Note on terminology and citations xiii
Preface: modern Stoicism xvii
What's this book all about?
Why focus on Stoic Ethics and psychotherapy?
A taste of the Stoic paradoxes
Stoicism today in the modern world
1 The way of the Stoic: 'Living in agreement with Nature' 1
Introduction: What is Stoicism?
The goal of life: 'living in agreement with Nature'
The twofold goal of life
The three theoretical topics of Stoicism
The three lived disciplines
2 Stoic Ethics: The nature of the good 23
What's important about Stoic Ethics?
The nature of the good
The virtues and vices
Stoic indifference to 'indifferent' things
Preferred indifferents and primary value
3 The promise of philosophy ('therapy of the passions') 49
What is the ancient 'promise of philosophy'?
The Stoic concept of Happiness (Eudaimonia)
The Stoic theory of the 'passions'
Automatic emotional reactions
What about the 'good' or 'healthy' passions?
4 The discipline of desire (Stoic acceptance) 75
What is the discipline of desire?
Contemplating the 'here and now'
Loving your fate and joyful acceptance
5 Love, friendship, and the ideal Sage 95
Stoicism and the philosophy of love
Stoic philanthropy and 'affinity' for others
How does a Stoic love?
Why is the Sage important to Stoicism?
How to contemplate the Sage
The seeds of wisdom in everyone
6 The discipline of action (Stoic philanthropy) 123
What is the 'discipline of action'?
Undertaking action with a 'reserve clause'
The Stoic archer
Undertaking action 'for the common welfare' of mankind
7 Premeditation of adversity 143
Why is anticipating future 'misfortunes' important?
How do Stoics premeditate adversity?
Habituation and imaginal exposure
Modelling and rehearsing coping skills
Reversing 'hedonic adaptation'?
8 The discipline of judgement (Stoic mindfulness) 165
What is the 'discipline of judgement'?
Stoic psychology and theory of knowledge
'Objective representation' and 'physical definition'
Cognitive distancing in Stoicism
9 Self-awareness and the 'Stoic fork' 187
How is self-awareness developed in Stoicism?
The 'Stoic fork' or 'sovereign' precept
Postponement: not getting 'carried-away'
Why meditate morning and night?
10 The view from above and Stoic cosmology 211
Why is contemplating Nature important?
The Pythagorean 'festival'
The 'view from above' and 'cosmic consciousness'
The contemplation of impermanence and 'eternal recurrence'
Further Reading 233