Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Irvine’s A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

Irvine’s A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy has a slightly misleading title, as Irvine is just as much pouring Stoicism into a modern mold as he is presenting an ancient art.

There is nothing wrong with this, and he repeatedly stresses that his Stoicism is a product of ancient Stoicism, but is even more so a new creation.  In fact, some of the techniques he provides to become a Stoic are not found in ancient sources (again, he points this out).

This does not detract from the book, in fact, it brings Stoicism to our age.  Irvin eliminates the ancient religious elements from Stoicism.  Any and all metaphysics is removed.  You won’t find reference to God, gods, Zeus or the World-Fire.  For that, use Irvin’s helpful list of books from Stoics at the end of this guide.

Controlling our emotions is probably one of the most difficult challenges in life. Irvine provides a fine avenue to approach this fraught task.

No comments:

Post a Comment