On October 15 the annual meeting of Stoics, Stoicon, is coming to New York City. The event promises to be of great interest to anyone who is curious about the status of Stoic thought or the relevance of Stoicism to contemporary life. As the program illustrates, not only is the conference taking up exciting academic topics (for example, “Is Stoic Virtue as Off-Putting as it Seems” and “Let us Take Care of Ourselves, Stoic Exercises and Foucault”), but also hosting workshops on the relationship between Stoic philosophy and modern problems (“Everything You Wanted to Know about Stoicism But Were Afraid to Ask” and “Trump for President? A Stoic Response” caught my eye).
The whole idea behind the event—it’s focus on Stoicism as a way of life, not simply a philosophical theory; and its goal of spreading its message to the public at large—reminds me of what I found exciting about Stoicism when I first encountered it. It had a very clear ethical component to it, rejected the transcendental tenets of earlier theories, and divested itself of some of the elitism that earlier philosophers embraced. I remember being interested in exploring not only the theory’s accuracy, but also its viability as a practice. For those of you attending, or who are interested in learning more about Stoicism, I present the following articles written by some of the presenters at the conference:
- Julia Annas, “Ethics in Stoic Philosophy,” Phronesis, February 2007.
- Donald Robertson, “Stoicism — a lurking presence,” CPJ: Counselling & Psychotherapy Journal. July 2005.
- Massimo Pigliucci, “A Secular Stoic Perspective on Death,” Free Inquiry, June/July 2016.
- William Irvine, “Putting the Greek back into Stoicism,” BBC News Magazine, July 2015.
- Chris Gill, “What is Stoic Virtue,” Stoicism Today, November 2015.
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