Introducing Seneca

With our study of Marcus Aurelius having come to an end, we stay in ancient Rome but go back to the first century AD to study the great Stoic, Seneca the Younger. Seneca’s teachings have received wide reception as of late, his essays and letters serve as a great foundation for the practical application of […]

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Summary of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations

We have learned much from the private journal of the great emperor, Marcus Aurelius. A pillar upholding Stoic Philosophy, Meditations serves as a manual for living well. In our first post, Marcus taught us about the importance of retreating into one’s self: “Men seek retreats for themselves – in the country, by the sea, in […]

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Marcus Aurelius on Acceptance

So far in our study of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, we have discussed that self-mastery results from mastering one’s thoughts, and that in living according to one’s own nature, our greatest respite from the world becomes turning inward into our own self. The need for equanimity is stressed throughout the Meditations, and we now find that our […]

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Marcus Aurelius on Self-Mastery

If I were stuck on a desert island and had to choose only a few books to help shape my personal philosophy, Meditations would be at the top of that list. The timeless wisdom of Marcus Aurelius reminds us that all is temporary; our bodies, riches, and worldly prestige will soon be dust. He continually […]

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Marcus Aurelius on Living According to One’s Nature

A major theme throughout Marcus Aurelius’s writing is the need to live according to one’s own nature. Regardless of geography or time period, the great thinkers of the past constantly return to this truth. If you are to find peace, if you are to lead a great life, it must be your own. It is […]

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Marcus Aurelius on Retreating Into One’s Self

The Stoics believed that a man’s philosophy is revealed not in what he says but how he lives. A constant theme in the works of Stoicism is the need to be impervious to circumstance, allowing nothing to rob you of your equanimity. In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius reminds himself repeatedly that a sound philosophy is the […]

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Top Ten Books of 2016

I love to read. It one of my most beneficial and enjoyable practices. Each book is a tool for my utility belt, giving me a better understanding of the world in which I live and adjusting my lens with which to better navigate my experience. Reading gives us the gift of learning from the greatest […]

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Introducing Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations

After spending some time in Ancient Greece with Aristotle, we now travel to Rome, Italy, at the end of the second century AD, to learn from the great emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Marcus Aurelius ruled the Roman Empire from 161 AD- 180 AD. Known as the “Philosopher-King,” and considered the last of the “Five Good Emperors,” […]

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Summary of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics

The Nicomachean Ethics has proved to be Aristotle’s most popular work on the subject. Aptly nicknamed “The Philosopher”, Aristotle lived from 384-322 BC in ancient Greece, contributing to nearly every major field of study in his time. He studied under Plato for close to two decades before leaving Athens to become the tutor of Alexander […]

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Thanksgiving and the Power of Gratitude

I am thankful that I have a warm, dry place to sleep at night in a safe neighborhood. I am thankful that I live with my best friends and our loving dog Mooki. I am thankful my parents live ten minutes down the road, and despite the constant battle of aging, are relatively healthy. I […]

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Aristotle on Friendship

With the first three posts in this series, we discussed that we become virtuous by exercising virtue, that the virtues of character are a mean between the vices of excess and deficiency, and Aristotle’s views on happiness. Now we set our sights on what Aristotle’s take on friendship. Aristotle devoted a sizable portion of the […]

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Aristotle on Happiness

With the first two posts in this series, we discussed that we become virtuous by exercising virtue, and that the virtues of character are a mean between the vices of excess and deficiency. Now we set our sights on what Aristotle called “the end of human [aims]”– happiness. “Happiness is a certain sort of activity […]

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Aristotle’s Golden Mean

In our first post on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics(public library), we learned that we become virtuous by practicing virtue. We are now set with the task to properly define what virtue is using his concept of the Golden Mean. “Virtue… is a mean between two vices, one of excess and one of deficiency.” Echoing Schopenhauer’s advice on […]

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Aristotle on Virtue

With our study of Henry David Thoreau now complete, we turn to Ancient Greece at the time of Aristotle to study his great work,  Nicomachean Ethics(public library), a treatise on living the good life. Aristotle believed that happiness, man’s “greatest good,” is only made possible through living a virtuous life. He divided virtue into two […]

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Henry David Thoreau’s Walden in Review

With this series on Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, we explored some of the major pillars which upheld Thoreau’s philosophy and mode of living. In our first post, we learned that we spend too much time pursuing ends unnecessary to our existence. “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life […]

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