Buddhism, deep ecologists, and even the US military extolling its benefits. Each year thousands of people follow Stoic Week, an experiment aimed at testing its usefulness. But what is Stoicism? What are its central ethical claims? How did the Stoics conceive a good human life? During this weekend we shall examine both the philosophical foundations of Stoic ethics and techniques by which they might be put into practice. There will be plenty of opportunity to socialise and to question the speakers.


Programme details


2.45pm           Course Registration

3.00pm           Foundations of Stoics Ethics I: The Good, the Bad, and the


                        JOHN SELLARS

4.30pm           Tea / coffee

5.00pm           Foundations of Stoics Ethics II: Living in harmony with 


                       CHRISTOPHER GILL

6.30pm           Break / bar open

7.00pm           Dinner

8.15pm-          Disturbances of the soul: Emotions

9.30pm           CHRISTOPHER GILL       


8.15am           Breakfast (residents only)

9.30am           Training the soul: Practical guidance

                        JOHN SELLARS

10.45am         Coffee / tea

11.15am          Q & A

                       Questions directed by MARIANNE TALBOT

12.30pm         Break / bar open

1.00pm           Lunch

2.00pm           Course disperses


Recommended reading


Basic reading:

A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley, The Hellenistic Philosophers (Cambridge, 1987), sections 56-61, 63-67.

B. Inwood and L. Gerson, The Stoics Reader (Indianapolis, 2008), section on ethics (pp.113-76).

J. Sellars, Stoicism (Chesham/Berkeley, 2006), ch. 5

More advanced reading:

Cicero, On Ends (De Finibus), Book 3, translations in Loeb Classical Library or Cambridge University Press (Annas-Woolf).

Epictetus, Handbook. Translations include Penguin and Oxford World’s Classics.

J. Annas, The Morality of Happiness (Oxford, 1993), chs. 2, 5 and 19.

M. Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (Chicago, 2007), chs. 1-2 and 8.

B. Inwood, and P. Donini, ‘Stoic Ethics’, in K. Algra, et al. (eds.), The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 675-738. 

M. Schofield, ‘Stoic Ethics’, in B. Inwood (ed.), Cambridge Companion to the Stoics (Cambridge, 2003), ch. 9.





Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Saturday night only.

Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.



Tuition (includes coffee/tea): £77.50
Single B&B Saturday Night: £79.20
Single Room Only Saturday Night: £68.00
Twin/Double Room (2 sharing) B&B Saturday night: £112.40
Twin/Double Room Only (2 sharing) Saturday Night: £90.00


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses



Professor Christopher Gill


Christopher Gill is Emeritus Professor of Ancient Thought at the University of Exeter. He is the author of The Structured Self in Hellenistic and Roman Thought (2006), Naturalistic Psychology in Galen and Stoicism (2010), Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Books 1-6, translated with introduction and commentary (2013), and has edited the Oxford World’s Classics translations of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. He is a member of the team behind Stoic Week.


Dr John Sellars


John Sellars is a Lecturer in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London, and a member of Wolfson College, Oxford. He is the author of The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy (2003), Stoicism (2006), and Hellenistic Philosophy (2018). He also edited The Routledge Handbook of the Stoic Tradition (2016) and is a member of the team behind Stoic Week.


Ms Marianne Talbot

Director of Studies


Marianne Talbot took her first degree at London University, then her B.Phil at Oxford (Corpus Christi College). She has taught for the colleges of Oxford University for 30 years (1987 – 1990 at Pembroke College, 1991 – 2000 at Brasenose College). She has been Director of Studies in Philosophy at OUDCE since 2001. She is the author of Bioethics: An Introduction, and Critical Reasoning: A Romp Through the Foothills of Logic. Marianne’s podcasts have been hugely popular. Two of them have been global number one on iTunesU. One of these (The Nature of Arguments) has been downloaded 7 million times.