Menu
header photo

Frequently Asked Questions About Stoicism

Why do people want to "tone done," "modernize," "reform," reject, or demonize Stoicism?

The vast majority of the cases fall into a combination of these four reasons:

1) A person believes masculinity is inherently toxic.

2) A person either grossly misunderstands Western civilization or they intend to de facto destroy it through fundamental change.

3) A person loves the baser pleasures more than they love Wisdom.

4) A person makes the judgement that the world appears to have no evil.

Was Cicero a Stoic?

No.

Cicero did not claim to be a student of the Stoic School. In fact, he claimed to be not a Stoic.

At the core of Cicero's difference with the Stoic School was the School's cynicism regarding human institutions, including the cursus honorum, which he mastered remarkably as novus homo and suo anno (a self-made man as fast as humanly possible).

Is Stoicism something I have to believe in, or commit my life to?

No. Not everybody can, and many who can won't. However, anybody who is to reach eudaimonia must practice Stoicism, because the perfection of Virtue is necessary and sufficient for human thriving.

In this way, the Stoic School considers this question similar to, "Is gravity something I have to believe in, or commit my life to?"

What is Stoicism, considered as a philosophy of life in modern times?

Stoicism is the same today as it was in ancient times because the key to human eudaimonia has not changed. The increasing relevance of Stoicism in modern times does not detract from the Stoic School; it magnifies its enlightenment.

The classical Paradoxes are fundamental to Stoic School teachings. Among them is: All vices are equal, and all virtues are equal. Therefore, those to whom it appears "ancient" Stoicism is not "modern" enough for their discriminating tastes expose themselves as blind to that which has been passed down generationally.

To be candid, Stoic physics, cosmology, ethics, etc. enjoy modern corroboration from various sciences and social sciences.

It is not the case that, "No modern person believes in orthodox classical Stoicism as a whole."

They are Stoics.

They are alive and well. Therefore, any who might be tempted to apologizing for the practicality of full Stoicism would do well to meditate first on why they should make a bad judgement about appearances all around them and right in front of their eyes.

Right Reason discovers that the School's ethics, logic, and pathetics are rooted in its discoveries regarding the cosmos. Therefore, ignoring the School's cosmology produces arbitrary ethics foreign to Stoicism.