What can we learn from the Stoics about living a good life? Should we all try to become indifferent to pain, suffering, and death? This week we’re thinking about the Stoic philosophy of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Not too long ago, I had a Twitter exchange with Philosophy Talk’s Josh Landy about whether Freud was a good philosopher. It struck me that I’ve never given much thought to the question of what good philosophy is. Is it just a matter of taste? Or are there guidelines for separating the wheat from the chaff?
At first glance, it seems hard to find anything positive in the phenomenon of envy. But upon deeper reflection, we can recognize that while envy is often demoralizing, antisocial, and even planet-destroying, there’s also a good kind of envy—one that motivates us to raise our game.
The idea that athletics and philosophy are connected may sound strange at first. But if we see philosophy as a way of life rather than a set of beliefs, it’s not a stretch to imagine that athletic training can cultivate skills we need for the whole of our lives, both on and off the playing field.
From the ancient Greeks, philosophical writing about sport has been rooted in theories of virtue and the good. Discussions in this genre regard sport as a form of human excellence. On versions of this view, excluding or marginalizing women in sports is shutting them out from opportunities for excellence.