PDF [How tobe a Stoic]
In which you find yourself may not be in your control but your reactions are This is a really empowering message I can take offence and react badly or I can think about the situation rationally and objectively The ultimate goal is to achieve euanimity Why make yourself miserable eg sit and fume because someone in the room is getting on your wick when you can choose not to let it bother youThe book ends with twelve exercises to help you master the Stoic virtues Some of them I live by now but have only got to this point through six decades of learning them the hard way others will reuire a bit work For me this book offers a very sensible approach to life One that will result in those that practice the methods living a fulfilled calmer and balanced life I ve already learned a lot of useful processes from reading it and hope that I can master those that come less naturally to me Time will tellI d highly recommend this book if you re interested in learning about Ancient Greek philosophy andor Stoicism itself or are just interested to read about how relevant these ideas are to us today In case you hadn t worked it out already I thoroughly enjoyed itWith thanks to Penguin Random House UK Ebury Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC So almost all of my reviews are actually of audiobooks but this one I wanted to make sure I chose the audiobook edition because I think things specific to the audiobook impacted my enjoyment I honestly found the narrator a bit boring Like he detracted from the workThat said there are plenty of interesting insights and things to ponder in here It s not bad But it definitely did not I hadn t read about stoicism before yet it puts so well in words many of my life philosophies and practices Especially those hard for me to explain Like being ready to lose anything or anyone and caring about them at the same time Or that I don t have to be a robot to stay calm if events are out of my controlThe idea that living a good life depends on understanding both how the world and human s reasoning work is severely underrepresented in self help and philosophy literature I ve come to it via experience or reading on behavioral psychology Understanding of how our brains and the world work is the central piece in stoicism and I loved it for thatI found the book to be a decent introduction to stoicism Ample historical context led to the main points explained with philosophical uotes from the original Greek Roman stoics their words interpreted to mere mortals language Every now and then there were personal examples that felt like preaching to the choir people with different behavior or moral views may not relate to staying calm amidst military coups or avoiding fine diningThe How To aspect of the book also deserves some attention it s in the title it must be important I doubt it s humanly possible to effectively explain how to change one s life philosophy in a short book though *Massimo Pigliucci Tried There Are Some Exercises *Pigliucci tried There are some exercises ideas what to
"do they all "They all really hard to accomplish for those outside of the already practicing stoics Of course I would love to be wrong let me now if the advice in the book turned you into anything close to a stoic How to Be a Stoic taught me a bit about stoicism and I will be reading for sure Men who made these discoveries before us are not our masters bur our guides Truth lies open for all it has not yet been monopolized Seneca uoted in Pigliucci s How to Be a StoicFor me the book was a bit too superficial on Stoicism and focused too much on the author s personal journey In some ways this book reminds me a bit of Robert Wright s Why Buddhism is True The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment EXCEPT I think Wright s analysis and wrting were both better It makes me sad because I wanted so much to like this book My personal philosophy of life seems to swing a bit between the Stoicism of Marcus Aurelius and the Epicureanism of Lucretius So perhaps I m a Stoic and work and an Epicurean at home Or maybe I m a Stoic during the day and an Epicurean at night Anyway perhaps the book missed its target with me because I wanted a deeper dive into Stoicism but paired with a deeper dive into the conflicts between Stocism and Modernity My final major critiue is while I enjoyed the major structureorganization of the book He divides the book into four sections The first three are the three disciplines of stoicism 1 Desire 2 Action and 3 Assent In the final and fourth section of the book Pigliucci gives us a dozen selected spiritual excercises to get the reader started on their way to becoming a good student of Stoicism and as good a person as the reader can be My problem lies in the awkward path Pigliucci uses He choses Epicetetus to be his Virgil ok I m game but then literally pretends to be having conversations mid narrative with Epicetetusit was at this point during our conversation that I realized what Epicetetus was telling me had countless applications in my own life In theory I get what Pigliucci was trying to do but it came off awkward and a bit forced and Cucina Povera kind of silly At least I m positive that the three stars aren t going to cause Pigliucci any pain He s a Stoic He s got the tools to survive my three starslight One fascinating conflict would be Bill Clinton s wellnown love of Marcus Aurelius Meditations While it is certainly possible that Clinton reads Meditations yearly After eight years as President Clinton is not the President most would pick to exemplify a modern stoic philosopher ing. Toicism we can learn to answer crucial uestions 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 gui. The philosophy was interesting as was the style of writing philosophy articulation via discourse I enjoyed learning about the core concepts of Stoicism and will explore them in my personal life However the religious overtones of many of the stories shared in the book the faith like fervor of it was a little off putting for me My interview with Massimo about the book is at 3AM Mag here It s taken me a long time to write this review as I hoped to be able to impart some of my own experiencesconclusions about ideas and methods contained within the book But what i ve learned is that while I appreciate the features of Stoicism i m so far away from being Stoic that I might as well be an advertisement for how not to do it The modern idea of stoicism as the endurance of hardship without showing feelings is somewhat applicable I m all about that stereotypical English emotional repression but I m than prepared to complain about anything and everything so even that s pretty much out In any case that definition is a long way from the Stoicism examined in the book of which there are three disciplines desire action assent and four principles practical wisdom courage justice temperance The comprehensive presentation developed by Massimo Pugliucci sets out a series of ways of thinking and coping with life that meld ancient ideas with modern society offering advice that s genuinely relevant All joking aside I felt that I learned something here not just about how ancient authors approached the uestion of how we should live but in how their answers still have something sensible and practical to say to us todayMassimo Pigliucci formats the book in a Socratic style presenting the issues through a personal dialogue with Epictetus It s bit disuieting in the beginning but I can see the benefits It certainly allows for a reflective approachable conversational style that has a distinctive sense of the author s individual journey He likes to do things with a smile but that doesn t mean the seriousness suffers For something that could well be labelled self help this has a good deal of history with primary source evidence throughout It allows for a layered interpretation with Epictetus Cicero Marcus Aurelius and many others own words providing the basis for the discussion with Pigliucci evaluating their meaning and applying their ideas to the overarching framework of Stoic philosophy It s not always an easy read but as the author takes you through the three main sections he makes sure to show you the value in grounding the discussion in the evidence That way it s not just about what people thought but why and how they came to the conclusions they did which is then followed up by the ways in which this nowledge can be applied to your own life As such the book consistently provides concrete examples of what works and why even before it reaches the final section of practical exercises It gives the author s recommendations a validity and rationality that not all books in this genre achieveReading this made me understand why there has been considerable contemporary interest in stoicism to the extent that there s now a yearly Stoic week for all those who want to try to live like a Stoic and incorporate the tenets into their daily lives There are so many websites and online articles that finding information about the philosophy is very simple but nevertheless this book would be a valuable addition to any search thanks to its depth and accessibility Above all it makes you think about your own behaviour and how it *is possible to change it for the better to change it for the better providing an effective resource to you can return for answers whenever life throws you some new challengeARC via Netgalley This book may help you live the good life or it might get you started on reading philosophy or both 37 starsIt is uite a good book but with the same breath I want to say it better be after borrowing so much from its predecessors I enjoyed particularly the illustrating stories from author s life although they did not match A Guide to the Good Life The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy and from lives of modern day Stoics In terms of clarity of thinking and ability to move beyond just repeating the wisdom of the ancients the book definitely lacked compared to A New Stoicism At last in terms of practice the provided suggestions I am not going to call it descriptions considering how relatively brief it was cannot compare to Donald J Robertson s books Overall I can see why Massimo wrote the book it is obviously deeply personal to him although I am not sure whether he managed to communicate this aspect enough and teaching others about things he
cares about is simply what he does but I am not sure how much valueabout is simply what he does but I am not sure how much value is in it for someone who is already familiar with the three authors I mentioned above especially considering the price What I would love to see less of all the endless uotes of the ancients what is up with that I mean sure they are the source of inspiration but Stoicism is not a religious movement that needs to persuade everyone that sayings of some very old texts have direct implications for modern lives Hasn t there been uite a bit of development in terms of ethics psychology etc Aren t there better ways to tell the intellectual journey Why is it so important to make the impression that some long lost ancient wisdom is being revealedWhat I would love to see much of integration with current virtue ethics integration with current thinking about human condition integration with current ps. In the tradition of How to Live and How Proust Can Change Your Life a philosopher asks how ancient Stoicism can help us flourish todayWhenever 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 elusive In How to Be a Stoic.