A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (2020)

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy William B. Irvine A Guide to the Good Life The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy 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 wi
  • Title: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
  • Author: William B. Irvine
  • ISBN: 9780195374612
  • Page: 367
  • Format: Hardcover
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy William B. Irvine 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 in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable toOne 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 in ancient 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 the feelings 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 advice for 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 and fortune We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be 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 doing this, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy William B. Irvine

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One thought on “A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

  1. Sophia Park

    I picked this up from a recommendation on the Stoicism subreddit I went there from a passing curiosity I developed while reading about Zen Buddhism, and I was curious about how they differed I basically discovered a doctrine sorry philosophy of life I was already living by, and it was kind of eerie reading it I cleared it in 3 4 hours The book could ve used less arguing with invisible people It quickly adopts a defensive tone, as if universally persecuted you re not selling Satanism to me here, [...]

  2. Roy Lotz

    There will be or already has been a last time in your life that you brush your teeth, cut your hair, drive a car, mow the lawn, or play hopscotch.In my review of Feeling Good, a self help book, I noted the lack of practical philosophies in the modern world Far from an original insight, I now see that this idea is a relatively common criticism of contemporary education and modern philosophy The other day, for example, I stumbled upon a YouTube channel, the School of Life, an educational project t [...]

  3. Jeffrey

    There aren t many books written on a philosophy of life as there are philosophies for life out there and there aren t many books that exist in the great divide between academic philosophy and water downed caricatures of philosophy think Consolation of Philosophy but PART TWO Mr Irvine s book, however, provides one fairly detailed philosophy of life as Stoicism goes and bridges the divide by not only describing what is Stoicism but also, how to practice Stoicism for both tranquility and joy in th [...]

  4. B. Rule

    This book gets 5 stars for subject, 2 stars for execution The Stoics themselves are fascinating and every quote is a gem However, the author doesn t trust the ancient Stoics to carry the argument Instead, his account is a series of straw man arguments you might think that a Stoic would eat babies, but there s another reading Not quite that bad but almost Further, when he gets to the section on updating Stoicism for the modern world, the section where he has to do the heavy lifting by himself, he [...]

  5. David

    This was a pretty good if brief introduction to the Stoic philosophy What s notable about it is that the author, William Irvine, is not merely presenting historical information about the Stoics, or a primer on Stoicism for purely educational purposes, but actually advocating Stoicism as a philosophy of life with applicability to modern Westerners He spends some time talking about the history of the Stoic schools and pointing out that Stoics really did spend time constructing proofs that the Stoi [...]

  6. Paula Vince

    The author s first book, On Desire Why We Want What We Want was great, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to read this new one Professor Irvine suggests that many people are dissatisfied and gloomy because we unconsciously live a lifestyle he calls enlightened hedonism , in which we try to maximise the pleasure we experience, believing that as soon as we achieve a given goal, we ll be happy The problem is that other unfulfilled desires instantly well up to take their place He puts forward [...]

  7. Amir

    Recommended to If you are interested in applying philosophical views and wisdom to your life and if you value tranquility and inner peace above all.What this book is about The author William Irvine who is a professor of philosophy at Wright Stare university after having read through many philosophy schools from Zen Buddhist to Cynics and Stoics has come into conclusion that living a stoic life is worth pursuing due to its promising benefit which is tranquility and joy He has thus compiled teachi [...]

  8. Darryl

    This popular book won t be of much interest to those who have already read Seneca, Epictetus, Musonius Rufus, and Marcus Aurelius, or, indeed, to anybody who has read a solid introduction to their thought.Nor would it satisfy those looking for a clear and concise description of Stoic psychological techniques or exercises for that, one might turn to Stoic Spiritual Exercises by Elen Buzare.However, the book may be of interest to those seeking an easy to digest introductory exposition of Stoic pra [...]

  9. Hamid eNaser

    297 I find some good point about relaxing and to avoid of stress Good guiding for anyone who wants has its way for life.

  10. Neil White

    As much as I wanted to like this book, I m forced to give it little than a resounding meh with a B for effort As much as I enjoy the subject matter, and appreciated the author s attempt to bring an ancient philosophy in line with the present day which he does do with success , the writing itself feels stuck somewhere between a soft, feel good self help title that helps one live their life to the fullest, and a serious academic study of an influential philosophy It seems Irvine couldn t quite fi [...]

  11. C. Varn

    Dr Irvine presents Stoicism in its own context from the Roman period which is the one where the ethics are clearly developed, although it doesn t deal with the virtue and proto physics of the Greek Stoics and then puts it in a modern psychologized and evolutionary context.First, this book is wonderfully layman friendly He doesn t use the exact Greek and Roman terms He doesn t discuss apatheia, prohairesis, and sunkatathesis Dr Irvine discusses tranquility, virtue, and reason Dr Irvine also uses [...]

  12. Kiwi Begs2Differ✎

    Stoicism is a discipline, adopted by ancient Greeks and Roman philosophers, as a path to achieve tranquillity or peace of mind The idea of a simplified life as philosophy of life, like the Stoics proposed, appeals to me, so I was very interested in reading this book.After a brief history of the movement and its major exponents Seneca, Epictetus, Musonius, Marcus Aurelius , the author interprets the stoic teachings turning them into suggestions to be applied to modern lives Although it gives some [...]

  13. Paul Toth

    Lucky for me, some years back I stumbled into Diogenes, who refused to write prescriptions but referred me to the Stoics and Cynics Slowly, I learned how to better bear the onslaught of life s unnecessary absurdity and how to remember how, despite myself and you If my reasoning seems circular, so s the earth Irvine renders Stoicism a relevant and applicable philosophy of life, especially for those lacking the time and inclination to read the source material I don t pick bones, but I will note St [...]

  14. William1

    This is a very practical guide to living well Please don t let the grounding in philosophy put you off The Stoics were the most useful of philosophers What Irvine has done is to distill the teachings of Seneca, Epictetus, Musonius, Marcus Aurelius and the others into concise guidelines that can be applied to everyday life No abstractions heaped on abstractions here This is lively prose intended to instill a number of basic mental concepts that can bring tranquility the overarching Stoic ideal to [...]

  15. Nick Klagge

    tl dr nice book, Stoicism is awesome This was a very enjoyable and accessible book on Stoicism The author describes himself as a congenital Stoic, i.e one whose mind is naturally in accordance with many aspects of Stoic philosophy, and I think I could be described as the same thus my interest in reading this For anyone who is interested, I also highly recommend some of the primary sources the Handbook of Epictetus and the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius They are very accessible too After reading [...]

  16. Micole

    Very accessibly written, easy to apply guide to stoicism Appreciate what you have negative visualization Focus on what you can control dichotomy trichotomy of control and do not concern yourself with things that are actually irrelevant who invited you where, who complimented or insulted you Ask yourself, are you living by your values, not are you succeeding by someone else s misguided measures of success wealth, material things, status symbols Practice poverty, discomfort, challenge To appreciat [...]

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