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A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of…
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A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (udgave 2008)

af William B Irvine

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
9153117,167 (4.04)13
One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought inancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives.In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid thefeelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advicefor anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame andfortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have.Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows readers how to become thoughtful observers of their own life. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doingthis, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.… (mere)
Medlem:Genevan101
Titel:A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
Forfattere:William B Irvine
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (2008), Hardcover, 336 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Philosophy

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A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy af William B Irvine

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» Se også 13 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 29 (næste | vis alle)
“Stoic tranquility was a psychological state marked by absence of negative emotions such as grief, anger, and anxiety, and the presence of positive emotions. such as joy.”
“Stoicism and Zen have certain things in common”
“By contemplating the impermanence of everything in the world, we are forced to recognize that every time we do something could be the last time we do it, and this recognition can invest the things we do with the significance and intensity that would otherwise be absent.”
“Your primary desire should be your desire not to be frustrated by forming desires you won't be able to fulfill.”
“We can either spend this moment wishing it could be different, or we can embrace this moment.”
“...the act of foregoing pleasure can itself be pleasant.”
Marcus: ‘fellowship is the purpose behind our creation.’ ( )
  bowendwelle | Apr 20, 2021 |
I probably would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't read Massimo's Stoicism book first; this one was mostly a retread. What's different in this one is that he avoids some of the technical language ("preferred/dispreferred indifferents," amathia, etc.) which could be better for some people (personally, I like knowing the technical term for something, it helps me conceptualize it). It's better organized: he details the history of Stoicism as a movement first before breaking down its key ideas, then offering advice for practicing Stoicism, and finally offering some last words specifically addressing our modern context. It does a good job of incorporating ideas from many Stoics, primarily the Romans, whereas Massimo's focused mostly on Epictetus.

There are a couple of potential drawbacks, however. The history section is a double-edged sword, since he presents some of the important central ideas of Stoicism in what might seem like irrelevant and/or tedious detail. Also, as part of the final section, he presents an absolutely terrible evolutionary argument for the relevance of Stoicism. He admits that it's not very good, or at least not going to be especially convincing, and I think he would have better left it alone.

But on the plus side, I appreciated the straightforward and more or less neutral tone of this book more than Massimo, who would occasionally pretend he was having conversations with Epictetus. And there were some really interesting things he had to say about modern psychology: where it might take issue with Stoicism, and why Stoicism's claims actually prevail. All in all, a great intro to Stoicism. ( )
  exhypothesi | Mar 7, 2021 |
This books is mainly a practical guide. As it was my first work about Stoicism it's hard for me to judge stoical books interpretation. Practical guide to tranquility and reason techniques (negative visualization, self-denial etc.) is the longest and strongest point of this book. Deeper explanation of living in virtue and in accordance with nature is what I'm missing most. Historical aspect, even if short, gave sufficient view of Stoicism tale. The same with metaphysics. I was really pleased that author tried to back Stoicism by modern psychological researches and he did to some extent. The attempt to defend Stoicism from evolution theory was a bit worse. Another minus for me is reference to author personal practice of this philosophy, it was too deviative from the book and I didn't get much out of it.
Overall for a person that have never had experience with Stoicism it was a satisfying introduction. ( )
  piotrdarski | Feb 4, 2021 |
The historical background was interesting, but the rest was too pompous. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Dec 30, 2020 |
This is a fantastic, highly-actionable book that you won't regret reading. Insofar as it's a guide to the good life, it boils down to a few high-level principles:

* Be happy with what you've got
* Don't worry about things you can't change
* Strive to become stronger by intentionally putting yourself into uncomfortable situations

They're great high-level goals, and the remainder of the book is tactics for achieving them (and some boring history stuff.)

This book is so good that I'll buy you a copy---even if I don't know you :) Just ask!

( )
  isovector | Dec 14, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 29 (næste | vis alle)
All in all Irvine does a fine job in offering his “resolutely practical” brand of Stoicism to a popular audience. His citation of the original sources is effective and stimulating of interest. His tone is just the right one for the popular audience he wishes to reach. But Irvine’s work has more to offer than that. I believe he has unwittingly done a service to the scholarly audience as well by reminding us that the Stoics (and other ancient schools) were indeed all concerned with ‘meaning of life’ questions ...
 
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In memory of Charlie Doyle, who taught me to keep my head in the boat even when I'm not rowing.
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Indeed, pursuing pleasure, Seneca warns, is like pursuing a wild beast: On being captured, it can turn on us and tear us to pieces. Or, changing the metaphor a bit, he tells us that intense pleasures, when captured by us, become our captors, meaning that the more pleasures a man captures, “the more masters will he have to serve.”
[Antisthenes, a Cynic] also advised his listeners to “pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.”
Your primary desire, says Epictetus, should be your desire not to be frustrated by forming desires you won’t be able to fulfill.
if we seek social status, we give other people power over us: We have to do things calculated to make them admire us, and we have to refrain from doing things that will trigger their disfavor.
By contemplating the impermanence of everything in the world, we are forced to recognize that every time we do something could be the last time we do it, and this recognition can invest the things we do with a significance and intensity that would otherwise be absent.
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One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought inancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives.In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid thefeelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advicefor anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame andfortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have.Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows readers how to become thoughtful observers of their own life. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doingthis, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.

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