It seems to be that Stoicism espouses a sort of doctrine of indifference.
Curtis Moxam
11

Curtis, thank you for the reply! Gave me something to chew on.

I do agree that the common perception of Stoicism conveys indifference. Though I have not read the primary sources, William Irvine (A Guide to the Good Life: the Ancient Art of Stoic Joy) tackles this idea but disagrees with the common sentiment. If I recall correctly, he basically argues that: you can’t change the past so learn from it but don’t dwell on it; you can’t control the future so plan loosely for it but don’t obsess about it; the only thing you can control is your reaction to the moment so be mindful in how you experience it. He argues that Stoicism isn’t about being indifferent carte-blanche but only about those things outside of your control. For example, you can and should still love but you cannot and should not obsess about whether the object of your love will love you back.

Regarding Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean, again I have not read Aristotle myself but my Phil101 professor never gave me the impression that Aristotle was advocating such a detachment from life. I always understood that the doctrine of the mean was about choosing a balanced middle-path through life that strikes roughly down the middle of the extreme options available to you.

I do agree that life should be embraced and lived with fervor. I’m not sure I agree that Stoicism/Aristotle taught otherwise.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.