what pop stoicism misses about ancient stoicism

Popular culture has latched onto the idea of stoicism, praising it as a simple solution to life’s struggles.

This is only part of the ancient philosophy – what pop stoicism misses about ancient stoicism, however, are the underlying philosophical fundamentals that make up its framework.

What is POP Stoicism?

Popular stoicism, or “pop stoicism” as it’s often referred to, is the modern interpretation of the ancient philosophy of Stoicism.

Popularized in books and on social media, pop stoicism focuses mainly on the mental attitude aspect of traditional Stoic teachings.

What Modern Stoicism Misses about Classic Stoicism

what pop stoicism misses about ancient stoicism

At its core, ancient stoicism is an ethical system of thought; an act-oriented philosophy that focuses on controlling one’s emotions and using reason to recognize and accept reality. It encourages mindfulness and self-discipline, as well as equanimity and understanding of others.

The guiding principle behind Stoicism is “virtue is the only good.” The ideal state for a Stoic is one in which they practice virtue no matter the external circumstances.

To reach this ideal state, the Stoics focus on developing four virtues: wisdom (or prudence), justice, fortitude (courage), and temperance (self-control).

Pop Stoicism

Pop Stoicism

Modern popular stoicism differs from its ancient predecessor in several ways.

For instance, modern versions tend to focus almost exclusively on mental discipline—on “managing your thoughts” or applying some kind of effortless willpower—while ignoring the fundamental importance of living according to virtue.

As philosopher Alastair Macleod explains: “Stoicism without virtue is not Stoicism at all; it’s merely intellectual sophistry dressed up as something deeper.”

Other key characteristics of a stoic person that are missed include logic or argumentation training, meditation, and reflection exercises, physical exercise regimens – all critical components of ancient Stoic practice that develop one’s capacity for wisdom.

Ultimately, if we’re looking to apply stoic techniques in our own lives—whether it’s cultivating patience or managing our emotions—we must look beyond pop culture clichés and delve into the philosophical foundations of this complex system of thought.


Why is Stoicism so popular now?

Recent years have seen a rekindling of interest in Stoicism, the ancient Eastern philosophy that has its origins in Greek and Roman philosophers such as Socrates, Seneca, and Epictetus.
This renewed interest is likely due to its focus on resilience, mental toughness, and fortitude—all things that are particularly important in our fast-paced modern world. Stoicism teaches us to focus on what we can control which allows us to better cope with difficulties and challenges.
It also encourages us to remain mindful of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors so that we can remain in control of ourselves regardless of external circumstances. In short, it’s an ideal philosophy for those seeking greater peace of mind and inner strength amidst a chaotic world.

Who Is A Famous Stoic Philosopher?

One of the most famous stoic philosophers is Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor from 161-180 AD. He was the author of the renowned book Meditations, which is a collection of his reflections on life, death, and his Stoic philosophy. In it, he wrote about finding serenity through accepting what we cannot change and controlling our emotions. His teachings still resonate today with both academics and laypeople alike.

What Celebrities Follow Stoicism?

Several celebrities have embraced the Stoic philosophy to help them stay focused and level-headed in their fast-paced, demanding lives. Actor Will Smith reportedly credits Stoicism with transforming him into a more mature and grounded person. Other celebrities who follow Stoic principles include Hugh Jackman, Woody Harrelson, Brad Pitt, John Cleese, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Tim Ferriss. Additionally, Ryan Holiday’s best-selling book, The Obstacle is the Way, gives examples from popular culture that illustrate how Stoicism can be applied in everyday life situations.

What Are The Three Principles Of Stoicism?

The three core principles of Stoicism are:
1 Understand the universe is indifferent and you don’t have control over it.
2 Reject destructive emotions that sabotage your well-being.
3 Live a life of virtue and embrace a set of moral values and principles to guide your actions. These core Stoic ideals are still applicable today as they were in Ancient Greece, and can be used to help cultivate resilience, contentment, and emotional balance in any individual’s life.

What Is The Most Important In Stoicism?

The most important aspect of Stoicism is to live a life of virtue, driven by the pursuit of moral excellence. This means not only making ethical decisions and acting responsibly but also striving for inner peace and balance in difficult situations. Stoics believe that this is the foundation for reaching true freedom and happiness – living with passion and purpose by nature.

When Did Stoicism Become Popular Again?

Stoicism’s become increasingly popular lately, especially among business leaders and entrepreneurs. They look to the philosophy for self-discipline and resilience. People like Ryan Holiday and Robert Greene have taken note of Stoic principles, too. It’s all about living with virtue and meaning – choosing morality over everything else and finding inner peace no matter the situation. In a nutshell, Stoics strive to be their best selves to achieve true freedom and happiness.

Is Stoicism Still Popular?

Absolutely! It’s more popular now than ever before – and its reach continues to expand. Business people, entrepreneurs, and creatives are drawn to its practical applications and life-affirming principles. Whether it’s Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is the Way or Robert Greene’s Ego is the Enemy, Stoicism’s core concepts continue to inspire modern thinkers today.

Who Is The Father Of stoic Philosophy?

The father of Stoic philosophy is the philosopher Zeno of Citium. He was born in Cyprus around 336 B.C. and founded his school of philosophical thought known as the Stoa Poikile in Athens around 300 B.C. He believed that humans could find happiness and inner peace by leading a morally upright life, free from excessive desires and emotions. His teachings were widely influential throughout the Hellenistic world, forming an important part of classical philosophy for centuries to come.

Is Jeff Bezos A Stoic?

Although Jeff Bezos has not expressly identified himself as a stoic, his approach to business does appear to align with some of the core principles of Stoicism. For example, he is known for focusing on the long game and striving towards bold goals despite inevitable setbacks. He also advises others to identify what is within their control and stay focused on that while disregarding external noise. All of these attributes suggest an alignment with Stoicism’s teachings and principles.

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