The Internet and Free Speech

The Internet and Free Speech

The Internet and Free Speech

We live in a polarized age, mainly thanks to the internet. It’s a double-edged sword and like all gifts of the gods, it can cut both ways. It can bring good things and also bad things, just like the original and first gift of the gods, namely fire. Fire can warm you, and be used to cook your food, burn your enemies and be nice to look at, but it can burn your crops too, destroy your household and consume all in its path, badly handled fire is a terrible thing, and so it is with the internet which is

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What is Philosophy For? (According to the Stoics)

What is Philosophy For? (According to the Stoics)

It’s amazing, that one of the things that I treasure about getting older (for me at least,) is that I have an increased sense of gratitude for the life that I have. I really value the experience of living. Every moment is precious. “When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love …” Marcus Aurelius. It’s not that the clock is running down, although it certainly is for me, compared to someone born yesterday or even twenty or thirty years ago. It’s simply that I am grateful

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10 Ways to deal with your enemies like a Roman Emperor

10 Ways to deal with your enemies like a Roman Emperor

I’ve always been the type of guy who thought that he didn’t have enemies in life. I was the nice guy, I did nice things, I was kind to everyone, cheerful, polite, a bit of a loner, self-reliant, solitary, with a few good friends and determined to do good. Why would anyone be an enemy to me? The argument from determinism. I’ve turned the other cheek, tried to see the best in people and whilst I haven’t always agreed or supported their actions, I’ve taken the view that if I had lived completely in their shoes and experienced what they

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Epictetus on insulting behavior and character assassination…

Epictetus on insulting behavior and character assassination…

When I was a kid, going to school and growing up in the 1970’s the adults around us used to encourage us to be unbothered or indifferent to the name calling of others. My mother had a mantra which went like this. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me…” If any other children in the playground tried to belittle me with an insult I was advised to simply repeat the above to them. Without knowing how exactly, my mother was and today remains a natural stoic. Stoicism requires honesty to oneself and a willingness

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Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 6 That the wise man alone is rich

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 6 That the wise man alone is rich

  We finally arrive at the last paradox; Paradox VI. That the wise man alone is rich. Cicero gives us his definition, revealed later, on what makes us rich and it’s not the common definition; this is why it has the making of a paradox! I will use the word affluent to describe wealthy in material possessions and money instead of rich to avoid confusion. This is addressed either to Marcus Brutus or Marcus Licinius Crassus (being the most affluent man in Rome) I’m assuming the former is being addressed because Crassus was already dead at the time of this

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The Tyranny of Positive Thinking

The Tyranny of Positive Thinking

I’ve got an app on my desktop that helpfully shows me little philosophical proverbs and quotes, every day. It’s been very good in the recent past but has crossed the line lately by outputting one-liners like this… “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right,” Author – Unknown. As respectable stoic I disapprove of and would ask everyone to ignore ‘happy-clappy, you can do it,’ nonsense such as this because we have no need of philosophical pornography. Whilst well intentioned and undoubtedly sincere, trippy one-liners that are exuberantly positive contribute endlessly

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The Stoic approach to life and death.

The Stoic approach to life and death.

“Nobody is born on purpose,” that’s an oft-quoted remark from one of my favourite tv shows at the moment, namely ‘Rick and Morty,’ that underlines a profound truth, that as far as we know, nobody really is born on purpose. The reason why I say ‘as far as we know,’ is that as philosophers we’re only concerned with this life, the one that we are living right now, the life that we didn’t ask for but are nevertheless existing within. We do not know anything about the validity of other lifetimes whether in heaven, a pre-existence in a god-like realm

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Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 5 That the wise man alone is free, and that every fool is a slave.

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 5 That the wise man alone is free, and that every fool is a slave.

Now to enter the world of Paradox V. That the wise man alone is free, and that every fool is a slave. As part of the commentary of Cicero’s Stoic Paradoxes. Be mindful that the word slavery has a special meaning here as will be revealed.   A detour into the ideal military leader   Though not a military man himself, Cicero begins by talking about the ideal disposition military generals should possess as part of their character; Cicero then goes on to comment: “But how or over what free man will he exercise control who can not command his

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Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 4 That Every Fool Is A Madman

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 4 That Every Fool Is A Madman

Now to attend to Paradox IV – That every fool is a madman. This one’s only two pages long! However Mark Webb in his CICERO’S PARADOXA STOICORUM:A NEW TRANSLATION WITH PHILOSOPHICAL COMMENTARY for this paradox he says: ‘There is a substantial lacuna in the text here, after which the title paradox, that every fool is insane, is abandoned and two other paradoxes are taken up. They have been identified by Molager and Lee as “Every fool is an exile” and “The wise man cannot be harmed.” Very probably the end of paradox four and the beginning of the other has

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Musonius Rufus – How to Live by Ben White – Book Review

Musonius Rufus – How to Live by Ben White – Book Review

“Virtue isn’t simply theoretical knowledge-it is also practical application-just like the arts of medicine and music.” White, Ben. Musonius Rufus on How to live. I really like the ancient Stoics, and I particularly like the work of Marcus Aurelius and Musonius Rufus, because it’s self-evident that these men more than many others lived their work, and used their philosophy throughout their daily lives as a tool for correct living and self-improvement. Gaius Musonius Rufus was born around about 20-30 AD and was famous in Rome by the time of Nero a renowned teacher of Stoicism and was strongly associated with

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