Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2020

On translations of Marcus Aurelius, dealing with difficult circumstances and acquiring wisdom (or not)

Here's an example of why I vastly prefer Robin Hard's translation of Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations" (over Gregory Hays' translation):  First Gregory Hays' translation of Meditations 9.6:  "Objective judgment, now, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. Willing acceptance—now, at this very moment—of all external events. That’s all you need." Next, Robin Hard's translation of the same passage: "It is sufficient that your present judgement should grasp its object, that your present action should be directed to the common good, that your present disposition should be well satisfied with all that happens to it from a cause outside itself." In my opinion, Hard's translation is more in line with Stoicism. Stoicism is not about passively accepting external circumstances but about always actively wanting them to be exactly as they are. "Let us arrange our minds in such a way that whatever circumstances requ

Evil Stoicism

Sometimes, when I look at modern interpretations of Stoicism, I think Stoicism will crash and burn for good this time around. Today I saw a post in a very large group on Stoicism on Facebook which read: "Anyone ever gone full on not giving one fuck about externals?" Obviously, This is madness and what gives Stoicism a bad name. The heart of Stoicism is to care and to care about every manifestation - actual or potential - of virtue. Internal or external.  How could justice be a virtue if we shouldn't care about anything apart from ourselves? In fact: how could our own reason be good if it was the only good?  Our reason is good because it's a manifestation of logos. And any manifestation of logos is exactly as good as ours. Caricature 1 AD - 300 AD, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden