Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 4 That Every Fool Is A Madman

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Stoic Paradoxes – paradox 3 All the vices and all the virtues are equal

Stoic Paradoxes – paradox 3 All the vices and all the virtues are equal

  As this series continues on exploring these paradoxes by Cicero, I endeavour to uncover and mine out the topics of each paradox. The next we come across is Paradox III – All the vices and all virtues are equal.   The measure of crime   At the beginning, Cicero, being the statesman he is, tells us what the measure of a crime is: “The matter it may be said is a trifle, but the crime is enormous; for crimes are not to be measured by the issue of events, but from the bad intentions of men” As Rome’s best

Continue Reading

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 2 Virtue Is Sufficient For Happiness

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 2 Virtue Is Sufficient For Happiness

    The previous paradox stated that virtue is the only good and if virtue is the only good then logically virtue alone is sufficient for happiness and that is what this paradox is all about. It’s a short essay being no more than 3 pages long! On the flip side though there is much content that can be elaborated provided you peruse it carefully. So onwards we go with the commentaries!   Cicero praises Marcus Regulus   Cicero begins by admiring the Consul Marcus Regulus, who fought against the Carthaginians in the first Punic war. Cicero tells us about

Continue Reading

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 1 That Virtue Is The Only Good

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 1 That Virtue Is The Only Good

  Cicero’s Stoic Paradoxes   The Stoic Paradoxes is a short work written ‘during these shorter nights’ of the year 46BC. The work is comprised of six essays addressed to Marcus Brutus. In the short introduction of the work Cicero’s reasons are given for writing the essays: “I have, for amusement, digested into common-places those topics which the Stoics scarcely prove in their retirement and in their schools. Such topics are termed, even by themselves, paradoxes, because they are remarkable, and contrary to the opinion of all men” Cicero was a man indifferent to the disagreements or the ‘raillery’ of

Continue Reading

La Mettrie’s Anti-Seneca

La Mettrie’s Anti-Seneca

    Intro The philosopher physician returns and this time he brings his own ethics on happiness. However, his ethics sharply contrasts with that of the stoics putting forward hedonism over virtue (but not over the pleasure derived from collecting new knowledge it must be said). First published in 1748, while shacking up at Fredrick’s court, Anti-Seneca had gone through many revisions, rewritten many times by La Mettrie for the purpose of perfecting his morality drawn from his own interpretation of materialism. As is typical with our darling philosopher physician, contention, controversy and condemnation trails not far behind him with

Continue Reading

Philosophers throughout the ages

Continue Reading

On The Nature Of Things

On The Nature Of Things

    Introduction The star of this article is Lucretius, a Roman poet living within 1st BCE Republican Rome. What makes this poet extraordinary and quite unique is that he wrote an epic length poem not of romance, heroism, adventure or any of that sentimental claptrap but wrote a philosophical poem on that of nature. You see, Lucretius was both a poet and a philosopher who synthesised the two into his magnum opus, The Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura, in Latin) a work dedicated to Epicurean philosophy. Typical of all works of naturalistic philosophy you will begin to notice

Continue Reading

Thoughts on The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius

Thoughts on The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius

Before reading the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, I would highly recommend that you get yourself a modern translation of it. It can be hard to read an older version as Old English and the archaic use of language doesn’t come naturally to modern people which in turn can make you stumble through the text and lose the subtle nuances of some of the passages. I’ve recently completed reading Meditations (A New Translations, with an introduction by Gregory Hays) which I found to be a very easy, light and intelligent read that allows the personality and gentle nobility of Marcus Aurelius

Continue Reading

Merry Christmas from the Stand Up Philosophers 2017

Merry Christmas from the Stand Up Philosophers 2017

Merry Christmas from my colleague (Epicurus of Albion) and I (Comicus Muo) to all of our august and noble readers from across the world. 2017 has been a good year for us wannabe philosophers who starting a blog with zero visitors have seen it gain an enormous amount of traction this year. The comments we’ve received from our readers are kind, thoughtful, constructive and highly welcome. We’ve come to love our readers and their own unique philosophical insights into the ‘good life,’ and welcome all comments and points of view and will endeavour to do our best to broaden our

Continue Reading