Hierocles and The Cosmopolitan Ideal in the Ancient World.

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Hierocles and The Cosmopolitan Ideal in the Ancient World.

Hierocles and The Cosmopolitan Ideal in the Ancient World.

The origins of cosmopolitanism can be traced all of the way back to the 4th Century BC, to the then much loved (as indeed he still is today) Diogenes of Sinope, who having been forced into exile from his home city of Sinope moved to Athens to live the simple lifestyle of an ascetic, sleeping in a cracked pot in the marketplace and begging for food. The exploits of Diogenes are manifold and legendarily famous, he turned philosophy into a performance-art, demonstrating his values through deeds not just words, becoming a hugely popular and much-loved figure in and around Athens.

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The Boy With No Brain…

The Boy With No Brain…

Dear Lord Justice Kendal, my name is William Anderson. My friends call me ‘Billy’ or sometimes ‘Willy’ depending on their moods, older people mostly call me ‘Bill’. I also have a variety of ‘nicknames’ dished out by my friends, most of which wouldn’t be wise to reveal to you. I clearly understand what is appropriate despite being labelled by the media as the ‘Boy with no brain’. I am not thick! Indeed I’ve done well in school. Though apparently, I might have my certificates revoked due to the flawed perception my teachers and examiners have of me. They claim that

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Buddhist philosophy on the self – What is it that makes you, you?

Buddhist philosophy on the self – What is it that makes you, you?

(Note: Sanskrit or Pali words are highlighted in italics) Buddhist philosophy offers us a conceptual model to deconstruct the individual into the constituents or components that make up his being. Outside these five components there can be no individual and to remove them would be to demolish the individual being. Since this model deals with the nature of being, then it is a concept that comes under the category of ontology, the philosophical study of being. So now enter the Skandhas, of which are a core concept in Buddhism. The concept is also known as the five aggregates that make

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A Pattern in the Cosmos.

A Pattern in the Cosmos.

I often like to look at the night sky, to see the heavens ablaze with the light of distant suns. It provokes a feeling of awe and makes me think of the bigger questions in life, drawing me into the mystery of existence as I stare out into eternity. The universe and I and you are all undoubtedly one thing. How that thing got started is an enigma, it’s the primordial mystery. If we zoom out to the very largest of cosmic scales we can see that the universe has a structure and is made up of increasingly smaller things

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Marcus Aurelius on time, entropy, history and the love of life…

Marcus Aurelius on time, entropy, history and the love of life…

I absolutely love Marcus Aurelius, I’ve never met him of course (I’m much too young for that), but I’ve read his works and in a sense, the spirit of the man lives on. His spirit is noble, simple, lonely and kind. Marcus is my favourite stoic, I admire him because he put his duty to the people and senate of Rome before all other things. His devotion to his office is why we remember him as one of the Four Great Emperors of Rome. What’s also evident in his notes to himself (the Meditations), is that Marcus was full of

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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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The Chief Good

The Chief Good

  Introduction In this article we will explore the epicurean notions of wellbeing my primary source is book one of Cicero’s De Finibus in which Lucius Torquatus delivers a broad outline of epicurean ethics. (Lucius Manlius Torquatus was an ancient Roman statesman and military general during the later Roman Republic. Torquatus was an epicurean as revealed in Cicero’s De Finibus written in 45BC which accounted philosophical discourses of Cicero’s younger days. He was friends with Marcus Junius Brutus and the esteemed Roman polymath Marcus Tullius Cicero.)   The epicurean pleasure ‘The chief good, the chief good!’ This phrase was all the

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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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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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Little Blue Men

Little Blue Men

Derek started the truck, it’s electric engines powered up with a gentle whine, as the headlamps came on, illuminating the courtyard fence. He hated starting early, it was something about the eerily large eyes of the Little Blue Men, glistening in the dark, black as tar, but reflective nonetheless, almost too large for their child-sized skulls… The Boss was ‘the Boss,’ for a reason, whatever the old man said, had to be done. It was Derek’s turn to get out of bed and do the early shift, he daren’t give the fat, old, bastard any excuse to replace him with

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