April is The Stoic Fellowship’s Month of Service, and you’re invited to participate in the One Thousand Stoics Challenge

BY: engaging in an act of service or kindness this month and sharing the action with the community via this simple form

The goal is to have 1000 actions performed in the next 30 days. Please see the flyers below for details, and share them!!

This post collects an array of ideas to help get you started, organized around the version of the Circles of Hierocles developed by Stoics in Action.

This growing reading list collects opinion pieces and scholarly work on the Discipline of Action, its myriad applications, and the creative efforts of modern practitioners to develop new Stoic approaches to life in the 21st century.

Stoic philosophy interacts in rich and complex ways with action, ethics, empathy, politics, and activism.

The philosophy’s focus on our individual deliberations, roles, and benevolent intentions makes it highly relevant to our real social lives. The demands of Stoic “cosmic citizenship” begin with our closest relationships and extend outward from there into all levels of economic and political life.

Politically, the shared themes of…

Image from Unsplash.

This post was written by Charmika Stewart on 08 January, 2019, and is posted here with permission.

January. The sun falls behind earth-colored buildings in the distance. The gold trimming of the Siamese temple glows, reflecting the late afternoon warmth. The streets are alive with slow-moving life. I can see the shape of the wind on the rustling leaves.

A constant whirring of car engines drowns out the music at this sleepy café. As the larger vehicles drive by, my chair vibrates in response. A friend in Jiangxi contacts me after many months of silence. He brings news of his…

This post was written by Jonathan Pinckney on December 19, 2018, and is posted here with permission.

In this post I want to advance a simple argument: that people interested in following the principles of Stoicism have a duty to practice nonviolent resistance (though not necessarily to be pacifists). At first glance their might not seem to be much common ground between Stoicism and nonviolent resistance, and its clear that the ancient Stoics were not pacifists. After all, the Stoic emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius spent most of his time waging war. The Stoic philosopher Musonius Rufus, whose teaching inspired…

This post was written by Charmika Stewart on December 07, 2018, and is posted here with permission.

Somehow, in a world without satellite television, air travel, or the internet, the ancient Cynics devised the concept of cosmopolitanism. The cosmos is one giant city, they postulated, with its citizens all so intimately connected as to be like kin to one another. Their ideological cousins, the Stoics, developed this notion further, putting it at the cornerstone of their philosophy. There is literally no difference between helping oneself and helping others. …

A glaring challenge arises whenever we try to apply a system of personal ethical practice to the wider world. Simply put, how do we get from A to B? How can we translate the basic ethical skills and values that our practice demands into concrete ideas and projects that make a positive external impact?

For virtue ethicists, and thus for Stoics, the question becomes: How do we move from the abstract and highly personal idea of virtuous behavior toward virtuous lifestyles, virtuous careers, and virtuous politics? …

The conversation on Stoic action is fresh and new, but already well underway. This post skims the surface of some of the content that today’s Stoic writers, bloggers, and scholars have produced as they try to translate the ancient philosophy into modern life.

For a more complete bibliography of op-eds and papers on the Discipline of Action, have a look at our extensive Reading List.


On the personal level of family commitments (the first and most fundamental step in Hierocles’ program of expanding circles of social concern) a whole ecosystem of Stoic conversation has sprung up among the parents in…

The best-kept secret of Stoic philosophy may be its intense and direct call to social action. As 21st-century Stoicism has burst onto the scene as a way of life that is alive and well, the old stereotype of the Stoic as a grimly detached, indifferent, and politically inactive personality is arguably falling apart.

The Meditations of emperor Marcus Aurelius is one of the foundational texts of contemporary Stoicism.

Stoics, it turns out — real-life Stoics, with their blogs and podcasts and boisterous coffee shop gatherings — are very interested in action. …

Becoming something of a majority leader, Cato pressed his conservative optimates to pass a resolution condemning Pompey’s attempt to change election law for his own interest…

The Stoic leading the statehouse thwarted the conqueror at every turn, using his now-perfected filibuster to kill the populist legislation. With little room to maneuver, Pompey would try a new approach.

— Pat McGeehan, Stoicism and the Statehouse (2017), p. 56–7.

This passage from West Virginia state delegate Pat McGeehan’s recent book illustrates one of many ways that today’s students of Stoic tradition have found it to be a rich resource for ongoing political…

This story was originally written November 18, 2018.

The midterm elections here in the United States are happening tomorrow, and passions are running incredibly high. After a solid decade and more of rapidly growing mistrust and distaste on both sides of our two-party system (as documented by Pew Research Center polls, among myriad other metrics), we’re looking down the barrel at “the most sweeping and divisive national referendum on any administration at least since the Great Depression,” as one political scientist told the Washington Post.

Normally I would dismiss such talk as dramatic hyperbole, but for many of us, “polarization”…

Eric 'Siggy' Scott

AI researcher, language enthusiast, and modern Stoic practitioner

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