Socrates and the Stoics

Jannik Lindquist
Thoughts and notes on the ancient Greek and Roman philosophy of happiness (eudaimonia).
Created 12 Aug 2021
  • Human life is a harmonious exchange of benefits
    18 Oct 2021 • < 1 min read • 3 0
    "A person who hurries to repay at all costs has the attitude not of a grateful man, but of a debtor. And, to put it briefly, a person who is too eager to pay his debt is unwilling to owe, and he who i...
  • Success makes us lazy and stupid
    15 Oct 2021 • 1 min read • 5 4
    A recurring - and very characteristic - theme in Seneca’s writings is that luxury corrupts human beings. This is why he thinks we should be very suspicious of the things that are called preferred indi...
  • Is nature showing concern for us?
    14 Oct 2021 • < 1 min read • 1 1
    I'm fascinated by this argument: "What I am saying is that whenever god provides people with the material for doing something spiritedly and courageously, he is showing concern for them, whom he desir...
  • Thoughts about the relative importance of logic and physics in Stoicism
    13 Oct 2021 • 1 min read
    “physics played a much less important role than logic in the Stoic philosophy." - Samuel Sambursky, Physics of the Stoics, p. vii. In my opinion, this is an incredibly important reminder. Sometimes th...
  • No - wisdom is not a cardinal virtue
    12 Oct 2021 • 1 min read • 2 0
    How much knowledge is necessary for wisdom? A lot of modern followers of wisdom do not notice that the Stoics distinguished between wisdom understood as “knowledge about divine and human matters” (sop...
  • The strength and virtue of women
    11 Oct 2021 • 1 min read • 2 2
    One particularly troublesome thing about the Latin and Greek words for virtue (“virtus" and “aretē”, respectively) is that they both have strong connotations of masculine achievement. The world which ...
  • Career goals
    08 Oct 2021 • < 1 min read • 1 3
    "no one among those in political life counts the number of men he has outstripped, but only those by whom he is outdone: it is not so sweet to them to see many men behind them as it is distressing to ...
  • A philosopher learns from everyday life
    07 Oct 2021 • < 1 min read • 1 1
    I am sharing this quote because it is a fascinatingly fresh scene from ancient Rome and because it serves as a great illustration of what kind of work Seneca's "Natural questions" is. I can easily ima...
  • Sinking back to the human level
    06 Oct 2021 • < 1 min read • 0 1
    "Whenever you sink back from engagement with the divine to the human level, your sight will go dim, just like the eyes of those who return from bright sunlight to dense shadow". - Seneca, Natural ques...
  • The mind is still trying to understand itself
    05 Oct 2021 • < 1 min read • 3 6
    In the middle of a discussion of comets Seneca gives us this nugget about the human mind: "there are many things that we admit exist, but we do not know what they are like. Everybody will agree that w...
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