Philosophy & Spirituality

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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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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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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Thoreau On Philosophy

This is the fourth post in a series of posts examining Henry David Thoreau’s seminal book Walden. To read the first post on simplicity, click here. To read the second post on personal development, click here. To read the third post on self-reliance, click here. With our final theme in Thoreau’s Walden(public library), we will […]

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Thoreau on Self-Reliance

This is the third post in a series of posts examining Henry David Thoreau’s seminal book Walden. To read the first post on simplicity, click here. To read the second post on personal development, click here Thoreau’s time at Walden Pond was an exercise in self-reliance, though not in the traditional sense. He built his […]

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Thoreau on Personal Development

This is the second post in a series of posts examining Henry David Thoreau’s seminal book Walden. To read the first post, click here Henry David Thoreau went to the woods to live simply, and, in so doing, he sought the most efficient means of personal development. He believed in a life free of distraction […]

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Summary of Schopenhauer’s The Wisdom of Life

In the past series, we discussed some major themes of Schopenhauer’s The Wisdom of Life (public library). It is here worth noting that this text is only a small sample of his life’s work, coming thirty years after his magnum opus, The World as Will and Idea (undoubtedly to be discussed at length in the future!), […]

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Schopenhauer on the Opinions of Others

So far we have discussed three major themes in Schopenhauer’s The Wisdom of Life, that the greatest source of happiness is one’s self, and this is pursued through self-actualization of our particular gifts made possible by good health. We now turn toward one of the greatest obstacles toward personal fulfillment, the over-evaluation of the opinions […]

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Schopenhauer on Self-Actualization

In our first two posts on Schopenhauer’s The Wisdom of Life, we learned that happiness consists in what a man is rather than has, and that health is the foundation which makes such joy possible. We now turn toward the crafting of our daily lives, the purposeful ordering of one’s actions in order to reach […]

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Schopenhauer on Health

With our first post regarding Schopenhauer’s take on what makes for a happy life, we now turn toward what makes that happiness possible, namely, the fortune of good health. It might seem an unlikely source to receive advice on health from a 19th century philosopher, but Schopenhauer acknowledged that it was good health which made all […]

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