What Is Stoicism
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy that originated in ancient Greece and was first developed by Zeno of Citium in Athens approximately 300 BC. It is an integrated belief system designed to help us to become the best human beings possible and is compromised of 3 areas of study: Logic, Physics and Ethics. In essence, Stoics believe that virtue is the only true good for humankind, and mastery of one’s thoughts and emotions is the path to eudaimonia (“human flourishing derived by living well in accord with nature”).
Specifically, Stoics concentrate on mastery of emotional states via conditioning thought to recognize that our perception of a situation dictates our response thereto. Stoics recognize the illusion of control over externals and that the only thing we can control is our own thoughts and actions. Therefore, Stoics study Logic “the Discipline of Assent” to learn how to reason well; Physics “the Discipline of Desire” to learn about divine nature; and, Ethics “the Discipline of Action” to learn how to live/behave well.
Through understanding of theory and training in the practices of Stoicism countless people have found a way of living that gives them inner peace, strength and freedom even in the face of adversity — a path to a meaningful and enjoyable life! According to the philosophy, this is something within everyone’s reach and our heritage as rational beings.
"The mind free from violent passions is an acropolis, for man has nothing more secure to which he can fly for refuge"
Traditional vs. Modern Stoicism
Traditional Stoicism encompasses the core doctrines of Stoic philosophy, Logic, Ethics & Physics, and views them as inseparable aspects of Stoic understanding.
Traditional Stoics believe that Eudaimonia (good living) can only be achieved by adhering to virtuous living which is the highest good. Specifically, Stoics believe that virtue is the only true ‘good’ for mankind and that all external things, such as health, wealth, pleasure & pain, are neither good nor bad but instead are ‘indifferents’ which distract us from the true good – virtue.
Modern Stoicism is best described as an evolved understanding of Stoicism to lack emphasis on Logic & Physics while concentrating on Ethics. Specifically, Modern Stoics focus on virtuous ethical living absent a belief in any divine nature of the universe. In summary, Modern Stoics often lack a belief in God, or any divinity associated with nature, and instead concentrate on the dichotomy of control in order to achieve a more enlightened harmonious way of being.
StoicAttorneys.com does not differentiate our members based on Traditional vs. Modern Stoicism, and welcome all interested stoics to participate in our community. We believe that diversity of opinions make for a more informed and diverse organization and hope that everyone contributes to our community in an open, empathetic and educational manner.