Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Here some great contemporary introductions to Stoicism:

1. William B. Irvine, "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy", https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic/dp/0195...

This is an introduction to Stoic thought as it applies today by a professor in philosophy, very clearly written. Great for first exposure. It (sensibly) skips some of the more arcane stuff, such as Stoic metaphysics (historically relevant, but really obsolete).

2. Donald Robertson, "Stoicism and the Art of Happiness", https://www.amazon.com/Stoicism-Art-Happiness-Teach-Yourself...

This is a touch more academic and historic on one hand, and very practical and text-book-like on the other hand, in that it has self-assessments, key points, exercises for every section. Excellent second book. The author also has a course, blog and FAQ at http://donaldrobertson.name

3. Epictetus' Enchiridion is available on Project Gutenberg, btw. It's very short, and many things are not really relevant today anymore, yet surprisingly many sections still "speak to us".

4. Note also that Tom Wolfe's huge novel "A Man in Full" is suffused with Stoic themes.

I find Stoicism quite wise, and still substantial enough when you subtract all the obsolete superstition (which cannot be said of, for example, Abrahamic religions). Certainly good for tranquility and empathy. Sometimes hard to translate into positive action, though, I find.

> (which cannot be said of, for example, Abrahamic religions)

Interesting thought! I'd say that "love thy neighbour" is a pretty substantial idea, albeit a "bit" less deep than the average stoic philosophy.

Did anyone try this? Take a religion like Christianity (or one interpretation of it) and remove all the deities and miracles? As an avid Christian who dislikes dogma even more than militant atheists, I'd love to dive into an attempt at this.

Hi, well, first I must admit that that by itself is not an original thought, of course. I've most recently read it in Sam Harris' Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion.

I've made the same comment (nothing original, as I said... :) elsewhere in this thread, and someone replied with the golden rule, maybe you want to read the discussion:


Elsewhere, the argument has been made that the miraculous parts of Christianity (virgin birth, resurrection, etc.) are largely not original, but collages of earlier prophets, though I couldn't point you to that literature off the top of my head, and it's not the point we're discussing anyways.

Something akin to the Jefferson bible?


That's awesome, didn't know about it.

Full text available online, about 20 printed pages.

Edited to add:

Here you can read it, facsimile of the original cut-and-paste (literally...) version by Jefferson. 84 pages, because it's in Greek, Latin, French and English. Love it.


Here's an ePub, if you want to put it on your ebook reader (note: possibly unsavoury site):


Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact