Showing posts from October, 2016

Hard Truths and Happiness

I was unable to attend the 'Stoicon' event in New York in October 2016 but here is a rough first draft of what would have been my talk. This is now also posted on the Stoicism Today - Modern Stoicism blog.  

There is an Australian podcast you can find online with the title ‘Philosophy Can Ruin Your Life’. The motivation behind the deliberately provocative title is, I assume, to challenge the way in which some people have tried to co-opt philosophy into what is sometimes called ‘the happiness industry’. There are all sorts of ways in which philosophy might make people miserable. Ignorance, so the saying goes, is bliss; people regularly concoct fictitious narratives and explanations to make themselves feel better about their lives and their place within the world. By contrast, philosophical truths, to the extent we might find any at all, may turn out to be far from comforting.
Many people interested or involved in the popular revival of Stoicism will say that Stoicism can help us…