Brigitte sent me a link to an article, titled “The rise of modern Stoicism” by Joe Gelonesi. It is part of The Philosopher’s Zone here. The subject has been in the air around here for a while now—ever since Brigitte bought Martha C. Nussbaum’s The Therapy of Desire back in the Spring of 2013 and then we both read and discussed it over a period of months, with particular focus on the Stoics. The book is subtitled Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics.
The strong impression I carried away from that experience, particularly from the study of late Roman Stoicism, is how the decaying Roman civilization embraced that philosophy, how widely it spread, and how it laid the foundation for the very smooth acceptance of Catholic Christianity in those realms. Christianity gave that rational, if also transcendental, philosophy a genuine life. The subject is worth pursuing as an antidote to the chaos that now seems to be spreading almost virally.
When things go too far, the answer is almost always already present. Thus, while selfie sticks rise into the air, the (call it) re-moralization of society is also taking place. Concerning that last phrase, it occured naturally: we both also read a book, around about the same time, titled The De-Moralization of Society, From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values, by Gertrude Himmelfarb.
Lifts the mood on a gloomy if warmer November day dark with a low pressure system and half-hearted rain.