Meetup : Phoenix, AZ: Stoicism and Visitors: 6 December 6:00PM

Discussion article for the meetup : Phoenix, AZ: Stoicism and Visitors: 5 December 6:00PM

WHEN: 06 December 2012 06:00:00PM (-0700)

WHERE: 1038 South Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ

Jay will give a brief presentation on Stoicism and we will get to see some friends from Australia! The meeting will be at the Chipotle near Gammage Theater.

Discussion article for the meetup : Phoenix, AZ: Stoicism and Visitors: 5 December 6:00PM

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I wish I could attend that. Too bad the once vast Stoic literature survived in fragments, though scholars in recent years have put a lot of effort into inferring its overall structure from what little they have to work with. The Stoics in their prime offered a comprehensive philosophy which addressed everything upper class Greeks and Romans of an intellectual turn cared about, but we have only an inkling of that now because we've inherited a biased sample consisting mainly of popular works of Stoic ethics, like Seneca's Letters and Epictetus' Discourses.

By contrast a lot more of Plato's and Aristotle's works have come down to us. Their over-representation in post-Roman Western culture gives a distorted picture of how men in Hellenistic and early Roman Imperial antiquity understood philosophy. I keep hoping that archeologists will find complete works by Chrysippus some day to fill in the huge gaps in our understanding of Stoicism.

Stoicism is indeed a very comprehensive and rich philosophy of life (and perhaps easier to make coherent with modern natural and social science than Zen Buddhism or Objectivism), but I don't plan on talking about Stoicism as such (which IMO, is slightly off-topic for a Less Wrong meetup, but also extremely interesting to me personally). Instead, I will only be discussing a few of the psychological hacks first written down by the Roman Stoics that seem justified on evolutionary psychological grounds.

What's the best way to contact Jay? I'm interested in corresponding with him with regards to an upcoming post on Stoicism that I am writing.

BTW, the title says December 5th, but the body says December 6th. Which is it?