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Showing 1-10 of 104 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 144 reviews
on July 5, 2015
*Letters from a Stoic* is a first-person look at how an experienced Stoic applies philosophy to ordinary life and the world around him. From it you not only learn the core tenets of Stoicism, but get to witness the intellectual practice of someone who's wholly devoted to cultivating his mind, mastering philosophy, and achieving long-lasting happiness.

I've dabbled with philosophical texts before but have never felt like I've understood how philosophy is meant to be applied in every day life, or to what end. Unlike other texts I've read, *Letters from a Stoic* firmly grounds you in the root purpose of philosophy. In fact there were few themes throughout the book as recurrent as Seneca's view on the importance of philosophy, like in the following passage:

> Philosophy moulds and builds the personality, orders one's life, regulates one's conduct, shows one what one should do and what one should leave undone, sits at the helm and keeps one on the correct course as one is tossed about in perilous seas. Without it no one can lead a life free of free or worry. Every house of the day countless situations arise that call for advice, and for that advice we have to look to philosophy.

Seneca expresses dismay toward people who entertain or attempt to inspire themselves with philosophy but not actually study or practice it. Seneca also openly detests Epicureans, seeing them as pursuing a depraved form of happiness.

Consistent with Stoic tenets, Seneca preaches of avoiding vices and excess (he even discourages reading an abundant quantity of books). He especially warns of "the crowd", which he sees as the ultimate discourager of noble conduct. Seneca sees the ideal disposition as quiet, noble, and intellectual. Happiness is achieved not though anything external or material, but by devoted practice of philosophy and avoidance of all things that tempt or derail us from a cultivated disposition.
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on August 9, 2016
Generally I liked this book, because of the variety of topics, but that was also why I didn't like it so much. There are some lessons for living based on stoic beliefs, which I think still apply in our day and age. In fact I was quite amazed that the text that was written so long ago is still relevant today. Seneca writes in a very concise and lucid language, so everything is clear. He doesn't go into philosophical rants that put you to sleep. I just wish that there were more letters or a better selection of letters in the tome so that some topics wouldn't repeat so much
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on March 31, 2017
I am not a scholar or proficient in Latin, so I can't speak to the quality of the translation. I know it's the signature edition, and you can tell.

Seneca provides a different, refreshing look at Stoicism from Epictitus or Marcus Aurelius. The personal letter format shows a side of Rome that connects you to the past. The man himself reads just like a wise old man sharing wisdom with a younger generation.

If you like hanging out with elderly folk who have led fantastic lives, this is the book for you.
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on March 27, 2017
This book is a ripoff. The text is all there, but the cover is terribly pixelated and the text is too small. This book was not well made, or even well ripped-off. Spend the extra few dollars to get a nicer copy.
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on January 30, 2017
This is homemade and trashy looking. The print is microscopic and the cover photo is an horribly pixilated enlargement of a thumbnail someone found online. THERE ARE NO PAGE NUMBERS! The chapter headings are the same size font and aren't bold or underlined or anything to make it obvious. The chapters don't even start on a new page.

I bought this for a gift but I'd be embarrassed to give this to anyone.
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on March 15, 2017
Great except the paint on the book is slowly but consistently falling off (and gets all over my hands). I have to dock a star for that.
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on March 23, 2016
Missing several letters including letter 1, letter 14 etc etc... these letters are paramount to the book... IF I HAD OF KNOWN THIS I WOULD NEVER HAVE BOUGHT THREE COPIES AS GIFTS!!! BAAAAAAH
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on October 10, 2009
I actually own this in paper Back, and had been waiting for it to come into the Kindle Edition. Like Tim Ferris of The Four Hour Work Week, I read it in the morning first thing to influence my mind set for the day. As with life, sometimes it is burning with insights and reminders. Other times it just plods. But I find it very informative with ideas on how to be a better person and to live better. Even though this Philospher had controversy about if he lived as he suggested one lives. This point and a brief history on him is given at the beginning of the book. My main issue with the Kindle Edition is that whoever at the Publishers converted it for Kindle Edition, didn't bother checking it out on a Kindle. Seems for some odd reason the text will inexplicably go from normal size to 1-2 sizes bigger for a few paragraphs and then go back to regular size. I compared some of the passages to the hard copy and there is no rhyme or reason for the text size change. Do get the book, the font change is a tad annoying, but nothing major and the book is still very readable.
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on November 15, 2014
The book is highly relateable, and you'll find yourself wondering how Seneca's observations and experiences didn't happen yesterday on the street, in your home, and at work, but rather all the way before Christianity itself. Just goes to show you that no one has a monopoly on morality and just how much moral doctrine is re-branded and made to look exclusive. Experience is experience, and wisdom wrought from it is not only the only valid wisdom but a shared human experience. This book is (largely) wisdom, sans mythology.
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on April 11, 2017
For those not familiar with this work, you're in for a real treat! This is gripping and timeless, a solid foundation for exploring your own world view.
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