intro to philosophy essay


What methods do the Stoics develop in order to take charge of human happiness? Describe their outlook on nature, God, and human psychology, and distinguish their perspective from others we have studied.


This assignment uses the Melchert reading (pp. 203-209) and a selection from William Irvine’s book A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy. Please refer to both in your response.

To focus your answer, you may consider including the following:

  • How do Stoic psychological techniques help us? What major psychological problem, described by Irvine, can Stoic visualization help us to overcome?
  • Why does Irvine argue that Stoicism, despite its reputation for pessimism, transforms us into optimists
  • How might Stoicism provide an antidote to the attitude displayed by Callicles? Provide examples from the text.
  • How do the diary entries of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius illustrate and expand upon other perspectives on the Stoic way of life?

Your response should be a minimum of 600 words to receive full credit.