Podcast: How to Live a Happy Life

In this episode of “The One You Feed” podcast, host Eric Zimmer and I discuss what Stoicism teaches us about how to live a good and happy life.

We cover a variety of topics: my book, A Field Guide to a Happy Life: 53 Brief Lessons for Living; what the term Stoicism means; the cardinal virtues of practical wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance; the origins of the Serenity Prayer; how the judgments we have are ultimately the only things under our control; coming to accept our own death and yet continuing on with life in the present moment; the Stoic notion of the dichotomy of control; Epictetus’s discipline of desire and aversion; the most important characteristic of a person in life; and the technique of philosophical journaling. (listen here)

Audio series: Cicero’s On Fate

The latest complete audio commentary of my Stoic Meditations series is dedicated to Cicero’s On Fate, composed in 44 BCE. Unfortunately, about one third of the work is now lost. It takes the form of a dialogue between Cicero and his friend Aulus Hirtius.

Much of the discussion hinges on the relationship between fate and free will, and Cicero ends up suggesting that the latter is a condition for the first. In the process, we get a discussion of various takes on the issue of free will: those of the Stoics, the Epicureans, and the Academic Skeptic Carneades.

This book is part of a trilogy composed by Cicero, the other two being On the Nature of the Gods (audio commentary here) and On Divination (audio commentary here).

This series runs for ten episodes.

Podcast: Happy birthday, Marcus Aurelius!

A few days ago — on April 26th — was the 1901st birthday of the emperor philosopher, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, author of one of the most famous Stoic texts, the Meditations.

To celebrate, my friend and colleague Rob Colter and I have put out a new episode of the Philosophy as a Way of Life podcast (n. 27, to be precise), where we talk about the passages in the Meditations that have most influenced our lives, ask whether Marcus persecuted Christians, why he didn’t abolish slavery, and why on earth he picked his son Commodus to succeed him! (listen at Anchor)