Learning from Seneca: a Stoic perspective on the art of living and education

Ethics and Education 4 (1):81-92 (2009)
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Abstract

There is an increasing interest in publications about the sources of meaning in life; books about the art of living are immensely popular. This article discusses whether one of the ancient predecessors of current 'art of living' theories, the Stoa and more particularly Seneca, can be of interest to educators today. Seneca's explicit writings on education are relatively few, but in his letters to his friend Lucilius we find several ideas as to how educators can assist students to become wise and virtuous adults. The main characteristic of the virtuous sage is his ability to maintain tranquillity of mind. While we disagree with the radicalism of Seneca's view on the extirpation of emotions, we have discovered insights that we believe can be a valuable source for educators and students in their reflections on the meaning of education for the business of life

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