As I was in the midst of teaching the ancient Roman Stoic Epictetus at Oakdale Prison, an inmate stood up and launched into an argument that Stoicism is a loser’s philosophy. I challenged him: “What does it mean to be a loser? Was Jesus on the cross a loser?
The Deepest Human Life is an elegantly written, impassioned, and sometimes disjointed plea on behalf of philosophy. Scott Samuelson invokes poets, novelists, and theologians to defend the dialectical process that Socrates imparted.
Aristotle famously asserted, “Philosophy begins in wonder.” Sometimes I wonder about that. My experience has been that many of us who join the Socrates guild initially do so because we want to be healed of deep vexations. As Irvine quotes Epicurus, “Vain is the word of a philosopher which does not heal any suffering of man.
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