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Thread: Stoicism

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    Stoicism

    Is it just me, or does there seem to be more interest in Stoic philosophy in the media and the netsphere lately? There seem to be many more blogs and podcasts than a few years ago.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    One of the only podcasts I listen to is Sam Harris, "Waking Up". He covers a range of topics, but the center around mindful living, meditation, and various religious philosophy. Interestingly one of his most recent got into stoicism as a way to deal with anxiety and anger.

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    It's not just you, am seeing it in conjunction with some men-centric posters (not sure what to label them, but they believe feminism is destroying this country, believe they are "red-pilled", etc.). It's kind of big right now.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    It's not just you, am seeing it in conjunction with some men-centric posters (not sure what to label them, but they believe feminism is destroying this country, believe they are "red-pilled", etc.). It's kind of big right now.
    Really? I didn't know that stoicism was necessarily a guy thing. I've actually read a couple of books on it, for my own interest in its philosophy. I certainly never thought of it as an anti-feminism thing.
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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    I've been reading Marcus Aurelius for years and years now, but I don't see Stoicism as being particularly anti-feminist/MRA. Except perhaps for the embedded culture of the time in his writing.

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    Itís hard to see what one school of thought might have to say to the other. The one is about how the individual regulates his relationship to the world around him. The other is about collective guilt, collective grievances and collective power relationships.

    Itís difficult for me to see how Musonius or Seneca or Epictetus might critique feminism if they were here today. It would be like attacking geometry with botany.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    It’s hard to see what one school of thought might to say to the other. The one is about how the individual regulates his relationship to the world around him. The other is about collective guilt, collective grievances and collective power relationships.
    Out of curiosity, can you provide a link to an example of the latter?
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Out of curiosity, can you provide a link to an example of the latter?
    For instance, itís hard to imagine a Stoic saying ďThereís a special place in Hell for women who donít help other womenĒ in support of a political candidate. When itís just you deciding how to perceive and respond to the universe for yourself, allies and intersectionality and doctrinal differences would seem to be pretty much irrelevant.

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Well, I did study Philosophy for a semester at university but today made a real effort to ensure that I understood what a stoic really is. Mostly it seems to be a materialist who sees virtue in self-government. Stanford University https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stoicism/ offers the many variations/interpretations of the belief system. I see nothing that would antagonize any man or woman who was inclined in that direction.

    Perhaps, a feminist might say that having the vote, freedom to choose, equality of opportunity/reward would be included in options for self-government as men have had excluding all those men who were slaves, etc. Did Aureius believe that slaves could freely choose to be stoic?

    Self-government by the individual would be a desirable state to see in our present circumstances and perhaps going back to Idahl's original post, this is why stoicism is receiving attention. Not having TV to watch daily, I do miss out on the current trends at times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    For instance, itís hard to imagine a Stoic saying ďThereís a special place in Hell for women who donít help other womenĒ in support of a political candidate. When itís just you deciding how to perceive and respond to the universe for yourself, allies and intersectionality and doctrinal differences would seem to be pretty much irrelevant.
    Wha...? I'm scratching my head. That's merely someone expressing a political view. I don't see what that has to do with Stoicism. It seems to me a Stoic would simply shrug and say you're entitled to your opinion.

    The central idea of Stoicism is virtue. That is, does a person lie, cheat, steal, harm others? Is he calm and unaffected by calamity? There are all sorts of ontological and epistemological underpinnings to why you should behave that way (see Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, et al.), but in practical terms that's the main message.

    If you want a splendid example of what Stoicism is not, forget Madeleine Albright and look no further than our current president. Dishonest, vain, self-deluded, bigoted, impatient and selfish, Trump is an encyclopedia of non-Stoic characteristics.

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