Mon, Jul 05|
Epictetus, Rufus, & Curriculum, Level 1/2 Event
We (re-)read the traditional texts by Epictetus and Gaius Musonius Rufus, but more importantly juxtapose their Stoic interpretations with modern Stoicism and look forward to our own curriculum.
Time & Location
Jul 05, 2021, 6:30 PM – 8:15 PM GMT+2
About the Event
Greetings fellow Stoics!
Today will be a bit different. Firstly, a note about the time. This event is scheduled for 1.75 hours because of a transition into an optional follow-up discussion we can have. This will occur at 19:40 when we'll take a 5 minute break and resume until 20:15 for anyone interested in staying. Here are the following plans:
- 18:30 – 19:40 : we discuss Epictetus' works Enchiridion and Discourses, as well as Gaius Musonius Rufus' Lectures and Sayings. Specifically we will discuss not only their contributions to the ethics of Stoicism, but also discuss any amendments we would make to what they had to say, or (modern) criticisms we would make about their sayings in the sense of were they at any time inconsistent/self-contradictory and thus need some reconciliation, or vague and thus need an updated clarification or interpretation. This will be a good preview to debates and discussions around modern Stoic interpretations, amendments/updates, critiques, and implementations of traditional Stoicism. ////// And also importantly, how would we implement their strategies in our own lives? ////// Please read the one with whom you're less familiar first so you get to learn something new! Epictetus and Rufus are quite similar however.
- (around) 19:40 : we take a 5 minute break for those who would like to stay until 20:15.
- 19:40 – 20:15 : we discuss how we could for ourselves either as a group or as individuals create a Stoic curriculum, not just one in which we can study for a few months or years and call it quits, but rather a continuous, perhaps developmental, curriculum by which to live. Not only something by which we can live individually but something by which we can hold each other accountable and so practice together. (Steve can't do this alone. Because that's the point!)
You can find some initial thoughts on what such a curriculum for practicing Stoicism could look like on our Curriculum page.
Where you can find resources: You can find the former for free online either on Wikisource or MIT Classics. You can also find both Epictetus' and Musonius Rufus' writings here: https://people.wku.edu/jan.garrett/stoa/stoaclas.htm which also has pretty much every other Stoic text freely available online. Furthermore, this article by Massimo Pigliucci does a great job expounding his take on the modern clarification on and update to Epictetus: https://modernstoicism.com/updating-epictetus-and-stoicism-for-the-21st-century-by-massimo-pigliucci/. If you have already read or would like to read at least in part a modern update to Epictetus' texts, check out A Field Guide to a Happy Life by Massimo Pigliucci or Art of Living by Sharon Lebell. However these books are not required reading, only recommended in general.
This is a level 1/2 event, which in this case means: in the first part (level 1), you need not know anything about Stoicism except to have at least read Epictetus and Gaius Musonius Rufus. Make sure to read them at least in part if you do not have the time to complete them. In the second part (level 2), you must be familiar with some basic Stoic concepts and have some experience living Stoicism and reading Stoic texts already in order to feel comfortable in this discussion. Please consult the details on what levels 1 & 2 mean here: https://www.berlinstoics.com/event-organization.
You can also post further recommended reading on the topic or related topics in our discussion forum: https://www.berlinstoics.com/forum/recommendations/epictetus-and-rufus.
Please submit specific prompts you would like discussed either here in our forum https://www.berlinstoics.com/forum/weekly-prompts/july-05-2021-epictetus-and-rufus-prompts or in our Telegram group chat (more on this below). You can submit yours right up until the start of the event and the facilitator, Steve, will select a few to cover.
A couple of words: (1) If you haven't already, you can join our Telegram discussion group and our announcements channel by contacting us with your cell number and we'll add you. (2) The link to this event will be active between 20 and 10 minutes ahead of the start time, and we use https://meet.jit.si/ for our video conferencing. (3) Lastly, we have recently been streaming our events live on youtube and saving them on file, especially for those who cannot make particular events; at the start of each event, Steve will of course ask if everyone is okay or anyone has a problem with this. Furthermore, we only share recordings afterwards if we reach the threshold of 4 participants (other than the facilitator). This doesn't mean, however, that you must attend for the entire duration or that you arrive on time. However, at least when arriving, try to come within the first 30 minutes if you cannot be on time.
We look forward to seeing you there!