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Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek

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  • TheophileEscargot
    Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans: http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
    Message 1 of 20 , Dec 1, 2012
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      Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:


      And Julian Baggini:


      Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not just to like how it makes you feel. 



      --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on this
      > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
      >
      > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
      > er-lip
      > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
      > per-lip>
      >
      > Donald Robertson
      >
    • Donald Robertson
      Well, maybe I m biased, but I really thought Baggini s article was dreadful. It opens with a big picture of Sigmund Freud, apparently trying to send out the
      Message 2 of 20 , Dec 1, 2012
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        Well, maybe I'm biased, but I really thought Baggini's article was dreadful. It opens with a big picture of Sigmund Freud, apparently trying to send out the message that has something to do with Stoic Week, which is completely and utterly false. I get the impression that he wrote the article without actually reading the website or study handbook. It is also based, as I'm sure anyone here can tell, on a complete misunderstanding of Stoicism. In fact, the position he attributes to Stoics, that their goal is to "feel better", is so blatantly incorrect that it seems like he's never actually read anything about Stoic philosophy either.

        It's one of those things that it's hard to construct a reasonable response to because it's so garbled and full of basic misconceptions. I'm pretty certain if he'd submitted an undergraduate essay on Stoic philosophy describing it in those terms that it would have to be failed, because it is so obviously far off the mark, but apparently that's good enough to be published in The Independent newspaper.

        I wouldn't like to think that anyone would read it, though, and assume he's read the study handbook and is simply reporting its aims because that's not the case. He's completely misrepresented what the study is about and its aims. The comments he makes about its methodological limitations are nonsense because he fails to point out that it's simply a pilot study, meant to establish the feasibility of doing more statistically robust research in the future - something that's completely normal when you're developing a new research project.

        Donald Robertson

        --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@...> wrote:
        >
        > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
        > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
        > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
        > And Julian Baggini:
        > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
        > therapy-8372420.html
        > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
        > -therapy-8372420.html>
        > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
        > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
        > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
        > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
        > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
        > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
        > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
        > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
        > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
        > just to like how it makes you feel.
        >
        >
        > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
        > this
        > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
        > >
        > >
        > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
        > \
        > > er-lip
        > >
        > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
        > \
        > > per-lip>
        > >
        > > Donald Robertson
        > >
        >
      • Michael van der Galien
        I was amazed - not in a positive way - by the article as well. It seemed to me that he didn t understand anything about stoicism or stoic week. Not sure
        Message 3 of 20 , Dec 1, 2012
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          I was amazed - not in a positive way - by the article as well. It seemed to me that he didn't understand anything about stoicism or stoic week. Not sure whether it's worth responding to in great length though, since it's so far off the mark.

          On Saturday, December 1, 2012, Donald Robertson wrote:
           

          Well, maybe I'm biased, but I really thought Baggini's article was dreadful. It opens with a big picture of Sigmund Freud, apparently trying to send out the message that has something to do with Stoic Week, which is completely and utterly false. I get the impression that he wrote the article without actually reading the website or study handbook. It is also based, as I'm sure anyone here can tell, on a complete misunderstanding of Stoicism. In fact, the position he attributes to Stoics, that their goal is to "feel better", is so blatantly incorrect that it seems like he's never actually read anything about Stoic philosophy either.

          It's one of those things that it's hard to construct a reasonable response to because it's so garbled and full of basic misconceptions. I'm pretty certain if he'd submitted an undergraduate essay on Stoic philosophy describing it in those terms that it would have to be failed, because it is so obviously far off the mark, but apparently that's good enough to be published in The Independent newspaper.

          I wouldn't like to think that anyone would read it, though, and assume he's read the study handbook and is simply reporting its aims because that's not the case. He's completely misrepresented what the study is about and its aims. The comments he makes about its methodological limitations are nonsense because he fails to point out that it's simply a pilot study, meant to establish the feasibility of doing more statistically robust research in the future - something that's completely normal when you're developing a new research project.

          Donald Robertson

          --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@...> wrote:
          >
          > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
          > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
          > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
          > And Julian Baggini:
          > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
          > therapy-8372420.html
          > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
          > -therapy-8372420.html>
          > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
          > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
          > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
          > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
          > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
          > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
          > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
          > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
          > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
          > just to like how it makes you feel.
          >
          >
          > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
          > this
          > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
          > >
          > >
          > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
          > \
          > > er-lip
          > >
          > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
          > \
          > > per-lip>
          > >
          > > Donald Robertson
          > >
          >



          --
          Michael van der Galien
          Managing Editor De Dagelijkse Standaard
          Izmir, Turkey
          Web: http://www.dagelijksestandaard.nl

          Email: mpfvandergalien@...
          Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MichaelvdGalien

        • Mark Bryan
          I ve read the article several times and still don t understand what he s trying to say, other than that he doesn t particularly like Stoicism. He himself has a
          Message 4 of 20 , Dec 2, 2012
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            I've read the article several times and still don't understand what he's trying to say, other than that he doesn't particularly like Stoicism. He himself has a book about applying (Aristotelean) philosophical insights to life.

            http://www.shrinkandsage.com/

            Webpage includes a related podcast  interview with John Sellars.

            Mark Bryan



            From: Donald Robertson <don.robertson@...>
            To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, 1 December 2012, 17:57
            Subject: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek

             
            Well, maybe I'm biased, but I really thought Baggini's article was dreadful. It opens with a big picture of Sigmund Freud, apparently trying to send out the message that has something to do with Stoic Week, which is completely and utterly false. I get the impression that he wrote the article without actually reading the website or study handbook. It is also based, as I'm sure anyone here can tell, on a complete misunderstanding of Stoicism. In fact, the position he attributes to Stoics, that their goal is to "feel better", is so blatantly incorrect that it seems like he's never actually read anything about Stoic philosophy either.

            It's one of those things that it's hard to construct a reasonable response to because it's so garbled and full of basic misconceptions. I'm pretty certain if he'd submitted an undergraduate essay on Stoic philosophy describing it in those terms that it would have to be failed, because it is so obviously far off the mark, but apparently that's good enough to be published in The Independent newspaper.

            I wouldn't like to think that anyone would read it, though, and assume he's read the study handbook and is simply reporting its aims because that's not the case. He's completely misrepresented what the study is about and its aims. The comments he makes about its methodological limitations are nonsense because he fails to point out that it's simply a pilot study, meant to establish the feasibility of doing more statistically robust research in the future - something that's completely normal when you're developing a new research project.

            Donald Robertson

            --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@...> wrote:
            >
            > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
            > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
            > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
            > And Julian Baggini:
            > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
            > therapy-8372420.html
            > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
            > -therapy-8372420.html>
            > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
            > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
            > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
            > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
            > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
            > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
            > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
            > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
            > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
            > just to like how it makes you feel.
            >
            >
            > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
            > this
            > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
            > >
            > >
            > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
            > \
            > > er-lip
            > >
            > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
            > \
            > > per-lip>
            > >
            > > Donald Robertson
            > >
            >



          • Scott Rhodes
            Id say the article is 90 percent about psychology and only 10 percent about Stoicism at most. Baggini s point is concerned with the difference between
            Message 5 of 20 , Dec 2, 2012
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              Id say the article is 90 percent about psychology and only 10 percent about Stoicism at most. Baggini's point is concerned with the difference between psychology and philosophy in general. It's a valid distinction whether or not you agree with the article. In fact it might prove a good exercise to contemplate what that difference is.

              "What would be the object of such an exercise?"

              Well that's the point. Is there really an end to philosophy? Do we love wisdom because we are neurotic? 

              Also the article is an overall a caveat about the tendency of our age to think in terms of consumers seeking quick fixes, particularly when normalcy is presupposed, and most expressly when the operative question remains "how does that make you feel?" 

              To ask such questions as "why has technology and capitalism historically coincided with an acceleration of addictive personalities?" (madness for Foucault, schizophrenia for Deleuze) are we supposing that psychology only treats symptoms? Is the problem that leads us to the couch a personal problem? Is there a more critical mode of thinking about the age in which we live? Assessing the state of the human project suggests a mode characterized less by ones self, wider in scope but certainly not without day to day thought and consequence.

              These are thoughts of a more general philosopher. It may appear to us "latter day Stoics" that the therapeutic aspect is endemic to this particular school. But if Stoicism has an inherent slippery slope to psychologising it would do well to remember that it did not exist before the 19c. 

              What's the difference? 

              Are you in love or just trying to get fixed up?





              On Dec 2, 2012, at 2:30 AM, Mark Bryan <markbryan1@...> wrote:

               

              I've read the article several times and still don't understand what he's trying to say, other than that he doesn't particularly like Stoicism. He himself has a book about applying (Aristotelean) philosophical insights to life.

              http://www.shrinkandsage.com/

              Webpage includes a related podcast  interview with John Sellars.

              Mark Bryan



              From: Donald Robertson <don.robertson@...>
              To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Saturday, 1 December 2012, 17:57
              Subject: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek

               
              Well, maybe I'm biased, but I really thought Baggini's article was dreadful. It opens with a big picture of Sigmund Freud, apparently trying to send out the message that has something to do with Stoic Week, which is completely and utterly false. I get the impression that he wrote the article without actually reading the website or study handbook. It is also based, as I'm sure anyone here can tell, on a complete misunderstanding of Stoicism. In fact, the position he attributes to Stoics, that their goal is to "feel better", is so blatantly incorrect that it seems like he's never actually read anything about Stoic philosophy either.

              It's one of those things that it's hard to construct a reasonable response to because it's so garbled and full of basic misconceptions. I'm pretty certain if he'd submitted an undergraduate essay on Stoic philosophy describing it in those terms that it would have to be failed, because it is so obviously far off the mark, but apparently that's good enough to be published in The Independent newspaper.

              I wouldn't like to think that anyone would read it, though, and assume he's read the study handbook and is simply reporting its aims because that's not the case. He's completely misrepresented what the study is about and its aims. The comments he makes about its methodological limitations are nonsense because he fails to point out that it's simply a pilot study, meant to establish the feasibility of doing more statistically robust research in the future - something that's completely normal when you're developing a new research project.

              Donald Robertson

              --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@...> wrote:
              >
              > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
              > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
              > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
              > And Julian Baggini:
              > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
              > therapy-8372420.html
              > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
              > -therapy-8372420.html>
              > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
              > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
              > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
              > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
              > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
              > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
              > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
              > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
              > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
              > just to like how it makes you feel.
              >
              >
              > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
              > this
              > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
              > >
              > >
              > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
              > \
              > > er-lip
              > >
              > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
              > \
              > > per-lip>
              > >
              > > Donald Robertson
              > >
              >



            • Ian
              We shouldn t love wisdom because we are neurotic:P We should love it because it helps us engage in the real world in a productive way, and maybe get peace of
              Message 6 of 20 , Dec 2, 2012
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                We shouldn't love wisdom because we are neurotic:P

                We should love it because it helps us engage in the real world in a productive way, and maybe get peace of mind in the mean time. ( The two points are connected, I think). That's what I want out of stoicism, anyway.

                If Bilbo Baggins (or whatever his name is ) has got a problem with that, he's going to taste my stoic revenge ........... which is to do nothing but pity him.

                Sent from my iPad

                On 2 Dec 2012, at 14:33, Scott Rhodes <flinch@...> wrote:

                 

                Id say the article is 90 percent about psychology and only 10 percent about Stoicism at most. Baggini's point is concerned with the difference between psychology and philosophy in general. It's a valid distinction whether or not you agree with the article. In fact it might prove a good exercise to contemplate what that difference is.

                "What would be the object of such an exercise?"

                Well that's the point. Is there really an end to philosophy? Do we love wisdom because we are neurotic? 

                Also the article is an overall a caveat about the tendency of our age to think in terms of consumers seeking quick fixes, particularly when normalcy is presupposed, and most expressly when the operative question remains "how does that make you feel?" 

                To ask such questions as "why has technology and capitalism historically coincided with an acceleration of addictive personalities?" (madness for Foucault, schizophrenia for Deleuze) are we supposing that psychology only treats symptoms? Is the problem that leads us to the couch a personal problem? Is there a more critical mode of thinking about the age in which we live? Assessing the state of the human project suggests a mode characterized less by ones self, wider in scope but certainly not without day to day thought and consequence.

                These are thoughts of a more general philosopher. It may appear to us "latter day Stoics" that the therapeutic aspect is endemic to this particular school. But if Stoicism has an inherent slippery slope to psychologising it would do well to remember that it did not exist before the 19c. 

                What's the difference? 

                Are you in love or just trying to get fixed up?





                On Dec 2, 2012, at 2:30 AM, Mark Bryan <markbryan1@...> wrote:

                 

                I've read the article several times and still don't understand what he's trying to say, other than that he doesn't particularly like Stoicism. He himself has a book about applying (Aristotelean) philosophical insights to life.

                http://www.shrinkandsage.com/

                Webpage includes a related podcast  interview with John Sellars.

                Mark Bryan



                From: Donald Robertson <don.robertson@...>
                To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Saturday, 1 December 2012, 17:57
                Subject: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek

                 
                Well, maybe I'm biased, but I really thought Baggini's article was dreadful. It opens with a big picture of Sigmund Freud, apparently trying to send out the message that has something to do with Stoic Week, which is completely and utterly false. I get the impression that he wrote the article without actually reading the website or study handbook. It is also based, as I'm sure anyone here can tell, on a complete misunderstanding of Stoicism. In fact, the position he attributes to Stoics, that their goal is to "feel better", is so blatantly incorrect that it seems like he's never actually read anything about Stoic philosophy either.

                It's one of those things that it's hard to construct a reasonable response to because it's so garbled and full of basic misconceptions. I'm pretty certain if he'd submitted an undergraduate essay on Stoic philosophy describing it in those terms that it would have to be failed, because it is so obviously far off the mark, but apparently that's good enough to be published in The Independent newspaper.

                I wouldn't like to think that anyone would read it, though, and assume he's read the study handbook and is simply reporting its aims because that's not the case. He's completely misrepresented what the study is about and its aims. The comments he makes about its methodological limitations are nonsense because he fails to point out that it's simply a pilot study, meant to establish the feasibility of doing more statistically robust research in the future - something that's completely normal when you're developing a new research project.

                Donald Robertson

                --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@...> wrote:
                >
                > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
                > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
                > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
                > And Julian Baggini:
                > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
                > therapy-8372420.html
                > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
                > -therapy-8372420.html>
                > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
                > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
                > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
                > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
                > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
                > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
                > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
                > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
                > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
                > just to like how it makes you feel.
                >
                >
                > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
                > this
                > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
                > >
                > >
                > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
                > \
                > > er-lip
                > >
                > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
                > \
                > > per-lip>
                > >
                > > Donald Robertson
                > >
                >



              • Donald Robertson
                ... It sounds like you re saying Stoicism didn t exist before the 19th century - surely that can t be what you meant? Do you mean that psychologising has
                Message 7 of 20 , Dec 2, 2012
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                  You've lost me! Of course there are some valid points but it misattributes a load of views to Stoicism (and Stoic Week) that having nothing to do with them. What do you mean by:

                  >> But if Stoicism has an inherent slippery slope to psychologising it would do well to remember that it did not exist before the 19c.

                  It sounds like you're saying Stoicism didn't exist before the 19th century - surely that can't be what you meant? Do you mean that "psychologising" has only existed since then? What sense can we make of that? Stoicism has always had a psychological and therapeutic dimension, since the 3rd century BC.

                  Best,

                  Donald

                  --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Scott Rhodes <flinch@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Id say the article is 90 percent about psychology and only 10 percent about Stoicism at most. Baggini's point is concerned with the difference between psychology and philosophy in general. It's a valid distinction whether or not you agree with the article. In fact it might prove a good exercise to contemplate what that difference is.
                  >
                  > "What would be the object of such an exercise?"
                  >
                  > Well that's the point. Is there really an end to philosophy? Do we love wisdom because we are neurotic?
                  >
                  > Also the article is an overall a caveat about the tendency of our age to think in terms of consumers seeking quick fixes, particularly when normalcy is presupposed, and most expressly when the operative question remains "how does that make you feel?"
                  >
                  > To ask such questions as "why has technology and capitalism historically coincided with an acceleration of addictive personalities?" (madness for Foucault, schizophrenia for Deleuze) are we supposing that psychology only treats symptoms? Is the problem that leads us to the couch a personal problem? Is there a more critical mode of thinking about the age in which we live? Assessing the state of the human project suggests a mode characterized less by ones self, wider in scope but certainly not without day to day thought and consequence.
                  >
                  > These are thoughts of a more general philosopher. It may appear to us "latter day Stoics" that the therapeutic aspect is endemic to this particular school. But if Stoicism has an inherent slippery slope to psychologising it would do well to remember that it did not exist before the 19c.
                  >
                  > What's the difference?
                  >
                  > Are you in love or just trying to get fixed up?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > On Dec 2, 2012, at 2:30 AM, Mark Bryan <markbryan1@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > I've read the article several times and still don't understand what he's trying to say, other than that he doesn't particularly like Stoicism. He himself has a book about applying (Aristotelean) philosophical insights to life.
                  > >
                  > > http://www.shrinkandsage.com/
                  > >
                  > > Webpage includes a related podcast interview with John Sellars.
                  > >
                  > > Mark Bryan
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > From: Donald Robertson <don.robertson@...>
                  > > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                  > > Sent: Saturday, 1 December 2012, 17:57
                  > > Subject: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Well, maybe I'm biased, but I really thought Baggini's article was dreadful. It opens with a big picture of Sigmund Freud, apparently trying to send out the message that has something to do with Stoic Week, which is completely and utterly false. I get the impression that he wrote the article without actually reading the website or study handbook. It is also based, as I'm sure anyone here can tell, on a complete misunderstanding of Stoicism. In fact, the position he attributes to Stoics, that their goal is to "feel better", is so blatantly incorrect that it seems like he's never actually read anything about Stoic philosophy either.
                  > >
                  > > It's one of those things that it's hard to construct a reasonable response to because it's so garbled and full of basic misconceptions. I'm pretty certain if he'd submitted an undergraduate essay on Stoic philosophy describing it in those terms that it would have to be failed, because it is so obviously far off the mark, but apparently that's good enough to be published in The Independent newspaper.
                  > >
                  > > I wouldn't like to think that anyone would read it, though, and assume he's read the study handbook and is simply reporting its aims because that's not the case. He's completely misrepresented what the study is about and its aims. The comments he makes about its methodological limitations are nonsense because he fails to point out that it's simply a pilot study, meant to establish the feasibility of doing more statistically robust research in the future - something that's completely normal when you're developing a new research project.
                  > >
                  > > Donald Robertson
                  > >
                  > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
                  > > > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
                  > > > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
                  > > > And Julian Baggini:
                  > > > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
                  > > > therapy-8372420.html
                  > > > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
                  > > > -therapy-8372420.html>
                  > > > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
                  > > > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
                  > > > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
                  > > > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
                  > > > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
                  > > > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
                  > > > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
                  > > > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
                  > > > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
                  > > > just to like how it makes you feel.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
                  > > > wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
                  > > > this
                  > > > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
                  > > > \
                  > > > > er-lip
                  > > > >
                  > > > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
                  > > > \
                  > > > > per-lip>
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Donald Robertson
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Kevin
                  Scott wrote:   What s the difference? Are you in love or just trying to get fixed up? An interesting question. Could one could practice Stoicism because
                  Message 8 of 20 , Dec 2, 2012
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                    Scott wrote:
                     
                    "What's the difference?
                    Are you in love or just trying to get fixed up?"

                    An interesting question. Could one could practice Stoicism because the answer is "yes" to either or both? Would it be the same Stoicism practiced by each?

                    One can wish to be the "shining purple thread" or to  have a life with a few less troubles and to some extent both.
                     
                    From history we can say a Stoic philosopher who agreed to have his beard cut off because the emperor said "cut it off or die" would have been viewed as a failed Stoic by his peers, even if he seemed to have been very tranquil during circumstances. But one that refused to cut off his beard and then faced punishment with tranquility would have been lifted up as a model Stoic. If we assume that a person who is only interested in being "fixed up" will not behave the same as the one "in love" I would say the difference lies there.
                     
                    I would say that today, in the US at least, most people want to be fixed up and that the romantic notion of being a hero, particularly a  hero of personal character, is mostly dead.
                     
                    Kevin

                    ------------------------------
                    On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 5:33 AM EST Scott Rhodes wrote:

                    >Id say the article is 90 percent about psychology and only 10 percent about Stoicism at most. Baggini's point is concerned with the difference between psychology and philosophy in general. It's a valid distinction whether or not you agree with the article. In fact it might prove a good exercise to contemplate what that difference is.
                    >
                    >"What would be the object of such an exercise?"
                    >
                    >Well that's the point. Is there really an end to philosophy? Do we love wisdom because we are neurotic?
                    >
                    >Also the article is an overall a caveat about the tendency of our age to think in terms of consumers seeking quick fixes, particularly when normalcy is presupposed, and most expressly when the operative question remains "how does that make you feel?"
                    >
                    >To ask such questions as "why has technology and capitalism historically coincided with an acceleration of addictive personalities?" (madness for Foucault, schizophrenia for Deleuze) are we supposing that psychology only treats symptoms? Is the problem that leads us to the couch a personal problem? Is there a more critical mode of thinking about the age in which we live? Assessing the state of the human project suggests a mode characterized less by ones self, wider in scope but certainly not without day to day thought and consequence.
                    >
                    >These are thoughts of a more general philosopher. It may appear to us "latter day Stoics" that the therapeutic aspect is endemic to this particular school. But if Stoicism has an inherent slippery slope to psychologising it would do well to remember that it did not exist before the 19c.
                    >
                    >What's the difference?
                    >
                    >Are you in love or just trying to get fixed up?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >On Dec 2, 2012, at 2:30 AM, Mark Bryan <markbryan1@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >> I've read the article several times and still don't understand what he's trying to say, other than that he doesn't particularly like Stoicism. He himself has a book about applying (Aristotelean) philosophical insights to life.
                    >>
                    >> http://www.shrinkandsage.com/
                    >>
                    >> Webpage includes a related podcast  interview with John Sellars.
                    >>
                    >> Mark Bryan
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> From: Donald Robertson <don.robertson@...>
                    >> To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                    >> Sent: Saturday, 1 December 2012, 17:57
                    >> Subject: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek
                    >>
                    >> 
                    >> Well, maybe I'm biased, but I really thought Baggini's article was dreadful. It opens with a big picture of Sigmund Freud, apparently trying to send out the message that has something to do with Stoic Week, which is completely and utterly false. I get the impression that he wrote the article without actually reading the website or study handbook. It is also based, as I'm sure anyone here can tell, on a complete misunderstanding of Stoicism. In fact, the position he attributes to Stoics, that their goal is to "feel better", is so blatantly incorrect that it seems like he's never actually read anything about Stoic philosophy either.
                    >>
                    >> It's one of those things that it's hard to construct a reasonable response to because it's so garbled and full of basic misconceptions. I'm pretty certain if he'd submitted an undergraduate essay on Stoic philosophy describing it in those terms that it would have to be failed, because it is so obviously far off the mark, but apparently that's good enough to be published in The Independent newspaper.
                    >>
                    >> I wouldn't like to think that anyone would read it, though, and assume he's read the study handbook and is simply reporting its aims because that's not the case. He's completely misrepresented what the study is about and its aims. The comments he makes about its methodological limitations are nonsense because he fails to point out that it's simply a pilot study, meant to establish the feasibility of doing more statistically robust research in the future - something that's completely normal when you're developing a new research project.
                    >>
                    >> Donald Robertson
                    >>
                    >> --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@...> wrote:
                    >> >
                    >> > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
                    >> > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
                    >> > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
                    >> > And Julian Baggini:
                    >> > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-/
                    >> > therapy-8372420.html
                    >> > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with/
                    >> > -therapy-8372420.html>
                    >> > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
                    >> > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
                    >> > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
                    >> > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
                    >> > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
                    >> > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
                    >> > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
                    >> > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
                    >> > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
                    >> > just to like how it makes you feel.
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >> > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
                    >> > wrote:
                    >> > >
                    >> > >
                    >> > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
                    >> > this
                    >> > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
                    >> > >
                    >> > >
                    >> > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp/
                    >> > \
                    >> > > er-lip
                    >> > >
                    >> > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up/
                    >> > \
                    >> > > per-lip>
                    >> > >
                    >> > > Donald Robertson
                    >> > >
                    >> >
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>

                  • Scott Rhodes
                    Hey Donald Im sorry i was not clear enough. Maybe it would help if i ask you what you see distinguishing psychology from philosophy? How is the object of study
                    Message 9 of 20 , Dec 2, 2012
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                      Hey Donald

                      Im sorry i was not clear enough. Maybe it would help if i ask you what you see distinguishing psychology from philosophy?  

                      How is the object of study for a philosopher different from that of a psychologist? Would either or both be dissatisfied with the other's analysis?

                      Is anything philosophical yet not psychological?

                      S
                       

                      On Dec 2, 2012, at 10:25 AM, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@...> wrote:

                       

                      You've lost me! Of course there are some valid points but it misattributes a load of views to Stoicism (and Stoic Week) that having nothing to do with them. What do you mean by:

                      >> But if Stoicism has an inherent slippery slope to psychologising it would do well to remember that it did not exist before the 19c.

                      It sounds like you're saying Stoicism didn't exist before the 19th century - surely that can't be what you meant? Do you mean that "psychologising" has only existed since then? What sense can we make of that? Stoicism has always had a psychological and therapeutic dimension, since the 3rd century BC.

                      Best,

                      Donald

                      --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Scott Rhodes <flinch@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Id say the article is 90 percent about psychology and only 10 percent about Stoicism at most. Baggini's point is concerned with the difference between psychology and philosophy in general. It's a valid distinction whether or not you agree with the article. In fact it might prove a good exercise to contemplate what that difference is.
                      >
                      > "What would be the object of such an exercise?"
                      >
                      > Well that's the point. Is there really an end to philosophy? Do we love wisdom because we are neurotic?
                      >
                      > Also the article is an overall a caveat about the tendency of our age to think in terms of consumers seeking quick fixes, particularly when normalcy is presupposed, and most expressly when the operative question remains "how does that make you feel?"
                      >
                      > To ask such questions as "why has technology and capitalism historically coincided with an acceleration of addictive personalities?" (madness for Foucault, schizophrenia for Deleuze) are we supposing that psychology only treats symptoms? Is the problem that leads us to the couch a personal problem? Is there a more critical mode of thinking about the age in which we live? Assessing the state of the human project suggests a mode characterized less by ones self, wider in scope but certainly not without day to day thought and consequence.
                      >
                      > These are thoughts of a more general philosopher. It may appear to us "latter day Stoics" that the therapeutic aspect is endemic to this particular school. But if Stoicism has an inherent slippery slope to psychologising it would do well to remember that it did not exist before the 19c.
                      >
                      > What's the difference?
                      >
                      > Are you in love or just trying to get fixed up?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > On Dec 2, 2012, at 2:30 AM, Mark Bryan <markbryan1@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > I've read the article several times and still don't understand what he's trying to say, other than that he doesn't particularly like Stoicism. He himself has a book about applying (Aristotelean) philosophical insights to life.
                      > >
                      > > http://www.shrinkandsage.com/
                      > >
                      > > Webpage includes a related podcast interview with John Sellars.
                      > >
                      > > Mark Bryan
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > From: Donald Robertson <don.robertson@...>
                      > > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Sent: Saturday, 1 December 2012, 17:57
                      > > Subject: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Well, maybe I'm biased, but I really thought Baggini's article was dreadful. It opens with a big picture of Sigmund Freud, apparently trying to send out the message that has something to do with Stoic Week, which is completely and utterly false. I get the impression that he wrote the article without actually reading the website or study handbook. It is also based, as I'm sure anyone here can tell, on a complete misunderstanding of Stoicism. In fact, the position he attributes to Stoics, that their goal is to "feel better", is so blatantly incorrect that it seems like he's never actually read anything about Stoic philosophy either.
                      > >
                      > > It's one of those things that it's hard to construct a reasonable response to because it's so garbled and full of basic misconceptions. I'm pretty certain if he'd submitted an undergraduate essay on Stoic philosophy describing it in those terms that it would have to be failed, because it is so obviously far off the mark, but apparently that's good enough to be published in The Independent newspaper.
                      > >
                      > > I wouldn't like to think that anyone would read it, though, and assume he's read the study handbook and is simply reporting its aims because that's not the case. He's completely misrepresented what the study is about and its aims. The comments he makes about its methodological limitations are nonsense because he fails to point out that it's simply a pilot study, meant to establish the feasibility of doing more statistically robust research in the future - something that's completely normal when you're developing a new research project.
                      > >
                      > > Donald Robertson
                      > >
                      > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
                      > > > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
                      > > > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
                      > > > And Julian Baggini:
                      > > > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
                      > > > therapy-8372420.html
                      > > > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
                      > > > -therapy-8372420.html>
                      > > > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
                      > > > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
                      > > > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
                      > > > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
                      > > > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
                      > > > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
                      > > > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
                      > > > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
                      > > > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
                      > > > just to like how it makes you feel.
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
                      > > > wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
                      > > > this
                      > > > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
                      > > > \
                      > > > > er-lip
                      > > > >
                      > > > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
                      > > > \
                      > > > > per-lip>
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Donald Robertson
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >

                    • Donald Robertson
                      Well, I would just these terms more or less in the standard English dictionary definition sense. It s notoriously hard to give a dictionary definition of
                      Message 10 of 20 , Dec 3, 2012
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                        Well,

                        I would just these terms more or less in the standard English dictionary definition sense. It's notoriously hard to give a dictionary definition of philosophy but it's a tradition of reflective thought about such matters as logic, metaphysics, and ethics, that forms a clear tradition with Socrates as its most famous historical exemplar. It also refers, in ancient philosophy, to various ways of living that value the cardinal virtue of wisdom as the chief good and typically involve physical and psychological strategies. I'd say psychology refers to the study of the mind or psyche, and can be philosophical, although it's now more empirical in nature. As for differences, that's tricky because they're overlapping complex concepts. Until about the start of the 20th century, psychology was largely a subordinate discipline within theology and philosophy. In terms of the modern disciplines, psychology tends to be more empirical and philosophy more reflective, although both can study the mind (e.g., philosophy of mind or philosophy of psychology).

                        Not sure whether clarifying that helps or not, though. Surely most people will use those terms in a broadly similar manner.

                        Perhaps you could clarify your own position a bit.

                        Best,

                        Donald

                        --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Scott Rhodes <flinch@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hey Donald
                        >
                        > Im sorry i was not clear enough. Maybe it would help if i ask you what you see distinguishing psychology from philosophy?
                        >
                        > How is the object of study for a philosopher different from that of a psychologist? Would either or both be dissatisfied with the other's analysis?
                        >
                        > Is anything philosophical yet not psychological?
                        >
                        > S
                        >
                        >
                        > On Dec 2, 2012, at 10:25 AM, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > You've lost me! Of course there are some valid points but it misattributes a load of views to Stoicism (and Stoic Week) that having nothing to do with them. What do you mean by:
                        > >
                        > > >> But if Stoicism has an inherent slippery slope to psychologising it would do well to remember that it did not exist before the 19c.
                        > >
                        > > It sounds like you're saying Stoicism didn't exist before the 19th century - surely that can't be what you meant? Do you mean that "psychologising" has only existed since then? What sense can we make of that? Stoicism has always had a psychological and therapeutic dimension, since the 3rd century BC.
                        > >
                        > > Best,
                        > >
                        > > Donald
                        > >
                        > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Scott Rhodes <flinch@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > Id say the article is 90 percent about psychology and only 10 percent about Stoicism at most. Baggini's point is concerned with the difference between psychology and philosophy in general. It's a valid distinction whether or not you agree with the article. In fact it might prove a good exercise to contemplate what that difference is.
                        > > >
                        > > > "What would be the object of such an exercise?"
                        > > >
                        > > > Well that's the point. Is there really an end to philosophy? Do we love wisdom because we are neurotic?
                        > > >
                        > > > Also the article is an overall a caveat about the tendency of our age to think in terms of consumers seeking quick fixes, particularly when normalcy is presupposed, and most expressly when the operative question remains "how does that make you feel?"
                        > > >
                        > > > To ask such questions as "why has technology and capitalism historically coincided with an acceleration of addictive personalities?" (madness for Foucault, schizophrenia for Deleuze) are we supposing that psychology only treats symptoms? Is the problem that leads us to the couch a personal problem? Is there a more critical mode of thinking about the age in which we live? Assessing the state of the human project suggests a mode characterized less by ones self, wider in scope but certainly not without day to day thought and consequence.
                        > > >
                        > > > These are thoughts of a more general philosopher. It may appear to us "latter day Stoics" that the therapeutic aspect is endemic to this particular school. But if Stoicism has an inherent slippery slope to psychologising it would do well to remember that it did not exist before the 19c.
                        > > >
                        > > > What's the difference?
                        > > >
                        > > > Are you in love or just trying to get fixed up?
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > On Dec 2, 2012, at 2:30 AM, Mark Bryan <markbryan1@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > > I've read the article several times and still don't understand what he's trying to say, other than that he doesn't particularly like Stoicism. He himself has a book about applying (Aristotelean) philosophical insights to life.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > http://www.shrinkandsage.com/
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Webpage includes a related podcast interview with John Sellars.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Mark Bryan
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > From: Donald Robertson <don.robertson@>
                        > > > > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                        > > > > Sent: Saturday, 1 December 2012, 17:57
                        > > > > Subject: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Well, maybe I'm biased, but I really thought Baggini's article was dreadful. It opens with a big picture of Sigmund Freud, apparently trying to send out the message that has something to do with Stoic Week, which is completely and utterly false. I get the impression that he wrote the article without actually reading the website or study handbook. It is also based, as I'm sure anyone here can tell, on a complete misunderstanding of Stoicism. In fact, the position he attributes to Stoics, that their goal is to "feel better", is so blatantly incorrect that it seems like he's never actually read anything about Stoic philosophy either.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > It's one of those things that it's hard to construct a reasonable response to because it's so garbled and full of basic misconceptions. I'm pretty certain if he'd submitted an undergraduate essay on Stoic philosophy describing it in those terms that it would have to be failed, because it is so obviously far off the mark, but apparently that's good enough to be published in The Independent newspaper.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > I wouldn't like to think that anyone would read it, though, and assume he's read the study handbook and is simply reporting its aims because that's not the case. He's completely misrepresented what the study is about and its aims. The comments he makes about its methodological limitations are nonsense because he fails to point out that it's simply a pilot study, meant to establish the feasibility of doing more statistically robust research in the future - something that's completely normal when you're developing a new research project.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Donald Robertson
                        > > > >
                        > > > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@> wrote:
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
                        > > > > > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
                        > > > > > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
                        > > > > > And Julian Baggini:
                        > > > > > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
                        > > > > > therapy-8372420.html
                        > > > > > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
                        > > > > > -therapy-8372420.html>
                        > > > > > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
                        > > > > > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
                        > > > > > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
                        > > > > > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
                        > > > > > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
                        > > > > > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
                        > > > > > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
                        > > > > > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
                        > > > > > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
                        > > > > > just to like how it makes you feel.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
                        > > > > > wrote:
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
                        > > > > > this
                        > > > > > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
                        > > > > > \
                        > > > > > > er-lip
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
                        > > > > > \
                        > > > > > > per-lip>
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Donald Robertson
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • Steve Marquis
                        Scott- For starters the venue of philosophy is inquiry into all things rational (if you believe the Stoics that would include everything). The venue of science
                        Message 11 of 20 , Dec 4, 2012
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                          Scott-

                           

                          For starters the venue of philosophy is inquiry into all things rational (if you believe the Stoics that would include everything).

                           

                          The venue of science is inquiry into all things rational that can be observed / measured empirically.

                           

                          The venue of psychology is a subset of that and is limited to science of the mind.

                           

                          Philosophy gave birth to all the sciences and now we usually view these step children as mature enough to be out from under the parent’s wings.  Psychology was one of the last to be accepted as such.

                           

                           

                          Psychology and philosophy of mind are not the same things.  Philosophy can work where empiricism cannot go. The chief area of interest in that regard is what is normative vs what is only descriptive.  If one holds to the physical metaphysics of rational empiricism too strongly philosophy really looses it value to provide answers to inquiry outside that box.  In my view this is why a modernized Stoicism free of the taint of anything non-empirical can never be Stoicism.

                           

                          If one holds to other views such as some kind of dualism philosophy is the only means of a shared systematic inquiry.  Philosophy is only limited by what is logically consistent and can be expressed through rational discourse.  This is a much bigger box than what can be measured empirically.

                           

                          If one wishes to subordinate the inquiry into all things rational under the inquiry into all thing empirical like with the idea of metaphorical reason then I do believe one has to give up the advantage of what philosophy can do.  But then if one thinks this way one doesn’t see what one is losing so there is nothing to give up.

                           

                          The children are hiding the difficult parent in the closet.

                           

                          Live well,

                          Steve



                          From: Scott Rhodes <flinch@...>
                          To: "stoics@yahoogroups.com" <stoics@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Sun, December 2, 2012 6:17:50 PM
                          Subject: Re: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek



                          Hey Donald

                          Im sorry i was not clear enough. Maybe it would help if i ask you what you see distinguishing psychology from philosophy?  

                          How is the object of study for a philosopher different from that of a psychologist? Would either or both be dissatisfied with the other's analysis?

                          Is anything philosophical yet not psychological?

                          S
                           

                          On Dec 2, 2012, at 10:25 AM, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@...> wrote:

                           

                          You've lost me! Of course there are some valid points but it misattributes a load of views to Stoicism (and Stoic Week) that having nothing to do with them. What do you mean by:

                          >> But if Stoicism has an inherent slippery slope to psychologising it would do well to remember that it did not exist before the 19c.

                          It sounds like you're saying Stoicism didn't exist before the 19th century - surely that can't be what you meant? Do you mean that "psychologising" has only existed since then? What sense can we make of that? Stoicism has always had a psychological and therapeutic dimension, since the 3rd century BC.

                          Best,

                          Donald

                          --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Scott Rhodes <flinch@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Id say the article is 90 percent about psychology and only 10 percent about Stoicism at most. Baggini's point is concerned with the difference between psychology and philosophy in general. It's a valid distinction whether or not you agree with the article. In fact it might prove a good exercise to contemplate what that difference is.
                          >
                          > "What would be the object of such an exercise?"
                          >
                          > Well that's the point. Is there really an end to philosophy? Do we love wisdom because we are neurotic?
                          >
                          > Also the article is an overall a caveat about the tendency of our age to think in terms of consumers seeking quick fixes, particularly when normalcy is presupposed, and most expressly when the operative question remains "how does that make you feel?"
                          >
                          > To ask such questions as "why has technology and capitalism historically coincided with an acceleration of addictive personalities?" (madness for Foucault, schizophrenia for Deleuze) are we supposing that psychology only treats symptoms? Is the problem that leads us to the couch a personal problem? Is there a more critical mode of thinking about the age in which we live? Assessing the state of the human project suggests a mode characterized less by ones self, wider in scope but certainly not without day to day thought and consequence.
                          >
                          > These are thoughts of a more general philosopher. It may appear to us "latter day Stoics" that the therapeutic aspect is endemic to this particular school. But if Stoicism has an inherent slippery slope to psychologising it would do well to remember that it did not exist before the 19c.
                          >
                          > What's the difference?
                          >
                          > Are you in love or just trying to get fixed up?
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > On Dec 2, 2012, at 2:30 AM, Mark Bryan <markbryan1@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > > I've read the article several times and still don't understand what he's trying to say, other than that he doesn't particularly like Stoicism. He himself has a book about applying (Aristotelean) philosophical insights to life.
                          > >
                          > > http://www.shrinkandsage.com/
                          > >
                          > > Webpage includes a related podcast interview with John Sellars.
                          > >
                          > > Mark Bryan
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > From: Donald Robertson <don.robertson@...>
                          > > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                          > > Sent: Saturday, 1 December 2012, 17:57
                          > > Subject: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Well, maybe I'm biased, but I really thought Baggini's article was dreadful. It opens with a big picture of Sigmund Freud, apparently trying to send out the message that has something to do with Stoic Week, which is completely and utterly false. I get the impression that he wrote the article without actually reading the website or study handbook. It is also based, as I'm sure anyone here can tell, on a complete misunderstanding of Stoicism. In fact, the position he attributes to Stoics, that their goal is to "feel better", is so blatantly incorrect that it seems like he's never actually read anything about Stoic philosophy either.
                          > >
                          > > It's one of those things that it's hard to construct a reasonable response to because it's so garbled and full of basic misconceptions. I'm pretty certain if he'd submitted an undergraduate essay on Stoic philosophy describing it in those terms that it would have to be failed, because it is so obviously far off the mark, but apparently that's good enough to be published in The Independent newspaper.
                          > >
                          > > I wouldn't like to think that anyone would read it, though, and assume he's read the study handbook and is simply reporting its aims because that's not the case. He's completely misrepresented what the study is about and its aims. The comments he makes about its methodological limitations are nonsense because he fails to point out that it's simply a pilot study, meant to establish the feasibility of doing more statistically robust research in the future - something that's completely normal when you're developing a new research project.
                          > >
                          > > Donald Robertson
                          > >
                          > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
                          > > > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
                          > > > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
                          > > > And Julian Baggini:
                          > > > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
                          > > > therapy-8372420.html
                          > > > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
                          > > > -therapy-8372420.html>
                          > > > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
                          > > > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
                          > > > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
                          > > > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
                          > > > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
                          > > > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
                          > > > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
                          > > > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
                          > > > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
                          > > > just to like how it makes you feel.
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
                          > > > wrote:
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
                          > > > this
                          > > > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
                          > > > \
                          > > > > er-lip
                          > > > >
                          > > > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
                          > > > \
                          > > > > per-lip>
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Donald Robertson
                          > > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >



                        • Scott Rhodes
                          ... What mean you metaphorical reason ?
                          Message 12 of 20 , Dec 4, 2012
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                            Thanks Don and Steve. Good food for thought. But Steve you are going to have to unpack this one for me:

                            > If one wishes to subordinate the inquiry into all things rational under the inquiry into all thing empirical like with the idea of metaphorical reason then I do believe one has to give up the advantage of what philosophy can do.

                            What mean you "metaphorical reason"?
                          • Steve Marquis
                            Scott-   Jan can explain metaphorical reason in detail.   As I understand it our complex ideas expressed in language are built up packages of simpler ideas
                            Message 13 of 20 , Dec 4, 2012
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                              Scott-

                               

                              Jan can explain metaphorical reason in detail.   As I understand it our complex ideas expressed in language are built up packages of simpler ideas referred to metaphorically.  This is multilayered but finally is grounded on concepts very close to and derived from simple sensation.

                               

                              What I am trying to say is that this is an example of an approach that assumes our powers of cognition are ultimately dependent and derive from sensation without exception.  This, in my opinion now, is the empirical tail wagging the rational dog.  If we go down this route we have said more or less that reason cannot find any truth beyond the empirical box because reason is always dependent on and grounded in sensation.  In the metaphorical reason view on things any abstract reasoning must, by definition, be removed from reality at least more if not much more than reasoning dealing with immediate experience.

                               

                              If we do that we have cut philosophy off at the knees.  Rather I can accept we learn to reason based on our initial experiences of sensation but that once learned right reason has access to more of reality than is accessible via empirical methods alone.  The chief amongst these for our purposes would be noramtive ethics, moral agency, and the like.

                               

                              Not getting into the much repeated argument over this general topic I think we can at least see how a pure blood empiricist without the well read background of most here could view a _philosophical_ Wisdom Tradition like Stoicism.  This is a partial explanation as I see it of the attitude in this article and is not surprising quite frankly.

                               

                              From the empirical standpoint Stoicism can only be viewed as initial incomplete steps towards modern empiricism and psychology.  From a traditional philosophical viewpoint however it can offer something no amount of description can – right values and the best way to live.  The article takes even a more minimalist view on the contributions of Stoicism than almost everyone here is used to seeing (on something that was supposed to be partially about Stoicism anyway)  and that grabbed our attention.  We have overturned a rock and exposed what’s under.

                               

                              Live well,

                              Steve


                              From: Scott Rhodes <flinch@...>
                              To: "stoics@yahoogroups.com" <stoics@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Tue, December 4, 2012 9:52:04 AM
                              Subject: Re: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek

                              Thanks Don and Steve. Good food for thought. But Steve you are going to have to unpack this one for me:

                              > If one wishes to subordinate the inquiry into all things rational under the inquiry into all thing empirical like with the idea of metaphorical reason then I do believe one has to give up the advantage of what philosophy can do.

                              What mean you "metaphorical reason"?

                              ------------------------------------

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                            • Scott Rhodes
                              Ah, Lakoff. Gotcha. Is this the same thing you are refering to as ... ? ... Ah, Lakoff. Gotcha. Is this the same thing you are refering to as physical
                              Message 14 of 20 , Dec 4, 2012
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                                Ah, Lakoff. Gotcha. 

                                Is this the same thing you are refering to as

                                physical metaphysics of rational empiricism

                                ?


                                On Dec 4, 2012, at 3:38 PM, Steve Marquis <stevemarquis@...> wrote:

                                 


                                Scott-

                                 

                                Jan can explain metaphorical reason in detail.   As I understand it our complex ideas expressed in language are built up packages of simpler ideas referred to metaphorically.  This is multilayered but finally is grounded on concepts very close to and derived from simple sensation.

                                 

                                What I am trying to say is that this is an example of an approach that assumes our powers of cognition are ultimately dependent and derive from sensation without exception.  This, in my opinion now, is the empirical tail wagging the rational dog.  If we go down this route we have said more or less that reason cannot find any truth beyond the empirical box because reason is always dependent on and grounded in sensation.  In the metaphorical reason view on things any abstract reasoning must, by definition, be removed from reality at least more if not much more than reasoning dealing with immediate experience.

                                 

                                If we do that we have cut philosophy off at the knees.  Rather I can accept we learn to reason based on our initial experiences of sensation but that once learned right reason has access to more of reality than is accessible via empirical methods alone.  The chief amongst these for our purposes would be noramtive ethics, moral agency, and the like.

                                 

                                Not getting into the much repeated argument over this general topic I think we can at least see how a pure blood empiricist without the well read background of most here could view a _philosophical_ Wisdom Tradition like Stoicism.  This is a partial explanation as I see it of the attitude in this article and is not surprising quite frankly.

                                 

                                From the empirical standpoint Stoicism can only be viewed as initial incomplete steps towards modern empiricism and psychology.  From a traditional philosophical viewpoint however it can offer something no amount of description can – right values and the best way to live.  The article takes even a more minimalist view on the contributions of Stoicism than almost everyone here is used to seeing (on something that was supposed to be partially about Stoicism anyway)  and that grabbed our attention.  We have overturned a rock and exposed what’s under.

                                 

                                Live well,

                                Steve


                                From: Scott Rhodes <flinch@...>
                                To: "stoics@yahoogroups.com" <stoics@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Tue, December 4, 2012 9:52:04 AM
                                Subject: Re: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek

                                Thanks Don and Steve. Good food for thought. But Steve you are going to have to unpack this one for me:

                                > If one wishes to subordinate the inquiry into all things rational under the inquiry into all thing empirical like with the idea of metaphorical reason then I do believe one has to give up the advantage of what philosophy can do.

                                What mean you "metaphorical reason"?

                                ------------------------------------

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                              • Steve Marquis
                                Hi Scott- Like psychology is a subset of empirical inquiry which is a subset of rational inquiry metaphorical reason is but one thread amongst a tapestry with
                                Message 15 of 20 , Dec 4, 2012
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                                  Hi Scott-
                                   

                                  Like psychology is a subset of empirical inquiry which is a subset of rational inquiry metaphorical reason is but one thread amongst a tapestry with a common metaphysical underpinning.  That is what I am referring to here.

                                   

                                  What is ironic is this underpinning is kind of hush hush because metaphysics in general is rejected as well as not fitting in.

                                   

                                  With philosophy now we can deal with metaphysics of all sorts.  No problem.

                                   

                                  What would help in all of this Scott is general education in the philosophy of science.  It should be required at the high school level.  But so should several other subjects J.

                                   

                                  Live well,

                                  Steve
                                  From: Scott Rhodes <flinch@...>
                                  To: "stoics@yahoogroups.com" <stoics@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Tue, December 4, 2012 3:06:10 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek




                                  Ah, Lakoff. Gotcha. 

                                  Is this the same thing you are refering to as

                                  physical metaphysics of rational empiricism

                                  ?


                                  On Dec 4, 2012, at 3:38 PM, Steve Marquis <stevemarquis@...> wrote:

                                   


                                  Scott-

                                   

                                  Jan can explain metaphorical reason in detail.   As I understand it our complex ideas expressed in language are built up packages of simpler ideas referred to metaphorically.  This is multilayered but finally is grounded on concepts very close to and derived from simple sensation.

                                   

                                  What I am trying to say is that this is an example of an approach that assumes our powers of cognition are ultimately dependent and derive from sensation without exception.  This, in my opinion now, is the empirical tail wagging the rational dog.  If we go down this route we have said more or less that reason cannot find any truth beyond the empirical box because reason is always dependent on and grounded in sensation.  In the metaphorical reason view on things any abstract reasoning must, by definition, be removed from reality at least more if not much more than reasoning dealing with immediate experience.

                                   

                                  If we do that we have cut philosophy off at the knees.  Rather I can accept we learn to reason based on our initial experiences of sensation but that once learned right reason has access to more of reality than is accessible via empirical methods alone.  The chief amongst these for our purposes would be noramtive ethics, moral agency, and the like.

                                   

                                  Not getting into the much repeated argument over this general topic I think we can at least see how a pure blood empiricist without the well read background of most here could view a _philosophical_ Wisdom Tradition like Stoicism.  This is a partial explanation as I see it of the attitude in this article and is not surprising quite frankly.

                                   

                                  From the empirical standpoint Stoicism can only be viewed as initial incomplete steps towards modern empiricism and psychology.  From a traditional philosophical viewpoint however it can offer something no amount of description can – right values and the best way to live.  The article takes even a more minimalist view on the contributions of Stoicism than almost everyone here is used to seeing (on something that was supposed to be partially about Stoicism anyway)  and that grabbed our attention.  We have overturned a rock and exposed what’s under.

                                   

                                  Live well,

                                  Steve


                                  From: Scott Rhodes <flinch@...>
                                  To: "stoics@yahoogroups.com" <stoics@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Tue, December 4, 2012 9:52:04 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek

                                  Thanks Don and Steve. Good food for thought. But Steve you are going to have to unpack this one for me:

                                  > If one wishes to subordinate the inquiry into all things rational under the inquiry into all thing empirical like with the idea of metaphorical reason then I do believe one has to give up the advantage of what philosophy can do.

                                  What mean you "metaphorical reason"?

                                  ------------------------------------

                                  Yahoo! Groups Links

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                                • Dave
                                  To it s credit, CBT trains people to actually free themselves of emotions. It can serve as a model of practice even for Stoics who think it appropriate and of
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Dec 11, 2012
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                                    To it's credit, CBT trains people to actually free themselves of emotions. It can serve as a model of practice even for Stoics who think it appropriate and of benefit to hold orthodox ethical beliefs.

                                    Best wishes,
                                    Dave

                                    http://philosophyforlife.org/in-defence-of-stoic-week/

                                    "There have always been philosophers who criticise the modern use of Stoicism as a form of practical therapy. When I published an interview with Albert Ellis (the pioneer of CBT) back in 2007, Mark Vernon criticised my article for mistakenly conflating Stoicism with CBT, and ignoring the differences between the two. CBT was, at best, `Stoicism lite', he wrote. I disagreed at the time, but now I think he makes a fair point – CBT does leave out a lot of Stoicism, not least its cosmology, its theism, and its ethical value system. It instrumentalises it, turning it into a set of techniques rather than a comprehensive moral system.

                                    "You can understand why CBT did that. To become a scientifically credible therapy, it had to drop any talk of God or providence, or even of the meaning of life. It teaches people how to transform their emotions, how to steer the self, without telling them where to steer the self to. It leaves people to decide for themselves what the meaning or goal of life is. You could develop a Marxist CBT, or an Islamic, Buddhist, Epicurean, capitalist or Aristotelian CBT. All it teaches you is how to transform the self and its emotions, not what the ideal self looks like."


                                    --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
                                    > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
                                    > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
                                    > And Julian Baggini:
                                    > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
                                    > therapy-8372420.html
                                    > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
                                    > -therapy-8372420.html>
                                    > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
                                    > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
                                    > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
                                    > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
                                    > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
                                    > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
                                    > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
                                    > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
                                    > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
                                    > just to like how it makes you feel.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
                                    > wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
                                    > this
                                    > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
                                    > \
                                    > > er-lip
                                    > >
                                    > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
                                    > \
                                    > > per-lip>
                                    > >
                                    > > Donald Robertson
                                    > >
                                    >
                                  • Moe Johnson
                                    I don t understand. How can one develop an Islamic CBT if one must drop any talk of God or providence? This excerpt seems contradictory to me. -- Moe
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Dec 11, 2012
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                                      I don't understand. How can one develop an Islamic CBT if one must "drop any talk of God or providence?" This excerpt seems contradictory to me.

                                      -- Moe



                                      From: Dave <ptypes@...>
                                      To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 2:42 PM
                                      Subject: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek

                                      To it's credit, CBT trains people to actually free themselves of emotions. It can serve as a model of practice even for Stoics who think it appropriate and of benefit to hold orthodox ethical beliefs.

                                      Best wishes,
                                      Dave

                                      http://philosophyforlife.org/in-defence-of-stoic-week/

                                      "There have always been philosophers who criticise the modern use of Stoicism as a form of practical therapy. When I published an interview with Albert Ellis (the pioneer of CBT) back in 2007, Mark Vernon criticised my article for mistakenly conflating Stoicism with CBT, and ignoring the differences between the two. CBT was, at best, `Stoicism lite', he wrote. I disagreed at the time, but now I think he makes a fair point – CBT does leave out a lot of Stoicism, not least its cosmology, its theism, and its ethical value system. It instrumentalises it, turning it into a set of techniques rather than a comprehensive moral system.

                                      "You can understand why CBT did that. To become a scientifically credible therapy, it had to drop any talk of God or providence, or even of the meaning of life. It teaches people how to transform their emotions, how to steer the self, without telling them where to steer the self to. It leaves people to decide for themselves what the meaning or goal of life is. You could develop a Marxist CBT, or an Islamic, Buddhist, Epicurean, capitalist or Aristotelian CBT. All it teaches you is how to transform the self and its emotions, not what the ideal self looks like."


                                      --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
                                      > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
                                      > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
                                      > And Julian Baggini:
                                      > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
                                      > therapy-8372420.html
                                      > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
                                      > -therapy-8372420.html>
                                      > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
                                      > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
                                      > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
                                      > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
                                      > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
                                      > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
                                      > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
                                      > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
                                      > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
                                      > just to like how it makes you feel.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
                                      > wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
                                      > this
                                      > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
                                      > \
                                      > > er-lip
                                      > >
                                      > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
                                      > \
                                      > > per-lip>
                                      > >
                                      > > Donald Robertson
                                      > >
                                      >




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                                    • Donald Robertson
                                      I don t think it s actually a contradiction. (I m a CBT practitioner and a student of Stoicism.) CBT doesn t prescribe a value system (of this sort) to
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Dec 11, 2012
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                                        I don't think it's actually a contradiction. (I'm a CBT practitioner and a student of Stoicism.) CBT doesn't prescribe a value system (of this sort) to clients. It wouldn't really be viable for it to try to do so. Clients in CBT are, in fact, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, atheists, agnostics, etc., of all political persuasions.

                                        Clients' religious or political views aren't usually a focus of therapy (although they might be). In some cases, they will use the techniques to help themselves achieve goals consistent with their religious or political values. The therapeutic model itself is basically neutral with regard to these values but it can be used to serve them.

                                        If I were being a bit pedantic, I'd say that arguably some religious or political views are inherently irrational and therefore a system that values reason will clash with them ultimately. However, clearly many people manage to think fairly rationally in the context of religious or political views that other people think are deluded. That's perhaps no more of a problem for CBT than it would be for the study of logic, though.

                                        Best,

                                        Donald Robertson


                                        --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Moe Johnson <creakyhallway@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > I don't understand. How can one develop an Islamic CBT if one must "drop any talk of God or providence?" This excerpt seems contradictory to me.
                                        >
                                        > -- Moe
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > ________________________________
                                        > From: Dave <ptypes@...>
                                        > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 2:42 PM
                                        > Subject: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek
                                        >
                                        > To it's credit, CBT trains people to actually free themselves of emotions. It can serve as a model of practice even for Stoics who think it appropriate and of benefit to hold orthodox ethical beliefs.
                                        >
                                        > Best wishes,
                                        > Dave
                                        >
                                        > http://philosophyforlife.org/in-defence-of-stoic-week/
                                        >
                                        > "There have always been philosophers who criticise the modern use of Stoicism as a form of practical therapy. When I published an interview with Albert Ellis (the pioneer of CBT) back in 2007, Mark Vernon criticised my article for mistakenly conflating Stoicism with CBT, and ignoring the differences between the two. CBT was, at best, `Stoicism lite', he wrote. I disagreed at the time, but now I think he makes a fair point â€" CBT does leave out a lot of Stoicism, not least its cosmology, its theism, and its ethical value system. It instrumentalises it, turning it into a set of techniques rather than a comprehensive moral system.
                                        >
                                        > "You can understand why CBT did that. To become a scientifically credible therapy, it had to drop any talk of God or providence, or even of the meaning of life. It teaches people how to transform their emotions, how to steer the self, without telling them where to steer the self to. It leaves people to decide for themselves what the meaning or goal of life is. You could develop a Marxist CBT, or an Islamic, Buddhist, Epicurean, capitalist or Aristotelian CBT. All it teaches you is how to transform the self and its emotions, not what the ideal self looks like."
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
                                        > > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
                                        > > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
                                        > > And Julian Baggini:
                                        > > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
                                        > > therapy-8372420.html
                                        > > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
                                        > > -therapy-8372420.html>
                                        > > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
                                        > > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
                                        > > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
                                        > > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
                                        > > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
                                        > > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
                                        > > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
                                        > > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
                                        > > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
                                        > > just to like how it makes you feel.
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
                                        > > wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
                                        > > this
                                        > > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
                                        > > \
                                        > > > er-lip
                                        > > >
                                        > > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
                                        > > \
                                        > > > per-lip>
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Donald Robertson
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > ------------------------------------
                                        >
                                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >     http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        >
                                      • creakyhallway
                                        Okay, that makes sense. Thanks!
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Dec 11, 2012
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                                          Okay, that makes sense. Thanks!



                                          --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > I don't think it's actually a contradiction. (I'm a CBT practitioner and a student of Stoicism.) CBT doesn't prescribe a value system (of this sort) to clients. It wouldn't really be viable for it to try to do so. Clients in CBT are, in fact, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, atheists, agnostics, etc., of all political persuasions.
                                          >
                                          > Clients' religious or political views aren't usually a focus of therapy (although they might be). In some cases, they will use the techniques to help themselves achieve goals consistent with their religious or political values. The therapeutic model itself is basically neutral with regard to these values but it can be used to serve them.
                                          >
                                          > If I were being a bit pedantic, I'd say that arguably some religious or political views are inherently irrational and therefore a system that values reason will clash with them ultimately. However, clearly many people manage to think fairly rationally in the context of religious or political views that other people think are deluded. That's perhaps no more of a problem for CBT than it would be for the study of logic, though.
                                          >
                                          > Best,
                                          >
                                          > Donald Robertson
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Moe Johnson <creakyhallway@> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > I don't understand. How can one develop an Islamic CBT if one must "drop any talk of God or providence?" This excerpt seems contradictory to me.
                                          > >
                                          > > -- Moe
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > ________________________________
                                          > > From: Dave <ptypes@>
                                          > > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 2:42 PM
                                          > > Subject: [stoics] Re: The Guardian article on @Stoicweek
                                          > >
                                          > > To it's credit, CBT trains people to actually free themselves of emotions. It can serve as a model of practice even for Stoics who think it appropriate and of benefit to hold orthodox ethical beliefs.
                                          > >
                                          > > Best wishes,
                                          > > Dave
                                          > >
                                          > > http://philosophyforlife.org/in-defence-of-stoic-week/
                                          > >
                                          > > "There have always been philosophers who criticise the modern use of Stoicism as a form of practical therapy. When I published an interview with Albert Ellis (the pioneer of CBT) back in 2007, Mark Vernon criticised my article for mistakenly conflating Stoicism with CBT, and ignoring the differences between the two. CBT was, at best, `Stoicism lite', he wrote. I disagreed at the time, but now I think he makes a fair point â€" CBT does leave out a lot of Stoicism, not least its cosmology, its theism, and its ethical value system. It instrumentalises it, turning it into a set of techniques rather than a comprehensive moral system.
                                          > >
                                          > > "You can understand why CBT did that. To become a scientifically credible therapy, it had to drop any talk of God or providence, or even of the meaning of life. It teaches people how to transform their emotions, how to steer the self, without telling them where to steer the self to. It leaves people to decide for themselves what the meaning or goal of life is. You could develop a Marxist CBT, or an Islamic, Buddhist, Epicurean, capitalist or Aristotelian CBT. All it teaches you is how to transform the self and its emotions, not what the ideal self looks like."
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "TheophileEscargot" <snailman100@> wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Some mixed responses to Stoic Week, from Jules Evans:
                                          > > > http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/
                                          > > > <http://philosophyforlife.org/the-revival-of-stoicism/>
                                          > > > And Julian Baggini:
                                          > > > http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with-\
                                          > > > therapy-8372420.html
                                          > > > <http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-are-we-so-obsessed-with\
                                          > > > -therapy-8372420.html>
                                          > > > Philosophy is an even clearer example. The only good reason to embrace a
                                          > > > philosophical position is that you are convinced it is true or at least
                                          > > > makes sense of the world better than the alternatives. I'm not a
                                          > > > stoic because I do not agree that we are all fragments of an
                                          > > > all-pervading divine rationality which is providentially organising the
                                          > > > world, or that Epictetus was right to say you should not be disturbed if
                                          > > > your wife or child dies or that "my father is nothing to me, only
                                          > > > the good". To become a stoic is to endorse the truthfulness of its
                                          > > > world view and accept its prescription for how you ought to live, not
                                          > > > just to like how it makes you feel.
                                          > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > > > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Robertson" <don.robertson@>
                                          > > > wrote:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > There are loads of comments on Stoicism already (over 70 people) on
                                          > > > this
                                          > > > > new article in The Guardian about @Stoicweek
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-upp\
                                          > > > \
                                          > > > > er-lip
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/stoic-week-stiff-up\
                                          > > > \
                                          > > > > per-lip>
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Donald Robertson
                                          > > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > ------------------------------------
                                          > >
                                          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >     http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                          > >
                                          >
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