What is Stoicism
From the post: What is Stoicism

Stoicism is a Hellenistic philosophy that states that Virtue is the only good. Under Virtue, we have the four cardinal virtues: Wisdom, Justice, Courage, and Temperance. And to reach a state of ‘Eudaimonia’, to live well, one must live in accordance with Nature. This is achieved by applying reason and logic to determine the true nature of each moment. Followed by choosing the best course of action. This will lead to a peaceful and content life.

The Founding of Stoicism

Zeno of Citium started studying philosophy with the Cynics. In particular with Crates of Thebes as his teacher. The Cynics were orthodox believers that Virtue was the only good. They lived in the streets with little to no possessions. Zeno later studied under the Megarians from whom he learned more about physics and logic. This he combined into Zenoism. Which parted from the Cynics by breaking his philosophy into three parts, Ethics, Logic, and Physics. Moreover, Zeno acknowledged that there are other things we prefer, which are not virtues. These preferred indifferences are concepts like wealth, health, community, etc.

Since Zeno taught his philosophy walking up and down the Stoa Poikile in Athens, Greece. The name of the philosophy soon changed into Stoicism. He did this in the style of Socrates, bringing philosophy back to the streets and making it accessible to a wider audience.

Reason and Logic

The Stoic idea of God or Providence, comes close to a pantheistic view. For the Stoics, we are part of the Rational Universe, the Logos. From which we have been given our reason and logic. This sets us apart from all the other animals. Yet we do share the mortal side with them, our emotions, and our impulses; the passions. In Stoicism, it is our duty to reduce the impact of these emotions by understanding them. This will help us make objective judgments on the moment based on reason and logic.

Stoic Fate

Since there is no good or bad in Stoicism, only fate, we should look at everything that happens to us from that standpoint. The Stoics believe in a deterministic universe, governed by cause and effect. Yet, within this whole, we have a sliver of free will by our governing faculty of the rational mind. It is up to us to choose how we deal with this fate. We can be more at peace if we accept fate and live with it.

Applied Stoicism

Stoicism is a pragmatic and active philosophy. It must be studied, but it can only make a difference if it is put into practice. It is a non-forgiving philosophy, and that’s why some people judge it as too difficult to live by. The Stoics keep reminding us that we only have the present moment. The past is gone and the future is uncertain, both are not under our control. Our focus should lie in the here and now. But once you start applying it to your life, step by step, you’ll see that it doesn’t break its promise of leading a more peaceful and content life.

Stoicism – A Stoic Short
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