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Summary

Drawing on the wisdom of Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and others, Nancy Sherman's Stoic Wisdom presents a compelling modern Stoicism that teaches grit, resilience, and the importance of close relationships in addressing life's biggest and smallest challenges.

A renowned expert in ancient and modern ethics, Sherman relates how Stoic methods of examining beliefs and perceptions can help us correct distortions in what we believe, see, and feel. Her study reveals a profound insight about the Stoics: They never believed, as Stoic popularizers often hold, that rugged self-reliance or indifference to the world around us is at the heart of living well. We are at home in the world, they insisted, when we are connected to each other in cooperative efforts. We build resilience and goodness through our deepest relationships.

Bringing ancient ideas to bear on 21st-century concerns, from workers facing stress and burnout to first responders in a pandemic, from soldiers on the battlefield to citizens fighting for racial justice, Sherman shows how Stoicism can help us fulfill the promise of our shared humanity. In nine lessons that combine ancient pithy quotes and daily exercises with contemporary ethics and psychology, Stoic Wisdom is a field manual for the art of living well.

©2021 Oxford University Press (P)2021 Gildan Media

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  • Franklin C. Annis
  • 31-07-21

Academically dishonest

Nancy Sherman corrupts Stoic philosophy to advance a specific modern political ideology. She employs the language and techniques of Critical theory while not admitting that these philosophies have contradictory assumption about the universality of knowledge. She condemns the United States for its history of slavery while excluding references to Zeno of Citium's (the founder of Stoicism) call to end all slavery in his Republic. She fails to report the Stoic influence on American philosophers like Emerson, Thoreau and Thomas Wentworth Higgison as they advanced the abolition of slavery. She fails to address the NeoStoics and how many of the questions she asks have already been answered in the Stoic tradition. I am sure this book will sell well to those on the left but it doesn't accurately present Stoicism. The works of Donald Robertson are far superior in presenting the pure philosophy. I would highly recommend his "How to think like a Roman Empire."

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