Ep. XXV: Stoicism & Marcus Aurelius: Useful, Dated, or Dangerous?

“Death and life, success and failure, pain and pleasure, wealth and poverty, all these happen to good and bad alike, and they are neither noble, nor shameful, neither good nor bad.”

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius was written almost 2000 years ago, but it’s still a popular book among philosophically-inclined rulers. But is Meditations truly profound philosophy, or is it overrated? And could it still act as a useful guide in the modern age?

We’ll be looking at several quotes by Marcus Aurelius and using them as the basis of a discussion which spans questions of whether stoicism leaves you vulnerable to psychopaths, whether stoicism is anti-individualist, whether stoicism spurs productivity or is de-motivating, and whether the universe is fundamentally ordered or chaotic, static or dynamic.

By the end of this discussion, you’ll enjoy a far deeper understanding of stoicism, the enigmatic Marcus Aurelius, and perhaps even morality itself.

MEDIA REFERENCED:

Meditation by Marcus Aurelius (our recommended translation): https://amzn.to/32mm1xS

The One Who Walked Away From Omelas by Ursula LeGuin: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-Ones-Who-Walk-Away-from-Omelas-Guin/e57397df8d6841d62d5771eae936d60028fffd4e

Yerkes-Dodson Curve: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerkes%E2%80%93Dodson_law

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