Dying (every day) with dignity: lessons from Stoicism

The Human Prospect 5 (1) (2015)

Abstract

Stoicism is an ancient Greco-Roman practical philosophy focused on the ethics of everyday living. It is a eudaemonistic (i.e., emphasizing one’s flourishing) approach to life, as well as a type of virtue ethics (i.e., concerned with the practice of virtues as central to one’s existence). This paper summarizes the basic tenets of Stoicism and discusses how it tackles the issues of death and suicide. It presents a number of exercises that modern Stoics practice in order to prepare for death (one’s own, or those of relatives and friends). It argues that modern Stoicism is a viable personal philosophy.

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Massimo Pigliucci
CUNY Graduate Center

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