How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life

How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life

by Massimo Pigliucci


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In the tradition of How to Live and How Proust Can Change Your Life, a philosopher asks how ancient Stoicism can help us flourish today

Whenever we worry about what to eat, how to love, or simply how to be happy, we are worrying about how to lead a good life. No goal is more elusive. In How to Be a Stoic, philosopher Massimo Pigliucci offers Stoicism, the ancient philosophy that inspired the great emperor Marcus Aurelius, as the best way to attain it. Stoicism is a pragmatic philosophy that focuses our attention on what is possible and gives us perspective on what is unimportant. By understanding Stoicism, we can learn to answer crucial questions: Should we get married or divorced? How should we handle our money in a world nearly destroyed by a financial crisis? How can we survive great personal tragedy? Whoever we are, Stoicism has something for us—and How to Be a Stoic is the essential guide.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541644533
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 05/08/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 73,489
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Massimo Pigliucci is the K. D. Irani professor of philosophy at the City College of New York. The author or editor of thirteen books, he has been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Philosophy Now, and the Philosophers' Magazine, among others. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Unstraightforward Path 1

Chapter 2 A Road Map for the Journey 17

Part I The Discipline of Desire: What It Is Proper to Want or Not to Want

Chapter 3 Some Things Are in Our Power, Others Are Not 29

Chapter 4 Living According to Nature 47

Chapter 5 Playing Ball with Socrates 63

Chapter 6 God or Atoms? 79

Part II The Discipline of Action: How to Behave in the World

Chapter 7 It's All About Character (and Virtue) 95

Chapter 8 A Very Crucial Word 109

Chapter 9 The Role of Role Models 123

Chapter 10 Disability and Mental Illness 139

Part III The Discipline of Assent: How to React to Situations

Chapter 11 On Death and Suicide 157

Chapter 12 How to Deal with Anger, Anxiety, and Loneliness 171

Chapter 13 Love and Friendship 187

Chapter 14 Practical Spiritual Exercises 201

Appendix: The Hellenistic Schools of Practical Philosophy 223

Acknowledgments 241

Notes 243

Index 263

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