A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

by William B. Irvine

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195374612
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 11/04/2008
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 52,166
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

William B. Irvine is Professor of Philosophy at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He is the author of On Desire: Why We Want What We Want.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Part One: The Rise of Stoicism
The Birth of Philosophy
The First Stoics
The Roman Stoics
Part Two: Stoic Psychological Techniques
Negative Visualization: What's the Worst That Can Happen?
The Dichotomy of Control: On Becoming Invincible
Fatalism: Letting Go of the Past . . . and the Present
Self-Denial: On Dealing with the Dark Side of Pleasure
Meditation: Watching Ourselves Practice Stoicism
Part Three: Stoic Advice
Duty: On Loving Mankind
Social Relations: On Dealing with Other People
Insults: On Putting Up with Put-Downs
Grief: On Conquering Tears with Reason
Anger: On Overcoming Anti-Joy
Personal Values: On Seeking Fame
Personal Values: On Luxurious Living
Exile: On Surviving a Change of Place
Old Age: On Being Banished to a Nursing Home
Dying: On a Good End to a Good Life
On Becoming a Stoic: Start Now and Prepare to Be Mocked
Part Four: Stoicism for Modern Living
The Anti-Stoics
Stoicism Reconsidered
Practicing Stoicism
A Stoic Reading Program
Notes
Works Cited

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A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
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Carl_in_Richland More than 1 year ago
Prof. Irvine’s ‘A Guide to the Good Life’ is one of the most practical guides to “the good life” that I’ve ever read. It begins by advocating the need for readers to address two important philosophical questions…what do you want out of life, and how will you attain it? These are questions that all of us should think about, and to which he proposes the respective answers of ‘tranquility’ and ‘Stoicism’. He uses the word ‘tranquility’ in the same general sense that most use it, albeit with caveats and refinements. However he uses the word ‘Stoic’ in a much different way than is used by most people. Rather than painting a picture of a Stoic as a grim, unemotional, never flinching person, he describes a Stoic as a joyful, grief-free individual who can justify their outlook on life, and hence their enjoyment, using a very rationale perspective. The Stoic approach to living is analytic with no need for blind faith, mysticism or spirituality. The techniques Prof. Irvine describes for living the life of a Stoic are described elsewhere so won’t be summarized here. I can personally attest to their utility and therefore highly recommend this book to any thoughtful reader. ‘A Guide to the Good Life’ is worth reading if for no other purpose than to convince you of the importance of thinking about the two questions posed at the start of this review…what do you want out of life? How will you attain it?
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