- Series: Stoicism Today: Selected Writings
- Paperback: 202 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 27, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1502401924
- ISBN-13: 978-1502401922
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Stoicism Today: Selected Writings (Volume 1)
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About the Author
Patrick Ussher was born in Dublin in 1989. He is a PhD student, working on Stoic philosophy as a way of life, at the University of Exeter, UK.
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Top customer reviews
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If you haven't, I think A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy is excellent. It gives the kind of summary and overview that none of the original Stoic authors produced. Having that background lets you read the original texts by Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca with better understanding. I'm not saying you can't approach those without a foundation, but for me personally my understanding was richer and my sense of confidence was too, after reading A Guide to the Good Life.
To return to the text under discussion here, Stoicism Today offers a very rich array of contemporary thinkers putting Stoic ideas to work with today's phenomena, issues and problems. It carries forward the tradition in an alive and enjoyable way. Recommended.
What an absolutely, charming, stoic gem Patrick Ussher presents to readers in this informative and enlightening book.
Patrick Ussher picks the best applicable authors who write short essays and articles about how stoicism changes their outlook on life and the way they live it. Patrick even includes a short piece of his own writing on stoicism that is a pleasure to read.
This book presents the idea that stoicism, as a life philosophy, is alive and well and is working for the many authors featured within. Each author describes in detail when they first encountered and decided to start practicing stoicism as a way of life, they also share how this practice has changed their outlook on life and how they now live their lives in accord with stoic principles presented over two thousand years ago by the early Greek and Roman stoic philosophers.
Readers of philosophy and or self-help books will find this read a must to add to their library of life-changing books.
In recent years, there has been a burgeoning resurgence in Stoicism, with modern writers producing manuals on how to apply Stoic principles to life in today’s world, such as William B. Irvine’s A Guide to the Good Life. Along similar lines, Stoicism Today is a blog published out of the University of Exeter in England, edited and largely written by a team of British philosophers. This 2014 book, edited by Patrick Ussher, is the first volume of writings reprinted from the blog. 36 articles are included in the collection, covering a mixed bag of Stoic-related topics.
The collection starts out strong with essays summarizing and explaining the core concepts of Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca. These ancient Roman writers are the most prominent Stoics whose teachings survive today. The 21st-century writers clarify the ancient Stoic precepts and discuss their applicability to modern life. Though the bloggers hold PhDs in philosophy and command a thorough understanding of their subject, they do a great job of expressing these complex concepts in language that is accessible to the general reader, without dumbing down the subject matter.
While the first half of the book provides a good, broad education on Stoicism, the second half covers a diverse assortment of topics and perspectives. A section called “Life Stories” consists of accounts by people of various walks of life on how they use Stoicism in their daily lives and work, including a lawyer, a doctor, and a woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury. The most fascinating and inspiring story is that of Sam Sullivan, a quadriplegic who became mayor of Vancouver. Next is a section on how Stoicism can be applied to parenthood and the education of children. This is followed by a section on Stoicism and psychotherapy which will mostly appeal to psychiatric professionals, as it will likely be over the head of most general readers. Three articles deal with the concept of Stoic “mindfulness” and its relation or lack of relation to Buddhism. Finally, the book falls apart somewhat with its final section on Stoicism in popular culture. It includes an excerpt from a Stoicism-infused novel about prison inmates which is OK, but also a sample chapter from a horrible science fiction novel. The book’s final selection is a pretty good examination of the portrayal of Stoicism in the Star Trek television series.
This collection by its very nature is a hodgepodge, and the selections vary greatly in quality as well as subject matter. The core team of philosophers are good writers for the most part, but the ensemble cast of guest bloggers is hit and miss. Nevertheless, if you’ve read all the Stoic classics and are looking for further advice on how to put Stoicism into practice, you’re bound to find something here that will interest you.