From the Archive

How to practice Stoicism

A collection of articles on implementing the wisdom of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius in our daily life

Philosophy as a Way of Life
11 min readJun 17, 2022

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Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius — the Stoic dream team

My Philosophy as Way of Life (PWOL) series of essays has now being going on since July 2018, and has produced 393 articles and counting. Naturally, people have a tendency to focus on the latest entries, but — if I may be forgiven for saying so — some of the early ones are worth reading as well. Which is why I am proposing this occasional series meant to highlight early PWOL entries grouped by interesting themes.

Today we are going to revisit the practice of Stoicism. There is a large literature on this out there, but I believe the articles grouped below are going to be particularly useful if you don’t want just a bunch of more or less random “life hacks” but are interested in Stoic philosophy as a coherent, lifelong practice. Enjoy, and keep working toward becoming the best human being you can! (Follow the links for the full text.)

I. Seneca’s Commandments to Himself. Despite the title of this essay, virtue ethics is not based on rigid rules, like commandments. However, the Stoics did realize the value of lists of precepts that could help them better navigate through life. A major difference between Stoic precepts and actual commandments is that the Stoics came up with their own personalized lists, which are of course more meaningful since they focus on the things that are important for the individual practitioner of the philosophy. …

II. Practical anger management from Seneca. I have some experience writing about anger, and I realize that a lot of people get really upset when they read about the Stoic take on this particular emotion. Such people really want to be angry. They think they have a right to anger, and that anger will somehow make the world a better place. This essay is not for them. Instead, I am going to simply assume that you, dear reader, agree that anger is, as Seneca puts it in his masterpiece on the subject, a kind of temporary madness, and that it’s just not a good idea to willingly go mad, even temporarily. …

III. Marcus Aurelius’ Ten Commandments to Himself. Stoicism is a type of virtue ethics. As such, the focus is on the…

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Philosophy as a Way of Life

by Massimo Pigliucci. Practical philosophy, science, pseudoscience & good reasoning. Complete index of articles at https://massimopigliucci.org/essays/