Stoicism: The Original Self Help? With Jules Evans (part1)

Stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy that grew up in Athens in 300BC, would seem to be light years away from modern self-help. The Stoics fasted, slept on floors, avoided hot baths, shunned cook books, attempted to extirpate all passions, and embraced suicide as a legitimate response to the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’. Hardly a philosophy for today’s touchy-feely society. And yet, Jules Evans argues, Stoicism was actually the original self-help. It gave its students a tool-box of practical exercises they could use to transform their emotions, train their minds, and achieve happiness. And the philosophy is enjoying an unlikely revival, through self-help. Ever since Dale Carnegie quoted Marcus Aurelius, self-help writers have been rediscovering Stoic ideas and techniques. In recent years, cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists have also been discovering the efficacy of Stoic therapy. Jules Evans discusses the unlikely revival of Stoicism, and discusses some of the therapeutic techniques the Stoics used to achieve inner peace. Jules Evans Jules Evans is a journalist, writer and researcher with the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary College. He has written on philosophy and psychology for Prospect, The Times, The Spectator, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and other publications. At Queen Mary College, he is researching the relationship between ancient Greek philosophy and modern psychology. You can connect with Jules on Twitter

PSY504 Cognitive Psychology


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