Prep for Tomorrow’s Meeting (March 9)


This message is for those who are attending tomorrow’s meeting (March 9th).

We’ll spend the meeting taking turns reading out loud selected passages from Massimo Pigliucci’s How to Be a Stoic Ch. 3-6. After reading one passage, the person who selected it should share a few thoughts with the group, after which we’ll open it up to further discussion.

Just a few requests:

  1. please select at least one passage to share, about which you have thoughts.
  2. please glance at the list of topics below that we can use to motivate discussion.
  3. please email me in advanced (TODAY!) if you have any topics or questions that you would like to explore… OR, if you would like to discuss anything about the logistics of the group itself

List of Discussion Topics:

  1. The “Serenity Prayer” and similar aphorisms
  2. Dichotomy of Control (and the “Three Levels of Control”)
  3. Cicero’s Archer Analogy — what we aim at (“what is chosen”) vs. what our goal is (“what is desired”)
  4. “fig in wintertime” passage
  5. “Here and Now” (hic et nunc)
  6. Living According to [human] Nature” (biology and anthropology on “human nature” vs. Stoicism on “human nature”)
  7. Concern about an “Appeal to Nature” a.k.a. “the is-ought gap” a.k.a. “the naturalistic fallacy” a.k.a. “Hume’s guillotine”
  8. The Origin of Morality and Oikeiosis (the Stoic “developmental story”)
  9. Hierocles’s Concentric Circles of Concern and Cosmopolitanism
  10. Life as a “Playing Ball” Analogy and what it takes to be the “best players”
  11. Stoic treatment of indifferents: consumerism, banking, diet (vegetarianism)
  12. Externals as preferred and dispreferred indifferences (vs. Aristotelianism and Cynicism)
  13. “Lexicographic Indexing” among indifferents and virtue
  14. Stoic and Epicurean Conceptions of God/Nature (Panentheism, Deism, Religious and non-Religious strands)
  15. The ambiguity about Logos and how Stoicism accommodates many “metaphysical preferences” (both religious and non-religious)

Feel free to bring up other topics and readings, but let’s make sure to always bring the conversation back to Stoicism and how we can apply its insights to our daily lives. I won’t have a handout like last time but, I don’t think that will hamper us.

See you all tomorrow morning!

Justin K.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *