Topics Worth Investigating

  1. How is it possible not to be "disturbed" by the death of a loved one? Isn't the Stoic's cultivation of apatheia a conscious debilitation and desensitization of life?

  2. Assuming the Stoic ideal of eudaimonia is to be sought, by what kinds of behavioral conditioning could ensure that we care most deeply only for that which we can control? How is the "simple life" to be accomplished?

  3. In what sense, if any, could a Stoic love anything or anybody? Isn't Stoicism a "nay-saying" attitude toward life? Does the Stoic fear risking genuine happiness?

  4. Is it genuinely possible to eschew the esteem or affection of others? Is a human being essentially " a social animal" as Aristotle observes?

  5. Explicate the difference between Epictetus' admonition, "Remember that you are an actor in a drama, of such a kind as the author pleases to make it" and Ortega's observation, "Whether he be original or a plagiarist, man is the novelist of himself."[1]

  6. Is Stoicism essentially a "selfish philosophy?" Since we have no control over other people, then it would seem to follow that we should not care about them.



Jośe Ortega y Gasset. Historia como sistema. 1941.