Lessons in Stoicism Hardcover – September 5, 2019
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Top international reviews
There have been many popular works penned in the last few years. We have seen for example Edith Hall's pitch for Aristotle ("Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life"), Catherine Wilson's defence of Epicurus ("The Pleasure Principle: Epicureanism: A Philosophy for Modern Living") and several expositions of Stoicism, of which Dr John Sellars' "Lessons in Stoicism" is the latest addition.
Sellars, as well as being an academic, has been actively involved in the Modern Stoicism movement of people applying the philosophy to contemporary living. By the standards of other popular works on Stoicism this is brief, to say the least, but the potential advantage here is that it provides a useful taster to those who just want to know a little about Stoicism before deciding whether to explore further.
It covers in several short chapters the idea of ancient philosophy as "medicine for the soul", and some of the central concepts of Stoicism, namely: knowing what is under and not under our control (the famous 'dichotomy of control' of Epictetus), emotions (not at all what is commonly believed), dealing with adversity, understanding our place in the world, death, and our relationship with other people. There is a brief further reading list with some recommendations for translations of the three main ancient sources (Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca), some of the other popular modern works, and a smattering of more detailed works, including Sellars' own "Stoicism (Ancient Philosophies)" which as it happens was my own main introduction to the philosophy.
Would I recommend this? A qualified yes. It depends on what you are looking for. If you simply want to know what it's all about with a brief read before deciding whether to go further, this book is ideal. The more substantial alternatives for a first read I would put before you are as follows:
Donald Robertson, "Stoicism and the Art of Happiness" - probably the best all-round intro.
Donald Robertson, "How to Think Like a Roman Emperor"
Massimo Pigliucci, "How to be a Stoic: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Living"
(I would recommend *avoiding* the following, which are big selling works but in my opinion deficient):
William B. Irvine, "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy" - deviates too far from Stoic ideas.
Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman, "The Daily Stoic" - a little too business/success oriented for my liking.)
The book would be particularly useful for people who have their interest piqued about what Stoicism might have to offer, and those people who are more familiar with the philosophy will surely enjoy this effective, articulate distillation of its key tenets.
Read Sellar's Stoicism next, then take it from there
Heard about this book from Chris Evans